Jacinda Ardern calls people smugglers 'repugnant people who are risking people's lives' after boat with 131 people intercepted

The Prime Minister has stressed the importance of preventing people smuggling efforts, after a tanker with 131 people was intercepted by Malaysian authorities, that possibly could have been heading towards New Zealand and Australia. 

Malaysian national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said about 130 Sri Lankians were intercepted after authorities halted a modified tanker last week off the coast of southern Johor state.

He said it was intending to go to Australia and New Zealand. 

There are doubts that it could have made it to New Zealand, but today Jacinda Ardern said: "Taking a preventative approach to stop it leaving a port is the optimal approach."

"Regardless the capacity of any given vessel, [between Malaysia and New Zealand] is a treacherous piece of water, it risks people's lives and the people who were undertaking that venture need to be held to account, before they possibly lose the lives of those on board."

Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand may not actually be the final destination, instead it may "all be a marketing excericse by repugnant people who are risking people's lives". 

Ms Ardern said it wasn't up to her what happened to the people smuggling boats outside New Zealand waters, "but if it were up to me, I would destroy the boats" as soon as someone is convicted. 

The Prime Minister says she's also lowering expectations she'll look as well composed and the Duchess of Cambridge did.
Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand being marketed by people smugglers as a destination "is not new", Ms Ardern said. 

"There has been chatter around New Zealand, as there has been chatter around Australia for some time. The fact that we have been used as a destination... this is something that has happened before ."

She said it was important to partner with those overseas "to try and make sure we stop people before they even depart". 

"That risks people's lives."

The PM hope for international cooperation on the issues "to try and make sure we stop people before they even depart". Source: 1 NEWS

Jacinda Ardern says parts of employment bill still under discussion

Labour and New Zealand First are working on some changes to the government's employment law legislation, the Prime Minister says.

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill which is before Parliament scraps the 90-day trial period for businesses with 20 or more employees and carries a raft of union-friendly changes including collective agreement bargaining and greater union access to workplaces.

New Zealand First minister Shane Jones said provincial employers and regional leaders had expressed some concerns about the bill.

Jacinda Ardern said there were still some parts of the bill that were being discussed between the parties.

But she told TV3's Newshub Nation she was confident the bill would still achieve the goal of improving employment law.

"As even the Deputy Prime Minister himself has said, 'this bill will pass', we're working on some details collectively.

"I'll keep my confidence around those negotiations, as I do with all of our negotiations, but we are the Labour Party, issues of employment legislation of course are critical to us, but I'd say actually they are to New Zealand First as well."

The details of the changes would be released soon, and people would be able to see that the balance of employment relations would be improved, Ms Ardern said.


It comes after the MP was accused of assaulting a staff member in Gisborne.
Source: 1 NEWS


Man dies after becoming trapped under vehicle while pushing it down driveway in Auckland

A person has died after becoming trapped under a vehicle in Highland Park, East Auckland.

Police confirmed that emergency services were required to attend an incident that occurred on private property at around 12:15pm today.

Initial reports suggest the man was pushing a vehicle down a driveway when he somehow became trapped underneath it.

His next-of-kin have been notified and the death will be referred to the Coroner.

Ambulance Source: 1 NEWS


Police investigations and search for pilot underway after Carterton school students were hospitalised

A police investigation is underway at the Carterton school where 10 primary school children were taken to Wairarapa Hospital after falling ill yesterday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to South End School at approximately 1pm yesterday with reports of an unpleasant smell.

Paramedics treated 40 other people - children and adults - with minor symptoms and over 100 people had to go through a decontamination process.

Police searched the school grounds this morning but were unable to find the source of the smell, Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller said.

"Witnesses have described seeing a grey and white or red and white plane, possibly a Cessna, flying near the school between 1.30 and 2.30pm yesterday," Inspector Miller said.

While there is no evidence to indicate the plane is the source of the smell, though Inspector Miller says they'd like to speak to the pilot.

"The CAA is also trying to locate the aircraft."

Board Chair Brian Chin says children who left their belongings at the school last night will be able to collect them on Monday, when school "resumes as normal".

"A debrief with staff with happen next week." 

Parents waiting outside South End School.
Parents waiting outside South End School. Source: 1 NEWS

Anyone living close to the school with any further information is urged to get in touch with Masterton Police on (06) 370 0300.

A plane is suspected of accidentally spraying the school with pesticide and several children have been hospitalised. Source: 1 NEWS

'Laying in a pool of blood' - One dead, another arrested following stabbing at family harm incident in Papamoa

A man is dead and another has been arrested after a family harm situation in Papamoa this morning.

A local man in his 20s has been arrested in relation to the death of a man in his 40s, who was fatally stabbed at about 8.30am this morning.

Police say that no one else has been injured and no one else is being sought in relation to the death.

Police assure there is no risk to the public.

Neighbour Todd Madden, who was walking to their car on the front lawn with his 6-year-old, told NZ Herald they saw a "young guy covered in blood" in a driveway.

"[He] yelled at me to call the police."

"Police arrived and he laid down on the ground and I grabbed the two kids."

The children told him there was a victim inside "laying in a pool of blood".

"They had been crying loudly for about 30 minutes but I just thought they were being naughty - I wished I had've gone over earlier."

Source: 1 NEWS