Jehan Casinader: Not enough to say 'Yeah, nah' to Muslim ban

Bill English's response to Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban' can be summed up with two classic Kiwi words: 'Yeah, nah'.

While the ban was met with a chorus of criticism from other world leaders, our own Government barely let out a whimper.

The PM is given the chance to join other global leaders in saying he is 'disgusted' by Trump's policy. Source: Breakfast

After staying silent on the issue, the PM eventually said that the ban is "not the New Zealand way" – although it's "not our job to tell [the Americans] how to run their country".

It's the kind of bob-each-way comment made by a seven-year-old who doesn't like the school bully, but is desperate to be invited to his birthday party.

Can you blame Bill? After all, his old boss would have sidestepped this issue in the same way.

John Key had mastered the art of expressing just the right amount of concern to pacify the electorate – but not enough to raise the ire of a foreign power.

He knew how to identify with Kiwis' concerns, while reassuring us that everything was just fine.

Under Mr Key's leadership, the Government avoided making strong statements on race, immigration and foreign affairs.

Remember how the Syrian crisis led to protests and petitions last year? Campaigners urged the Government to increase the refugee quota.

Key was circumspect for many months, before announcing an increase in the quota from 750 to 1000 people a year.

He knew that increasing the refugee quota would not be a big vote-winner for National.

Mr English knows he is not going to win votes by standing up to Mr Trump. In fact, he risks alienating Mr Trump and brassing off his officials.

Just days ago, Mr Trump took an axe to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It could be argued that now, more than ever, New Zealand should just sit down and shut up.

For our mates closer to the United States, that strategy just won't work.

Our Europe Correspondent Emma Keeling is at Downing Street where people are protesting against Donald Trump's pending UK visit. Source: Breakfast

Right now, I'm in London, where thousands are marching outside 10 Downing St, calling for the British Government to clarify the consequences of the Muslim ban for British citizens.

Many of them have dual citizenship. Some have family in the States. They are scared that they will be shut out. They are scared that they will be victimised.

There are also calls for Britain to withdraw its offer of a full state visit for President Trump, who is due to fly to London in the months to come.

Today, I watched as protesters spread onto the road and blocked Whitehall in both directions, bringing Westminster to a standstill at rush hour.

Britain's Prime Minister, like ours, is playing her hand cautiously. Theresa May had a cordial meeting with Mr Trump last week in Washington DC, where she was snapped holding hands with him as they walked down a path.

When Mr Trump meets Bill English, he may have to settle for a firm Southland handshake.

But New Zealand's sentiment is likely to be the same as Britain's: It's better to be in the same room as Mr Trump, rather than listening with a tin can from the other side of the door.

Here's the thing: The New Zealand that Bill English leads is increasingly multicultural. Many young Kiwis have cultural ties to the seven countries on the 'Muslim ban' list.

They deserve a Prime Minister who speaks up for them.

They deserve a Government that will raise its voice in the face of injustice and intolerance, despite the possible political consequences.

They deserve to live in a country in which their rights are protected – not passively, but proactively – by leaders who are willing to engage in difficult conversations on unpopular topics.

Immigration is a thorny issue. However, if there's anything we can learn from the election of Donald Trump, it is that silence is no longer an option.

The issues we ignore are the issues that will eventually come back to bite us.

Saying 'Yeah, nah' to Mr Trump is a start. But a few more words wouldn't go amiss.

Thousands march outside 10 Downing Street in the UK, calling to the British Government to clarify the consequences of Trump's immigration ban for citizens.
Thousands march outside 10 Downing Street in the UK, calling to the British Government to clarify the consequences of Trump's immigration ban for citizens. Source: 1 NEWS

Owner of dog who became internet sensation after Kawakawa escape speaks with Seven Sharp

A Bay of Islands woman told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp she is "never going to live this down" after footage of her rescue dog Lily dragging a bakery's flag down the main street of Kawakawa went viral around the globe.

CCTV footage of the freedom-seeking furball's runner — accompanied by Yakety Sax, the song made famous by the Benny Hill Show — has been viewed more than 500,000 times since it was posted to Facebook last night.

Lucie Green, a volunteer with Bay of Islands Animal Rescue, was taking the basset hound for a walk last week when she decided to stop at a local business to buy Lily a treat.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

But the Basset Hound received a fright and bolted despite being tied to a large Coca-Cola flag forcing Lucie to give chase.

"For an animal with just little legs, my god she can run," Lucie told Seven Sharp.

Lily, Lucie and the rogue flag brought Kawakawa's State Highway 1 strip to a standstill, the whole escapade captured on CCTV.

"My partner owns a local CCTV company I got to the office and I told him what had happened.

"He didn't tell me he'd done it, but he edited footage and put the music on and uploaded it to Facebook and tagged me in it.

"I knew it was trouble when basically by the time we'd gone to bed last night it had hit 100,000 views," Lucie said.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

Thousands of people have since commented on the video, with many of them admiring the dog’s spirit.

"I'm laughing my guts out it's so funny," wrote Facebook user Annie Hicks.

Lucie does see the funny side of events however.

"They say every dog has their day, so I guess Lily is enjoying her 15 mins of fame." 

Lily made a run for it when owner Lucie Green stopped at a shop in the Northland town. Source: Seven Sharp

Tracking down New Plymouth youth MP candidates after Andrew Little's 'hip' appeal

Labour MP Andrew Little released a tongue in cheek video encouraging young people from New Plymouth to get involved in politics today.

The video inspired TVNZ1's Seven Sharp to travel to Mr Little's old school to find the perfect candidate for its new youth MP.

Judge for yourself if New Plymouth Boys' High students Thomas Foy and Jarrod Wilson have what it takes in the video above.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat is on the case after the Labour MP's piece of political theatre. Source: Seven Sharp


Watch: Take a tour inside Kate Sheppard’s former house where suffragists worked to get women the right to vote

Suffragist Kate Sheppard's old house in Christchurch goes up for auction next month - so Seven Sharp host Hilary Barry took a tour.

Ms Sheppard was instrumental in gaining New Zealand women the right to vote in 1893. She carried out important work for the suffrage movement in the house during the late 19th Century.

Today saw celebrations around the country marking 125 years since women gained the right to vote in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern has indicated the Government is interested in buying the house for the nation. It's expected to fetch in excess of $3 million when it goes under the hammer on October 17.

Hilary Barry met with the home's current owner Julia Burbury who showed her around the dwelling set on one acre of gardens.

The house has a category one heritage listing.

The piece of New Zealand history in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million, is up for auction. Source: Seven Sharp

Mum distraught as son turned away from Hutt Valley High School because he didn't have permanent address

Being homeless has become an obstacle for one mother wanting to give her child an education.

Helen Taitapanui and her son were turned away from Hutt Valley High School last week because they don't have a permanent residential address.

Ms Taitapanui, is currently battling cancer and lives in a motel with her teenage son while they wait for a permanent home.

"We've got to be glad that we've got that when we know that a lot of our families are out there living in cars," Ms Taitapanui told 1 NEWS.

However, this was a problem when she tried to enrol her son at a local school.

"The response was it's against their policy to register children living out of a motel. you had to have a residential address," Ms Taitapanui said.

She complained to the Ministry of Education and shortly after Hutt Valley High School reversed its decision.

Ms Taitapanui says her son's excited about going back to school.

"I know once he steps back into the realm of education he'll be well and truly away."

She hopes by speaking out, another unnecessary obstacle will be removed for the homeless.

Being homeless threw up an unexpected obstacle for a mum wanting to educate her child. Source: 1 NEWS