Good evening listeners and welcome to News Lounge, your go-to source for the latest and breaking news stories from around the world. It’s Friday, March 17th, 2023 and we’re broadcasting live from our studios here in Christchurch. As always, we’ll be bringing you a range of informative and thought-provoking discussions on the biggest news stories of the day, as well as expert analysis and insights from our team of correspondents and reporters. So sit back, relax, and get ready for an engaging and informative show ahead. Let’s dive into today’s headlines!
A man was shot by the police after an attempted robbery at a petrol station in West Auckland. The man is in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Auckland Hospital. According to Waitematā district commander superintendent Naila Hassan, the man fired at police at least seven times and showed no regard for their safety. Police fired back on more than one occasion, and the man was shot by the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) after he continued to brandish his firearm. The man is in his mid-20s and known to police with active charges relating to violence and drugs. One police officer received minor injuries, and charges are yet to be laid as investigators piece together the incident.
Police have made a second arrest in connection with a drive-by shooting in Dunedin that occurred on March 10. A 53-year-old man was arrested and charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, while an earlier arrest was made for attempted murder. The suspect in the latter case, a 25-year-old man, appeared in court on Wednesday and was remanded in custody until April 4. Police conducted additional searches on Thursday and found the vehicle and firearm they believed were involved in the incident.
Over 300,000 customers in Australia and New Zealand may have had their personal information breached in a cyber attack on finance company Latitude Financial. The attack affected a range of Latitude’s services, including credit cards, personal loans, and vehicle loans. Latitude stated that personal information was stolen from two of its service providers, with approximately 225,000 customer records and 103,000 identification documents stolen. Latitude has apologised to its customers and is working with cybersecurity specialists and relevant authorities to contain the attack. The company is also on a trading halt until Monday.
New Zealand’s credit rating is at risk of being downgraded by rating agency Standard & Poors’ if the government’s current account deficit does not improve and interest costs rise substantially to more than 10% of government revenues. The deficit reached $2.8 billion in the six months to December 2022, slightly higher than the forecast. ANZ senior economist Miles Workman said that the cyclone impacts meant the current account deficit was expected to improve at a slower pace than previously. However, economist Shamubeel Eaqub said the deficit is high but not near the trigger for a downgrade, and the issue is the over-reliance on foreign savings to boost investments.
Business owners who have invested in green transport technologies are feeling disheartened after New Zealand’s public sector signed off nearly 1000 additional petrol and diesel cars. The country had set a target of having an emissions-free public sector car fleet by 2025, but government agencies have not expedited the phase-out of combustion engine cars, which have increased by 16% in the past three years. Agencies that are moving away from fossil fuels are still increasing their fleets, which is worrying to sustainability experts. Kāinga Ora, the housing agency, has increased its fleet from 600 to 909 cars, including six $80,000 Polestars.
New Zealand’s Parliamentary Service has banned TikTok from all devices with access to the parliamentary network starting next month. The ban comes after advice from cybersecurity experts due to concerns that data could be accessed by the Chinese government through the Chinese-owned app. Last year, MPs were warned against using TikTok on their work devices, and the ban now extends to all devices with access to the parliamentary network. The ban follows similar moves by other countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, Belgium, and the European Commission.
The Wharf, a commercial property located in Northcote Point, Auckland, with stunning views of the Waitematā Harbour and the city skyline, is up for sale. The property has three levels, ample parking, ferry services, flexible seating, and a floor space of 1190 square metres. The building, which has been operating for 50 years, is purpose-built for events, conferences, and weddings, and has an on-site restaurant/bar. The property was leased until the tenants relinquished their lease due to COVID-19. The current owner just wants to find a new owner. The property is being sold via a deadline private treaty, and the deadline for offers is April 5th.
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