Graphic explainer: The mini-budget - what it is, why you should give a toss

Good-bye tax cuts and hello one year of free university, they're some of the policies which the government will let us know about in next week's mini-budget.

But what does this all mean and why should you give a toss? Well for one reason, you're paying for it.

The Finance Minister told the Auckland Chamber of Commerce today the “base” projections the government are starting from. Source: 1 NEWS

Thursday is a critical time for our government, as this is when Finance Minister Grant Robertson will deliver the "mini-budget", an outline of the raft of policy promises for the first 100-days.

1 NEWS political editor Corin Dann explains the important release will be made up of three parts:

1.      It contains the half year fiscal economic update (HYEFU) which spells out the cost of the government's 100 day commitments, like free tertiary education, and estimates the costs of promises far.

2.      The government's own budget policy statement which spells out the broad spending plants for the full 2018 budget.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

3.       The mini-budget will hold legislation to cancel National’s $2 billion tax cuts and introduce Labour’s alternative Families Package. This is important as cancelling the tax cuts provides the extra money the government needs to carry out many of its policy commitments. 

Watch 1 NEWS at 6pm tonight for more. 

It’s a critical time for the New Zealand government, and provides a look into the country’s future financial decisions. Source: 1 NEWS

Watch: Massive traffic jam as truck jack-knifes, blocking all northbound lanes on major Auckland motorway

A truck has rolled this afternoon on Auckland's Southern Motorway, blocking the northbound lanes just after Papakura.

The New Zealand Transport Authority posted a tweet about the incident at 2:30pm, warning motorists to avoid the area.

The picture accompanying the tweet shows a large truck and trailer partly on its side blocking both lanes of the motorway on the northbound side shortly after Papakura.

Video sent to 1 NEWS by Kurt Schultz, who is currently stuff in traffic near the incident, shows a long line of cars waiting for the truck to be cleared, with people getting out of their vehicles while they wait.

Mr Schultz says a tow truck is now on the scene and he hopes it will be cleared shortly.


Air NZ to use planes, pilots and crew from Portugese company while Dreamliners' engines fixed

Two Airbus planes leased from a Portuguese company, and operated by its pilots and crew, will be pressed into service by Air New Zealand to help meet its schedules while its Dreamliners undergo maintenance after engine problems.

The Airbus 330 and Airbus 340, chartered from Portuguese company Hi Fly, are expected to begin operating some Auckland-Sydney and all Auckland-Perth services by next week.

Two Dreamliner flights were affected last week after problems with turbine blades in the Rolls Royce engines. A Tokyo-bound flight had to shut its engine down after it was damaged.

Air New Zealandgeneral mansager customer experience, Anita Hawthorne, said about 4500 customers have been affected by international flight delays and cancellations over the past week.

Once the two additional aircraft are in service the airline will be able to operate a near-normal timetable, she said.

The aircraft will be operated by pilots and crew from Hi Fly under the oversight of Air New Zealand, Ms Hawthorne said.

"This was a much quicker path to get the aircraft into our network than going through a lengthy certification and training programme for our own people, who are not trained to operate the Airbus widebody aircraft," she said.

Unions for Air New Zealand employees have been "extremely understanding" of this situation and share the airline's commitment to take the necessary steps to maintain the flight schedule over this important Christmas and summer period, Ms Hawthorne said.

Dreamliner Source: 1 NEWS