Labour takes aim at the government's homeless policy as election campaigning heats up

Politicians remained active on the campaign trail today ahead of tonight's first leaders debate on TVNZ1.

Policy announcement's came in from National, Greens and NZ First, while Labour scrutinised the government's new homeless policy.

Tonight's debate will be televised on TVNZ1 from 7pm and streamed live on 1 NEWS NOW from 7pm.

Bill English hit back at Labour's claims it is inappropriate for him to be making government announcements while he's campaigning after he announced the extension of a scheme that helps the homeless across the country.

The National Party leader said, "the government has the right to govern and in this case a moral compulsion to keep on with the work". 

"People are sleeping rough, we are not going to wait around for the delicacies of an election campaign," Mr English said. 

While Mr English spent this afternoon mixing with shoppers at a West Auckland mall, Jacinda Ardern was connecting with students.

The Green Party were pledging an extra $300 million for special education, while Winston Peters was pushing an un-costed plan to relocate the Post of Auckland to Whangarei. 

The NZ First leader said it would cost "a significant amount of money, but that's not the point". 

Political reporter Andrea Vance has more on the push for support as election day gets closer. Source: 1 NEWS

Widow 'relieved' after two men charged with murder of Chris Bush at Red Fox Tavern in 1987

The widow of Chris Bush says the arrests of two men 30 years after Mr Bush's death at a pub in Waikato have finally brought her some "closure".

Gay Bush told 1 NEWS she is "relieved with the arrests" and wants to thank police for all their "hard work over the last 30 years".

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Two men have been charged with the 1987 murder of Chris Bush in the Red Fox Tavern.

Mr Bush was shot dead at the Maramarua pub shortly before midnight on October 24 1987.

The arrests of the men, aged 57 and 58, came after new information was provided to police.

The 57-year-old was charged with murder and aggravated robbery in Tauranga yesterday, and appeared in Manukau District Court today.

Chris Bush was shot dead at the Red Fox tavern just before midnight on the October 24 in 1987. Source: 1 NEWS

He was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody.

A 58-year-old faces the same charges and will appear in court next week.

New DNA evidence is believed to have played a role in the breakthrough. Source: 1 NEWS

"Members of our community came forward with invaluable information which has gotten us to where we are today," Detective Inspector Gary Lendrum said.

"I would like to thank Chris’ family, they have been through every family’s worst nightmare and throughout this time they have shown courage, strength and bravery.

"We hope these arrests can offer them some degree of comfort and closure.

"These arrests have been a long-time coming and we hope this sends a message that Police will not give up on finding those responsible for crimes and holding them to account."

The case recently featured on Police Ten 7. 


Winston Peters says he'll move Auckland's port north to Whangarei

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has confirmed he'll push for container operations at Ports of Auckland to be moved north to Whangarei within 10 years if his party is part of government following next month's election.

He outlined the commitment at an economic development meeting in Wellington today.

Auckland is contemplating the massive prospect of relocating.

Muriwai, the beach 40km northwest of Auckland, Manukau Harbour and the Firth of Thames have been suggested as alternative sites so the Auckland waterfront can be freed up.

Northland MP Mr Peters has suggested Whangarei's deep water port, 150km to the north, is a better idea if the Auckland-Northland rail line is upgraded.

Mr Peters said Aucklanders and Northlanders will end up paying a huge financial price if the Port of Auckland is not moved to Northport.

He said Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has confirmed the Firth of Thames is his preferred option, in a move that could take between 10 and 20-years. 

"Given a new mega-port in the Firth of Thames could cost upwards of $5.5 billion, this is money badly spent, when Northport could be developed within a decade and for so much less," Mr Peters said.

Mr Peters' plan involves stopping car imports through Auckland by 2019 and moving container operations to Whangarei by 2027.

He said NZ First would legislate to push the plan through, including funding the upgrade of the Auckland to Northland rail line, including a new rail spur to Northport. 

They would also commission the design of a world-class cruise passenger terminal for Auckland.

As port functions are transferred to Northport, NZ First's plan would progressively return 77-hectares of Auckland’s iconic harbourside back to Aucklanders, Mr Peters said.

The NZ First leader says claims of more trucks on the road are nonsense because the Auckland-Northland train line would be upgraded. Source: 1 NEWS