'Incredibly saddened' - Simon Bridges offers 'solidarity' to family of Kiwi woman Abby Hartley who died in Bali

National Party leader Simon Bridges paid tribute to Abby Hartley, after the New Zealand woman died in Bali after falling ill. 

"I'm incredibly saddened for the family, for Richard and his children. It’s just an awful situation," Mr Bridges said.

"My solidarity and my thoughts to Richard and his family."

Mr Bridges told media today he had only played a minor role organising trying to get Ms Hartley back to New Zealand, but it was "about trying to do the right thing and make sure money wasn’t the prohibiting factor".

Mr Bridges had offered to play a facilitating role after "concerned New Zealanders" approached him, wanting to donate $170,000 to facilitate the medevac which would see Mrs Hartley returned to New Zealand.

The Government would not intervene with a medevac. 

Foreign Minister Winston Peters wrote to the family last month: "I have to confirm that the New Zealand Government is unable to fund the costs of medical care of evacuations for New Zealanders who become ill while overseas," reported NZ Herald. 

Mr Bridges said he did not know if he would have handled the situation different if he were to be in Government.

"I can understand what the Prime Minister and Winston Peters have said about precedents", however he said Labour and National Governments break precedents "all the time".

"But they're really things for the Prime Minister, I don't seek to play politics about this, it's very much about grieving for Abby and for this family to have a bit of space to do that."

Ms Hartley, of Hamilton, was put into an induced coma while on holiday in Bali after she suffered a twisted bowel, went into acute respiratory distress syndrome and then developed a chest infection which led to a collapsed lung.

The National leader had played a “minor” role in trying to get Kiwi Abby Hartley back home. Source: 1 NEWS



Watch as passengers don oxygen masks after Indian plane loses cabin pressure, causing ear pain and nose bleeds

A Jet Airways flight returned to Mumbai yesterday after dozens of passengers complained of ear pain and nose bleeds due to a loss of cabin pressure.

Oxygen masks were deployed during the emergency aboard the Boeing 737, said Darshak Hathi, a passenger who filmed the incident and posted it on his twitter page.

An airline statement said Flight 9W697 with 166 passengers and five crew members had a "loss in cabin pressure," but later landed normally in Mumbai.

Medical help was given to 30 passengers.

According to Flightradar24 aviation tracking site, the plane stopped climbing at 11,000 feet (3,350 meters) before returning to Mumbai.

It was heading to Jaipur, a tourist destination and the capital of Rajasthan state.

The airline said the flight's cockpit crew was taken off scheduled duties pending an investigation.

The crew of the Jet Airways flight have been taken off duties, pending an investigation. Source: Associated Press


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Police seeking information over terrifying early morning robbery at Tauranga home involving an axe

Police are seeking public information after a terrifying assault and robbery at a Tauranga home where two offenders broke into the house early this morning armed with an axe and crowbar.

Officers responded to an aggravated burglary on Waterford Park Drive in Papamoa at approximately 4.30am, Detective Sergeant Darryl Brazier said.

Two men had entered the property and assaulted two occupants of the house, a man and woman, before stealing two cars from the property.

The two victims received minor injuries but did not require ambulance treatment though they are receiving continued support from police, Detective Sergeant Brazier said.

Police have recovered the vehicles nearby and are currently examining them while a scene examination is also underway at the property.

If anyone in the area has any information which could assist with the Police investigation we encourage them to ring Tauranga Police on 577 4300.

Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Man with axe
Source: istock.com

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Disturbing new study finds Kiwi teens are fatter and less fit than their parents

Today's teens are more fat and less fit than their parents' generation, according to disturbing new research out of the University of Otago.

The first-of-its-kind study, published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal, measured the fitness of 343 15-year-olds whose parents had been tested in the 1980s. Each generation was tested on an exercise cycle.

"We have seen a 25 per cent decline in fitness in girls compared to their mothers and about a 15 per cent decline in fitness compared to their fathers," researcher Helena McAnally told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning, explaining that the findings are unlikely to be unique to New Zealand.

"I think there's been a lot of social change over the years between the Dunedin study in the 80s, when they were 15, and now," she explained. "We're looking at increasing levels of physical inactivity in developed countries across the globe."

The downward trend is a concern, she said.

"Historically, we've been seeing health and wellbeing tracking towards more positive outcomes," she said. "This is looking like this generation is going to be less healthy than their parents' generation.

"Poorer fitness now could potentially lead to long term health problems later."

Professor Bob Hancox, who led the study, said in a statement that the findings fit the perception many of us already had of young people being outside less and tethered to screens more than any generation previously.

But Ms McAnally said today she remains optimistic that the situation could change. As happened with smoking, studies about the health implications could help prompt government initiatives that eventually see healthier outcomes.

The $7 million plan to tackle the fat is being deemed too weak. Source: 1 NEWS

She suggested ad campaigns and increased opportunities for people to be active.

"I know in Australia some schools have an afternoon dedicated to physical activity so that people don't have to organise taking their kids to sports outside of school hours," she said. "So there are things like that we could change that would be systematically embedding physical activity in young people's day-to-day routines.

"Investing in the health and wellbeing of our young people now is going to save money in the long term, so I think it's a sensible move."

Researchers tested the 15-year-old children of teens who were studied in the 1980s, researcher Helena McAnally explained to Breakfast. Source: Breakfast


Murder charge laid after man stabbed to death in Upper Hutt

A murder charge has been laid after a man was stabbed to death in Upper Hutt yesterday.

A 37-year-old man will appear in the Hutt Valley District Court this morning, Detective Inspector John van den Heuvel said in a statement.

The incident took place on Golders Rd, Upper Hutt, yesterday afternoon.

Police believe it was an isolated incident and aren't looking for anyone else.

Police car
Police car Source: 1 NEWS

The victim died at the scene.


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