Jacinda Ardern promises 'relentless positivity' as Labour leader in upcoming campaign

Jacinda Ardern says she's just taken on the worst job in politics but she'll bring "relentless positivity" to the party and next month's election campaign.

An hour after being named as the leader following the resignation of Andrew Little, Ms Ardern's message to Prime Minister Bill English is not to be complacent.

She'll take 72 hours to take stock of the party before bowling head on into "vibrant" campaigning alongside her new deputy, influential Maori caucus MP Kelvin Davis.

"There will be some core elements of our campaign that we absolutely stand by because they're the issue that New Zealanders have told us are important to them," she said.

"You'll see those as consistent things in our campaign but you'll also see Kelvin and [my] stamp on the campaign too."

Both new leaders were elected unanimously, following nominations by Mr Little and Grant Robertson respectively.

Despite his resignation from the leadership, Ms Ardern says Mr Little will remain a senior caucus member and minister in any government she leads.

1 NEWS NOW's live coverage for this event has now concluded. You can re-cap on the developments as they unfolded below:

Labour leader Andrew Little has announced he is stepping down as leader of the Labour Party after recent low poll results, with Jacinda Ardern elected as leader and Kelvin Davis taking the position as deputy. 

2:25pm Jacinda Ardern has just had her first Parliamentary question time as the new Labour leader, where she confronted PM Bill English on the housing issue, challenging him to work with her on providing safe affordable housing for all New Zealander's. A statement which drew a chorus of applause from other members.

A young Ardern was interviewed back in 1997 about a discovery she made while working on a science project. Source: 1 NEWS

2:05pm Jacinda Ardern certainly isn't new to the TV game, we dug through the TVNZ archives to pull this footage of a young Ardern speaking about a scientific discovery she made as a sixth-form student.

1:45pm Looking over social media feeds, the leadership change looks to generally be getting a positive reaction. Could Labour's big gamble pay off come election time?

After leading Israeli, Palestinian and Lebanese members at youth organisation, Ardern isn't fazed by NZ politics. Source: 1 NEWS

1:30pm Jacinda Ardern got off to a good start in her first press conference as leader today, drawing a chorus of laughs for this statement when asked if she has what it takes to be the leader of the Labour Party.

The 37-year-old says she is a young "proposition" for the party leadership but she's "up to the job". Source: 1 NEWS

12.47pm NZ First leader Winston Peters has released a statement saying: "Jacinda and Kelvin will know that they have taken on a big job, some will say an insurmountable task, but we tender our congratulations."

He said Andrew Little "fought the good fight" but was a victim of transience of the polls. 

12.30pm She finished the speech saying she wants Labour Party ideas to do the talking , and that she "wants to take stock for a bit". 

12.28pm Jacinda Ardern's message to Prime Minister Bill English: "Don't be complacent". 

12.24pm Jacinda Ardern would not say if Labour would keep their policy to move the new retirement age back to 65-years-old, saying she needed 72-hours to look at the policies. 

Kelvin Davis said if the Maori Party is "still standing" after the election, "they'll have to up their game to work with us". 

12.19pm Jacinda Ardern said they had the money and resources to continue campaigning with the leadership changes. She said it would be a "very, very vibrant campaign". 

When asked if he would sit on the front bench, she said Andrew Little is likely to have a place there. 

12.17pm Jacinda Ardern said the MOU with the Green Party still stands. She said the events today of Labour Party leadership changes were "extraordinary circumstances". 

12.12pm Ms Ardern has said the Labour team is "determined and steadfast" leading up to the election, saying she is "incredibly lucky to call myself leader". 

"I will use the next 72 hours… to reflect and take stock of the campaign plan. We will be positive, organised and ready."

She said she was a "young proposition" for the party, but the MPs who elected her had faith and "absolutely believe I am up to the job". 

12.09pm New Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern has begun her speech by thanking Andrew Little, saying he was "first and foremost loyal to Labour". 

She said this morning's announcement was "not what anyone expected or wanted". 

12.05pm As we wait for the new faces of the Labour Party to front the press, it is noted new leader Jacinda Ardern has the first question during Question Time today to Prime Minister Bill English. 

From the parliamentary website: JACINDA ARDERN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement on the housing crisis that "I wouldn’t call it a crisis. We have strong demand, we have an uplift in prices – these are good problems to have actually?"

11.53am New Labour Party leadership team Jacinda Ardern and her deputy Kelvin Davis are to have their first media press conference beginning at 12pm. 1 NEWS NOW will have the footage livestreamed and on Facebook. 

11.34am The Green Party have said their relationship with Labour "will continue to be sound now that Jacinda Ardern has assumed leadership of the Labour Party, and our congratulations goes out to her and new deputy leader, Kelvin Davis".

11.31am ACT leader David Seymour described Andrew Little standing down as requiring "enormous courage".

"I disagree with Andrew on many things, but he has more honesty and integrity than others on the Left. These qualities were on display today."

"What this means now is even more uncertainty over what a Labour-led government would look like," he said. 

11.16am A press release from Jacinda Ardern said the decision was made at the Labour Party Caucus meeting today. Both Ms Ardern and Mr Davis ran unopposed. 

11.12am Jacinda Ardern has been elected as the new Labour Party leader, unopposed. MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis has been elected as Deputy Leader. 

10.43am An announcement regarding a new leader is expected to be made at midday today.

10.41am James Shaw says Andrew Little has done the honourable thing.

He says he feels "terrible" for Mr Little and enjoyed working with him.

Andrew Little made the sudden announcement at a press conference this morning. Source: 1 NEWS

He says he will work with Jacinda Ardern if she becomes leader.

He says a new leader could make a difference for the Labour Party when it comes to polling

The Greens co-leader is making an environmental announcement in Auckland and hasn't heard from Mr Little yet.

10.30am The Labour Party caucus meeting is scheduled to start now, which will see Mr Little officially no longer Labour Party leader. 

10.26am In his speech, Mr Little said: "In the end the only thing that matters is that we can run a good campaign, unclutter by polls and narratives about polls and leadership."

"We gotta get focused on the things that matter."

"We have proven we have a depth of talen in the party, we have a determination to get out there, campaign out of our skins, and win."

10.18am He said he still remains "utterly determained" to win the 2017 election with Labour, but "it became pretty clear the story around those polls was building a narrative day after day". 

10.14am Andrew Little said the party would be "better served by a new leader who can bring a fresh face and a fresh voice to this vital campaign". 

He said he has not seen the list of potential candidates for leadership but he "suspects Jacinda will be nominated or will step up".

10.09am In a statement from Mr Little, he said it was "a sad decision".

"I have been privileged to have led a united, talented team of Labour MPs, proud to have progressed the values and issues that New Zealanders care about and proud to stand with working New Zealanders."

The party slumped to its lowest level in 20 years in the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll.
Source: 1 NEWS

10.05am Mr Little said he has just confirmed to the Labour caucus he is stepping down. "There is no question the poll results that came out last week... were disturbing and very, very disappointing. 

"As leader, you have to take responsibility, and I have, and I do."

10am Labour Leader Andrew Little announces he is stepping down. 

9.57am Earlier this morning on TVNZ1's Breakfast, former Labour Party President Mike Williams said the argument for a need for a "circuit breaker" to increase poll results has prevailed.

He said the party could "absolutely" turn itself around in the eight weeks prior to the upcoming election.

9.45am Andrew Little has announced he will be fronting media at 10am this morning. Stay tuned with 1 NEWS NOW for live streaming. 

9.30am Jacinda Ardern, who has been predicted to take over as leader, told 1 NEWS "Andrew's had my support the entire time". 

The new Labour leader says the party is "determined and steadfast" in the wake of poor polling and Andrew Little stepping down as leader. Source: 1 NEWS

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NZ strawberry grower forks out $20,000 for security measures

An Auckland strawberry grower has forked out more than $20,000 for metal detectors, after needle-ridden strawberries were found in New Zealand.

On Sunday, three needles were found in one punnet of Western Australian strawberries at an Auckland supermarket.

It was still unclear where the needles came from.

Australia's strawberry contamination crisis comes just as New Zealand growers are about to put their fruit on the market.

The Zaberri Strawberry farm is just 20 minutes north of Auckland City.

A large silver tin shed sits at the entrance, that's the pack house, and 29 fields lined with rows of strawberry plants surround it.

The farm's owner, who goes by one name, Boman, has run the place for nine years.

In two weeks 150 of his workers will start the harvest.

"We pick [the strawberries] in the early hours of the morning, so ideally we try to have all of our fields picked before... midday, one o'clock and they'll be picked here, and scanned and sent to the packhouse," he said.

Police in Australia have been investigating more than 100 reports of contaminated fruit, many of which are believed to be hoaxes and copycat incidents.

And every Australian strawberry now has to pass through a metal detector before it can be exported.

The same regulations have not been imposed on the 150 New Zealand growers - but Boman was not taking any risks.

"So, we've invested in metal detectors, which will be installed here before our season starts and everything that's been picked and packed will be examined.

"We'll be adding additional surveillance cameras to capture everything that goes in and out of our cool stores," he said.

Despite spending more than $20,000 on the new security measures, Boman is certain the strawberry sabotage crisis won't happen here.

"Some might think that it's over the top, but I think it is better to be ready to ensure our industry is not put into a chaos like what's happened in Australia," he said.

It's a crucial time for strawberry growers - the harvest season has already started for some and it's about to start for others.

The Australian industry, worth about $AU130 million annually, was hit at the start of its season.

The scare prompted product recalls and forced growers to destroy their crops.

If the situation here reaches the same level, the $35m New Zealand industry will be hit hard, Boman said.

"It'll have a significant impact on our financial ability going forward, and not just for us, I think right across, from the growers mainly, retailers will be affected and there will be many employees.

"We've got people here whose whole family relies on them."

The maximum penalty for contaminating food in New Zealand is ten years' imprisonment.

By Katie Scotcher

rnz.co.nz

Strawberry grower Boman
Strawberry grower Boman. Source: rnz.co.nz

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All Blacks legend Richie McCaw shares his top tips for success with young leaders

There's no question that plenty of kids look up to Richie McCaw and dream of the kind of success he's had.

So, you can imagine how stoked 800 odd secondary students were today when the man himself shared his own leadership lessons at the Kids with Character Empower Me Leadership seminar in Auckland.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp asked him what his top tips were for kids.

Tip 1:

"The first one that I really live by is that you can't go past hard work, if you think it's going to be easy, if you achieve it when it's easy you're probably not going to get the satisfaction of what it's all about."

Tip 2:

"Attention to detail, understanding of what it takes as not everyone knows, asking for advice or asking for help from people around you who can see things from a different way."

Tip 3:

"You got to have that drive. It's not someone telling you that you've got to work hard, you've got to really want to do it yourself and I think the people who have that are the most successful."

All advice that will help McCaw in perhaps his biggest challenge of all, becoming a dad.

McCaw spoke at the Character Empower Me Leadership seminar in Auckland. Source: Seven Sharp


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More than 200 people report adverse reactions to recently-funded antidepressant

Concern is mounting over a recently funded antidepressant, with a growing number of patients reporting life-threatening side-effects. 

Pharmac's switch to funding Enlafax a year ago saves the drug buying agency $5.4 million a year. 

It expected around 1 per cent of the 45,000 patients taking it could experience adverse reactions because of the brand switch. That's about 450 people. 

While complaints now stand at over 240 and climbing, support groups say the number of people suffering is far higher. 

In a small Bay of Plenty town, one highly experienced GP, Dr Christine Williams, is grappling with the problem.  

"I've seen people that had gambling addictions return to gambling and lose their jobs. I've seen marriages break down," Dr Williams told 1 NEWS. 

She says this patent behaviour is all linked to the generic antidepressant Enlafax.

"With this particular group of patients I don't have any that are responding to it, not one." 

The symptoms of 12 patients are similar to those experienced hundreds of kilometres away by Amy in Marlborough.

"Within two weeks of starting Enlafax I was having nightmares and feeling depressed, thoughts of self harm and suicide," Amy said. 

Medsafe is standing by its decision to approve the drug which saw Effexor-XR replaced with the cheaper generic brand Enlafax.

It says the brand switch complies with international best practice and that tests show Enlafax has the same benefits and risks as Effexor-XR. 

"They don't switch to a generic without adequate research and investigation," Dr Jan White of the NZMA GP Council said. 

Dr White says she has seen no problems from Enlafax at her busy city practice. 

But complaints about Enlafax are piling up. The agency monitoring adverse reactions to drugs has now received more than 240 complaints, many identifying side-effects like severe depression and suicidal thoughts.  

And a Facebook page set up by patients with adverse reactions claims to have logged 450 negative responses to Enlafax. 

They're experiences like those of Amy who says her GP wanted to increase her dose when she became unwell.

The mother of two only learnt about negative side-effects in a 1 NEWS report three weeks ago. 

"I'm not sure if I would be here right now if I had waited and stayed on it," Amy said.

Dr Williams said: "I'm sure it's the tip of the iceberg."

And with the prospect of more vulnerable lives unravelling, Dr Williams says it's vital the previous brand Effexor-XR remains available. 

Where to get help:

Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.
Lifeline: 0800 543 354
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7)
Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email talk@youthline.co.nz
What's Up: online chat (7pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 children's helpline (1pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-10pm weekends)
Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)
Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254
Healthline: 0800 611 116
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Pharmac’s switch to Enlafax one year ago saves the drug buying agency $5.4million per year. Source: 1 NEWS


Mackenzie District pleading for financial help to cope with influx of tourists

One of the country's most picturesque tourist destinations is pleading for financial help to cope with a massive influx of visitors.

The Mackenzie District Council has applied for a grant from the provincial growth fund to pay for a feasibility study in Tekapo.

The stunning views see 4000 people visit Tekapo every day.

Its popularity has led to rapid expansion, with five hotels seeking consent to build and new subdivisions filling up fast.

"With the problems that Queenstown has had, we think we've got a lot to learn," Mackenzie District Mayor Graham Smith told 1 NEWS.

The council's applied for $800,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund to help with future planning.

It’s applied for a grant from the Provincial Growth Fund. Source: 1 NEWS