Jacinda Ardern and Helen Clark vote early in a bid to inspire young Kiwis

The Labour leader also announced a new $38 million broadcasting policy today. Source: 1 NEWS

MOST
POPULAR STORIES


'New Zealand's space industry personified' – an exclusive look inside Rocket Lab's new Auckland factory

He's a man who's spent plenty of time on spaceships, so it's no surprise that actor William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on Star Trek, scored himself an invite to Rocket Lab's new factory in Auckland yesterday.

But as entertaining as Shatner is, Seven Sharp opted for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look with a man who thrilled us six weeks ago with his animated explanation of lightning.

Professor Craig Rodger took over reporting duties from Seven Sharp’s Michael Holland to take us through "New Zealand's space industry personified". 

To find out more about Rocket Lab's "magical moment", click on the video above.

Once up to speed it’s hoped the Mt Wellington factory will build a new Electron rocket every week. Source: Seven Sharp

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Search on for mystery woman in recently discovered Christchurch love letter

An unusual photo with a love letter on the back has been found in an old attic at the Christchurch Arts Centre.

The letter was uncovered during a restoration of the Observatory Tower which was severely damaged in the earthquakes.

Who is the beauty in the photo, and who wrote the letter? 

Seven Sharp reporter Julian Lee looks for clues in the video above.

An unusual photo with a love letter on the back has been found in an old attic at the Christchurch Arts Centre. Source: Seven Sharp

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

The Great NZ Sausage Competition decides the people's choice winner - so what makes a great snarler?

The Great New Zealand Sausage Competition has just taken place, but what does it take to be crowned people's choice winner?

Seven Sharp reports 482 sausages were judged but only six made it to the people's choice final stage, plus one 'wildcard'.

One expert says what makes a snag sing is "texture and the meat" - and taste of course.

"It's got to be fresh. There's nothing like a disappointing pre-cooked sausage that tastes like cardboard."

Reporter Tamati Rimene-Sproat went to the finals, to see how his entry went.

If you want to taste something a little more exotic this summer, try this. Source: Seven Sharp


Solo mum with $30k debt not a unique case, budget advisor says

A solo mother burdened with $30,000 of debt for household items she doesn't need isn't a unique case, an Auckland budget advisor says.

Adrienne Gallie, from the Pakuranga and Howick Budgeting Service, introduced RNZ News to one of her clients this week after the Government announced a crackdown on loan sharks.

Ms Gallie said while the measures target the very worst lenders with the highest interest rates, they don't do anything to rein in other non-bank lenders.

One of her clients, Rachel*, is a solo mother-of-two originally from the Philippines.

The Government is cracking down on loan sharks and truck shops who sometimes prey on financially-vulnerable people. Source: 1 NEWS

She racked up $30,000 of debt through loans her husband took out to buy a new television and bed, and now works two jobs to keep on top of the debt.

Rachel said she'd never been in debt before she came to New Zealand.

"I don't have my family here so it's very difficult and I don't have anyone to rely on," Rachel said.

She works 13 out of 14 days to keep to a tight budget schedule and provide for her children; earning more than $1100 a week if she manages the hours.

But $500 of that goes to rent and $200 to debt repayments.

"That's why I wanted to work more because I don't want them to be deprived of their needs so as much as possible I wanted to provide everything that my two children need."

Rachel came to New Zealand as a student in 2010 and soon met her future husband.

He used her credit cards because he had bad credit and he told Rachel he would pay them off.

But he didn't and left her - and the debt.

She cancelled the card and paid off the debt but that wasn't the end of the story.

Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said Winston Peters is on board in clamping down on predatory lending. Source: Q+A

"He came back to me and promised me we'd be together again. He wanted to buy something for me because I'm so tired everyday. He wanted to buy a good bed but my bed has no problems."

She said she didn't have any problems opening the cards again because she had paid the previous debt.

"They granted them to me again but then I had the same problem; he paid the payments twice and then stopped repaying them. That's the reason I got this debt and why I'm still paying it off."

Rachel said she came to Adrienne with $30,000 of debt and has now managed to wrangle it down to $20,000 through a KiwiSaver withdrawal and a strict payment schedule.

"Before I was so stressed with it and frustrated but what can I do? I need to pay it back because it's my debt. Now it's a relief because Adrienne is assisting me."

Rachel said she knew she didn't need the things her husband bought but she loved him and trusted him with her cards.

Ms Gallie said it's not uncommon for people to amass debt through a relationship.

"That's also something that we see a lot of; people taking on debt because other people had bad credit records," she said.

Ms Gallie said predatory lenders have long been overlooked and the Government's planned crack down doesn't go far enough.

"I'm appalled by it and that's why I was really hoping that the Government would use this opportunity to do massive robust, bold reform and actually close down the pay lending industry."

Rachel said she's tired and often takes her own sick days to look after her youngest child, who has asthma.

When she does this, her budget doesn't work and she has to reach out to Ms Gallie for food parcels, she said.

*Rachel isn't her real name

- By Anneke Smith 
rnz.co.nz

A 100 per cent interest and fees cap is among moves to stop the vulnerable spiralling into debt. Source: 1 NEWS