David Seymour wants Māori seats abolished, MP numbers reduced

ACT leader David Seymour Party has told his party's annual conference he wants to abolish the Māori seats and reduce the number of MPs.

Mr Seymour told party faithful at the conference Remuera today there was simply no place for one group of people to be treated differently under the law.

And he said he hoped to introduce legislation to reduce the size of Parliament from 120 MPs to 100, and also cut the number of ministers in government.

Mr Seymour said two decades of growth in the size of government had not delivered better outcomes for New Zealand.

He said we need smaller, smarter government.

Under ACT's policy the number of government ministers would be reduced from the current 31 to 20.

The policy would also require all list candidates to stand in an electorate.

New name, brand on agenda at conference

Mr Seymour said yesterday a name change and a brand re-launch was on the agenda today.

He said some members thought the name lacked clarity, but others worried a re-brand was too risky.

"There are some members who say that the name is a detraction, and doesn't have a clear enough meaning.

"And there other people who say 'at least people know the name, and renaming an organisation is the most dangerous maneuver you can perform in marketing."

Mr Seymour said the conference would also consider how best to battle big taxes and big government.

Despite cracking the one per cent mark in the 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll, ACT needs to boost its popularity. Source: 1 NEWS

President Trump lashes back at ex-White House staffer's allegations, calling her a 'lowlife'

President Donald Trump has one word to describe former White House staffer and fellow reality-TV star Omarosa Manigault Newman: "Lowlife."

The US President railed against illegal immigration in the US, calling the situation a “disaster”.
Source: Reuters

Manigault Newman claims in an upcoming book, "Unhinged," that Trump used racial slurs on the set of his reality show "The Apprentice." She also says she later concluded that he is a racist and a bigot.

On Saturday (local time), reporters asked Trump during an event at his golf club in New Jersey if he felt betrayed by Manigault Newman. He responded: "Lowlife. She's a lowlife."

Manigault Newman was a contestant on Trump's "The Apprentice" reality show and later served as a senior adviser to the president. In the book, she paints Trump as scattered, self-absorbed, misogynistic and insecure.

The book is set for release Tuesday. The White House has already slammed it as "riddled with lies and false accusations."

The Associated Press purchased a copy of the book ahead of its release. In the book, Manigault Newman claims without evidence that tapes exist of Trump using the N-word repeatedly on the reality show's set. She acknowledges she had never been able to obtain or hear the tapes but said three unnamed sources had described their contents.

She alleges that Trump has exhibited signs of a "mental decline that could not be denied" and says she went as far as printing out a study linking Diet Coke consumption to dementia and strokes and putting it in his briefing stack. She also described him as a man who "loved conflict, chaos and confusion; he loved seeing people argue or fight."

Manigault Newman also alleges that Trump allies tried to buy her silence after she left the White House, offering her $15,000 a month to serve in a "senior position" on his 2020 re-election campaign along with a stringent nondisclosure agreement. She says when she turned down the offer, she received letters from Trump's lawyers telling her to stay quiet.



Whakatāne girl undergoes emergency surgery to reduce chance of brain damage while on US holiday

A Whakatāne girl underwent emergency brain surgery to reduce the chances of brain damage after suffering a head injury while on holiday in the US.

According to the Givealittle page set up to raise funds for her family, Alyssa Ledbetter, 11, complained of a severe headache, neck pain, blurry vision and numbness in her legs after swimming with family on July 21

As she emerged from the water her father said they knew from the symptoms it was likely to be a spinal or head injury.

They got her to the lifeguard tower, where a doctor nearby assisted but Alyssa’s condition deteriorated quickly.

She lost control of her bodily functions and began to have uncontrollable seizures.

The brain surgery doctors said Alyssa had two arteriovenous malformations (AVM) in the frontal cortex of her brain.

Alyssa was taken to surgery immediately where they drilled through her skull to relieve the pressure and drain the fluids.  She remained in the intensive care unit while her brain slowly healed.

Once discharged from the hospital, she would have to complete an outpatient treatment programme before being allowed to return to New Zealand.

The Givealittle page is helping the family raise money to cover medical expenses, including the cost of surgery, ongoing CT and MRI scans, medications and various travel and accommodation expenses.

Alyssa Ledbetter. Source: Give A Little.