Jobless rate falls amidst political controversy over statistics

The number of people actively seeking work has fallen by 1000 in the June quarter, taking the jobless rate down from 5.2 to 5.1 percent.

Statistics New Zealand says there are now 131,000 people considered unemployed.

The release of today's June quarter jobless number however comes amidst a growing political controversy over the way the jobless figures are calculated.

In June, Statistics New Zealand revised down the March quarter jobless rate from 5.7 to 5.2 percent after deciding not to consider those simply looking at job advertisements on the internet as actively seeking work.

Yesterday, Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson questioned that change and whether there had been political interference in the decision.

That prompted a strong response from the Chief Statistician who strongly refuted any suggestion of political interference and says the change was in line with world's best practice.

Today's figures meanwhile showed job growth was up 1 per cent for the quarter.

The drop comes after a change in the way job seekers are counted. Source: 1 NEWS

Man seriously injured as 'temporary tower' collapses near University of Waikato campus

A man was trapped when a 'temporary tower' came down near the University of Waikato this morning.

The man was working on top of the tower when it fell beneath him. Source: 1 NEWS

A man was seriously injured when scaffolding collapsed near Waikato University
A man was seriously injured when scaffolding collapsed near Waikato University Source: 1 NEWS

The structure came down, trapping the man at Waikato Dairy Unit 3 on Ruakara Road near the Hamilton campus, police say.

The man, in his 20s, was later rescued.

Mark Tregoweth from St John told ONE News the man suffered serious injuries and was taken to Waikato Hospital.

The 40metre high tower appeared to have toppled over.

Transpower has confirmed that contractors were moving temporary towers to make way for the new Waikato Expressway, having been hired by NZTA.

Workers were in the middle of transferring a conductor when one of the towers fell.

Work has been suspended on the site. A full investigation is underway.



Much loved Auckland Zoo hippo dies

Auckland Zoo is mourning the death of its elderly hippo.

Faith the hippo at Auckland Zoo
Faith the hippo at Auckland Zoo Source: Supplied

The zoo says Faith had been unwell over the past few days, but deteriorated rapidly yesterday.

Exhibiting signs of fatal hemorrhagic respiratory disease, a terminal condition, the zoo decided euthanasia was the kindest and only option for the 41-year-old.

Faith was born at Auckland Zoo in 1975.

A spokesperson for the zoo said Faith had other age-related issues including arthritis and dental disease.

There aren't any plans to bring in another hippo to New Zealand at this stage.

The zoo said their thoughts went out to everyone who loved Faith - especially our incredible team of Pridelands keepers who cared for her and enriched every day of her long life.

She’ll be buried next to her son Fudge on-site at a private area of Auckland Zoo.