Morning Briefing Sept 28: Politicians talk up trans-Tasman bubble once again

Remember the days when politicians on both sides of the Tasman said a travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia could be operational by September?


Those plans, of course, were binned following the resurgence of Covid-19 in Victoria and a return to lockdown for Auckland not long after – but the prospect of a trans-Tasman bubble before Christmas has been raised once more.

Australia's Minister of Federal Trade and Tourism Simon Birmingham says he wants a travel bubble in place by the end of the year, but it could be restricted to some regions – and it could be a one-way street.

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters says a travel bubble with some Australian states – most likely Tasmania and Queensland – could be possible by Christmas.

The news comes as two more cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in managed isolation yesterday, although neither had travelled from Australia.

There were no community cases of the virus recorded in New Zealand yesterday.

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Arrest over officer’s death

British detectives investigating the murder of a New Zealand-born police officer in south London have made an arrest.

Sergeant Matt Ratana, originally from Hawke’s Bay, was shot dead at a police station on Friday.

A man has now been taken into custody on suspicion of supplying a firearm, while the man who allegedly killed Sergeant Ratana has been named by the BBC as 23-year-old Louis De Zoysa.

Nats defends numbers – again

National continues to face criticism of its alternative budget with claims their spending plans include several errors now. (RNZ has an explainer about what those are here.)

However, party leader Judith Collins is standing by her finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith, saying there was one error in their economic plan and “the rest of it is simply a different name for something”. 

But those weren’t the only numbers giving National grief yesterday, with a new poll showing the party sitting below 30 per cent support three weeks out from the election. The Newshub/Reid Research poll saw Labour sitting at 50.1 per cent. 

Meanwhile, 1 NEWS will be releasing the results of their latest Colmar Brunton poll at 6pm today, ahead of the Young Voters Debate, which is being livestreamed on from 7.30pm.

Moderated by Jack Tame, the debate will feature candidates from a range of parties and focus on issues affecting Gen Z and Millennials.

And while the youth wait for that, they may enjoy this thoroughly modern music video about how MMP works.

Greens call for review

The Green Party is calling for a review of a billion-dollar trade training fund which they say is favouring men over women.

The Greens originally supported the plan aimed at getting people back into work, but now say the policy’s focus on male-dominated industries means it’s not helping those hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Party co-leader Marama Davidson says the policy isn’t sexist, but "just doesn't have a gender lens over it in the way it should have from the start".

The Government says while it can’t yet provide a gender breakdown for the training scheme, August saw an eight per cent year-on-year increase in the number of women doing apprenticeships. 

Walker shares story of abuse

Stan Walker has opened up about the physical and sexual abuse he suffered as a child.

The singer has spoken to TVNZ’s Sunday about his painful childhood, sharing many details for the first time about what happened to him and his path to forgiveness.

Walker says he hopes sharing his story will help and inspire others.

Reporter Tania Page has reflected on the telling of that confronting tale here – which you can watch in full on Sunday’s website.

Other news of note this morning:  

- The NZ Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom election survey has been released (paywalled) and it shows business confidence is at its lowest level in nearly 20 years – with neither of the major political parties offering policies to make business leaders feel reassured.

- Farmers and travellers in the South Island are being warned to expect heavy snow falls

- US President Donald Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court – find out more about his pick here, including a look at her previous rulings

- A sex therapist is calling for more action from the Government around the regulation of porn, after the Covid-19 lockdowns triggered a spike in harmful pornographic material surfacing online. 

- A growing number of Christchurch households have lost their right to recycle as they refuse to separate their waste.

- And the Herald reports a test of Auckland's tsunami alert system failed to reach many beachfront residents yesterday, prompting one to say: "I'm doomed - didn't hear anything."

And finally...

Pidge the kererū. Source: 1 NEWS

Could this bird be one of the oldest pigeons alive?

Pidge the kererū was raised in captivity nearly 30 years ago before suddenly vanishing from his refuge – but he’s made a surprise reappearance.

Pidge was discovered in a bedraggled and confused state recently with a worn-out tether on his leg revealing his past.

Kererū typically live to around 21 years of age – but after being nursed back to health, it looks like Pidge is on track to celebrate his 30th birthday in March.