Five-car nose-to-tail crash causes gridlock on major Auckland motorway (picture inside)

Police and the fire service are attending a five-car nose-to-tail crash on Auckland's Southwestern Motorway, State Highway 20.

The crash is blocking the right lane on motorway northbound just prior to Massey Rd.

Police say St John ambulance have transported four people to hospital - two people in a moderate condition and two with minor injuries.

NZTA is advising drivers to expect major delays in the area.

Five car crash on south-western motorway
Five car crash on south-western motorway Source: NZTA

Man faces driving charges over Far North crash in which two women in their 70s died

A man faces careless driving charges following a double fatal crash at Pukenui in the Far North yesterday.

Two women died after the crash involving two vehicles on Houhora Heads Road in Pukenui, which police reported early yesterday afternoon.

A 28-year-old man is facing two charges of aggravated careless use causing death and one charge of aggravated careless use causing injury, Inspector Wayne Ewers of Northland police said this afternoon.

The man will be appearing in the Kaitaia District Court.

Police have also confirmed the identity of the two people who died as a result of the crash, one of whom died at the scene yesterday and the other in hospital later in the day.

They were 77-year-old Marion Evelyn Andrew and 76-year-old Pauline Mary Ogilvy, both from Houhora.

Two people were transported to hospital with serious injuries and two others received minor injuries in the crash, which blocked the road for some time.

Map showing the area of the double fatal crash at Pukenui. Source: Google Maps


Finger-wagging Simon Bridges and Jacinda Ardern clash over funding priorities ahead of new government's first Budget

Tensions were high in Question Time ahead of the release of Budget 2018 tomorrow, with National leader Simon Bridges questioning the Prime Minister on where the money for the $1 billion per year Provincial Growth Fund would come from. 

The opposition leader began by asking why the government considered "nearly $1 billion for foreign affairs was more important than delivering on their promise of cheaper GP visits, for all New Zealanders". 

Winston Peters, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, announced last week more than $900 million would go to foreign affairs and development over the next four years, in a pre-Budget speech.

Cheaper GP visits have been delayed by the government, however millions were announced last night to go into foreign affairs and aid. Source: Breakfast

It also comes as the government said there could be a possibility initiatives such as cheaper doctor visits, as promised by the Labour Party during the election, would need to be phased in rather than begin on July 1

Ms Ardern said to keep New Zealand's development funding at the status quo would require $590 million investment. 

Mr Bridges went onto NZ First MP Shane Jones' Provincial Growth Fund, asking if the $1 billion per year would be from new funding and not reprioritised from other sources.

Reprioritising is pulling money from other sectors. 

"We've traversed this many times in the House, substantively this is new, but we have reprioritised elements of the Budget as well," Ms Ardern said.

"Overall, I think what matters to the people most are the fact that we are actually investing in the regions that have experienced significant neglect over the last nine years."