Kayakers rescued from Wellington Harbour after heavy winds separates them from cruise ship

A group of eight tourists have been rescued from a kayaking trip gone wrong in Wellington Harbour after a strong headwind separated them from the cruise ship they were traveling on.

The tourists were traveling on the cruise ship Norrdam and headed out on a guided return kayaking trip this afternoon.

However, a Department of Conservation ranger at the nearby Matiu/Somes Island, in Wellington Harbour, called police when he became concerned by the conditions he saw them paddling into.

A police launch crew was then kept up to date by the ranger on the state of the kayakers while the rescue was undertaken.

An elderly male and female from the group were rescued from the water by officers on the Police launch Lady Elizabeth IV.

One of those pulled from the water was suffering from mild hypothermia and was treated by police staff before being transferred into the care of medical staff on board the cruise ship.

An outbound Bluebridge ferry was also diverted off its course to avoid members of the group as they were being rescued.

The other six members of the kayaking group, who were unfamiliar with the area, were scattered across the main shipping channel, coming ashore at Kau Bay and Mahanga Bay on the Miramar Peninsula.

Some capsized as they approached the shore but none of the group required medical treatment.

Wellington City waterfront. Source: 1 NEWS




Jacinda Ardern committed to abortion law reform, but National's leadership candidates all object

Labour campaigned on reforming New Zealand's 40-year-old abortion laws and remains committed to it, but National's three new leadership contenders all oppose the change.

The Prime Minister has promised to reform New Zealand's abortion laws this parliamentary term, along with two other big social reforms: euthanasia and medicinal cannabis.

"People should be able to exercise their own rights and I as a parliamentarian shouldn't stand in the way of that," Jacinda Ardern said.

New Zealand's abortion law is 40-years-old and is part of the Crimes Act.

To get an abortion women have to see two medical professionals and prove having the baby will cause them mental harm.

But none of the three national leadership contenders are keen on a law change.

"Some people think it's too conservative, some people think it's too liberal, i think it's something this parliament could do well to leave alone,' Judith Collins said.

"Women are getting the help they need in appropriate circumstances the advice I have is they are and that's critical so I'm not in favour of throwing that all up," Amy Adams said.

"It should be rare, safe and legal that would be my position," Simon Bridges said.

But the abortion supervisory committee say it should be treated as a medical, rather than a criminal issue.

And Justice Minister Andrew Little has made steps towards asking the Law Commission to review the current situation.

"The draft referral letter asks them to consider the issue about the criminalising of abortion but also to look at modernising the law," Mr Little said.

The Prime Minister told 1NEWS she hopes any law changes can be made this Parliamentary term.

She also insists there'll be no changes to the time-frame in which women can have an abortion - which is up to 19 weeks.

Any abortion law reform will be a conscience vote in Parliament.

But all three of National's leadership contenders oppose change. Source: 1 NEWS