Auckland

Samoa predict boxing boom if favourite son Joseph Parker wins WBO belt

Parker fights Mexico's Andy Ruiz in Auckland tonight for one of the most coveted belts in the world, one of the top four in the glamour division.

A win would launch Parker to international stardom and Samoa are ready to cash in.

Parker's 'heavy security team' keeping close watch

In New Zealand's first ever hosting of the championship bout, Parker, 24, will fight Mexican Andy Ruiz, 27, for the title at Auckland's Vector Arena.

Ruiz, is unbeaten in 29 fights with 19 knockouts while Parker has an unbeaten run of 21 fights with 18 knockouts.

RNZ reports the atmosphere in South Auckland this week is reminiscent of when local fighter David Tua took on three-time heavyweight world champion Canadian boxer Lennox Lewis for the WBC, IBF and IBO titles in 2002.

Parker camp claims underdog status

The pair will fight for the WBO belt at Vector Arena in less than a fortnight, on December 10.

Parker's trainer Kevin Barry said the 24-year-old heavyweight's past four years as a professional - during which he has won all 21 of his fights - has served as an apprenticeship.

Ruiz has spent eight years as a professional and is unbeaten in 29 fights.

Barry said that gives the visitor a distinct advantage.

New Samoa Government House is open for tenants

The Fale O Samoa complex was opened on July 31 earlier this year. It is built on 5345 square metres of prime land located in the heart of Mangere, on the corner of Bader Drive and Mascot Ave, opposite the Mangere Town.

The complex is situated practically in a gateway to the rest of Auckland. Just 15 minutes from Auckland’s International and Domestic Airports, 5 minutes from access to the Southern and North Western motorways and on a good day, 20-30 minutes from the CBD, this could certainly be a gem in the crown for the Samoan Government.

Islands get ready for year’s biggest Pacific event

The festival from 12-13 March is expected to attract 100,000+ visitors over the two days, after returning to Western Springs, Auckland’s favourite public space featuring a lake surrounded by grassy areas and trees.

Bound, gagged woman who escaped from car fighting for life in Auckland hospital

Residents of Paptoetoe have told how they saw a woman gagged and bound with ropes tumble out of a car boot on Huia Road, though police have so far said only that she was thrown from the car.

A Middlemore Hospital spokesperson said this morning that the woman was in a critical condition in the intensive care unit and "causing concern".

TAV’s new store opens at Auckland’s Onehunga Mall

A gorgeous bright, pink and black hand printed strapless tiered dress worn by Princess Kate in the Solomon Islands during the 2012 Royal Diamond Jubilee tour that put TAV Pacific on the international radar.

Pacific Christian School denies abuse allegations

The Pacific Christian School in Mangere had its registration suspended last week by the Education Ministry.

The school's principal, Lisita Paongo, says police warnings given to the school lacked evidence. Ms Paongo says families and staff are disappointed with the decision and want the school to stay open.

She says they're even more upset because they found out through the media before a formal announcement was made by the school's board.

The school came under scrutiny last year, when an 11 year old stabbed another child with a pair of scissors.

NZ construction firms urged to up jobs for Pasifika

Employers gathered in Auckland today to hear about a trades training programme aimed at plugging a predicted labour shortage in the construction and infrastructure sectors.

It is estimated 32,000 jobs will be generated in the next three to five years in New Zealand.

Auckland's Mayor Len Brown says the initiative will help address the high number of unemployed Maori and Pasifika people and boost the city's economy.

Pacific emergency response needs a tailored approach

The regional summit was called to consider emergency response solutions at a time when more frequent natural disasters are expected as a result of climate change.

In their report, delegates recommend building capacity so local officials can take the lead when disaster strikes.

Vincent Omuga, Acting Head of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Pacific, says the different capacities of countries to deal with disasters make a tailored approach necessary.