James Shaw: Greens will push electric cars, help farmers to become sustainable

Green Party Leader James Shaw says electric vehicles and improved public transport will be the most visible changes stemming from his party's place in the new government.

Mr shaw, speaking today to TVNZ 1's Q+A programme, said electric vehicles will be encouraged and will so be much more common on New Zealand roads.

Public transport will also be a priority, as will moving New Zealand towards "100% renewable energy generation", he said.

Mr Shaw also said that farmers will be supported - not persecuted - in the push to move towards sustainable, green farming practices.

"We've actually got to help farmers to make that transition," Mr Shaw said.

Many are still "heavily in debt", he said, at a "difficult time when the price of milk is still somewhat depressed".

A beaming James Shaw explains to Breakfast how it felt to watch Winston Peters pick Labour, not National. Source: Breakfast

Packages will be developed to help farmers transition to clean farming, but putting a cap on the number of dairy cows will not be considered, he said.

The Green Party leader says farmers will be supported in the transition, and cities will soon notice increased numbers of electric vehicles. Source: Q+A

Police and fire service investigate suspicious fire at Christchurch primary school

Police and fire have launched their investigation this morning into a fire that broke out last night at Linwood North School. 

It started just after 5pm in the Christchurch school's hall, which was under construction. 

Three fire crews attended the blaze which has been deemed suspicious. 

Fire crews out on a job Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: Killer whale receives mixed reaction from Coromandel beach goers

Swimmers at a New Zealand beach had killer whales for playmates yesterday.

A video of an orca a few metres from swimmers at Hahei Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula is on social media and is getting picked up by local and international media.

About four orca visited nearby Hot Water Beach about 1pm, Gary Hinds, chairman of the Hot Water Beach Lifeguard service told NZ Newswire.

It's the first weekend New Zealand beaches are being manned by surf patrols, and about 350 people were on Hot Water Beach.

"They came in very close, about 10 metres from shore," he said.

It's a sight locals see about once to twice a season.

"They come in to feed on stingrays and stuff like that," Mr Hinds said.

"Some people don't see them, but the ones who do are in awe of seeing these orcas so close into the shore."

Surf lifesavers kept an eye on the situation to ensure people kept a safe distance and didn't get into trouble going out to look.

Orca are a toothed whale belonging to the dolphin family.

The Department of Conservation says orca can be identified relatively easily by distinctive black and white markings. They can grow up to nine metres in length, with male dorsal fins reaching higher than a metre.

They are acrobatic and are commonly seen breaching and flipper-slapping.