Conservation Minister signals ban on single-use plastic bags

Conservation and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage has signalled a ban on single use plastic bags is imminent.

“We are very close to making some announcements on single-use plastic bags and about phasing them out, so there will be a consultation document coming out in the near future," she told TVNZ 1's Q+A.

Ms Sage said officials are investigating a hike in the $10 per tonne waste disposal levy charged by the Government to dump waste at landfills and whether it should be expanded to cover more landfills.

“The $140 a tonne is something that local government, New Zealand and councils have called for,” she said.

“I haven’t made any statements on what level the levy should be set at.

“There’s policy work being done, and I do have to consult with colleagues on that, but certainly we have over 340 landfills in New Zealand, and the levy only applies to 10 per cent of those, so there’s a lot of stuff going to a lot of landfills where the levy doesn’t apply.”

The Minister expects to receive advice on changes to the levy in the next few months.

When asked about implementing the “no new mines on conservation land” policy, she told presenter Corin Dann that the decision will go to Cabinet.

Corin Dann with this extended interview with the Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage. Source: Q+A

“I think we will continue to see mining on the Coast because a lot of the mining that happens in New Zealand is actually on private land or some on Maori land on the West Coast. Mining on the West Coast has a strong future.”

The Government's waste levy charge could be increased, and a plastic bag ban is being considered. Source: 1 NEWS

Police search for 'outstanding' man involved in altercation in Manawatu settlement

Police are searching for a man involved in an altercation this morning in a Manawatu settlement.

A reported altercation between two men this morning at about 10.30 at a Himatangi Beach property, was attended to by police.

One of the men involved has minor injuries to his hand, and is speaking to police about the incident at the scene.

Police cordons had been put in place while they searched for the outstanding man involved in the altercation, but they were stood down just before 2pm today.

There is also a request for any unusual activity in the area to be reported to police. 

Police officer Source: 1 NEWS


'A perfect start to winter' - Mt Ruapehu visitor numbers double this school holidays

Mt Ruapehu is recording one of its best attended ski seasons ever, with a a 50 per cent increase in visitors over the school holiday fortnight compared to last year.

Children enjoy sledding with Kaingaroa St John Youth Programme. Source: Supplied

More than 80,000 skiers and snowboarders have already enjoyed the slopes at Whakapapa and Tūroa over the past two weeks.

An estimated further 25,000 have also enjoyed free snow play at the mountain. 

Snow Play Area at Whakapapa. Source: Supplied

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts chief executive Ross Copland said great snow and weather conditions for the North Island slopes have been key to this rise in visitors over the school holidays.

"Thanks to heavy snowfall and snowmaking systems we had a perfect start to the winter season," he said.

"We had some very busy days during school holidays that tested our systems and processes to the max.

"This meant longer than usual wait times for our guests so we really appreciate the patience everyone showed.

"Our booking offices in Taupo and Ohakune were so popular they ran out of rental equipment a number of times and the phones were running red hot with booking inquiries."

Mt Ruapehu has the longest ski season in New Zealand with Whakapapa the first commercial ski area to open on 1 June, operating until Labour Day on 22nd October.