Government pledges $44m to clean up New Zealand's dirty lakes and rivers

The government has pledged $44 million to clean up 100 dirty lakes and rivers.

Prime Minister Bill English and Environment Minister Nick Smith made the announcement today. Labour's expected to announce their water policy tomorrow, with an expected charge for commercial users.

Wairoa River in Northland, Lake Whangape in the Waikato and Lake Tarawera in the Bay of Plenty will benefit, as will the Manawatu River and Lake Horowhenua, Lake Onoke in Wellington, the Waimea River in Tasman, the Selwyn River in Canterbury, Lake Wanaka in Otago and Te Waituna lagoon in Southland.

The cash will fund the fencing of waterways from farm animals, planting along streams, development of wetlands, sewage reticulation and water storage.

Projects will also tackle water weeds and remove pest fish.

The money came from a $100 million fund set-up by the Government last year.

The PM says he’s 'not surprised' about a new report showing an increase in pollution in our waterways. Source: 1 NEWS

PM squirms after media interrogate him on 450 texts allegedly sent to Todd Barclay staffer he has 'no record' of

Prime Minister Bill English says he has no record of the 450 text messages he allegedly sent to Todd Barclay's staffer Glenys Dixon and remained tight-lipped when grilled by journalists over the content of the messages. 

Mr English sent hundreds of text messages to Glenys Dixon, the woman at the centre of the Todd Barclay scandal, during the 12 months before she quit her job, parliament was told last week.

NZ First leader Winston Peters asked Mr English: "Why did you send over 450 text messages to Glenys Dixon, many early in the morning and late at night, in the 12 months before she resigned on February 7, 2016?"

Mr English said to reporters today he is "not particularly concerned" about the content and he has "no record" of the messages, when asked if he had gone back to look over them.  

Mr English maintained he still stands by what he previously said, after claiming he was a bystander in the Todd Barclay alleged secret taping scandal.

"I was in Wellington and this was all happening in Gore."

Today TVNZ political reporter Katie Bradford asked if the texts had been deleted, Mr English said, "I don't have a record of them". 

"I've got a different phone."

He was asked if the messages had been given to the police investigation into Mr Barclay. 

"The relevant material I've had was given to the police. The police haven't come to ask for anything else," Mr English said. 

"All the comments I can make about it I have made," he said when asked if the messages were sent from his personal or official phone. 

He said the “relevant material” had been given to the police, and they have not yet asked for “anything else”. Source: 1 NEWS


Truckies' dashcam footage sought over Kinloch homicide

Truck drivers are being asked for their dashcam footage in the hopes of sheding light on the death of Whangamata man Scott John Henry.

A homicide investigation is underway after the 48-year-old was found dead by family members at a home in Whangamata Road, Kinloch near Taupo on July 20. 

A post mortem conducted on Mr Henry established he died as the result of a gunshot wound, Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson of Bay of Plenty CIB said.

Now police are asking for truck drivers travelling on State Highway 32 (Western Bay Road), State Highway 41 (Turangi to Taumarunui Road) and State Highway 1 (Taupo to Turangi) between 7pm and midnight on July 20 to contact police.

Police say they would also like to hear from anyone who may have seen vehicles or people behaving in a suspicious manner.

Police car
Police car Source: 1 NEWS