Hardy fishers brave the cold in bid to reel in the big catch in Far North fishing competition

As the country grapples with Winter-conditions, the hardiest of fishers are braving the elements in the Far North trying to pull in the largest fish.

And the fish are biting... some as large as eight kilograms.

Competitive fishermen, numbering 250, from as far away as Wanganui, are sending out their long lines - many with a beer in hand, some while relaxing in a beach chair.

Nevertheless it's serious stuff. The National Torpedo Tournament is in its ninth year and sold out within 12-hours.

The fishermen are in teams of up to four. They're allowed to fish at four beaches including Ninety Mile and Tokerau. They kick off at 6am and wind up at 4pm.

"The weather means we are limited to a maximum of 65 teams, if the conditions are rough at Ninety Mile the teams might switch to Tokerau and to make it safe they have to keep at least 500 metres away from neighbouring teams," says organiser Anita Dancaster.

Daily prizes are drawn for the biggest snapper, kahawai, gurnard and fish of choice and the prizes are worth thousands.

The overall winner having the largest combined weight.

This years event could very well be a record breaker with the first day of competition bringing a snapper bigger than last years winning fish.

The National Torpedo Tournament is in its ninth year and sold out within 12-hours. Source: 1 NEWS

Former Prime Minister Sir Bill English officially knighted by the Governor General

Former Prime Minister Sir Bill English was officially made a Knight of the New Zealand Order of Merit at Government House today.

The former prime minister was one of three men named to receive a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday honours in June.

The 39th Prime Minister of New Zealand was honoured for his services to the state including 27 years in parliament.

His wife, Mary, was in the audience as he received the honour from Governor General Patsy Reddy. 

Sir Bill English was officially made a Knight of the New Zealand Order of Merit at Government House today. Source: 1 NEWS


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Pictures: Baby Neve takes pride of place alongside Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford at United Nations

Baby Neve has made a very public appearance alongside her parents at the United Nations in New York.

The youngster was pictured with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and dad Clarke Gayford at the UN's General Assembly overnight, where her mum was to speak at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit.

It's the first overseas trip for Neve, born in June, after she skipped the PM's visit to Nauru. 

Read more: Baby Neve inspiration behind 'family-friendly policies', Jacinda Ardern tells millions of Americans on NBC's Today show

Read more: 'You can be strong, you can be kind' - Jacinda Ardern talks leadership, President Trump on US television

* The Prime Minister's office gave permission for the photos to be published

There was a very public appearance for the Prime Minister’s baby in New York. Source: Reuters


Meka Whaitiri says she accepts PM's decision to sack her as she faces barrage of questions on return to caucus

Meka Whaitiri accepts Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s decision to sack her as a minister, saying she is committed to self-improvement as she returned to parliament.

Ms Whaitiri was sacked as Customs Minister after an investigation by ministerial services into an alleged assault of a staffer during an event in Gisborne in late August.

The Prime Minister says she took action after an investigation deemed an incident did happen. Source: 1 NEWS

She batted away repeated questions from the media about the investigation and its findings, which she disputes.

“It’s been a debilitating time, but I really want to reflect on what I need to do to improve myself, to regain the confidence of the prime minister,” she said.

“I’m absolutely gutted, but I accept the prime minister’s decision but I’m going to work really hard and reflect on what I need to do to improve myself.”

“I can’t talk about the report until it’s released but like I said, I accept the prime minister’s decision.”

Ms Whaitiri, the MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, said she was grateful for the support from Māori caucus and others.

“Willie has declared and so have my Māori caucus members that they continue to have confidence in me to do the job that I was elected to do,” she said.

“You know, I’ve got a lot of work to do here on behalf of the people of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.”

“I’m very humbled by the support of the Māori caucus and those that have sent support but I’m here to do a job.”

“As I travel throughout the electorate we’re having meetings and I will tell them when I see them face-to-face my plans going forward.”

Whaitiri says she is determined to earn the Prime Minister’s trust back, and work hard for her electorate, after her sacking as a minister. Source: 1 NEWS