Maori Party puts housing, water, Pacific issues to the fore at its campaign launch

The Maori Party has set a target to end homelessness by 2020 and wants to negotiate for a new Minister of Maori and Pacific Housing.

Co-leader Marama Fox told the party's campaign launch at Manurewa Marae that housing is a priority for the Maori Party.

All people can have a home that's an asset for their whanau, the party co-leader told the campaign launch. Source: 1 NEWS

The party also wants an amnesty for overstayers from Pacific islands, and a special Pacific visa category for people whose island homes are affected by climate change.

The Maori Party also wants a moratorium put on exports of water while water quality and bottling issues are solved.

The Maori Party co-leader says he and Marama Fox have to carry the hopes and dreams of all their people every day. Source: 1 NEWS

Meanwhile, co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell reminded the gathering that with just two MPs in Parliament "it's a hard, hard grind" and said elections are always hard for the party.

Today's campaign launch attracted a broad cross section of supporters, including gang members.

The party's election launch was an upbeat affair with supporters from all walks of life. Source: 1 NEWS



Warnings as more heavy snow on the way for South Island

Motorists are being warned about several roads that are forecast to be hit with heavy snow tonight and tomorrow.

A cold front is forecast to move north across the country tomorrow, while a low develops to the east of the South Island and then moves away to the east late Tuesday.

A drop in temperatures, showers and snow was forecast over the South Island for tomorrow, and possibly across the lower and central North Island on Tuesday.

MetService said the cold snap was expected to affect many higher roads and farms in those areas, and there was a moderate risk the snow would reach warning criteria about inland Canterbury and Kaikōura from Monday evening.

According to Metservice, rain is expected to turn to snow tomorrow at several passes, including Lewis Pass (State Highway 7), Arthur's Pass (State Highway 73), Porters Pass (State Highway 73), Haast Pass (State Highway 6), Lindis Pass (State Highway 8).

Meanwhile, this evening snow is also expected to hit Crown Range Road, and the Milford Road (State Highway 94) tunnel.

A heavy snow watch was also in place north and south of the Rangitata River, North and Central Otago, and Dunedin.

The road snow warnings follow on from last week's snow blitz in Queenstown, when hundreds of people were left without power after trees knocked down power poles and numerous roads were shut.

rnz.co.nz

But residents and stranded tourists made the most of the big dump. Source: 1 NEWS

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Man charged with murder over fatal Tauranga stabbing

A man has been charged with murder following the death of a 48-year-old man in Papamoa, Tauranga yesterday.

Police say the 22-year-old man charged was known to the victim and will be appearing in Tauranga District Court tomorrow.

The police investigation is ongoing but no-one else is being sought in relation to the death.

Police still want to hear from anyone who was walking in the Harding Street area between 7.30am and 9am yesterday.

Neighbour Todd Madden, who was walking to their car on the front lawn with his six-year-old at the time of the incident, told the NZ Herald they saw a "young guy covered in blood" in a driveway.

"[He] yelled at me to call the police.

"Police arrived and he laid down on the ground and I grabbed the two kids."

The children told him there was a victim inside "laying in a pool of blood".

"They had been crying loudly for about 30 minutes but I just thought they were being naughty - I wished I had've gone over earlier."

Anyone with information should call Tauranga Police on (07) 577 4300 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

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UK envoy urges EU to step back from the Brexit 'abyss'

Britain's foreign secretary today urged European Union leaders to "step back from the abyss" and seek a compromise over stalled Brexit negotiations.

Jeremy Hunt told the BBC that the EU should work with Britain to try to find a way to make British Prime Minister Theresa May's "sensible, concrete proposals actually work" in the divorce between Britain and the bloc.

He spoke a day after May used a rare televised address to complain the EU was acting in bad faith by rejecting her proposed Brexit plan without offering an alternative. She said talks were at an "impasse" over future trade relations and a possible border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU-member, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K.

A gathering of EU leaders in Salzburg not only failed to make progress on the topic of Brexit but led to bitter recriminations from both sides. Since the failed summit, the usually reserved May has used unusually blunt language to complain that EU leaders are not taking her proposals seriously.

EU Council President Donald Tusk used a satirical Instagram post showing him giving May some sweets with the caption "Sorry, no cherries" - a reference to the EU's refusal to allow Britain to cherry-pick what aspects of EU membership it would like to keep after Brexit.

The British foreign secretary said this approach, and comments by French President Emmanuel Macron characterising the leaders of Britain's Brexit campaign as "liars," are counterproductive.

"Insulting her on social media, getting to these standoffs where you are calling people liars and so on is not the way we are going to get a solution to this difficult situation," Hunt said.

The increasingly bitter stalemate has raised the prospects that Britain will leave the EU in March without a deal. The value of the British pound dropped Saturday because of fears of the possible economic costs of a "no deal" Brexit scenario.

In the fallout from the snap UK Election two of Theresa May's closest advisors failed to sell her vision and lost their jobs in the process.
Source: 1 NEWS


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Woman accusing US Supreme Court nominee of a decades-old sexual assault to testify

The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual assault has accepted a Senate committee's request to tell her side next week but Christine Blasey Ford wants to resume negotiations over the exact terms of her appearance, her lawyers said Saturday (local time).

It was not immediately clear whether the Republican-run Senate Judiciary Committee would agree to more talks with Ford's team.

Also unclear was when she might come to Capitol Hill and she was offering to speak in a public session or a private one.

The committee wanted her to appear Wednesday, but she prefers her earlier request for Thursday, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly.

Her lawyers' letter to the committee's GOP majority was released just at the 2:30 p.m. deadline set by the chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, to respond to the panel's latest offer.

Grassley, R-Iowa, had set a possible Monday vote to decide whether to recommend Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate.

As Republicans were considering their next move in private talks Saturday, they also made it clear they viewed Ford's offer as a way to delay voting on President Donald Trump's pick for the court.

A senior official at the White House said the letter amounted to "an ask to continue 'negotiations' without committing to anything.

It's a clever way to push off the vote Monday without committing to appear Wednesday."The official was not authorised to publicly discuss the Senate negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The White House views Ford's potential testimony with trepidation, nervous that an emotional performance might not just damage Kavanaugh's chances but could further energize female voters to turn out against Republicans in November against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement.

Moreover, the West Wing aides who had urged Trump to remain muted in his response to the accusations worried about how the president might react if she ended up partaking in an hourslong, televised hearing.

In a single tweet Friday, Trump broke his silence to cast doubt on Ford's story in ways Republicans had been carefully trying to avoid.

Trump mused to confidants that the "fake" attacks against his nominee were meant to undermine his presidency, according to a White House official and a Republican close to the White House.

Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss private conversations.

Other Republicans scoffed at Ford's willingness to accept the committee's request to tell her story.

"When?" tweeted the No. 2 GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a member of the committee.

The lawyers for Ford wrote that she "accepts the Committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week."

Attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks said many aspects of Grassley's latest offer were "fundamentally inconsistent" with the committee's promise of a "fair, impartial investigation."

They said they remained disappointed by the "bullying" that "tainted the process." Yet they remained "hopeful that we can reach agreement on details."

It was unclear whether Grassley would permit more negotiations Saturday, with patience among Republicans is running thin.

The GOP is facing enormous pressure from its base of conservative leaders and voters to swiftly approve Kavanaugh, who would become the second of President Donald Trump's nominees to sit on the nation's highest court, before the Nov. 6 election.

A spokesman for GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, a committee member, tweeted that Ford "agreed to nothing. She rejected the committee's offer to testify Wednesday."

Earlier Saturday amid the latest deadline standoff Vice President Mike Pence called Kavanaugh "a man of integrity with impeccable credentials." He expressed confidence that Republicans "will manage this confirmation properly with the utmost respect for all concerned" and said he expected Kavanaugh to join the high court soon.

Grassley had set a Friday night deadline for the 51-year-old California psychology professor to agree to the committee's latest offer setting terms for her appearance.

Grassley said that if she missed that deadline, he would scrap the hearing and his committee would vote on sending Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate.

Ford's lawyers asked for another day. In a tweet aimed at Kavanaugh shortly before midnight, Grassley said he was giving them additional time.

"She should decide so we can move on. I want to hear her. I hope u understand. It's not my normal approach to b indecisive," Grassley wrote.

Ford's accusations and the standoff over the terms of her appearance have left the appeals court judge's confirmation in jeopardy.  And just seven weeks from an election in which Democrats are hoping to capture control of the House and maybe the Senate, her emergence also has drawn intensified attention to the #MeToo movement's focus on sexual abuse.

Ford says an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, muffled her cries and tried removing her clothes when both were teenagers in the 1980s.

Kavanaugh has denied doing this and said he wants to appear before the committee as soon as possible to clear his name.

In backing away from his deadline, Grassley underscored the sensitivity with which Senate Republicans have tried handling Ford.

Moderate female voters will be pivotal in many races in the elections and the #MeToo movement has elevated the political potency of how women alleging abuse are treated.

In requesting another day to decide, Katz called Grassley's original deadline "arbitrary" and said its "sole purpose is to bully Dr. Ford and deprive her of the ability to make a considered decision that has life-altering implications for her and her family."

Earlier Friday, Grassley rejected concessions Ford wanted if she is tell her story publicly before the committee.

Grassley turned down Ford's request that only senators, not attorneys, be allowed to ask questions.

The committee's 11 Republicans - all men - have been seeking an outside female attorney to interrogate Ford, mindful of the election-season impression that could be left by men trying to pick apart a woman's assertion of a sexual attack.

He also rejected her proposal that she testify after Kavanaugh, a position lawyers consider advantageous because it gives them a chance to rebut accusations.

Grassley's stance reflected a desire by Trump and GOP leaders to usher the 53-year-old Kavanaugh onto the high court by the Oct. 1 start of its new session and before the November elections, when Democrats are mounting a robust drive to grab congressional control.

Friday was the latest in a string of tumultuous days for Kavanaugh, whose ascension to the Supreme Court seemed a sure bet until Ford emerged last weekend and provided details of the alleged assault.

Earlier, Trump ended a week of constraint and sarcastically assailed Ford, tweeting that if the episode was "as bad as she says," she or "her loving parents" surely would have reported it to law enforcement.

Trump's searing reproach defied the Senate Republican strategy, and the advice of White House aides, of not disparaging Ford while firmly defending his nominee and the tight timetable for confirming him.

The president's tweet brought blistering rejoinders from Democrats and a mix of silence and sighs of regret from his own party.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who hasn't declared support for Kavanaugh, called the remark "appalling."

Grassley rebuffed other Ford requests, including calling additional witnesses.

Ford wants an appearance by Mark Judge, a Kavanaugh friend who Ford asserts was at the high school party and in the room where the incident occurred.

Grassley consented to other Ford demands, including that she be provided security and that Kavanaugh not be in the hearing room when she testifies.

Ford's request for security comes after her lawyers said she has relocated her family due to death threats.

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn-in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, September 4, 2018, to begin his testimony in his confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. Source: Associated Press


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