Morning Briefing June 29: Winston takes aim at Greens’ wealth tax

Coalition partner NZ First has slammed the first major election policy announcement from their government support partner, the Green Party.

Marama Davidson Source: 1 NEWS

The Greens yesterday revealed their “transformational poverty action plan” that promises everyone a guaranteed minimum weekly income of $325, funded by the introduction of a tax on the wealthiest six per cent of Kiwis

NZ First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters labelled the move “nuts” in a tweet last night.

That sentiment is shared by National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith who says, “At a time when we need our successful small businesspeople to invest and create more jobs, the Greens want to tax them more.”

In revealing the policy, Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said the current system is "rigged, so few have more than they will ever need, while far too many will always struggle". 

This piece from Stuff explains how the proposed wealth tax would work, including the provisions that would keep almost all family homes from being taxed.

Ms Davidson will also be on TVNZ’s Breakfast just after 7am today to discuss the policy in more detail.

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Mosque shooter interviewed

The Royal Commission into the Attack on the Christchurch Mosques says it’s interviewed the shooter as part of its efforts to provide answers about the tragic event.

The shooter admitted 51 charges of murder and 40 charges of attempted murder earlier this year, meaning no trial will be held.

The Royal Commission says the interview with the offender, which took place at Auckland Prison, Paremoremo, will "help with some areas of uncertainty".

Isolation system under strain

A report into the fit-for-purpose state of the Government’s managed isolation and quarantine system has revealed a system “under extreme stress” that needs more resource.

Housing Minister Megan Woods says a “range of improvements” are underway to address issues identified in the review, including more nurses and defence personnel at quarantine hotels, and better information for both those entering isolation and the communities where facilities are located. The full report into the system can be found here.

The review comes as four more cases of Covid-19 were caught at New Zealand’s border yesterday, with the number of confirmed cases globally passing the 10 million mark overnight. 

Meanwhile, Pasifika leaders are warning that overstayers could be a weak link for New Zealand’s fight against the virus if there’s a resurgence in community transmission.

They’re urging the Government to grant them residency on compassionate grounds, so they stop moving around and living in secret, overcrowded conditions. 

National’s ‘invisible man’

When Todd Muller became the National party’s new leader last month, list MP Jian Yang was bumped up the party's list from 33 to 27.

Despite that promotion, the MP of nine years remains an elusive figure to most of the English-speaking media.

TVNZ Q+A reporter Whena Owen has been trying to get an interview with Dr Yang ever since his links to the Chinese Communist Party were revealed. Those interview requests have been blocked for more than two years. You can read about that saga and watch Owen’s full Q+A report here.

Keeping an eagle eye out

New Zealanders are being called on to help count our bird population as part of an annual survey.

It’s hoped there will be extra interest this year after many people enjoyed birdwatching over lockdown.

Survey organisers say the work of volunteers in recording the birds they see in their gardens or at the park will help provide a snapshot of how birds are doing nationwide, particularly in urban areas. 

Other news of note this morning:

The historic Parihaka settlement is set to receive $14 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, with the investment expected to create up to 130 jobs in the area.

ACT’s only sitting MP David Seymour has retained his top spot on his party’s list ahead of this year’s election, while Council of Licenced Firearms Owners spokesperson Nicole McKee is at number three.

Frustration is growing among owners of buildings in Wellington that need to be quake-strengthened, as costs for the work balloon

US President Donald Trump has retweeted a video showing a supporter loudly shouting "white power".

Ahead of the release of her memoir, Judith Collins says she was thrown under the bus by former prime minister Sir John Key over her ties to Chinese milk company Oravida.

And amid the economic doom and gloom of the Covid-19 pandemic, TVNZ’s Sunday speaks to three very different companies who’ve innovated ways to move forward.

And finally...

Raylene Bishop's baby boy Source: 1 NEWS

Raylene Bishop’s baby boy sure knows how to make an entrance.

Ms Bishop went into labour over the weekend, just as a storm began brewing in south Auckland.

As she got into an ambulance outside her Ōtara home, a tornado whipped past, lifting the ambulance off the ground and blowing in its windows as Ms Bishop threw herself on to the floor.

1 NEWS spoke to Ms Bishop in hospital yesterday and met her baby who was delivered via c-section after the tornado encounter.

She says the family hasn’t come up with a name for their new baby yet – but says Storm is a leading contender.