'High handed arrogant approach' – Simon Bridges accuses PM of not listening to business over minimum wage increase

National Party leader Simon Bridges and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had a spirited exchange in Parliament today over business confidence after the recent minimum wage increase.

Mr Bridges pointed to a survey which he said shows business confidence is down in New Zealand since the Labour Government came into office and accused Ms Ardern of waving their issues away in her answers during Question Time.

"Is the Prime Minister saying that business confidence doesn't matter and isn't that an incredibly high handed arrogant approach to take?" Mr Bridges asked.

"No, I have in fact myself said that I am very keen to make sure that a survey of perception matches reality," Ms Ardern answered.

After more pressing by the National leader on the survey Ms Ardern attempted to squash the line of questioning.

"You'll forgive me by not wanting to let anyone get ahead of themselves before the budget comes out," she said, before finishing with "two more sleeps."

Earlier this year the minimum wage rose 75 cents to $16.50. 

MOST
POPULAR STORIES


One person dead after fatal collision between car and bus near Queenstown

One person has died after a crash between a car and a bus near Queenstown this morning.

Police report the fatal accident happened on State Highway 6 near Devils Staircase, south of Queenstown this morning.

Police confirmed the person who died was in the car but there were no other injuries despite 15 people, including the driver, being on the bus.

A Police spokesperson has told 1 NEWS the person who died in the crash was the sole occupant of the car.

A statement from the bus company involved in the incident, Southern Discoveries, said they would work closely with Police.

"The driver of our bus as well as all 14 passengers on board are uninjured.

"We are currently taking all of the passengers back to their accommodation in Queenstown and providing them, as well as our staff, with any support they may require."

The bus was carrying a group of tourists. Police don’t have any details as to where they were headed at this stage.

Emergency services were alerted of the crash at 7:45am.

The Serious Crash Unit will be investigating and the road will be closed for some time.

One person died after an accident near Devils Staircase. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Renowned Indian activist dies after 15-week hunger strike against government inaction to clean up Ganges River

One of India’s most prominent environmental activists has died after more than 15 weeks of a hunger strike to protest against government inaction on cleaning up the Ganges River.

86-year-old GD Agarwal prompted an outpouring of grief and tributes from activists.

“His demise has shut one of the leading voices of criticism of the government on the Ganga pollution," Environmentalist Rakesh Jaiswal told Reuters.

“He was one of the most important figures in this fight.”

The Ganges is India’s largest river system and one of its most polluted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 with a pledge to clean up the river that’s 2,500 kilometres long and used for water by 400 million people, but a flagship five-year project he launched in 2015 fell flat, critics say.

Agarwal who held a PhD in environmental engineering from the University of California in Berkeley, began his fast on June 22 in the northern Haridwar city.

When he started, he demanded a law to protect the river and the scrapping of construction of hydroelectric projects along its banks that have destroyed its natural flow.

In a letter to Mr Modi in August, he threatened to fast unto death unless action was taken.

Mr Modi said on Twitter he was "saddened" by Mr Agarwal's death.

"His passion towards learning, education, saving the environment, particularly Ganga cleaning, will always be remembered. My condolences," he said.

The Ganges is India’s largest river system and one of its most polluted. Source: istock


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Lotto winner gets $11 million - Second time Powerball struck in less than a month

$11 million is not a bad pay check and on Saturday night a lucky Auckland Powerball player got just that.

The winning ticket was sold at New World Albany in Auckland. The prize money was made up of $10 million from Powerball First Division and $1 million from Lotto First Division.

This is the second time that Powerball has been struck in less than a month, with two lucky players from Hastings and Christchurch sharing a $5 million Powerball jackpot in mid-September.

Meanwhile, in the Bullseye Must Be Won Draw, the $400,000 jackpot rolled down to Division Two and was shared by two players who each take home $210,001.

The winning tickets were sold at Halswell New World in Christchurch and Westport New World in Westport.

The winning $7.2 million Lotto Powerball ticket. Source: Supplied


West Auckland church using movie theatre for services

While the big screen is usually reserved for tales from Hollywood, one West Auckland church is using their newfound home at the cinemas to also retell stories from the Bible.

Members of the City Impact Church West branch now regularly attend their Sunday morning and afternoon services at a local theatre in West Auckland.

Families come in to the Westgate Event Cinemas, in Massey, treating themselves to movie snacks such as popcorn and ice-creams while listening to the pastors speak.

Pastor Joe Manase told the New Zealand Herald the unconventional idea makes sense.

"We’d heard that there are churches around the world that started to use cinemas and we thought: You know what? They’ll have comfy seats, the best air conditioning, the greatest screen and the best surround-sound system.

"There are people lining up to come to church and people lining up to buy tickets to Avengers at the same time."

City Impact use two rooms, one for main church and one specifically for children’s worship but there are also moves to hire out a third theatre by next year for their youth group.

Kirsty Bourke of the Hawera Cinema says restaurants and clubs have had dress codes for years and no one complained.
Source: 1 NEWS