'Conversation is still ongoing' - US Ambassador on President Trump's steel tariff on New Zealand

Despite US President Trump signing off on the KIWI Act last week, a new visa law to open up trade access to New Zealand businesses, it is not all smooth sailing with NZ-US relationship.

New Zealand is still subject to steel tariffs, which Foreign Minister Winston Peters is due to raise with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the weekend.

TVNZ1's Q+A asked US Ambassador Scott Brown why New Zealand should suffer, as the steel tariff was intended to impact China.

"New Zealand’s output of steel is almost de minimis and Australia owns that company. This conversation is still going on, it’s certainly far from done," Mr Brown said.

Q+A host Corin Dann asked why there was not a steel exemption for New Zealand.

"Australia's got one. We want one."

Mr Brown said he was "absolutely" still hopeful New Zealand could gain an exemption.

He said there was "constant communication" between the New Zealand Government and President Trump, when asked by Dann if a visit by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern or Mr Peters would help the situation.

"There’s no question in my mind, and in the administration’s mind... that there’s not an incredible, fantastic relationship," Mr Brown said.

The KIWI Act was signed off last week, but why is New Zealand still under steel tariffs? Source: Q+A

Immigration NZ forced to address privacy concerns with online site RealMe

Privacy breaches by immigration advisors have forced Immigration New Zealand to halt efforts to move some of its visa applications solely online.

Documents show the department knew four months ago that advisers were breaching the terms of the government website RealMe, which people use to prove who are they, but only alerted them three weeks ago.

Immigration advisors have to use the government's secure site RealMe to lodge applications on behalf of their clients.

New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment chairperson June Ranson said typically this involves more than one person in the office having access to an applicant's file, sharing log-ins.

"It's when you have the advisors who are in fact working in companies and they have back-up support people and those people can be acting on their behalf in loading information into RealMe and following up," Mrs Ranson said.

That's in breach of the site's terms and conditions.

Documents obtained by RNZ show Immigration New Zealand officials have been aware of the problem for months, including this advice from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner in April.

"The sharing of these logins is in violation of RealMe's terms or use and creates broader privacy risks around access to applicant's information and possible misuses of login credentials," the privacy office said in their advice.

Mrs Ranson said immigration officials only brought it to their attention three weeks ago, which coincided with information being released to RNZ.

Immigration New Zealand general manager service design and performance Stephen Dunstan said it didn't encourage or condone the sharing of RealMe accounts.

"They have a choice of how they get applications to us, either on paper which ... is the application method that's been used predominately for the last 30-40 years and they will be very familiar with doing that. Or there is an online choice and the online choice is perfectly usable for immigration advisors, they should just not share their RealMe account," he said.

Mrs Ranson argues paper applications are not without their problems and suggests the department bring back drop boxes, which let people submit their application at their local immigration office.

"The inconvenience that's going to be caused to applicants is that going back to paper, they have to pay more for their application. They have got the risk that their documents - hard copy documents - can only be transferred through the courier system, which can get lost and it's more time consuming," she said.

Mrs Ranson said in the rush to get visa applications online, the process hasn't been thought through.

"When Immigration New Zealand came up with the online system they never really thought through the potential problem for the online system being designed through using the RealMe," she said.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner agreed, questioning the rush to go online before a better identification system had been developed.

The Office said unless its concerns were addressed, the project should be put on hold.

We have significant concerns that, as the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has identified, mandating use of the online portal will exacerbate the issue already in play with RealMe logins. Similarly, we are concerned that MBIE would be sanctioning and endorsing the violation of another government agency's terms of use," the advice said.

Immigration New Zealand has delayed putting visa applications for its student, visitor and temporary work visas solely online until if had satisfied the concerns of the Privacy Commissioner.

Documents show the Department of Internal Affairs, which runs RealMe, has no plans to change the site.

Immigration New Zealand said it was working on its own solution, and expected to have a business case completed by next month.

Visa application (file picture). Source: rnz.co.nz


Watch: Jacinda Ardern 'will be a less good mother' by returning as PM, says far-right Canadian speaker Stefan Molyneux

Controversial Canadian speaker Stefan Molyneux has argued Jacinda Ardern "will be a less good mother" by returning to the role of Prime Minister, claiming his own nine years as a stay-at-home dad for authority on the issue.

Speaking to TVNZ's Sunday program, Molyneux clarified he didn't say Ardern couldn't be "a good mum" broadly, but the time restraints of being an effective politician will mean she can't be there for daughter Neve as much as she needs to.

"She will be a less good mother. I've been a stay at home dad for nine years. I know how much parenting takes out of you," Molyneux said.

"I know how much time you have to spend with your children and you simply can't do both jobs as well. You cannot be as effective a politician as you can be as good a mother."

"I didn't say she wasn't a good mum. I said she can't be as good a mum, obviously right?"

Questioned on what being a good mother actually requires, Molyneux said: "Well, you're there for your children" and that meant being at home, not the workplace.

Last Friday, Molyneux had an Auckland event with fellow Canadian speaking partner Lauren Southern cancelled after owner of the Powerstation venue pulled out at the last minute.

Molyneux and Southern say the venue owner had told them he had been threatened.

The pair, who have been variously described as both alt-right, and free speech advocates, have caused huge controversy in New Zealand ever since Auckland Mayor Phil Goff refused them access to a council owned venue in July.

In one of their parting interviews with New Zealand media, Molyneux said the inability to breastfeed when needed would compromise Ardern's job as a mother.

Canadian far-right commentators Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux have brought their controversial message to our doorstep and sparked a debate about what’s free speech and what’s hate speech. Source: Sunday

"For instance breast feeding is recommended for 18 months. More breastfeeding leads to higher intelligence, better parent/child bond and so on," he said.

"You can't breastfeed and be as successful a business person as a man who's not involved in that."

"We're not breast feeding and there's just not that same bond and unity with the mom. Please understand, I'm not saying women should all have babies and stay home.

"I'm just saying it's a simple basic fact - there are only so many hours in the day and if you spend 10 hours a day working, that's 10 hours a day you're not spending with your children.

"Your children are where? in a daycare being cared for by people who are coming and going."

Molyneux was also keen to stress he didn't think any less of a stay at home mum's role, compared to being in the workforce, but that the two roles were incompatible.

"Is that bad? Is that wrong? Is that negative compared to a career?" he said.

Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux gave an in-depth interview to 1 NEWS. Source: 1 NEWS

The Canadian far-right speaker says Jacinda Ardern will be compromised as a mother by being an effective politician. Source: Sunday