Ardern calls international turnout to Women's March 'extraordinary', urges NZ to 'keep up the progress' on women's rights

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the footage of the international Women's Marches held around the world "extrordinary".

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

"Some of the aerial footage across the cities really speaks to the strength of feeling from those who have congregated to make sure we're never complacent about the things we champion."

"I was looking at some of the images last night and it was extraordinary."

Activists marched around the world over the weekend in some places to highlight gender equality, and in places like the US to target swing voters into electing "more women and progressives candidates to office", according to the activists' website. 

"Here in New Zealand it's about holding some responsibility to keep up the progress," Ms Ardern told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

"For women in New Zealand that is issues like pay equity, closing the gender pay gap.

"It is also about things like violence that women predominantly experience in new Zealand, particularly in their relationship."

Ms Ardern criticised President Trump's decision to not invest in foreign aid and development of any organisation with a connection to sexual and reproduction rights.

"I can only speak as an observer," she said.

"I know that he did early on determine his government would not be investing in the foreign aid and development that went towards any organisation that had anything to do with sexual and reproductive rights."

"There is no doubt that has left a gap in the international arena where there are areas of high need, where women's maternal health and well-being is really at threat."

She said the international community would need to look at filing that void.

The PM says those issues include pay equity, closing the gender pay gap and violence against women. Source: Breakfast

Heavy rain set to hit much of the upper North Island with Northland bracing for thunderstorms

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in place for Northland, with the stormy weather expected to stay until early tomorrow. 

It's been a wet and wild start to the day in the south.
Source: 1 NEWS

MetService says there is a moderate risk one or two thunderstorms could become severe, with possible localised downpours of 25 to 40mm per hour.

They say surface and flash flooding could be caused by this type of weather. 

A Severe Weather Watch is in place for much of the upper and western North Island with heavy rain in store for Taranaki from 9am this morning, Northland from 12pm today, Auckland from 6pm today, and the Coromandel Peninsula and Waikato from 10pm today. 

MetService said a humid northerly flow is brining the periods of possible heavy rain to the area. 

For more weather information, click here. 

Breakfast weatherman Matty McLean has the latest forecast Source: 1 NEWS