May 2005 in Australia and New Zealand

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May 31, 2005 (Tuesday)

* In Botswana, Australian lecturer Kenneth Good loses his appeal against deportation. He had criticized the government of president Festus Mogae [http://www.gov.bw/cgi-bin/news.cgi?d=20050601&i=State_prevails_over_Good (Republic of Botswana)] [http://www.reuters.co.za/locales/c_newsArticle.jsp;:429c78ce:24f4873596beed1?type=topNews&localeKey=en_ZA&storyID=8653507 (Reuters SA)] [http://www.sabcnews.com/africa/southern_africa/0,2172,105627,00.html (SABC)] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4597053.stm (BBC)]

May 27, 2005 (Friday)

*Australian Schapelle Corby has been found guilty by a Bali court of importing a narcotic into Indonesia. She has appealed the AU$13,875 fine and the 20-year gaol sentence. Her case has generated fanatical support in Australia, where polls show most people were convinced of her innocence. [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s1378668.htm (ABC News)] [http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20050525094057&irec=0 (Jakarta Post)]
*The Federal Court of Australia rejects an attempt by [http://www.hsi.org.au/ Humane Society International] to sue a Japanese whaler because such an action might generate conflict with Japan. The organisation claims the whaling company is hunting unlawfully in Australian waters near Antarctica. The Humane Society is now considering appeal. [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s1378479.htm (ABC News)]

May 26, 2005 (Thursday)

* Australia observes the National Sorry Day as a way to remember the Stolen Generation of Indigenous Australians. [http://www.nit.com.au/breakingNews/story.aspx?id=5024 (National Indigenous Times)] [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s1377194.htm (ABC AU)] [http://www.abc.net.au/ra/news/stories/s1377237.htm (Radio Australia)]

May 25, 2005 (Wednesday)

*The Palmer Inquiry into Australian immigration is further expanded to 201 possible cases of wrongful detentions, including those of Australian citizens Cornelia Rau and the deported Vivian Solon. John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, has again rejected calls for a Royal Commission. [http://www.optusnet.com.au/news/story/abc/20050527/16/domestic/1378111.inp (ABC News)]
*Graham Kennedy, Australian radio, television and film performer, died aged 71 at 04:30 on 25 May 2005, following ill-health. [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s1376256.htm (ABC News)]
*Queensland wins the first round of the 25th State of Origin rugby league series in Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. [http://www.couriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,15409254%255E952,00.html (Courier-Mail)]

May 24, 2005 (Tuesday)

*The Australian Federal Opposition has urged the Government to take stronger action to prevent the Japanese whaling expansion proposal succeeding at the next meeting of the International Whaling Commission. Opposition spokesman on the environment, Anthony Albanese, has said Australia should use all diplomatic measures to ensure Japan does not secure the necessary number of votes. [http://www.optusnet.com.au/news/story/abc/20050524/14/domestic/1375604.inp (ABC News)]
*John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, has written to his Japanese counterpart, Junichiro Koizumi, urging Japan to reconsider its position on whaling. In the letter, Howard states that Australia is opposed to whaling in all its forms and does not accept whaling for commercial or scientific purposes. The International Whaling Commission is expected to consider Japan's expansion proposal when it meets next month. [http://www.optusnet.com.au/news/story/abc/20050524/18/domestic/1375264.inp (ABC News)]
* The appeal of six Pitcairn men who were sentenced for sexual abuse of young girls fails. An Auckland court has continued their bail until their appeal to the Privy Council is heard, most likely in April 2006. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4574287.stm (BBC)] [http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=8581269 (Reuters)]

May 21, 2005 (Saturday)

*An intellectually handicapped man has been forced to leave New Zealand town of Whitby after being falsely accused of being a paedophile in an anonymous leaflet. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3287438a10,00.html (Stuff)]

May 20, 2005 (Friday)

*Australian pop star Kylie Minogue is released from hospital after surgery to remove breast cancer. [http://www.theage.com.au/news/People/Kylies-cancer-removed/2005/05/21/1116533575754.html (The Age)]
*More rain is forecast for the Bay of Plenty region which could cause more flooding. The State of emergency remains in the Matata region with Police trying to stop looting. It is expected to stay in place until Monday. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3286159a11,00.html (Stuff)] [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3287473a11,00.html (Stuff)]

May 19, 2005 (Thursday)

* The State of emergency has been lifted in Tauranga. Fifteen houses were badly damaged by the flooding and slips. The settlement of Matata also declared a State of Emergency on May 18 and is still in place. Another 120 mm of rain is expected overnight. [http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3636435&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=&thesecondsubsection= (BOP Times)] [http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/default.asp?id=50777&cat=1005&c=w (NZ City)] [http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=73019 (Newstalk NB)]

May 18, 2005 (Wednesday)

* A State of emergency is declared in Tauranga after 309 mm of rain fell in the 24 hours up to 4 p.m. NZST on Wednesday. Several houses have been damaged by mud slides and 200 people have been evacuated. [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_national_story_skin/558321%3fformat=html (TVNZ)]

May 17, 2005 (Tuesday)

* Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue announces she has been diagnosed with the early stages of breast cancer and is postponing her upcoming Australian tour. [http://www.smh.com.au/news/Music/Kylie-has-breast-cancer/2005/05/17/1116095952778.html (SMH)] [http://www.theage.com.au/news/People/Cancer-shock-for-Kylie-Minogue/2005/05/17/1116095953030.html (The Age)] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4554035.stm (BBC)] [http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=50572 (NineMSN)]
* David Benson-Pope stands down as New Zealand's Associate Education Minister after three people alleged that he had administered cruel punishments to them while he was a high-school teacher in Dunedin. Benson-Pope has previously denied the allegations in Parliament. [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10125894 (NZ Herald)]
* A convicted child sex offender has agreed to leave the New Zealand West Coast town of Blackball after protesters started a vigil outside his house. The man had a medium to high risk of reoffending and had not acknowledged that his crimes were wrong. He will be charged with breaching his release conditions as he did not seek permission to move to the town. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3282757a11,00.html (Stuff)]

May 16, 2005 (Monday)

* The Chief executive officer of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Karen Van Rooyen, has resigned. She had come under great pressure to resign after a report by the State Services Commission into the 2004 NCEA scholarship exams. Associate Minister of Education David Benson-Pope refused to express confidence in her. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3282401a10,00.html (Stuff)] [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10125781 (NZ Herald)]

May 15, 2005 (Sunday)

*A bus carrying more than 20 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints flips onto its side after travelling at high speed down a steep street in Dunedin. Two of the people on board were moderately injured. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3280901a10,00.html (Stuff)]
*The Ministry of Agriculture and police are extremely confident now that the Foot and mouth disease threat on Waiheke Island is a hoax. There is also speculation that it may be linked in some way to a simulated exercise in Manawatu. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3280836a11,00.html (Stuff)]

May 14, 2005 (Saturday)

*Telecom New Zealand is planning to increase security for its voicemail service after a hacker managed to access the voicemail famous New Zealanders such as Dick Hubbard, Auckland mayor. Telecom's public affairs manager was only aware that his own voicemail had been accessed after being told by a computer journalist. The voicemail of several policemen was accessed. [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=5&ObjectID=10125321 (NZ Herald)] [http://67.19.9.2/?article=23209 (The Inquirer)]

May 13, 2005 (Friday)

*The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry have become more hopeful that Foot and Mouth disease has been not released on Waiheke Island and that the letter sent to Prime Minister Helen Clark was a hoax. Police also released more details of the letter saying it was signed "M. Ferguson", which may be an allusion to the tractor manufacturer Massey-Ferguson. As a precaution livestock on the island will continue to be checked for the next week, the maximum incubation period of the disease. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3279454a11,00.html (Stuff)]

May 12, 2005 (Thursday)

*Wrongfully deported Australian citizen, Vivian Solon, was reunited with her Filipino sister, Cicile Solon, who is to care for her. Vivian Solon plans to return to Australia and be reunited with her children. The family has not ruled out suing for compensation. Australian Prime Minister has again offered a qualified apology, calling the case "sad". [http://www.optusnet.com.au/news/story/abc/20050512/17/domestic/1367192.inp (ABC)]
*New Zealand MPs begin to debate whether the drinking age should be raised to 20, from 18. It was lowered in 1999. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3277334a11,00.html (Stuff)]
*Sydney's fresh water supply will be exhausted by 2008 if action is not taken before then to reduce consumption and/or increase supply, a New South Wales government report says. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/environment_australia_water_dc (Reuters)]
*Livestock on Waiheke Island continue to be checked every 48 hours by vets for symptoms of Foot and Mouth disease. Vets however caution that if the disease was released on Monday, then symptoms would not start to appear until Friday. This is also the day that the letter sent to the Prime Minister Helen Clark said that the disease would be released in the rest of New Zealand. The alert has cost millions of dollars. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3277717a3600,00.html (Stuff)] [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_rural_story_skin/547580%3fformat=html (TVNZ)]

May 11, 2005 (Wednesday)

*Missing deported Australian, Vivian Solon, has been located in a Manila convent, after an Australian Catholic priest residing in the Philippines recognised a photo broadcast by ABC Asia-Pacific. [http://www.optusnet.com.au/news/story/abc/20050512/17/domestic/1366545.inp (ABC)]
*The Australian Senate passed a censure motion against Immigration Minister, Senator Amanda Vanstone, over the handling of the Cornelia Rau, Vivian Solon and other cases. [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s1366488.htm (ABC)]
*Auckland bus drivers overwhelmingly reject a deal with the Stagecoach bus company. Further strike action may occur in three weeks time. [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10124987 (NZ Herald)]

May 10, 2005 (Tuesday)

*The Stagecoach bus company has offered a deal to its drivers, who have been on strike in Auckland for the last six days. The deal is subject to approval by the drivers at a stopwork meeting tomorrow. [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10124768 (NZ Herald)]
*A letter sent to the New Zealand prime minister alleges that foot and mouth disease has been released on Waiheke Island. The letter writer threatens further releases unless tax reforms are made. While the letter is considered likely to be a hoax, a farm on Waiheke is quarantined. New Zealand has been free of the foot and mouth virus to date. [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10124792 (NZ Herald)]
*New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has said he will not help the government identify anymore undesirable foreigners who have entered New Zealand. Peters has in the past weeks identified several Iraqis who have entered the country including a former Iraqi government minister. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3275618a10,00.html (Stuff)] [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10124755 (NZ Herald)]

May 9, 2005 (Monday)

* Hobart's Risdon Prison remained in lock down after a 41 hour siege by inmates demanding better conditions. The siege ended at 8:00 a.m. AEST after the release of a prison guard overnight. Officials said charges would be laid. [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s1363056.htm (ABC News)]
* A planned four day strike by New Zealand radiologists could cause the closure of nine public hospitals according to hospital managers. The strike which will run from May 23 to May 27 will see 420 staff walk off the job. Apex, the radiologists union wants a minimum salary of about $40,000. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3274581a10,00.html (Stuff)] [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_health_story_skin/541971%3fformat=html (TVNZ)]
* New Zealand Police are thankful that a collision between a 40 tonne petrol tanker and another truck was not more serious. The accident killed the driver of the truck and happened at 5.40 a.m. on State Highway 1 at Meremere. The tanker remained upright and didn't rupture, releasing its 30,000 litres of fuel. [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10124440 (NZ Herald)] [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3273361a10,00.html (Stuff)]

May 7, 2005 (Saturday)

* Risdon Prison in Hobart, Tasmania, is "locked down" after a siege by a group of 20 inmates. The group took control of the prison's reception area and held hostage a prison guard and other inmates, in protest of poor conditions. [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s1363056.htm (ABC News)]
* A New Zealander is arrested by Australian police in relation to a drug syndicate that has seen nine people arrested in Bali. The 21-year-old is unemployed and pregnant and is accused of conspiracy to import heroin into Australia. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3273280a10,00.html (Stuff)]
* 15 people are killed in Australia's worst air disaster in 36 years when VH TFU, an Aerotropics Transair-owned Metro 23, flies into South Pap, 11 km from Iron Range airport at Lockhart River, North Queensland. Both companies continued to operate and were not grounded after the crash. Aerotropics is still in operation while Transair finally had its AOC cancelled in late 2006.

May 6, 2005 (Friday)

*Australian Prime Minister John Howard has made a qualified apology to an Australian citizen who was deported to the Philippines in 2001. The woman, who was born in the Philippines, is yet to be located.
* Graeme Fraser, the chairman of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority resigns after State Services Commission report into the 2004 NCEA scholarship exams. There was a wide discrepancy between the number of scholarships awarded in Arts subjects compared to Science subjects. The report laid most of the blame on NZQA. It said they failed to "see that wide variability in scholarship results could undermine the credibility of the exams". [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3271724a10,00.html (Stuff)] [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10124182 (NZ Herald)]
*A bridge near Wairoa on the East Coast of the North Island collapsed sending two train wagons and a crane on the East Coast into the Nuhaka River below 9 metres below. The accident which happened at about 7:30 a.m. NZST and there was nobody on board the wagons or crane. [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_national_story_skin/538820%3fformat=html (TVNZ)] [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3271904a11,00.html (Stuff)]
*New Zealand's Minister of Fisheries, David Benson-Pope, has ordered the country's 35 squid boats to return to port from their sub-Antarctic fishing grounds. He said that the boats were breaking a voluntary code of practice designed to protect seabirds. Once in port an independent observer would be placed on board to monitor the boat's actions. Conservationists claim that 10,000 birds a year are drowned after getting caught in the nets. [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_national_story_skin/538521%3fformat=html (TVNZ)] [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3271720a7693,00.html (Stuff)]

May 5, 2005 (Thursday)

*Auckland bus-drivers working for Stagecoach begin a six-day strike over pay rates and employment conditions. [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10123916 Bus driver's story (New Zealand Herald)] [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10123946 Effects of strike (New Zealand Herald)]
*Christchurch police reveal that prostitute Susan Sutherland was killed by someone with their bare hands. They have no revealed the exact cause of death but it is speculated to be strangulation. Her naked body was found on April 16. Police believe she may have struggled with her attacker before being killed. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3270476a10,00.html (Stuff)]

May 4, 2005 (Wednesday)

*A suspicious briefcase on the outside first-floor balcony of the Citibank building in Auckland in blown up by the bomb squad. The building houses the United States consulate. The briefcase turns out not to contain a bomb. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3269369a10,00.html (Stuff)]

May 3, 2005 (Tuesday)

*New Zealand First leader Winston Peters claims that Amer Mahdi Alkhashali a former Minister for Agriculture and Agrarian Reform under Saddam Hussein has been living in New Zealand for a month under a United Nations passport and had applied for refugee status. [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_politics_story_skin/533180%3fformat=html (TVNZ)]
* An Airworks Fairchild Metroliner explodes while flying from Auckland to Woodbourne, about 5km east of Stratford. The plane had two pilots and was carrying courier parcels. Both men were killed. Residents in the area report hearing a loud noise, with some seeing a fireball and falling debris. Wreckage is spread over a 15 km area. [http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/NZ-plane-explosion-sounded-like-a-crack-of-thunder/2005/05/04/1115092530567.html?oneclick=true (SMH)] [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3269211a10,00.html (Stuff)]

May 2, 2005 (Monday)

* Australian citizen and California resident, Douglas Wood, taken hostage by insurgents in Iraq. A video released shows Mr Wood pleading for Australian Prime Minister John Howard to withdraw Australian forces from Iraq. [http://www.optusnet.com.au/news/story/abc/20050502/17/domestic/1357954.inp (Reuters)]
*A Cook Strait Bluebridge ferry "Santa Regina" hits the 10m "Timeless" near Picton Point in Queen Charlotte Sound, killing one man and injuring a woman. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3267191a11,00.html (Stuff)]


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