The cracks in the coalition government are widening after a day which began with disagreements over managed isolation co-payments and ended with NZ First leader Winston Peters launching a furious attack on the Greens.
The decision to charge only some returning Kiwis for hotel isolation sparked division across parties with Mr Peters unhappy with what he says is a “dreadful public policy”.
The Government says it’s seeking to put a $3100 price tag on Kiwis who enter the country temporarily or leave New Zealand after the regulations come into force – with some exceptions in place.
NZ First says they will support the legislation even though they disagree with it. The Green Party, meanwhile, says they’re making sure Kiwis who need to return to New Zealand to live don’t end up being charged a hefty fee.
The division between Labour’s coalition partners then took a turn for the worse last night as the Greens joined National in attempting to appeal the waka-jumping law.
An infuriated Winston Peters immediately sent a press release saying the move showed the Greens to be “unstable and untrustworthy”.
It’s just the latest incident in a deteriorating relationship between NZ First and the Greens who have both been struggling in recent polls. And they’ll have another poll result to chew over later today with the latest 1 NEWS/Colmar Brunton poll landing at 6pm on TVNZ 1 and 1NEWS.co.nz.
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Report recommends binning RMA
The Resource Management Act (RMA) is in for a major overhaul after nearly 30 years of becoming increasingly complex and unworkable.
A Government-commissioned report released yesterday is recommending the Act be scrapped entirely and replaced with two new pieces of legislation – a Natural and Built Environments Act and a Strategic Planning Act.
The proposals are being applauded by both developers and environmentalists.
Business, infrastructure and farming groups have welcomed the report, while the Green Party says the review could be transformational for protecting the environment. National says it also wants to repeal the current RMA altogether.
The full review can be found here.
Nats pitch for entrepreneurs
National has unveiled a plan to allow unemployed Kiwis to access their KiwiSaver funds to start a small business.
If elected to government, the party says it will allow people who have lost their job since March 1 to withdraw up to $20,000 from their retirement savings to get a new business off the ground.
"It’s your money that you’ve put aside for a rainy day,” National leader Judith Collins said of the policy. “Well, if you’ve lost your job, it’s not raining, it’s pouring.”
When later asked if she backed such an idea, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she has concerns over a proposal “which will undermine New Zealanders’ retirement savings”.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson also said it’s a risky plan given two-thirds of new businesses fail within the first couple of years.
Spotlight on film industry culture
The Screen Women’s Action Group (SWAG) says there’s still “a lot of work to be done” to combat sexual harassment in the film industry, but it’s hoped a new bill will help.
It comes as current and former employees of Weta Workshop continue to come forward with allegations of harassment and bullying at the world-famous studio.
SWAG says the culture of the New Zealand screen industry needs to be addressed. There are hopes the Screen Industry Worker’s Bill, currently before Parliament, could improve things for film workers.
If it passes, it would re-instate the ability for workers to collectively bargain and provide more protection against bullying and harassment.
Tributes flow for Andy Haden
All Black great turned agent to the stars Andy Haden has been remembered as a “mighty man” who was never afraid to speak his mind.
The former All Black captain died in Auckland yesterday after a long battle with cancer.
Rugby commentator Keith Quinn says he was a “significant All Black” who he hopes will be remembered for more than an infamous dive in a controversial win over Wales in the 1970s. Mr Quinn will be joining TVNZ’s Breakfast just after 7am today to look back at Mr Haden’s career.
Love hearts and frowning faces
1 NEWS has analysed New Zealand's MPs on Facebook to find out who's the most popular and how people feel about their posts.
It probably won’t surprise many to find Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the dominant figure on the social media site with 1.3 million followers. She’s also received nearly two-thirds of the “love” reactions left on all MPs’ posts.
Ms Ardern also features in the top five for anger on Facebook, however Act leader David Seymour gets the most “angry” reactions, followed by National’s Simon Bridges and Chris Bishop.
Other news of note this morning:
The Waitangi Tribunal’s urgent inquiry into Oranga Tamariki – the fifth inquiry into the organisation – begins in Wellington today.
More outgoing National MPs made their final speeches as members of parliament last night. Paula Bennett received unanimous applause after her heartfelt farewell, while Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie went out swinging, taking aim at both Jami-Lee Ross and the media.
Meanwhile, former National Party leader Todd Muller has told the Herald he is "slowly rebuilding" and still intends to stand for Parliament in the upcoming election.
The Auckland household contacts of the traveller who recently tested positive upon arrival in South Korea have all tested negative for Covid-19.
An initiative to enhance student safety and unite the Dunedin community has been launched in memory of Sophia Crestani who died at a flat party last year.
Customs has arrested a man for allegedly attempting to smuggle 2.2 million cigarettes into the country.
Medsafe has announced all medicines containing codeine will be only available via prescription from early November.
And MacKenzie Scott, the world’s second-richest woman, says she’s donated $US1.7 billion ($2.5 billion) to charity since divorcing Amazon boss Jeff Bezos.
With many comedy shows cancelled in the wake of Covid-19, New Zealand’s comedians have instead donated their stage time to entertain the essential workers who kept the country running through Level 4 lockdown.
Hosted by Urzila Carlson, Stand Up Aotearoa saw the cream of the comedy crop performing for an invited audience made up of nurses, drivers and supermarket workers.