Bus company apologises for 'distress' caused after breastfeeding mum kicked off Auckland bus

New Zealand's largest urban bus company has apologised for the "distress" it caused an Auckland mother by kicking her off a bus for breastfeeding.

Ranui resident Jamie Deane was told to get off a bus she was traveling on by the driver because a passenger objected to her breastfeeding her crying newborn.

The incident occurred on a bus from the West Auckland suburb of Henderson to Massey about 4.30pm last Friday, Fairfax media reported.

However, today NZ Bus, who ran the service, has apologised.

A NZ Bus spokesperson said they were continuing to investigate the incident, but nevertheless apologiesd that it occurred, Fairfax media reported. 

"We've reminded all our drivers that NZ Bus is supportive of mothers wishing to breastfeed on board our services and will reinforce this message through our driver training programmes.

"NZ Bus apologises for the distress [the] incident caused Ms Deane and her baby."

The apology comes as public health organisation Hapai Te Hauora sharply criticised the actions of the bus driver and offered to educate all bus drivers on why breastfeeding is good.

A women's advocacy group, Women's Health Action, also started a social media campaign under the hashtag babiescantwait.

Fay Selby-Law of Hapai Te Hauora says the incident was "simply unacceptable" and that "we should be supporting our mums to breastfeed, not shaming and stigmatising them".

"I can't believe a mum and her baby were left on the side of the road in this hot weather by a publicly funded transport company ... this is a disgrace."

Ms Deane said her daughter began to cry during the trip and, to calm her she started breastfeeding.

But a passenger reportedly took offence to this and complained to the bus driver, who soon after stopped the bus on Makora Rd and requested Ms Deane get off.

"He said 'you can't be breastfeeding on a bus. That's just wrong'," the Ranui resident told Fairfax.

"I was so angry. I was fully covered and had a cloth over me. You couldn't see any skin."

Ms Deane said she was then left having to walk 20 minutes to a friend's house in the area in sweltering temperatures.

Ms Deane said she felt it was an increasing occurrence to abuse breastfeeding women in the area she lives, Ranui, and she doesn't understand the fuss.

"A lot of women around here are getting abused because of breastfeeding in public. I just don't see what the point is.

"It's just stupid how people are so offended by breastfeeding."

Ms Deane said no other passenger on the bus came to her defence as she was kicked off.

One of the world's leading breastfeeding advocates tells Breakfast why she champions the cause.
Source: 1 NEWS



Police investigations and search for pilot underway after Carterton school students were hospitalised

A police investigation is underway at the Carterton school where 10 primary school children were taken to Wairarapa Hospital after falling ill yesterday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to South End School at approximately 1pm yesterday with reports of an unpleasant smell.

Paramedics treated 40 other people - children and adults - with minor symptoms and over 100 people had to go through a decontamination process.

Police searched the school grounds this morning but were unable to find the source of the smell, Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller said.

"Witnesses have described seeing a grey and white or red and white plane, possibly a Cessna, flying near the school between 1.30 and 2.30pm yesterday," Inspector Miller said.

While there is no evidence to indicate the plane is the source of the smell, though Inspector Miller says they'd like to speak to the pilot.

"The CAA is also trying to locate the aircraft."

Board Chair Brian Chin says children who left their belongings at the school last night will be able to collect them on Monday, when school "resumes as normal".

"A debrief with staff with happen next week." 

Parents waiting outside South End School.
Parents waiting outside South End School. Source: 1 NEWS

Anyone living close to the school with any further information is urged to get in touch with Masterton Police on (06) 370 0300.

A plane is suspected of accidentally spraying the school with pesticide and several children have been hospitalised. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
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Man dies after becoming trapped under vehicle while pushing it down driveway in Auckland

A person has died after becoming trapped under a vehicle in Highland Park, East Auckland.

Police confirmed that emergency services were required to attend an incident that occurred on private property at around 12:15pm today.

Initial reports suggest the man was pushing a vehicle down a driveway when he somehow became trapped underneath it.

His next-of-kin have been notified and the death will be referred to the Coroner.

Ambulance Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
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'Laying in a pool of blood' - One dead, another arrested following stabbing at family harm incident in Papamoa

A man is dead and another has been arrested after a family harm situation in Papamoa this morning.

A local man in his 20s has been arrested in relation to the death of a man in his 40s, who was fatally stabbed at about 8.30am this morning.

Police say that no one else has been injured and no one else is being sought in relation to the death.

Police assure there is no risk to the public.

Neighbour Todd Madden, who was walking to their car on the front lawn with his 6-year-old, told NZ Herald they saw a "young guy covered in blood" in a driveway.

"[He] yelled at me to call the police."

"Police arrived and he laid down on the ground and I grabbed the two kids."

The children told him there was a victim inside "laying in a pool of blood".

"They had been crying loudly for about 30 minutes but I just thought they were being naughty - I wished I had've gone over earlier."

Source: 1 NEWS


New rules allow ministers' nannies to travel on the taxpayer, but PM will cover Clarke Gayford's US trip

New rules for ministers with babies who are travelling overseas allow them to to take a nanny or carer paid for by taxpayers. 

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she does not expect the taxpayer to pay for both her partner, Clarke Gayford, and a carer for their baby Neve, NZ Herald reports.

Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford, along with their baby, are travelling to New York today for Leaders' Week for the UN General Assembly.

The prime minister says that she will be paying for her partner's flights, since there are not many engagements for partners.

"There is no spousal programme for this, so we just made a judgment call that we would cover his travel for this trip. He will be going to some things, but he's primarily travelling to care for Neve."

After Ms Ardern became prime minister, the guidelines for ministers' overseas travel were reviewed and changed, reports the Herald.

Now, a minister with young infants is allowed to take someone, other than a partner, to care for that child or for a minister with a disability to take a support person if needed.

Ms Ardern said she never sought for the change and did not intend to use the entitlement for herself, and would only allow it for ministers in "exceptional circumstances."

The prime minister signs off on all ministerial travel overseas, other than to Australia, including deciding whether partners can travel with ministers and who pays for them.

Other ministers with young babies currently include the Green Party's Julie Anne Genter and Education Minister Chris Hipkins, whose partner had a second child this week.

Ms Ardern told the Herald she did not expect to have travel with more than one person, but if there was a situation which required both Mr Gayford and another carer for Neve, she would pay for that extra person out of her own pocket.

"We are playing it by ear. There is no set plan, it's just whether or not she's getting enough sleep, where I am for feeds. They might be with us a lot, they might just be in the hotel,” she said.

In New York, Ms Ardern is also staying in apartment-type accommodation rather than the usual hotel because kitchen facilities were needed for Neve.

Ms Ardern said she had made sure it did not cost more than was usual.

Jacinda Ardern, Clarke Gayford and baby Neve. Source: 1 NEWS