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Former Green MP Darleen Tana speaks out on allegations and plea to resign

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Embattled MP Darleen Tana does not accepted a report into allegations relating to her husband’s business and says it “substantially misrepresents her involvement.

A statement released by Tana has spoken out in regards to the public plea from the Green Party for her to resign from Parliament, following allegations of migrant exploitation at her husband’s business.

She resigned from the party after an investigation into the allegations – but the Greens want her out altogether.

The party called a caucus meeting on Saturday, unanimously demanding she resign from Parliament.

In the statement, Tana said she did receive a copy of the report by investigator and barrister Rachel Burt, and attended the caucus meeting where it was discussed.

“I do not feel that natural justice has been followed during this process, and at Saturday’s hui it seemed clear that a pre-determined view had been formed prior to hearing from me.

“I can confirm, as indicated during today’s conference with the Green Party leadership, that I have subsequently resigned as a member of the Green Party.

“I want to make it clear that I do not accept the findings of the report and believe that it substantially misrepresents the level of my involvement in my husband’s business.

“This was an investigation into what I knew and should have disclosed to my party leadership. I am therefore deeply concerned by the party’s summary of the findings.

“The report does not say that migrant exploitation has occurred, let alone that I am responsible for it in any capacity.

“I have only had a short time to consider this report, and am taking some time to consider it before making any further comment.”

Green Party ‘disappointed’

Earlier on Monday, the Green Party spoke to reporters. Co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick reiterated to Checkpoint the Tana’s behaviour had fallen “far short” of what was expected of Green Party members and MPs in general.

“I have not heard back from her on the substance of the request from us for her resignation.

“What Darleen has done, her behaviour, and her unwillingness to acknowledge that behaviour, or to be accountable to it, falls far short of the expectations that we have of a Green MP effectively, she did not meet the standards that we hold not only for Green MPs but for members of Parliament entirely.

“As I said earlier today, I feel utterly betrayed. I feel incredibly disappointed, yet we continue to be as crystal clear as we possibly can that, you know, Darleen, if you’re listening, please do the right thing here.”

In addition to the report’s findings, Swarbrick believed Tana had lied to them.

“It is also our very strong view that she has misled myself and Marama … if we can be straight up about it, it is our strong view that she lied to us.

“I take absolutely no joy and no pleasure in what it is that we have had to do today.

“I find it incredibly difficult, on a really personal level, to reconcile my view and understanding of somebody who I thought I knew and loved to that effect with somebody who has engaged in this behaviour, but also not being forthright and upfront about it.”

Chlöe Swarbrick speaks about Darleen Tana

Green Party co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Tana had received a draft version of the report about two weeks ago and had the chance to provide “substantive and detailed” feedback, she said.

Tana could continue as an MP for the remainder of the term – unless the party uses the contentious ‘party hopping’ legislation.

The party is unlikely to do so, however, having consistently been ideologically opposed to the legislation.

What has led to this?

Tana has been suspended on full pay since March, after a series of allegations of migrant exploitation against her husband Christian Hoff-Nielsen’s bicycle company, and claims she was also involved.

The claims include texts showing Tana told a migrant worker he could continue working in her husband’s bike shop despite that being a breach of his visa conditions.

Other migrant workers complained of unpaid wages, with Tana still being involved in related decisions despite her resignation as a director and shareholder in 2019.

Burt’s investigation was launched immediately after the accusations came to light, but has taken nearly four months to reach a conclusion.

Sunday marked 115 days since she was suspended, and means she has now spent more time suspended on full pay than acting in her role as an MP.

The party is yet to release the full report into Tana’s actions, saying they were still in the process of contacting those named in it for privacy reasons.

“For sake of expediency, we’ve already contacted all parties named in the executive summary in relation to their privacy interests, with the intention of releasing that as soon as is practically possible,” Swarbrick said.

VIA RNZ

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26-year-old charged after man found dead in car outside vape store

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Police in Auckland have arrested a man in relation to the homicide investigation launched in Mount Wellington at the weekend.

Officers were called to Penrose Road in Mount Wellington about 10.40pm on Saturday after reports of a gun being fired outside a business.

On arrival they found a man dead in a car.

Police have named the man as 22-year-old Texas Jack Doctor.

They say a 26-year-old man has been arrested, charged with accessory after the fact to murder.

He is expected to appear in Auckland District Court Wednesday.

VIA RNZ

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‘I want her to die’: Man’s vicious attack on wife in McDonald’s revealed in court documents

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Warning: The content of this story may be distressing to some readers

A man’s vicious attack and attempted murder of his wife in an Auckland McDonald’s during their separation earlier this year has been described in court documents.

Mitesh Kumar appeared in the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday morning, pleading guilty to attempted murder and two counts of failing to carry out obligations under search powers.

The 45-year-old Auckland man stabbed and slashed his partner multiple times with a utility knife at a McDonald’s restaurant in Mt Roskill in January.

Court documents reveal Kumar entered the McDonald’s alone, after concealing the knife in his pants pocket.

He had arranged to meet his wife, whom he had been married to for about 18 years before they separated, with the promise that he would bring her two children with him.

Kumar had not seen her or his children in four months prior to the attack.

His wife arrived outside the restaurant and called him when she saw the children were not present.

Police at the scene of an assault at McDonald's on Stoddard Road in Auckland's Mount Roskill on 11 January 2024.

Police at the scene. Photo: RNZ / Lucy Xia

He convinced the woman to come into the restaurant, saying her children were across the road.

Kumar’s wife entered the McDonald’s sitting opposite him at the table, when he began asking the woman to accept a lower divorce settlement offer, something she did not want to talk about.

At this point, Kumar revealed a nude photograph of his wife he kept on his phone, saying he would show others the photo if she did not accept the lower offer.

As his wife attempted to leave, Kumar stood and lunged forward with the knife.

He slashed the woman across the left side of her neck and throat three times, pushing her over a table, and breaking it in the process.

Kumar stood over his wife, grabbing her by the hair as she struggled to her feet, slashing her in the same place a further three times.

Bystanders and McDonald’s staff pled with him to stop.

“Don’t stop me, just stay away,” replied Kumar, threatening the onlookers with his knife.

He continued to attack his wife, holding her down while he slashed at her neck and body.

Kumar spoke to his wife in Gujarati, telling her she had wrecked his life and lost his children.

There was a pause, and Kumar’s wife tried to sit up before he continued stabbing and slashing at her neck, throat, upper body and the back of her head, while she held up her arms in an effort to protect herself.

Kumar stopped to adjust his knife, before continuing his attack.

Court documents said he suffered a mechanical failure and paused to fix it.

His wife was unable to push him away, as Kumar overpowered her, slashing yet again at her neck.

He paused and took out a new blade from the handle of his utility knife, replacing the one he was using to attack his wife.

Kumar slashed at the woman’s neck and throat four more times, pausing to take deep breaths, before attacking once more.

Others in the restaurant tried to talk to Kumar, as he screamed at them that his wife has ruined his life.

“I want her to die, you can call the police,” he told them.

He attacked several more times, targeting his wife’s neck thrice more, before a member of the public intervened with a chair.

The attack lasted seven minutes and 44 seconds.

Kumar only stopped after police arrived.

His wife suffered multiple penetrating wounds to her neck, throat, left ear, the back of her head, and her upper chest area, as well as multiple lacerations and defensive wounds to her hands and arms.

Court documents reveal that her injuries were so severe, she needed to be admitted to theatre so they could be repaired.

Meanwhile, Kumar was taken to Auckland City Police Station.

He told authorities his wife was asking for too much money in the divorce settlement.

“If she dies, and I go to jail, everything goes to the kids.

“That is the motive.”

Kumar has been remanded in custody until sentencing in November.

VIA RNZ

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Water outage in several streets of Wellington suburb of Karori

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Up to 500 properties in the Wellington suburb of Karori are without water.

Wellington Water said its crews were responding to a burst water main on Monaghan Avenue.

The area affected includes:

  • Collier Avenue
  • Woodhouse Avenue
  • Parklands Drive
  • Lynmouth Avenue
  • Landsdowne Terrace
  • Parsons Glen

Wellington Water said to carry out repairs its crews also had to turn the water off to Monaghan Avenue from Karori Road to Paparata Street, including all of Hawick Street, Selkirk Way, Laidlaw Way, Ridd Crescent.

Two water tankers have been arranged to provide drinking water to those affected which Wellington Water said would remain in place until the water was restored.

There is a tanker at 1 Parata Street and another one on the intersection of Collier Avenue and Richmond Avenue.

Residents could notice that their water appeared cloudy or had air pockets once it was turned back on, Wellington Water said.

But it said its crews would flush the hydrants in the zone once the repair had been completed.

Wellington Water said it expected water to be restored to the area at about 5pm on Wednesday.

A map showing the area of the water outage in Karori.

A map showing the area of the water outage in Karori. Photo: Supplied

VIA RNZ 

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