'I assume we do' - Prime Minister Bill English says NZ is likely target of North Korean cyber attacks

Prime Minister Bill English says New Zealand is a likely target of North Korean hackers. 

Mr English's assumption comes after two US law enforcement officials said investigators suspect North Korea may be behind the global "ransomware" attack, named Wannacry. 

They said the information is based on a preliminary investigation and stressed investigators are still following digital clues in the probe.

Speaking from Tokyo today while on a whirl-wind two-day trip to Japan, Mr English said there was no evidence that Wannacry had hit New Zealand.

However he said he "assumes" New Zealand has been the target of North Korean hackers.  

"They are a rogue state, they do all sorts of things that most governments don't do, I assume we get those attacks," Mr English said. 

"Our job is to make sure we're set up as well as possible to deal with such attacks. 

"We've been dealing with cyber attacks for a while, 24 hours, seven days a week and have spent a lot of time and money setting ourselves up to deal with it."

During Mr English's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this morning, the question of whether a North Korean missile could reach New Zealand was asked of officials in the wake of threats of missile strikes against Australia by North Korea. 

Concern in Japan is very high over the North Korean threat after a missile landed in the sea off Japan and Russia on Sunday.

Mr English also met with the head of the Tokyo government this morning, with its looming hosting of the 2020 Olympics high on the agenda.

The Prime Minister says NZ has been vigilant in dealing with attacks from various locations, likely to include the rogue state. Source: 1 NEWS

Travellers from Samoa land in Auckland suffering from food poisoning

Passengers travelling on a flight from Apia arrived in Auckland sick with food poisoning yesterday.

Were you affected? If so, please contact news@tvnz.co.nz

Ambulance crews and airport emergency services were called to Auckland International Airport just before 5pm.

1 NEWS understands the passengers had been staying at the same resort in Apia.

An ambulance spokesman told 1 NEWS seven passengers were assessed for food poisoning.

They couldn't confirm the nationalities involved.

One patient was transferred to Middlemore Hospital in a moderate condition, and the remaining passengers did not require further treatment.

Auckland Regional Public health service and Air New Zealand have been approached for comment.

- By Annabella Garwood

Auckland airport Source: 1 NEWS


Bill English gifts old phone as part of Japan's Olympic recycling plan

Prime Minister Bill English has met with the head of the Tokyo government this morning, with its looming hosting of the 2020 Olympics high on the agenda.

Mr English is on a whirlwind visit to Japan to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

During the meeting with Tokyo Metropolitan Governor Yuriko Koike, Mr English offered up an old mobile phone for the Olympic recycling plan.

It aims to take old phones, extract the metals and turn them back into Olympic medals.

1 NEWS Political Editor Corin Dann is with the Prime Minister and reports from Japan. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr English said he hoped part of the phone he was contributing might return to the country as part of a gold medal won by a New Zealand athlete at the games.

Prime Minister Bill English in Japan. Source: 1 NEWS