Who will get Cabinet posts? Ardern set to dish out ministerial postings in meeting this afternoon

A victorious Labour Party caucus will meet this afternoon to elect cabinet ministers to serve in Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern's coalition government with New Zealand First.

The issue Ardern will have to do face first is convince voters "this is a credible government", says our political editor. Source: Breakfast

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters' announcement last night of his party's coalition choice sees Labour back in government after nine years in opposition.

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

The Greens have also announced they are backing Labour on a confidence and supply basis, giving the combined parties 63 seats, two more than the 61 majority they need.

After nearly two weeks of negotiations, Mr Peters announced his decision today. Source: 1 NEWS

"I am confident the agreement reached with Labour will deliver the most green change of any Government in New Zealand’s history," said leader James Shaw.

"We have spent nearly 30 years working towards being part of Government to deliver change for our people and our environment.

The PM-elect will discuss how NZ's new government may look in the coming days. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's the first time the Green Party will hold ministerial positions to deliver real change that benefits our country."

Mr Shaw went on to say "the hard work starts now and the Green Party is raring to go".

Bryce Edwards believes Winston Peters will enjoy having a "protege". Source: Breakfast

New Zealand First will have four cabinet positions and one parliamentary undersecretary role, Ms Ardern confirmed.

Mr Peters has been offered the position of deputy Prime Minister, pushing aside Labour's deputy Kelvin Davis, but is yet to decide if he will take up the role.

"Early next week we will be in a position to sign and release the agreements that Labour has negotiated both with New Zealand First and with the Green Party," Ms Ardern said last night.

Winston Peters ends National's nine year reign as Government in sensational fashion. Source: 1 NEWS

"Later in the week we will confirm and release ministerial portfolios more broadly and a swearing in ceremony will take place."

Ms Ardern, who only found out the news of NZ First's decision at the same time as the rest of the country, opened her first press conference as Prime Minister-elect by acknowledging her predecessor in the role, National leader Bill English.

"I want to thank Bill English for the role he has played in this campaign but also as prime minister and as serving in the past as NZ's finance minister," she said.

"Mr English has already called me this evening and acknowledged that negotiations for the National Party have now concluded."

The congratulatory calls started rolling in soon after NZ First's announcement, though Ms Ardern missed a call from Australia's opposition leader Bill Shorten.

Ms Ardern said she expected to make a trip to Australia as soon as possible, given Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's concerns around working with a Labour government. 

She is also anticipating attending the APEC Summit in Vietnam next month.

Winston Peters speech in the Beehive, where he announces the new NZ Government. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Peters said NZ First made the decision based on how to best mitigate, not worsen, what New Zealand is expected to face in the coming years.

He has anticipated an economic correction or slowdown and believes the major policies secured in the negotiations are the best to advance New Zealand's economic and social condition.

"Big or small, all of these policies are important," he said.

"It is not my privilege or responsibility to summarise and announce them today, that will befall someone else."

Ms Ardern said Labour remains committed to its Kiwibuild policy to build houses.

She also said all parties agreed that New Zealand rivers are dying and that they've found a path forward to take action on this.

Ms Ardern will lead NZ's next government after Winston Peters offered Labour his party's support. Source: 1 NEWS



'Hobbies may help people with dementia,' says psychiatrist as Morris Minor enthusiast hits the road

It's World Alzheimer's Day, and as one Auckland man with the dementia told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp of his love of Morris Minor cars, a psychiatrist said hobbies may help people with the disorder.

Diagnosed with early onset dementia in his fifties, Jeff Atwell's 'Morrie' has also been his medicine, his wife Doreen Atwell said. 

"Wonderful medicine. It's better than any tablet you can take, the best medicine that Jeff could have had," she said.

Psychiatrist Dr Gary Cheung psychiatrist said hobbies may help people with dementia. 

"We are doing some research on a treatment called cognitive stimulation therapy at the moment," Dr Cheung said.

But hobbies don't only help the ill.

"I think there's plenty of research out there now showing doing activities with other people, or exercising with other people, is more beneficial than doing them alone," Dr Cheung said.

When Jeff and Doreen go driving, romantic memories ride along.

"We met at the old Papatoe Dance Hall. Bill Sevesi's band there was great," Jeff recalled.

They courted in Jeff's first 'Morrie Minor' and have been married almost 54 years.

"He sold it when he went into business before we got married to buy a van that was more practical," Doreen said.

We just did it. It's only recently that dementia and hobbies have been linked - Doreen Atwell

When Jeff saw a doer-upper Morris Minor convertible in the paper several decades later, it was irresistible.

Aged just 54, Jeff was diagnosed with young onset dementia, and 20 years on he moves slowly and needs a cane. 

He's had three strokes. But the bigger problems aren't so easy to see.

"Forgetfulness, that's one of the big things. Forgetting people's names," he said.

Jeff and Doreen made a decision to live for life and get the convertible back on the road.

"We just did it. It's only recently that dementia and hobbies have been linked," Doreen said.

The couple have thanked Dementia Auckland for helping them with Jeff's condition. 

And if you're in doubt about Dementia, as Doreen was when she noticed changes in Jeff 20 years ago, get in touch with your doctor. 

Jeff Attwell was diagnosed with the condition in his early fifties. Source: Seven Sharp

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Kiwi pilot and his interloping crew wow Reno Air Races at bone-rattling speeds

Graeme Frew admits he's got an addiction – one that gets him travelling at speeds of 580km/h just 15 metres off the ground.

The Blenheim pilot and his crew of Kiwi interlopers took on some of the world's best at the Reno Air Races in the US earlier this week with their Russian Yak Fighter plane called Full Noise.

The crew brought over their plane in a shipping container and assembled it again just two days before the first race – something organisers say have never been done.

The Americans fell in love with Frew and Full Noise so TVNZ1's Seven Sharp caught up with the adrenaline junkies to see how they pulled it off.

Watch the video above for more.

Seven Sharp’s Michael Holland was at the event in Nevada. Source: Seven Sharp


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Brexit could be good news for Kiwis wanting to live and work in the UK

Brexit could be good news for New Zealanders wanting to live and work in the UK.

Negotiations are on going between Britain and the European Union with Britain due the leave the EU on March 29 next year.

Cathy Allen is a speech and language therapist who is reluctantly heading back to New Zealand after being unable to extend a visa despite Britain's National Health Service's best efforts to keep her.

"I've been trying for the last six months every month and the reason it hasn't gone through is just that there's visa caps."

But the UK Government's own advisers are now recommending the highly skilled migrant cap should be scrapped.

Ms Allen said if that happens, "It'd be a lot easier, I'd be able to stay here 3-5 years."


There are just eight weeks to work through the deadlock on key issues. Source: 1 NEWS


Christchurch woman who built home for disabled brother 'astounded' at $23k consent bill

For years Kiwis have been putting up with council fees when building new homes, but one Christchurch woman thinks she has figures that shows it's getting out of control.

Liz Armon built a house for her retired, disabled brother David in south-east Christchurch – a one bedroom, open plan living house she wanted David to feel at home in.

The house cost $67,000 to build but then came Christchurch City Council's fees on top – an extra $23,000.

"I was absolutely astounded," Ms Armon said.

"Twenty-three thousand in total for consent costs when I had anticipated it being $1,500 after speaking to the council initially."

The hefty bill was made up of a development levy, consent fees, a flood level survey, with neighbouring Selwyn District Council carving some off the top as well.

"I can't understand why any council wouldn't want to support elderly people or families in need," Ms Armon said.

As it turns out, those main council taxes are made up of lots of smaller taxes for inspection fees, processing times and contributions for future parks and public transport in the area.

The council added the $12,500 development levy Ms Armon paid was actually a bargain with levies for houses in other subdivisions "typically" $20,000 to $30,000.

We take a look at a Christchurch woman’s eye-watering council bill. Source: Seven Sharp