Law & Order

Road to Taupo should re-open by 4pm today


The Napier Taupo highway is expected to re-open at 4.30pm

A truck and trailer crash blocked the highway from before dawn today.

After delays of many hours the Napier-Taupo road is expected to be open and flowing by 5pm

The road was closed during the salvage of a truck and trailer which crashed this morning at about 5am today.

A long queue stretching back to Bayview eagerly awaited the opening.

Police release names of Hawke's Bay road crash victims


Police have released the names of the three people who died in separate vehicle crashes in the Bay of Plenty and Central Hawkes Bay yesterday.

In the Eastern Police District, emergency services were called about 7.30pm to a two vehicle crash on SH2 near Waipawa.

One of the drivers, Bradley Charles Dobby, aged 20 of Central Hawke’s Bay, was killed in the crash.

In the Bay of Plenty, Stevie Rangataua-Alexander, 18 years old from Auckland, died at the scene of a two vehicle crash on SH1 north of Taupo. The crash happened about 1pm and she was the driver of one of the vehicles.

Her death has been referred to the Coroner.

Shortly after 4pm, police were called to a single vehicle crash on SH33 near Rotorua.

The passenger, Mr Monty Broughton, 68 years old from Taupo, died later the same day in Rotorua Hospital.

The crash is being investigated by police.

First accident fatality in Waipawa, Hawke's Bay


A 20-year-old central Hawke's Bay man has been killed in a crash between a car and a ute in the Hawke's Bay.

The man was killed and four others suffered minor injuries following the crash on State Highway 2 at Waipawa, north of Waipukurau, about 7.30pm on Sunday.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, which occurred at an intersection marked with a give-way sign.

The holiday road period finishes at 6am on Tuesday and has so far claimed 10 lives. Last year 15 people died during the period.

Hawke's Bay police report a quiet New Year's Eve

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New Year's Eve celebrations at the Napier Soundshell, including the midnight fireworks display, went off without incident, according to police.

Police reported a "quiet and incident-free" night across the Eastern District on New Year's Eve last night, with a marked improvement in behaviour at the Rhythm and Vines festival compared to last year.

There were only four arrests at the festival last night - three for disorder and one for assault. Police said the arrest numbers were low considering the high levels of drunkenness of many people staying in campsites adjoining the festival site.

The two campsites were independently run and were BYO, which meant campers could bring in any amount of alcohol. Levels of intoxication at both sites rose steadily throughout the day and dozens of people were turned away when they got to the festival entrance due to being highly intoxicated.

There was one assault in one of the camping grounds about 9pm last night.

Tairawhiti Area Commander Inspector Sam Aberahama said the festival site was licensed, which meant alcohol was being sold from bars and serves were monitored.

"There was a distinct difference in the levels of intoxication in the campsites and on the festival site. We have always opposed BYO at events and this has not changed our stance," Mr Aberahama said.

Inspector Andy Sloan of Hawke's Bay Police said it was a quiet and uneventful night in Napier and Hastings and the beach settlements of Waimarama and Mahia. There were two arrests for disorderly behaviour.

Behaviour overall had been good and a lot of families had attended the New Year celebrations at the Napier Soundshell that went off without incident, Mr Sloan said.

Axe attack leaves Hawke's Bay pastor mysterfied


Nigel and Joan Woodley

A Hawke's Bay pastor has spoken out about a terrifying experience in which he and his wife were attacked as they returned to their Flaxmere home.

Nigel Woodley said they were returning home on Saturday night when they saw a tall, well-built man outside, with what turned out to be an axe.

The man spoke to them but the only word he caught was "utu [revenge]".

Mr Woodley said he ended up struggling with the man and was knocked to the ground and hit.

He had no idea what motivated the attack.

"We believe strongly in the right of the Jewish people to live in the state of Israel in their ancient biblical land, and whether there are people disgruntled about the way we believe and want to take it out on us, we don't know.

"Or is it just a random attack of someone who may be mentally disturbed?"

The attack, which police are investigating, left Mr Woodley with four staples in his head.



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