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Morning Briefing August 5: Child among Kiwis killed in landslide

The Kiwi community in South Korea is grieving after three New Zealanders, including a young child, were killed in a landslide following torrential rain.

The flash flooding has reportedly destroyed their family holiday home north-east of the capital, Seoul.

A South Korean Ministry of Interior and Safety official told Associated Press the three New Zealanders are all from the same family.

Malcolm Luke, who is originally from Rotorua and currently lives in Seoul, says the community of Kiwis in South Korea is shocked and in mourning. 

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Calls to send terrorist to Australia

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern isn't ruling out the possibility of the Christchurch mosque terrorist serving his jail time in Australia but says New Zealand must make sure "justice is done here first".

Cabinet papers have revealed the high cost of housing the Australian man who killed 51 Kiwis in New Zealand’s worst mass shooting, with $3.59 million approved for his first two years in prison. 

While some party leaders are horrified by that amount, Ms Ardern says the bill is unfortunately necessary. Opposition leader Judith Collins agrees, saying the gunman needs to serve his sentence in New Zealand despite the high costs.

He’s due to be sentenced in Christchurch on August 24. Stuff reports victims of the terror attack have begun arriving home ahead of the sentencing.  

Meanwhile a comedian who made an insensitive joke about the attack is facing an advertiser boycott.

A short video from Australian Isaac Butterfield’s stand-up routine has been circulating on Twitter since Sunday and shows the comedian making a racial generalisation about Muslim people.

At least one advertiser has told 1 NEWS they plan to pull their commercial support of Mr Butterfield, while another says they’re reviewing their relationship with him. 

House values fall

New Zealand's housing market resurgence appears to be slowing down, according to the latest QV House Price Index.

House values in Auckland, Queenstown and Dunedin have fallen over the past three months, with the Queenstown Lakes District seeing the biggest drop of 4.2 per cent.

QV says with the wage subsidy and bank mortgage relief packages due to end soon, the property market could still be in for some hard times.

Meanwhile, there are concerns new rental laws before Parliament will give power to bad tenants.

The Government is pushing through its Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill under urgency this week and says the proposed new law will deliver a “fairer and more secure rental market”.

However, the New Zealand Property Investors Federation says the bill will mean landlords can do nothing about “the two per cent of tenants who are anti-social”.

Renters United say they’re happy with the bill.

Testing station swamped

A pop-up testing station in Queenstown was overrun by concerned locals wanting to be swabbed for Covid-19 yesterday, with extra test kits rushed in to meet demand.

Residents told 1 NEWS they were taking a “better safe than sorry” approach to ensure their community remains Covid-free. 

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield again warned Kiwis yesterday about complacency over the virus.

He says anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should get a test, saying just one case of the virus outside managed isolation could turn into a wider outbreak if people are not vigilant. 

Meanwhile, the UK government is tackling the length of time it takes to process Covid-19 tests, as it looks to use testing kits that produce results in just 90 minutes.

New Zealand’s health authorities say they’re monitoring the use and accuracy of the rapid tests

MP apologises to family

Iain Lees-Galloway apologised to his family in his valedictory speech in Parliament last night. 

The Palmerston North MP was sacked as a Minister following his affair with a staffer at one of his agencies and apologised to his family for the “trauma” caused by the revelations.

Other outgoing MPs delivered their valedictory speeches last night, including Labour’s Clare Curran who described the political system as “sick” and criticised the media.

Other news of note this morning: 

A massive explosion has rocked Beirut, flattening much of the city’s port and damaging buildings as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the Lebanese capital.

The ACT Party is pitching to change the parliamentary calendar to save 25 per cent of emissions from travel. 

A Taranaki farmer has been fined $45,000 for damming a stream on the boundary of Egmont National Park.

Advocates say a near miss between a cyclist and a bus in Wellington has further highlighted the need for an enforceable passing distance law.

Labour ministers are divided over the possibility of a Minister for Te Reo Māori.

A taxpayer-funded $550,000 sculpture in Kerikeri is being labelled a waste of money by some in the community.

And TVNZ has announced details of its election coverage which will include debates, polls, extensive election night reporting and the return of Vote Compass.

And finally...

David Hartnell. Source: Seven Sharp

Kiwi style guru David Hartnell has turned a love of showbiz into a long career as a Hollywood gossiper, fashion critic and author.

Seven Sharp’s Jeremy Wells invited himself along to Mr Hartnell’s home to gossip and get some honest feedback on the stars’ sartorial choices – and found he had some words for the viewers who clutch their pearls whenever Hilary Barry dares to expose a shoulder on the telly.