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News in Brief - May 14

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Staff Reporter

13 May 2024, 8:34 PM

News in Brief - May 14Latest News.

Penlink Joins NZ Transport Upgrades

Transport Minister Simeon Brown has revealed that the Penlink project is now part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

Additionally, the coalition government is introducing Roads of Regional Significance to complement Roads of National Significance, aiming to advance priority roading projects countrywide.

This decision comes as a response to the mismanagement of the NZ Upgrade Programme by the previous government, which led to significant cost overruns, project cancellations, and delays nationwide.

Moving forward, all responsibilities regarding project scope and delivery will be delegated to the NZ Transport Agency, marking a positive shift towards efficient and effective infrastructure development across New Zealand.

Auckland Ratepayers Call on Minister to Support Petition

Transport Minister Simeon Brown has voiced his backing for Mayor's plea for greater accountability following Auckland Transport's implementation of 24-hour parking charges in the CBD.

Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance Spokesperson, Sam Warren, criticised Auckland Transport's decisions, highlighting the lack of accountability to Aucklanders.

Warren expressed concerns over the autonomy of Auckland Transport, urging the Minister to join in signing a petition aimed at reversing the proposed parking changes and restoring accountability.

The petition can be accessed at ratepayers.nz/cbd_parking

Fraudster Sentenced for Gambling Fraud

Iosefa Ta’alo Ape, also known as Joseph Aiono, from Auckland, has been sentenced for offences relating to the misappropriation of class 4 (pokies) grant funds.

Mr Ape, associated with the Hoop Star Basketball Academy, submitted grant applications with fictitious costs exceeding $75,000.

His sentence includes 6 months of home detention, followed by another 6 months under post-detention conditions, along with reparations.

Vicki Scott, Director of Gambling at DIA, hailed the prosecution as a community triumph, vowing zero tolerance towards such dishonest practices.