'Apologies about the bowl latte and paninis' – funnyman Tom Sainsbury meets Paula Bennett for first time on TVNZ's Poker Face

National Party MP Paula Bennett has met her match (literally), on set of TVNZ's comedy Poker Face.

For the first time ever Ms Bennett came face-to-face with  'Snapchat dude' Tom Sainsbury, known for his satirical videos impersonating politicians. 

Sainsbury told 1 NEWS he thought Ms Bennett would hate him if they met, saying he thought "that she'd have me killed. That I needed to back out."

The comedian's been sharing political satire videos about New Zealand politicians for a year and a half, the character that resonated most with his followers was the bowl latte drinking, panini eating, Paula Bennett.

The pair had talked before, and Ms Bennett shared several of her own response videos to Facebook during the 2017 election campaign, but they'd never met in real life... until now.

"Actually seeing her in person, after watching so much footage of her, was surreal. And there she was interacting with me. But she was very gracious."

When asked if his impersonations will improve after meeting her, Sainsbury said: "Hell yes."

"I got some great snippets from our interaction: Her relationship with grey hair, the way she holds her gaze, her laugh."

In the series, available on TVNZ OnDemand, comedians and celebrities face off to win money for charities of their choice. 

The comedian gets three rounds to show their best work and try to make the celeb crack a smile. 

This week's showdown was between Ms Bennett and Sainsbury.

Ms Bennett managed to keep a both a straight face for two of the rounds, earning $500 for her chosen charity, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Sainsbury won the last, earning $500 for SAFE.  

You can watch the full Poker Face episode on TVNZ OnDemand here.



New Zealand's female MPs, including Jacinda Ardern with baby Neve, recreate 1905 Parliament photo

New Zealand's female MPs have today recreated a 1905 photo of former Premier Richard Seddon and his colleagues. 

It comes as the country celebrates 125 years since women won the right to vote. However, women were not allowed to stand in Parliament until 1919. Elizabeth McCombs was elected as the first female MP in 1933. 

Richard Seddon, the 15th Premier of New Zealand, sits with his colleagues in 1905.
Richard Seddon, the 15th Premier of New Zealand, sits with his colleagues in 1905. Source: Supplied

Jacinda Ardern cradles her baby Neve in the photograph. 

Mr Seddon was New Zealand Premier from 1893 to 1906, winning five consecutive elections. 

Richard Seddon, the 15th Premier of New Zealand, sits with his colleagues in 1905.
Richard Seddon, the 15th Premier of New Zealand, sits with his colleagues in 1905. Source: Supplied

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, baby Neve and New Zealand's female MPs.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, baby Neve and New Zealand's female MPs. Source: Supplied

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Read Deadpool 2 star Rob Delaney's heartbreaking essay on son's cancer battle

Rob Delaney has penned a heartbreaking essay on his son's cancer battle, after the toddler passed away aged just two-years-old.

The Deadpool 2 star was struck by tragedy earlier this year when his son Henry - whom he had with his wife Leah - lost his battle with brain cancer, and has now shared an emotional essay that was originally penned as part of a book he wanted to release for parents of sick children.

Rob decided to stop writing the book when he saw his son's last "bad MRI scan", saying he and his family "just wanted to be with him around the clock and make sure his final months were happy."

Read full essay excerpt here.

Explaining why he posted the excerpt on Medium yesterday, the 41-year-old comedian wrote: "The reason I'm putting this out there now is that the intended audience for this book was to be my fellow parents of very sick children.

"They were always so tired and sad, like ghosts, walking the halls of the hospitals, and I wanted them to know someone understood and cared.

"I'd still like them to know that ... But I can't write that book anymore because our family's story has a different ending than I'd hoped for. Maybe I'll write a different book in the future, but now my responsibility is to my family and myself as we grieve our beautiful Henry."

The essay focuses on the months surrounding Henry's diagnoses and how his family helped the tot deal with his treatment, and Rob says that despite his son's condition, he felt "excited" to see him at the hospital.

Rob writes in part: "I may wish Henry wasn't in the hospital and it may make me f***ing sick that my kids haven't lived under the same roof for over a year. But I'm always, always happy to enter the hospital every morning and see him.

"It's exciting every day to walk into his room and see him and see him see me."

The actor cuts off his essay "abruptly", as he never finished the story before he learned Henry's diagnoses was terminal.

He said: "I'm aware this ends somewhat abruptly. The above was part of a book proposal I put together before Henry's tumour came back and we learned that he would die. I stopped writing when we saw the new, bad MRI.

"My wife and his brothers and I just wanted to be with him around the clock and make sure his final months were happy. And they were."

Rob Delaney with his son Henry. Source: Twitter


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Winston Peters explains party's support for raising refugee quota

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says NZ First shared the Labour Party's "aspiration" to increase the refugee quota, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced it will be raised to 1500 today.

The NZ First Party leader's position was in stark contrast to comments made at the start of the month at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru.

"We never made a commitment to double the refugee quota," Mr Peters told media at the time.

The Deputy PM went on to argue there were other priorities for the Government.

"We've got 50,000 people who are homeless back home, and I can show you parts of the Hokianga and elsewhere, parts of Northland, with people living in degradation.

"We have to fix their lives up as well before we start taking on new obligations of the level that some people would like."

However, while standing next to Ms Ardern during the announcement today he took a much softer line on the refugee issue.

"This is about people not about politics and controversy, the fact is it was put to me in Nauru that the 1500 figure was already there, which it wasn't.

"The Labour Party policy I knew was an aspiration towards that, so was New Zealand First's an aspiration towards that, and I knew the Greens had a higher target," Mr Peters said.

"All I did was put out the plain facts and to say that it was a work in progress and I'm not surprised with the speed at which the progress has taken place.

"This was always on the cards that we'd get it done when we had all the background work done on refugee centres and a host of other things," he continued.

PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand's refugee quota was previously 1000, after being increased by the National-led Government from 750 in 2016.

The new quota will take effect from July 2020. 

Major points

- There will be six new settlement locations, on top of re-establishing Christchurch as a settlement location.

- Expanding the public housing supply for 150 extra refugee families is expected to cost $32.5 million over three years.

- Budget 2018 included money to build new accommodation blocks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre  

The NZ First leader said the increase was “always on the cards”. Source: 1 NEWS


Serena Williams is 'proud' of her friend Meghan Markle's charity work

Tennis champion Serena Williams has revealed she's "proud" of Meghan Markle after she launched a cookbook in support of the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The 37-year-old royal has written the foreword to a recipe book from cooks at the Hubb Community Kitchen, which is based in London, and the Duchess of Sussex has revealed she felt "connected" to the Community Kitchen because it offers a "place for women to laugh, grieve, cry and cook together".

Responding to the announcement, the Duchess' good friend Serena wrote on her Twitter account: "I used to call you Meghan (and I still do) but dear Duchess of Sussex your first project "Together" a cookbook bringing women of all cultures together. I could not be more excited about it and proud of you.

"It's beautiful - diversity, inclusivity, coming together in grief or joy."

The book - which is called Together: Our Community Cookbook - marks the former Suits actress' first solo project as a royal.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, centre front, poses for a photograph with women of the Hubb Community Kitchen. Source: Associated Press

It features 50 recipes by women whose community was affected by the fire in the Grenfell tower block in London, which killed 72 people in June last year.

The long-term ambition behind the project is to provide support for the Grenfell families and others within the community.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex cooks with women in the Hubb Community Kitchen at the Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre. Source: Associated Press

The Duchess has played a hands-on role with the book, helping the group to find a publisher, and then providing legal support through the Royal Foundation charity.

The Royal Foundation is also responsible for ensuring that the proceeds from the sale of the book go directly to the Hubb Community Kitchen and other similar projects.

Speaking about the book, Meghan recently explained: "Through this charitable endeavour, the proceeds will allow the kitchen to thrive and keep the global spirit of community alive."

Meghan Markle and Serena Williams. Source: Associated Press


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