Kiwis much more pessimistic about economy under Labour-led Government - 1 NEWS poll

New Zealanders are much more pessimistic about the economy than when National was in office, according to the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll. 

The poll asked voters how the economy will track over the next year.

Thirty-seven per cent said it'll get better, 29 per cent said it'll stay the same and 34 per cent that it'll get worse.

Those numbers are similar to our last poll in February but much more pessimistic compared to when National was in office. 

With the Budget coming up in a month, 1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch says "it's now game on for all political parties". 

The poll found the gloss has come off for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, with Labour dropping below National.

The poll has National on 44 per cent approval, up one since our last poll in February, and sitting pretty as the biggest party. 

Labour is on 43 per cent, a five-point drop since the February poll. 

However, Labour's lost points has been snaffled up by it's support partners in Government, the Greens and New Zealand First. 

The Greens are up one point to six per cent, and New Zealand First up two, to five per cent.

The Maori Party, no longer in Parliament, still registered support, at one per cent. 

Translated into seats in Parliament, the poll results would give Labour 52 seats, the Greens eight and New Zealand First six - enough to comfortably govern with 66 seats. 

National would have 54 seats, but with Act as its only partner would fall short of enough seats to govern. 

And the National Party's upswing in the poll is not reflected in the preferred prime minister stakes.

Only 10 per cent of respondents picked new National leader Simon Bridges for prime minister, while Labour PM Jacinda Ardern garnered 37 per cent support.

Labour has fallen five points to 43 per cent approval, while National has climbed one point to 44 per cent. Source: 1 NEWS



New staff in all schools to help students with learning disabilities, Government promises

After years of teachers and parents pleading for help, more support will be given to students with learning disabilities.

Associate education minister Tracey Martin is promising more support and assessment for kids with extra needs, with a new learning support co-ordinator role to be established within schools.

IHC advocacy director Trish Grant welcomed the move, telling 1 NEWS that: "This is recognition from Government that the system is broken, and they're up for a big change."

However, while the move is being welcomed by those within the industry, doubts over cost loom over any proposed changes.

Ms Martin didn't allay fears in any way, admitting that there was no estimate as to what costs may or may not be involved.

"I need to know what the job description is," she said. "When you know what the job description is, you know what the skill level is and what the pay grade will be."

One mother spoke to 1 NEWS about the difficulties children with learning disabilities face, saying that the proposed changes are long overdue.

"I have a son who is six years old with a diagnosis of ADHD, so what you'd call atypical neurology, and we've had a real struggle trying to access any support for him through the education system.

"We've had a lot of great support through health with a paediatrician and an occupational therapist and support from child and adolescent mental health but basically zero support through education which is really frustrating and quite exhausting as a parent."

Funding will be needed from next year's budget, with any proposed changes likely to be implemented in 2020 at the earliest.

The Government’s promise comes after years of teachers, parents crying out for more help. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Chilly weather in store for much of the country with cold front set to hit Sunday

Chilly weather is in store for much of the country as a cold front sweeps over much of New Zealand from late Sunday and into Monday.

MetService says, "this front is forecast to deliver a cold and showery south to southwest flow across New Zealand, with snow lowering to 200 to 300 metres over the South Island, and possibly 500 to 600 metres across the lower North Island."

TVNZ weather presenter Dan Corbett gives the latest update. Source: 1 NEWS

But New Zealanders should expect a fine Saturday with the exception being the northern tip and the east coast of the North Island.

With Auckland getting to 20 degrees and most places in the South Island getting to 15-16 degrees.

MetService says late Tuesday, another front is forecast to approach the far south of New Zealand, and the west to southwest flow ahead of this front should strengthen.


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Detector dogs in prisons sniff out nearly one synthetic cannabis sample a week

A small group of specially trained detector dogs are sniffing out synthetic drugs in New Zealand’s prisons. 

Five dogs have been in action since March, searching for ever-changing psychoactive substances smuggled into prisons. 

Since then, the dogs have retrieved 33 samples of synthetic cannabis, nearly one a week. But that's nowhere near as high as other drugs that are found. 

But the Ministry of Corrections said it's front-footing potential prison deaths from synthetics after inmate fatalities overseas.

"It is on our streets, it is affecting our communities, so as a team the dog handlers felt that they wanted to front foot this emerging threat," Manager Specialist Search Jay Mills told 1 NEWS.

"We have a duty of care to our prisoners, our staff and our prisoners ensuring we keep our site safe."

It’s something Minister of Corrections Kelvin Davis supports.

"We know that psychoactive substances are out in the streets, in our communities and we would be naive to think people aren't trying to get them into our prisons," Mr Davis said. 

Corrections is working with the Ministry of Health, and Environmental Science and Research (ESR) to improve the scope of ingredients they can detect. 

"NPS (New Psychoactive Substances) is extremely difficult to keep on top of, in terms of the chemical makeup of the drug," Mr Mills said. 

It’s a tough job for both the dog, and trainers.

"We match it up to what we're searching for currently and if we see any differences or irregularities with ingredients it means we can go back to our training room and load our dogs with that odour. So we are constantly staying ahead of what's out there today," dog trainer Ricky Trevithick said. 

Training for the five dogs will be on-going, with ingredients constantly changing and new batches constantly coming onto the drug market.

1 NEWS reporter Emily Cooper has the exclusive details. Source: 1 NEWS


Ten children taken to hospital after plane emits unknown substance over Carterton school


Ten primary school children in Carterton have been taken to Wairarapa Hospital after a plane is thought to have accidentally sprayed the school with pesticide. 

The incident happened at approximately 1pm at South End School in the town.

Wellington Free Ambulance says 10 children with moderate symptoms have been transported to the hospital in Masterton and paramedics are treating 40 other people - children and adults - with very minor symptoms. 

Four ambulances and a Lifeflight helicopter are being used, Geoff Procter of Wellington Free Ambulance said. 

“We are taking a precautionary approach. All the children and their families are being well looked after with extra food and water," he said. 

One-hundred-and-seven people are going through a decontamination process, consisting of washing down, and fresh dry clothes, Mr Procter said. 

"The decontamination process takes a while. We’re all here and on hand to make sure everyone is safe and well.” 

Symptoms the affected children have are generally low-level, consisting of nausea, vomiting and itchy eyes, he said. 

Mr Procter advises that if anyone‘s condition deteriorates, call 111. 

Parents have been seen arriving at the school with a change of clothes and children are slowly coming out one by one in towels. 

A plane is suspected of accidentally spraying the school with pesticide and several children have been hospitalised. Source: 1 NEWS

Carterton Fire senior station officer Wayne Robinson said local people have been presenting to the local medical centre after the incident. 

A 1 NEWS reporter at the scene says there are numerous appliances there and roads are blocked in several directions. 

NZ First MP Ron Mark who lives in Carterton has told 1 NEWS it seems a plane has accidentally sprayed the school with pesticide.

Police say they are investigating and are going door to door in the area checking on residents' welfare and trying to locate the source of the smell. 

They are also searching the school's grounds.

Carterton District Mayor John Booth says parents are very worried. 

A statement on the school's Facebook page read: "A plane flew in a southward direction and one student had seen 'stuff' coming out of the plane - so we assume it was a fertiliser of some sort - several students have experienced feeling quezzy and ucky."

Parents waiting outside South End School.
Parents waiting outside South End School. Source: 1 NEWS

This follows a report of an aircraft dropping an unknown substance near the school. Source: 1 NEWS