'It's devastation' - Jet boat federations from around the world send condolences after fatality

Racing is set to resume in the World Championship Jet Boat Marathon at Rakaia today following Sunday's fatal accident on the Waimakariri River.

Duayne Insley, 47, was navigating with his best mate Dwayne Terry at the wheel when it's believed their boat collided with a log jutting out of the river bank, in a braided section of the river.

Racing was cancelled yesterday and instead competitors took to the water in Rakaia to gauge river conditions for the next stage of the competition.

"It's very tough and that's one of the reasons we are not racing today. The guys are out doing a bit of boating, trying to clear their heads. It is a dangerous sport we do and we're all aware of that," John Derry of the River Racing Association told 1 NEWS yesterday.

Mr Terry escaped injury, but is distraught about what happened.

"He's struggling and we're all there for him and doing the best we can to help him and everyone else get through this," Mr Derry said.

Racing is set to resume at Rakaia again today, with the competition due to finish on Saturday.

The final race is in a body of water called the Dart in Glenorchy which is also the home town of Mr Insley.

Forty-five teams from four countries are competing in the marathon.

Duayne Insley and Dwayne Terry were known for their love of the sport and were the most experienced racers in their class.

"It's devastation. And it's not just here in New Zealand. We've had calls from the president of the Mexican federation, from Canada, from the USA to express their condolences," said Paul Mullan of the River Racing Association.

Police are still investigating the accident. 

Mr Insley leaves behind a wife. The pair owned a high country horse trekking business together.

He was also a well-loved part of the local community which is still coming to terms with his loss.

Duayne Insley died during the World Jetboat Marathon Championships on the Waimakariri River on Sunday. Source: 1 NEWS

Watch as boy, 10, is presented with metal skewer that penetrated his skull

A 10-year-old Missouri boy is recovering after he was attacked by insects and tumbled from a tree, landing on a meat skewer that penetrated his skull from his face to the back of his head.

Doctors called Xavier Cunningham's survival "miraculous."

Xavier's harrowing experience began Saturday afternoon when yellow jackets attacked him in a tree house at his Harrisonville home.

He fell to the ground and his mother ran to him when she heard screaming.

His skull was pierced from front-to-back with half a foot of skewer still sticking out of his face.

The University of Kansas Health System's endovascular neurosurgery director, Koji Ebersole, says the skewer's removal Sunday wasn't easy, but that it missed Xavier's eye, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels.

Xavier Cunningham's survival, after he fell from a tree and landed on the meat skewer, is being called a miracle. Source: Associated Press

Two 'sweet' girls dead and baby hospitalised after 'tragic' electric heater fire at house near Melbourne

Two "sweet" girls have died and their baby sister is in hospital after an electric bar heater caught fire in the bedroom of a Geelong home today.

The toddlers' parents woke just after 8am to the smell of smoke in their Loch Street, East Geelong home.

It's early in the investigation but Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Guthrie says it appears a toy fell on the heater in the front room where the older girls, aged two and three, were sleeping.

It's not known how long the fire was smouldering before it was discovered.

It's believed the girls died from smoke inhalation.

A neighbour told AAP she believed the father had rushed to the home of a neighbour, a doctor, for assistance before the couple drove their family to hospital where the girls were pronounced dead.

The family's six-month-old daughter who was in another room with her parents is being treated for smoke inhalation. Neither parent was injured.

"As you can well understand, the set of circumstances that has occurred, they're very traumatised and they're at the hospital at present," Det Sen Sgt Guthrie said.

He earlier described it as tragic. The neighbour said she knew the family to say hello to and the sweet girls would stop on their way past to pat her dog.

"They were smitten," she said of the parents, who have lived in the street for three or four years.

"You could see in their eyes they really loved their children."

Detectives have reduced the cordon around the white clad home.

Gathered investigators and a strand of police tape across the low brick fence are the only sign of the incident.

Detectives and arson investigators have been at the scene through the morning and will prepare a report for the coroner.

Det Sen Sgt Guthrie urged people to take care around heaters and make sure nothing can come into contact with them.

"It's just a real tragic set of circumstances," he earlier told 3AW.

Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: Winston Peters accuses Paula Bennett of asking 'mindless questions' and diving into 'moronic abyss' during Question Time

Winston Peters accused Paula Bennett of asking "mindless questions" and diving into a "moronic abyss" during Question Time today.

His comments came as National's deputy leader was quizzing Mr Peters, who was answering on behalf of the Prime Minister, on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill in the House today.

"Can she confirm that the Labour-led Government unanimously voted for the bill at select committee and the bill has now been prepared for a second reading, and do they know how they will vote for it?" Ms Bennett asked the deputy prime minister.

"On behalf of the prime minister, if that member will not conform to the proper language of an MMP environment we do not intend to answer her mindless questions.

"She knows full well the construction, we can handle it and that's why were here and that's why they're over there, because they just don't grasp what the new environment looks like," Mr Peters answered.

Ms Bennett was then given a warning by Speaker Trevor Mallard for prefacing her follow up by implying that Mr Peters led the Government instead of Ms Ardern.

She went on to try and get more answers about the bill, asking: "Does the govt support the employment relations amendment bill as it is currently written?"

Mr Peters again went on the attack in his answer.

"Look we're not going to have a dive to the moronic abyss that the member wants to go to.

"We are talking about a process of the full committee of the House and then onto the third reading, that's whats being targeted that's what we'll do."

Construction worker injured in workplace accident above Auckland's city centre

A construction worker has been injured in an accident on top of a construction site in Auckland’s city centre.

One person was transport to Auckland Hospital in a moderate condition, said St John spokesperson Mark Deoki.

Two fire department vehicles were also sent to the scene, near the intersection of Victoria St West and Graham Street.

St John Ambulance (file picture).
St John Ambulance (file picture). Source: St John.