Israel Embassy takes objection to PM's description of 60 deaths in Gaza as 'one-sided'

Israel's embassy in New Zealand has officially taken objection to Jacinda Ardern's description of this week's Gaza conflict in which 60 Palestinians were killed as "one-sided".

The embassy has responded to the Prime Minister's comments made on Tuesday, May 15, describing them as a regrettable misrepresentation of the conflict that occurred.

"It is astonishing to see how much disinformation is being used against Israel for its self-defense on the Gaza border," Israel's Embassy says in the press release.

"The government of New Zealand, which has recognised Hamas as a terror organisation, regrettably has not condemned Hamas for its actions nor its investment in terrorism."

"Israel is unjustly and against any objective reasoning accused of using disproportionate force against Hamas.

"The use of force must be judged not by the number of casualties (and don't forget that the majority of them are Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists)."

Ms Ardern had described the conflict as "a devastating one-sided loss of life" in an overall critical assessment made hours after the incident.

However, she would not go so far as to say the attacks from Israel were a breach of international law, without a full briefing.

"This is the most significant violence we've seen in a number of years," Ms Ardern said on Tuesday morning.

"We would condemn the violence that has occurred, and I think it's plain to see that the effects of this decision and the ramifications are wide-reaching."

Jacinda Ardern outlined her government’s stance on the US-led strikes on Syria today, speaking from the Comm Games in the Gold Coast.
Source: 1 NEWS

Is our Government considering issuing 'climate change visas' to our Pacific neighbours?

New Zealand's government will use part of a massive expansion of foreign aid to tackle climate change in the Pacific - but any decision on "climate-change visas" might be some way off.

Since March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has called for a reset in relationships with Pacific neighbours, warning New Zealand and Australia risk losing relevance as nations with deeper pockets take more interest in the region.

That culminated in the announcement this month of a $NZ714 million boost to foreign aid over four years, most of which is expected to go to the Pacific.

By 2050 it's estimated up to 54 per cent of the nation’s main island will be inundated with sea water. Source: 1 NEWS

Today, Mr Peters said cabinet had agreed to long-term plan aimed at helping Pacific nations deal with climate change.

"Development assistance will focus on practical projects for climate change adaption, mitigation and ways to avert climate displacement of people," Mr Peters said.

"This includes building better infrastructure and developing disaster preparedness."

The proposal discussed by cabinet also calls for a look at how to deal with the migration that will be caused by rising sea levels and other climate challenges in the Pacific.

The idea of a "climate-change visa" was first mooted by Climate Change Minister James Shaw last year.

But while officials said spending was needed to "promote better settlement outcomes" in the event of migration across the region, any talk to changing New Zealand's immigration laws has been relegated to a longer-term plan, possibly until 2024.

"Once a clearer picture of Pacific needs and priorities emerges, there might be scope to increase the climate focus of existing policies," the paper says.

Mr Peters said Pacific leaders had made their wishes clear.

"(They) have told us that their people want to live in their own countries for as long as possible, and retain social and cultural identity," he said.

1 NEWS pacific correspondent Barabra Dreaver reports from the area in Fiji. Source: 1 NEWS



Pedestrian dies after being hit by vehicle in South Auckland

A pedestrian has died after being hit by a vehicle in Mangere, South Auckland.

Police are in attendance at the crash on Robertson Road which happened at around 1.45pm.

The pedestrian has died at the scene, police say.

The road is partially blocked and diversions are in place on Robertson Road at Mckinstry Ave and Kivell Close.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.

Police car Source: 1 NEWS