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Distraught All Blacks struggle to hide pain of defeat



The questions were perhaps redundant. What could the shattered All Blacks say after they had left so much on the field in Saturday’s 12-11 Rugby World Cup final loss to South Africa?

Playing more than half the match a man down, New Zealand were a hair’s breadth from snatching the World Cup back from defending champions South Africa, but fell agonisingly short, watching their great rivals move alone at the top of the tree with four titles to their name.

“To come within a whisker of pulling it off… it’s heartbreaking,” New Zealand’s outgoing coach Ian Foster said pitchside at the end of a pulsating and fluctuating clash.

“I’m proud of our guys, to go down to that red card so early and fight our way back and give ourselves a chance is pretty special. I don’t think it went wrong in any clear (way), it was a real arm wrestle, both teams had their moments… I’m incredibly proud of the way we fought.”

It was a titanic battle between the sport’s two heavyweights, and the fight was juddering. Few could have expected New Zealand to come so close when their captain Sam Cane was sent off after half an hour, penalised for a high tackle.

“It’s gut-wrenching for him, frustrating for us,” Foster said.

New Zealand captain Sam Cane comes off the field during the Rugby World Cup 2023 final between the All Blacks and South Africa at Stade de France.

New Zealand captain Sam Cane comes off the field during the Rugby World Cup 2023 final between the All Blacks and South Africa at Stade de France. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/


Gut-wrenching it was, Cane was distraught.

“Extremely gutted,” he said, seemingly hollow with disappointment as he stood expressionless on the side of the Stade de France pitch as the Springboks celebrated.#

“First of all that the guys had to play with 14 men for the last 50-odd minutes… I thought the courage they showed out here tonight was incredible, the whole team are absolute warriors.

“It’s tough. I’d like to say well done to South Africa. Back-to-back (champions), they have been a fantastic team. They have had a heck of a tough road to the final and they have showed time and time again they have shown a way to win.”

South Africa's hooker Bongi Mbonambi (C) celebrates with teammates South Africa's prop Ox Nche (L) and South Africa's prop Trevor Nyakane (R) after victory in the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Final between New Zealand and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on October 28, 2023. (Photo by Antonin THUILLIER / AFP)


Cane’s devastation was plain to see on the giant screen of the Stade de France as the New Zealand captain watched the South African bench run on to the pitch to celebrate the Springboks’ record fourth World Cup title.

Cane missed the opening game against hosts France, which the All Blacks lost, and witnessed his team’s second defeat of the tournament from the bench after becoming the first player to be sent off in a World Cup final.

The flanker watched New Zealand’s brave and sometimes brilliant second half and was left wondering what might have happened if he had not been shown a red card for a high tackle on Jesse Kriel.

Cane, however, did not make it about himself, praising those who were on either side of the field after the All Blacks lost 12-11.

“Obviously extremely gutted and disappointed. First of all that the team had to play the final with 14 men for the last 50-odd minutes,” he said.

Cane was sin-binned in the 28th minute and waited anxiously as his move was being reviewed by TMO match official Tom Foley, who eventually upgraded his yellow card to red.

Handre Pollard had made it 12-3 for the Springboks but the defending champions did not score a single point afterwards.

“I thought the courage they showed out there tonight was incredible. The whole team are absolute warriors and, look, it’s tough,” added Cane, only the 11th All Black to be sent off in a rugby test.

“I’d like to say well done to South Africa — back to back. They’ve been a fantastic team, they’ve had a tough road to the final and they showed time and time again they find a way to win.”

As rain fell heavily on the Stade de France, Cane stood in a long, black jacket when his South African counterpart Siya Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis Cup, before leaving the pitch with his team mates as clouds of smoke from the fireworks filled the stadium.

– Reuters

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Christchurch terror attack inquest: ‘Significant blind spot’ relating to St John’s specialist paramedics – coroner



A woman who was forced to leave the side of her bleeding husband following the terror attack at Christchurch’s Linwood Islamic Centre only discovered he had died the following day after seeking help from then-prime minister Jacinda Ardern.

Saira Patel’s husband Musa Patel was one of seven people who died after being shot at the Linwood Islamic Centre, following the massacre at nearby Al Noor Mosque on 15 March 2019.

Supported by her son, Patel told the inquest into the deaths that she and her husband were praying in separate parts of the mosque on the day of the attack.

Patel said she thought a tyre had blown when she heard a loud bang. A baby began to cry, and she could soon smell gunpowder.

She yelled, “Someone is shooting, someone is shooting” as people ran to escape.

When Patel found her bleeding husband, she told the Coroners Court she could hear him saying his “last prayer” as if he knew he was about to die.

Imam Hafiz Musa Patel

Musa Patel died at Linwood Islamic Centre on 15 March 2019. Photo: Facebook/ US Embassy Suva

She said she was forced to leave when police arrived and started treating Musa Patel, an order that distressed her to this day.

“I think any dying person who is about to leave this world would be very desperately craving and needing to be close to their loved ones. My presence during his final moments would have made a big difference in my life and I think maybe his last moments of departing this world,” she said.

She did not know her husband had died until the following day, when she approached then-prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who led her to a counsellor.

Patel said the counsellor showed her a photo of an unidentified man in hospital who was not her husband.

“I knew then that my husband was dead. There was no-one else who could have identified him, and this last unidentified man was my last hope,” she said.

Patel thanked the doctors and paramedics who did everything they could to console her husband in his final moments.

“I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

“I was trying to be with him in that last moment but maybe they were chosen to be with him.”

Dr Alison Wooding from nearby Piki Te Ora Medical Centre was one of the doctors who treated Musa Patel when staff went to the mosque to help the injured.

She told the court he was meant to be the first victim taken to hospital but realised he had died after he was moved onto a stretcher.

Wooding said she and others were talking to Musa Patel the entire time they cared for him, but she did not recall him ever responding.

Police officers gave evidence on Tuesday saying Musa Patel had been able to communicate with them at first but his condition deteriorated over time.

Wooding told the court she felt apprehensive and worried about the situation at the mosque, but safe and protected between armed and vigilant police officers.

29th November 2023 Iain McGregor/The Press/Pool Christchurch Masjidain Attack Coronial hearing. Coroner Brigitte Windley.

Deputy chief coroner Brigitte Windley. Photo: The Press / Iain McGregor

‘Significant blind spot’ relating to St John emergency response team – coroner

The coroner has queried a “significant blind spot” in the way St John ambulance officers work with specialist paramedics trained to work in dangerous situations.

Deputy chief coroner Brigitte Windley questioned St John duty manager Bruce Chubb about the organisation’s response massacre.

Two Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) paramedics were among ambulance officers who went to the scene of the shooting in Linwood Avenue.

No-one from St John attended the Al Noor scene in a SERT capacity.

Chubb told the Coroners Court that SERT teams worked under police and it was not uncommon for St John not to know when they had been requested, where they were, or what they were doing.

In response, coroner Windley said: “My concern is that that creates a significant blind spot for St John, doesn’t it?”

“Isn’t it that these are critical resources in terms of closing that care gap for people who are dying and injured and being able to get a response in, and you’ve got no visibility about where they are and even if in fact they’ve been deployed?”

041223 CHRIS SKELTON Witness, Bruce Chubb from St John command and control during the Christchurch terror attack inquest held at the Christchurch Justice precinct.

St John’s Bruce Chubb. Photo: Stuff / Chris Skelton

Chubb said he was not suggesting it was “okay” that St John did not know where SERT officers were but said it was the practice at the time.

He was not aware of any changes to the SERT policy since the terror attack.

Chubb told the coroner he thought it was “always nice to know” where resources were, to which she replied, “I would suggest it’s more than nice to know. I would suggest that St John needs to know”.

Chubb earlier told the inquest that he believed general ambulance officers should not have entered either mosque immediately after the shootings because of the safety risk.

Windley said the court was concerned St John ambulance officers had to breach the organisation’s policy in order to get an emergency response in place.

“Do you agree that that’s fundamentally a problem?” she asked.

“Yes,” Chubb replied.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chubb told counsel for families Kathryn Dalziel that the terror attack was a catastrophic event that he did not expect and was never prepared for.

“I don’t believe any of my colleagues were either, so it was fundamentally overwhelming,” he said.

The inquest will examine the following 10 issues over seven weeks:

  • Events of 15 March 2019 from the commencement of the attack until the terrorist’s formal interview by police
  • Response times and entry processes of police and ambulance officers at each mosque
  • Triage and medical response at each mosque
  • The steps that were taken to apprehend the offender
  • The role of, and processes undertaken by, Christchurch Hospital in responding to the attack
  • Coordination between emergency services and first responders
  • Whether the terrorist had any direct assistance from any other person on 15 March 2019
  • If raised by immediate family, and to the extent it can be ascertained, the final movements and time of death for each of the deceased
  • The cause of death for each of the victims and whether any deaths could have been avoided
  • Whether Al Noor Mosque emergency exit door in the southeast corner of the main prayer room failed to function during the attack and, if so, why?

The inquest continues.


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Protests raise questions about next year’s Waitangi day



In the wake of protests over the new government’s policies on co-governance and the Treaty, the head of the Waitangi National Trust Board says it is important Treaty partners front up and have a conversation on 6 February.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says he intends to visit for Waitangi Day, as does ACT’s David Seymour.

The protests taking place across New Zealand on Tuesday were part of a “National Māori Action Day”, led by Te Pāti Māori and iwi, to challenge the government over its policies on the Treaty of Waitangi, and other policies affecting Māori.

Waitangi National Trust Board chairperson Pita Tipene expected for that sentiment to flow through on Waitangi Day.

“Clearly, the Māori people see it as an attack on the Treaty of Waitangi and the constitutional basis of this country,” Tipene said.

These include switching from Māori to English names on various government departments, rewriting legislation to make mentions of the principles of the Treaty more specific, and progressing an ACT bill calling for the principles to be set down under its own prescription, rather than decades of jurisprudence.


Ngāti Hine leader Pita Tipene

Ngāti Hine leader Pita Tipene Photo: RNZ

Tipene told Checkpoint there was no invite list for politicians per se, and the doors of the Trust were open for all to come along.

“Given that it is a Waitangi Day commemorations period, it’s really important that the Treaty of Waitangi is the focus, and therefore the Treaty partners should front up and have a conversation.”

He would be disappointed, but not surprised, if parties in government were not represented there on the day.

“It has happened before where governments or political parties have chosen not to front up at Waitangi.”


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Te Pāti Māori protests – Day of action focuses on new government’s Māori policies



Police says protesters are causing widespread delays at key transport networks around the North Island, but there have been no arrests so far.

A police spokesperson says commuters should allow travel time this morning, with Te Pāti Māori’s planned protests disrupting travel routes.

There are large gatherings in Tāmaki Makaurau and central Wellington, along with a number of other cities and towns.

The spokesperson says Auckland motorists are advised there are heavy delays on parts of the motorway network this morning.

The demonstrations are in response to Te Pāti Māori’s call for action against the new government’s policies on co-governance and the Treaty.


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