Good Sorts: Meet the craft beer brewers from Kapiti

Not wanting to not do anything at home, these Good Sorts hopped right into this opportunity. Source: 1 NEWS

Coalition a show of unity as it defends itself against accusations of cracks in the government

It was a show of unity from the coalition government as the Prime Minister today laid out her vision for the coming years to an invited audience of about 400 people.

Over the past month, the government has been struggling with issues surrounding troubled ministers and accusations of cracks in the coalition.

Today's talk was kicked off by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, who called the coalition "a unified government, determined to lift all New Zealanders' prospects".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quick to point out accusations of cracks in the government, saying, "perhaps it's because we have never quite had a government like ours that we cause a little bit of chat".

Ms Ardern says the coalition partners have agreed to 12 plans which demonstrate a shared vision and list of priorities, which includes themes of building the economy, wellbeing for all, and leadership.

However, National leader Simon Bridges has claimed today’s talk was "a photo op" and a "rah-rah speech".

"A complete repeat of what they've been saying for the last little while with nothing new at all and what we needed to see was some leadership, some competence," Mr Bridges said.

The refugee quota, labour law changes and the three strikes law are all areas of tension between Labour and NZ First, but today's message was about how their disagreements are all part of a coalition government.

"We are a true MMP government," Ms Ardern said.

But the National party alleges Ms Ardern has no power over Mr Peters.

"Will she be able to get him to sign up to things this government does? We know he's changed his mind a lot on things, he's the real boss," Mr Bridges said.

For now, however, Mr Peters says he is "extraordinarily happy" with the current coalition government.

The prime minister laid out her vision for the coming years today alongside her coalition partners. Source: 1 NEWS


Growing numbers of youth held in police cells in New Zealand

More young people aged under 18 are being held in police cells and they are being kept there longer.

According to data released to Amnesty International, in the year to March, 165 under-18s were held in cells for an average of 2.6 days.

In June 2014, the equivalent figures were 62 and 1.8 days.

The number of those being held has increased by 166 per cent over the past four years.

Amnesty International advocacy and policy manager Annaliese Johnston said holding under-18s in police cells should be illegal.

"We consider [it] to be an ongoing breach of our international human rights obligations," Ms Johnston said.

"Amnesty International is recommending that legislation be amended to remove the option to remand a young person in police custody, and will be raising the issue at New Zealand's Universal Periodic Review before the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva in early 2019."

She said it was concerning that young people could lawfully be held in cells - including solitary confinement - without adequate food, lighting or hygiene facilities while in close proximity to adult prisoners.

"Extended detention in these conditions can lead to long-term physical, mental and emotional harm and the very real risk of self-harm.

"Detention in a police cell for multiple nights is no place for a child.

"It's unacceptable that so many are spending several days in police cells, particularly before they have even been found guilty of an offence."

Ms Johnston said a lack of beds in youth justice residences was one of the reasons for the rise.

Police response and operations national manager Superintendent Chris Scahill said a police cell for a young offender was a "last resort".

"Police have a responsibility to stop people harming themselves and others in the community.

"Police recognise that it's not appropriate for young people to be held in cells and we work closely with Oranga Tamariki to ensure that a police cell is an absolute last resort."

Mr Scahill said it was inappropriate for the police to comment on any proposed law change. 



Canterbury engineer hopes to quake-proof buildings with old tyres

A University of Canterbury team is a million dollars closer to its goal of developing quake-proof building foundations from old tyres.

The money from the Endeavour Fund, administered by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, will go to researching new foundation systems for low-rise homes and buildings.

The project's science leader said waste tyres were an affordable source of building materials that could be adapted for wider use.

Gabriele Chiaro, a senior engineering lecturer at Canterbury University, said 3.5 million used tyres were sent to landfills or dumped each year in New Zealand.

"This gives rise to stockpiles of tyres that cause enormous environmental issues."

Mr Chiaro and his team planned to use them to create what was described as an "eco-rubber, seismic-isolation foundation system" for buildings throughout the country.

It is a system that filters the energy of an earthquake by combining two critical elements: A rubber-gravel mixture that disperses seismic shock waves and a flexible "raft" foundation made of steel fibre-reinforced rubberised concrete, that does not crack like regular concrete.

The system would not only absorb the shock, but also prevent damage, Mr Chiaro said.

There were similar studies elsewhere in the world, but mainly in countries that did not have the same earthquake risk.

"In New Zealand we are trying to assess the problem of tyre waste management, and by doing so we are also able to minimise the seismic damage for medium-density, low-height residential buildings."

He said the development was aimed for use in housing developments, which was where a gap existed in earthquake strengthening, but the technology could also be used in small-scale commercial developments.

Mr Chiaro said preliminary studies were done in 2015, which revealed the potential for development. A prototype could be ready within two years before laboratory testing was done, and field trials could be expected within five years.

"After than, we anticipate that in 10 years' time this foundation will be used in most of the buildings built in New Zealand."

Mr Chiaro did not think it would be hard convincing regulatory authorities of its merits, provided it was affordable and resilient.

The $1m Endeavour Fund is New Zealand's largest contestable research fund, aimed at ambitious research projects to improve the lives of New Zealanders.

Mr Chiaro expected the project to attract interest.

"There is potential for great collaboration with Japan and the USA, with whom we already have a connection, and also with Europe."

By Tracy Neal

Gabriele Chiaro, a senior engineering lecturer at Canterbury University, said 3.5 million used tyres were sent to landfills or dumped each year in New Zealand.
Gabriele Chiaro, a senior engineering lecturer at Canterbury University, said 3.5 million used tyres were sent to landfills or dumped each year in New Zealand. Source: University of Canterbury

Police search for man following serious assault in Tauranga

Police are looking for a 26-year-old man following a serious assault in the Tauranga suburb of Parkvale.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

Joel Ross Matiu is being sought in relation to the assault which took place at Henderson Crescent yesterday afternoon.

Matiu is considered dangerous and should not be approached by members of the public, police warn.

He is said to have links to the wider Western Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Matamata areas.