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Fair Go: June 29

Published: 6:30PM Wednesday June 29, 2011 Source: Fair Go

D-day for the street

Reporter: Gordon Harcourt

"Reprehensible, no morality, dangerous" - more complainants come forward

Since we met convicted fraudster and problem gambler Leicester Monk two weeks ago, many more complainants have come forward to Fair Go, to private investigator Julia Hartley Moore, and - we are told - to Police.

One story above all others is disturbing.

Nick Allison and Sarah Neill buried their father Jim five years ago. They say they have documents showing he parted with at least $900,000 to Leicester Monk. They told me they believe their father's financial losses contributed to his ill health, the collapse of his relationships with all around him, and eventually his death.

The story this time is the money was apparently needed for legal action in the US to access mysterious funds, somehow frozen. The money never thawed.

Nick and Sarah want Leicester off the street. Nick has been trying to achieve that for years - he's been to Police or the SFO three times. Police have for years had a stack of documents. So far, nothing has happened.

Police tell me they are meeting with the SFO this week, and last week our first complainant Di Sinclair came down from the Far North to give a statement.

Di Nick and Sarah are all scathing about the TAB. They say it must be forced to take action. The TAB can't say what's been done regarding Monk without a privacy waiver and he won't supply one - I dropped a form at his place last week. It does say now he's admitted he's a problem gambler there is a range of procedures, including exclusion, at its disposal.

The TAB says it has robust and stringent policies to deal with problem gambling. Staff have authority to act on a range of factors, and the TAB investigates if concerns are raised.

For two weeks Leicester Monk had said not a word to Fair Go, but on Tuesday evening his barrister sent us this statement on his behalf:

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond. I watched your earlier program with both embarrassment and disappointment. And while it is true that I have borrowed money from various people over the years, I have certainly not borrowed at the level and in the amounts claimed by your show.

"I have also never sought to deceive anyone about money. It is true that I have had an issue with gambling which has contributed to financial problems making it at times difficult to pay money back. I understand how this will have hurt those who have lent to me.

"I would however state that at no time have I been deceitful in my conduct, and it is disappointing that your program has chosen to present my actions as criminal.

"I would like to apologise to those people who have been hurt. But again I would emphasise that I have not in any way behaved criminally, and I would appreciate my situation being treated a little more fairly than your show has to date."

Reporter: Phil vine

Podcast: Our people on Goodman Street in Christchurch learn their fate

What colour will they be? Our cameras are there as the good people of Goodman Street learn whether their community will be wiped off the map. Will the Government write off some or all of the land in the street. Or will they be left hanging?


Reporter: Ruwani Perera

Podcast: A family take a closer look at their Rugby World Cup tickets and find they're not sitting together. While the adults were sitting next to each other, Jaydeen and Tony Thistoll's 10 and 7 year old kids were sitting apart from their parents.

Rugby World Cup organisers put the seating stuff-up down to a data entry error which affects 30 people attending the Australia vs. United States match on Friday September 23 2011 at Wellington Regional Stadium.


Reporter: Ali Mau

Podcast: Do the regulations around imported carseats need to change? Child safety advocates believe they do, after new mum Sarah came to Fair Go with her story.

Sarah bought a Lucky Baby Ranger Deluxe carseat from The Baby Factory, who import them direct from Singapore. The first time she put it in her car, the buckle used to tighten the shoulder straps came away in her hand; she says "there didn't appear to be anything holding the baby in."

After a search she found a small screw - the only thing holding the buckle assembly to the plastic shell of the seat - had popped out. With the screw missing, it would be possible to incorrectly "tighten" the safety straps, leaving too much slack in the shoulder area, potentially allowing much greater movement in an accident.

Fair Go's investigations found there are no checks on imported carseats coming into New Zealand. Responsibility for making sure these products are safe is left to the importer and retailers. All carseats sold here must, by law, meet one of three safety standards (AUS/NZ, US, or EU) and carry a label stating as much; but although the AUS/NZ and US standards are generally high, the EU standard can cover seats made and tested in a number of European countries, some of which have much lower standards.

The NZTA and The Baby Factory both claim Sarah's faulty seat was a one-off occurrence and the Lucky Baby Deluxe meets minimum safety standards, but the NZTA say anyone who experiences a similar problem should take the seat back to the retailer for a refund.



Reporter: Hannah Wallis

A lot of our viewers only contact us once theyve reached boiling point, this story is about the noisy process of getting to that point.   Zoe Fryer contacted us because her Russell Hobbs Whisper quiet kettle sounded far from a whisper.