Andrew Little gets chance to 'show his stuff' with families package after 'pretty disastrous' poll result - Corin Dann

1 NEWS political editor Corin Dann says Labour leader Andrew Little has a chance today to "show his stuff" with the announcement of a families package after a "pretty disastrous" result for the party in the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll.

Both major political parties took a hit, National dropping two points to 47 per cent and Labour down three points to 27 per cent since the last poll in May, while the Green Party and New Zealand First are both up two points to 11 per cent. 

Mr Little dropped to fourth in the preferred prime minister rankings, the lowest result for an opposition leader since Phil Goff in 2009. 

The Labour leader's popularity fell by three points to five per cent, behind Prime Minister Bill English, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters - who jumped four points to 11 per cent - and Labour's deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. 

Mr Little says he's not particularly concerned about his numbers, the Labour Party is "absolutely humming" and there is not going to be a late change in its leadership.

However Corin Dann says there's no way to sugar coat it, this is a pretty disastrous result for Labour 10 weeks out from an election. 

"They will be extremely gutted about this, I think, it's a huge hit to their morale. They've got to somehow find a circuit breaker," Dann said. 

"And for Andrew Little, he has got to find some way to really get up and connect with voters. He's got the opportunity today. They will be announcing their alternative families package. That is a chance for him to try and show his stuff.

No one raises a lot of the issues that come up in Wellington - Prime Minister Bill English

"But clearly, 10 weeks out from an election, to be falling backwards like this is a big problem."

New Zealand First, adding former Labour MP Shane Jones to its ranks, remains a likely kingmaker at 11 per cent and Mr Peters insists, "we are doing far far far better than that".

Dann says Winston Peters is the "man with the momentum at the moment" and his party is taking a lot of the limelight from Labour.

Labour also had its messy international student controversy this month, while Bill English's memory lapse over the Todd Barclay affair saw his leadership under fire.

But Mr English told 1 NEWS: "No one raises a lot of the issues that come up in Wellington."  

The Greens are also making gains, co-leader James Shaw saying, "history shows we do tend to rise during election campaigns".

National's also taken a slight dive in the polls, but Mr Little is now registering the lowest levels for a Labour leader since 2009. Source: 1 NEWS



Who is the man giving Wellington a $50M children's hospital?

Mark Dunajtschik has today confirmed that he will build a $50 million children's hospital in the capital, and says there is no catch - but who is he?

Mr Dunajtschik, 82, came to New Zealand in the 1950s and worked as a tool maker for 28 years before moving in to commercial property.

He has quietly amassed one of Wellington's biggest property portfolios and has also given to many causes over the years.

Those causes include helping to establish Wellington's helicopter rescue service - now know as the Life Flight Trust - in 1975.

In recent years, he gained media attention after arguing in the Environment Court that he should be allowed to demolish his property - best known as the Harcourts building - on Lambton Quay. The court ruled against him.

He says his children's hospital will cost less than if the government built it, and it could be done by the end of 2018.

The hospital will be gifted to Capital Coast District Health Board when it is complete.

Wellington Hospital asked for a donation, but Mark Dunajtschik came back with something even better. Source: 1 NEWS

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Motorcyclist surprised by parking fine - which he got after paying for parking

Getting fined for paying for parking was a new one for Mario Gregor, but it could lead to changes after Fair Go shone light on parking rules in the capital.

The long-time rider says he was ticketed by Wellington City Parking Services after putting his 1200cc BMW in a street park and buying a ticket.

"We travel around New Zealand quite often and always pay for car parks and bike parks and regular car spaces and never had any issue," Mr Gregor told Fair Go.

Wellington does not allow motorcycles to use multi-meter parking spaces, even if the rider pays, though if the meter is an old-fashioned coin-operated parking meter, they use it and even park a second bike there as long as someone feeds the meter.

Wellington City Council provides 600 feet of kerb - around 500 parking spaces - for motorcycles and scooters.

The parks are free of charge, with no time limits, but not enough to park the 2500 motorcycles thought to come in and out of the capital each working day.

Parking has been further restricted since the earthquake last year closed a number of buildings, further restricting public parking or staff parking for motorcycles.

Wellington Council Parking Services waived the $40 infringement but issued Mario Gregor with a first and final warning. He wants a better explanation and more places to park his motorbike, even if he has to pay to use them.

Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman promised Fair Go he will support more motorcycle parks and thinks there could be action within a few months.

"Personally, I think we should be introducing a bit of short term, pay and display parking just for motorbikes," Cr Calvi-Freeman told Fair Go.

He suggested a reduced fee of 50 cents an hour, down from the $4.00 per hour cars pay, would also be fair, but that may buy a fight with some riders.

"Way back in the day they were given free motorcycle parking of allocated spaces and we've been defending that ever since," says Byron Cummins, president of the Bikers' Rights Organisation of NZ.

"The bulk of the motorcycling community would be looking to maintain their free parking and just get it better, get it safer and tidier, for free."

Mr Cummins estimates Wellington City Council could add another 200 bike parks that are unusable by cars and since it would not cost anything to do so, they should also be offered for free.

Mario Gregor was bemused to be given a fine despite purchasing a ticket to park in a council spot. Source: Fair Go