If US-North Korea summit ends with denuclearisation, Trump's part 'needs to be acknowledged' - Jacinda Ardern

As the highly anticipated summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un nears, Corin Dann of TVNZ1's Q+A explains why the summit is important, for both the Asia-Pacific region and for New Zealand. 

Both leaders are expected to arrive tonight, and Mr Dann said the mood was a mix of optimism, that the leaders are at least talking, and skepticism if there will be a breakthrough of denuclearisation of the North Korea regime.

"Singapore is certainly buzzing," Mr Dann said. 

Corin Dan interviews Washington Post Tokyo Chief Anna Fifield about the historic US-North Korea summit. Source: Q+A

He said the summit was significant due to the progression of events. 

Corin Dann interviews Shawn Ho an expert in east Asian politics and security. Source: Q+A

"If you go back a year, there really was a great fear Kim Jong Un had developed these missiles and developed that nuclear programme to a point he could effectively fire missiles at the US. But if you're already in Asia, or in Japan in particular, they were firing missiles over Japan. There was a feeling things were really getting a lot more extreme, in terms of the possibility of conflict."

"You had Donald Trump, coming in as a new President, talking about fire and fury, rocketman. To have gone from that point, where conflict suddenly started to look very real, to here where we've got talks is huge."

Around 14 of New Zealand’s main trading partners are in the Asian-Pacific region. "Any conflict in Asia would have a dramatic impact" on New Zealand's trade routes. 

The US President is confident an agreement will be made. Source: Q+A

Mr Dann asked Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about the upcoming meeting, who said if the US summit with North Korea ends with denuclearisation, Trump's part "needs to be acknowledged". 

She said if the outcome was denuclearisation in North Korea, "we all need to celebrate that".

"If Donald Trump plays a role in that, that needs to be acknowledged."

Corin Dann of TVNZ1’s Q+A explains the detail behind the much anticipated meeting. Source: Q+A

'I have been a fighter my entire life' - New Zealand's newest MP Dan Bidois takes out Northcote by-election

Dan Bidois took out Auckland's Northcote by-election last night, seeing National retain the seat after former MP Jonathan Coleman left Parliament earlier this year. 

1 NEWS interviewed Mr Bidois before his win last Tuesday to find out what he thinks the biggest issues in the country are, why he's ready for the cut-and-thrust of Parliament and whose shoes he would like to fill for a day.

When asked before the by election why he would be the best MP for Northcote, Mr Bidois said his experience and character would help him "get results for this amazing part of Auckland". 

"I have been a fighter my entire life. I dropped out of school at 15, found out I had cancer and beat it, completed my butchery apprenticeship, eventually getting mentored to go to University and falling in love with education. Ultimately I went on to win a scholarship and complete my Masters at Harvard."

"I have had to fight for everything I have achieved in life, and so I want to bring that determination to Northcote and fight for the things that matter locally – improving transport, stopping the fuel tax increases, and getting more investment in local services like health and education."

Mr Bidois said he would celebrate winning by having a beer with his supporters, "and then get straight into work on my plan for Northcote".

"I have also met a lot of nice dogs when out door-knocking, so I am tempted to buy a four-legged friend," he added. 

He said prior to his victory when asked what issues he would pursue in Parliament, that he was "passionate about education and making sure we're getting more kids learning good trades. I would like to see more done around apprenticeships". 

Other questions answered by Mr Bidois:

What's the biggest problem issue facing NZ at the moment that needs dealing with?

The economy has been doing well the last few years, which has lifted incomes and meant the Government can afford to invest more in public services, but we can’t take it for granted. The new Labour-NZ First Government is making a range of changes that will slow that growth down, which is really bad for families. We can’t take good economic management for granted.

There is a chance parliament will be making conscience votes on topics such as legalising cannabis, moving abortion into the Health Act and introducing voluntary euthanasia. How would you vote on each of those issues?

There is currently no scheduled vote on abortion or cannabis, but I haven’t seen evidence the current systems aren’t working properly. I would want to study the issues more before I made a decision on these two.

I haven't read the proposed euthanasia legislation yet. I do have some concerns around it though, in that we have to make sure that there appropriate safeguards so our sick and elderly aren’t abused.

If you could spend a day in another person's shoes, whose would they be?

Richie McCaw. I've always been a keen supporter of him and never been particularly good at rugby.

What was a moment in your life that you believe sets you up for the cut-and-thrust lifestyle of parliament?

Dropping out of school and then getting diagnosed with cancer at 15. Facing death makes you really think about life and reflect on what does and doesn't matter. It has made me strong and determined, but it also makes me more compassionate because I think about other people and their own struggles.

Mr Bidois replaces former MP Jonathan Coleman. Source: 1 NEWS


Environment Canterbury's smoke-busting team urging people to burn smarter

As cold winter weather rolls in, many health and environment experts are urging Cantabrians to burn smarter.

Armed with high-tech gear and old-fashioned know-how Environment Canterbury are tracking down excessively smoky fireplaces.

But they're not out to issue fines or dob in offenders. 

"People are a bit concerned if they hear people driving around looking at their chimneys, but what we're saying is don't be scared," Environment Canterbury air quality director Katherine Trought told 1 NEWS.

"What we're doing is leaving info in letterboxes of houses where we see smoky chimneys with tips on how to burn smoke free."

It is part of a drive by Environment Canterbury to meet the region's target of just one high pollution night a year, by 2020.

Canterbury's long been a large contributer to pollution from fires, but since 2012 that has been steadily improving. 

"Now when we get the 50mg standard we're only just over, so with a bit more effort we believe we will be under the limit most nights," said Ms Trought.

This year is the first winter since older style, inefficient burners were banned, other low-emission burners are yet to be phased out.

Although Christchurch is on-track to reach the target, other areas like Timaru have a long way to go.

"We don't want people to not light their fires and be cold and worried," said Ms Trought.

"We want them to light their fires but do it well."

In a bid to meet Canterbury’s target of one high pollution night a year, experts are offering environmentally friendly heating tips. Source: 1 NEWS