'The coffee here is great and the food is amazing' - Jason Donovan falls in love with NZ on first visit

He made his name in Neighbours, before huge success as a singer and in shows. Now, Jason is in NZ. Source: Seven Sharp



Bert and Ernie aren't gay, Sesame Street insists as persistent puppet sexuality rumours swell again

On again off again gay rights icons Bert and Ernie aren't gay. Repeat: The famous puppets are not in a same-sex relationship.

That's the word from the producers of Sesame Street, who had to quell rumours about the duo's personal life yet again today after the theory - oft repeated over the show's nearly 50-year history -- was stoked by an interview with a former writer.

"I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were (gay)," said Mark Saltzman, who wrote for the show throughout most of the 1980s, in an interview with LGBTQ website Queerty.

"I don't think I'd know how else to write them, but as a loving couple... Because how else?"

Mr Saltzman said he was inspired to write their loving interactions and minor quibbles by his own relationship.

But in a tweet this morning, Sesame Street issued a statement insisting that "they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation".

"As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends," producers said. "They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves."

A writer previously revealed he wrote the roommates as a gay couple, but Sesame Workshop says none of the show’s puppets have a sexual orientation. Source: 1 NEWS


Suffrage 125: Images from Auckland celebration

Hundreds rose early in Auckland this morning to mark 125 years since women won the right to vote in New Zealand. 

suffrage
Source: Andrew Macfarlane.

Suffrage
Source: Andrew Macfarlane

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern greeted the crowd in Aotea Square, telling them the story of her great-great-grandmother Catherine who a Canterbury suffragette, as well as once the greatest female pedestrian (sport walking) in the world.

The PM spoke about New Zealand’s inspirational women in central Auckland today, including one close to her heart. Source: 1 NEWS

The Electoral Act, signed into law on September 19, 1893, gave women over the age of 21 the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Suffrage
Source: Andrew Macfarlane

Today's Sunrise Suffrage Day Celebration saw speeches from Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff and National Council of Women's Carol Beaumont. 

suffrage
Source: Andrew Macfarlane

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Homeless in New Zealand: 'I was struggling to get a tenancy in my own country' - What's keeping the homeless on the street?

The word is getting round Auckland’s rough sleepers that housing is being made available specifically for them.

The Government has set aside $63.4m in this year’s budget to provide 1,450 places to those who have been identified as chronically homeless by Housing First.

The programme provides housing without requiring psychiatric treatment or sobriety as determinants of “housing readiness”.

Auckland spokeswoman Fiona Hamilton says it’s much easier for homeless people to deal with issues like addiction, mental and physical health once they have a safe, warm, stable place to live.

“The whole philosophy behind Housing First is housing’s a human right and there are no conditions to being housed,” she told 1 NEWS.

Clinton was living on and off the street for about 30 years before he was put into a private rental in Auckland’s CBD, organised by Housing First.

“I was struggling to get a tenancy in my own country and I feel that’s wrong because of my criminal history, because I have drug and alcohol issues.”

Clinton said that he went to the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective to ask for help and was put in touch with Housing First.

He said after a month-long application process, he was housed within nine days.

To be accepted onto the programme, people need to chronically homeless for at least a year or in and out of accommodation for at least three years.

Each client will be assigned a social worker who will start meeting with them on a regular basis to work out what they need and where they want to live.

The Ministry of Social Development says right now we can’t build permanent housing quick enough. Source: 1 NEWS

Clinton has been given access to support services to help stay in his home and address his issues so he “can lead a better life”.

Already he’s cut back on his drug use but is still getting used to keep a budget and taking care of bills.

“At the end of the day I end up with a hundred and something dollars and I have to pay my water out of that, my power and I have to buy my food.

“So I don’t go out and do what I used to do when I was on the streets,” Clinton said.

Auckland’s Housing First programme has housed 285 families and individuals to the end of June.

Housing First began operating in Christchurch and Tauranga in May this year, funded to deliver 100 places in each city.

In 2018 and 2019, a further 700 places will be delivered across Wellington and the Hutt, Rotorua, Whangarei and Northland, Blenheim and Nelson, Napier and Hastings.

You can read more from 1 NEWS' Homeless in New Zealand series from Monday here and yesterday here.

From discrimination to an overpriced rental market and family violence, the homeless face a raft of challenges. Source: 1 NEWS


'She was extraordinary' - Jacinda Ardern hails mother as 125 years of women’s suffrage celebrated

Hundreds of celebrations are taking place across the country to mark 125 years since Kiwi women received the right to vote.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern marked the historic occasion from Auckland's Aotea Square this morning, where she acknowledged her mother as just one of New Zealand's many inspirational women.

Acting Minister for Women Eugenie Sage also acknowledged the work of women such as Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia and others who tirelessly campaigned for women's suffrage.

The Electoral Act, signed into law on September 19, 1893, gave women over the age of 21 the right to vote in parliamentary elections - the first country in the world to do so.

The PM spoke about New Zealand’s inspirational women in central Auckland today, including one close to her heart. Source: 1 NEWS