Mayor who said those behind 's***tiest towns' Facebook page 'should be shot' claims satire

The Mayor of Putaruru was today forced to explain comments she made saying that the makers of controversial Facebook page S*** Towns of New Zealand "should be shot" were actually made in the "same satirical vein" as the site itself.

Mayor Jenny Shattock clarified her comments, accused by some of inciting violence, in a statement explaining her own comments were tongue-in-cheek.

"I by no means condone violence, my comments have been taken literally and that is unfortunate," Mayor Shattock said.

"I am incredibly passionate and proud of my community and would warmly invite the creator of this page to spend some quality time in the South Waikato, to experience real life rather than from behind a computer screen."

Mayor Shattock's comments came in response to Putaruru being ranked as the fourth s******* town in the country on the page.

According to the openly satirical Facbook page, Putaruru "only exists to make Tokoroa fell better about themselves".

And despite her own satirical barb, a statement from Mayor Shattock's office was keen to elaborate on the virtues of Putaruru, saying they put "no weight" in the comments on the page.

"Putaruru, Tokoroa and indeed all South Waikato towns are really great towns to live in," the statement said.

"Indeed we wouldn't have a shortage of houses from all the people moving here if it wasn't a great place to live."

The site itself is quite open out their own goals: "Our intent is to use offensive humour to highlight the various foibles and eccentricities of towns scattered around Aotearoa – if we s*** on your town it’s only because we care!"


Shit Towns of New Zealand Facebook page. Source: Supplied



Fletcher's terrace homes to provide solution to Kiwi housing demands

Fletcher Building has shown off a row of five terrace homes constructed in as many days and claim this could be a remedy to the the country's housing demand.

Fletcher's prefabricated method means it takes around one to four days to weatherproof a home compared to 50 days for a standard built duplex home.

The trial is a proof of concept for the construction giant's factory which will open next year, producing around 500 prefabricated houses annually.

Chief executive Steve Evans said, "we wanted to make sure that we could do it for a variety of homes."

"We've moved from a cottage industry to a production line industry," said Auckland mayor Phil Goff.

Once the basic modules are up, the homes can be finished off in six weeks, that's so all the interiors and exterior claddings can be personalised, said the company.

For now the cost of construction is about the same as conventional homes.

"What I would hope in time is that as you get scale, then the pricing should come down and that's certainly our aspiration," said Mr Evans.

"We need 14,000, 15,000 houses a year. We're struggling to do that. with panelisation, we can do it quicker. we get better quality assurance." said Mr Goff.

The company plans to set up a factory in South Auckland, the first panels coming off the line by mid next year.

The aim is to build around 500 homes a year, with the KiwiBuild market in mind.

It’s hoped the use of preconstructed panels will speed up the building process, delivering more affordable homes over time. Source: 1 NEWS


Furore erupts after young kids wearing temporary moko told they couldn't perform at Christchurch Cultural Festival

A furore has erupted after young children wearing temporary moko were told they couldn't perform in the Christchurch Cultural Festival last week.

The festival decided to ban moko last year, following complaints about incorrect use.

The story got attention when a teacher from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whanau Tahi School made an emotional statement on social media about three children being told to take their moko off at the festival.

"The young boy, who was the original boy that had a moko on his face, he was our leader, it was him that was going to be stood down, told he couldn’t perform, the other two girls were to fix it," the teacher said in a Facebook video.

In 2016 children were allowed to perform with temporary moko, but last year the rules changed and schools signed an agreement that children wouldn't wear the facial tattoos.

Kapa haka leaders have told 1 NEWS the ban followed 30 complaints that the moko weren't authentic, but some are questioning the blanket ban.

"They go with absolute pride in their hearts and on their faces with the intent to showcase their culture and themselves and they potentially got shot down," Mokopapa organiser Huata Martindale told 1 NEWS.

Both the school and the Christchurch Primary Schools Festival Trust didn't want to comment, but said they're working through a process together.

The festival decided to ban moko after complaints about incorrect use, but it has left some in the school community upset. Source: 1 NEWS

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Watch: John Campbell gives emotional farewell to Checkpoint staff on final show as host

John Campbell has given an emotional farewell to Checkpoint staff on his final show as host this evening.

The award winning broadcaster and journalist is moving to TVNZ from Monday next week and made sure to give tribute to his RNZ colleagues before departing.

"I wanted to end by thanking the team in the room around me here who have worked so hard and given such a damn about a programme it’s been my immense good fortune to host.

"I can't thank you enough, God it's been a pleasure and a privilege and I'll miss you all," Campbell said with emotion.

In his new role at TVNZ Campbell will work across 1 NEWS programmes and platforms and will be given a roving brief.

Campbell says he’s looking forward to his new role, which will see him split his time in and out of the studio.

"After 20 years of sitting in a studio five nights a week, I’m really excited by the prospect of spending more time in the field," he says.

"I love getting out, meeting people and sharing their stories. I can’t wait to get to work."

Campbell will file for news and longer pieces for the Sunday programme. He is also likely to step in to present Tonight, Breakfast, Seven Sharp, Sunday, Q+A and 1 NEWS.


"God it’s been a pleasure," Campbell said as his colleagues gathered around. Source: rnz.co.nz


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Meridian discards 'prompt payment discounts' for fairer treatment of struggling Kiwis

One of New Zealand's major power companies has replaced its so-called prompt payment discounts, saying they simply penalise people who struggle to pay their bills.

This move from Meridian Energy comes just days after a Government investigation into electricity prices, which questioned the fairness of the practice.

Budgeting advisers deal with the fallout from steep energy prices on a daily basis.

"We see many people who are constantly being disconnected who find power to be a very significant part of their spending," says Tim Bennett, chief executive of National Building Financial Capability Charity Trust.

This week, a government investigation found those who can't afford to pay their bills on time are being charged up to 26 per cent more for their power.

That's because power companies offer so-called "prompt payment discounts," which look like savings but are really just penalties for those who pay late.

Meridian Energy has now officially pulled the plug on the practice. 

"We're getting rid of the prompt payment discount because it's fundamentally unfair, especially to customers who struggle to pay their bills," says chief executive Neal Barclay.

The move has been welcomed by Energy Minister Megan Woods.

"I'm absolutely thrilled by the leadership that Meridian's showing today, that they've listened to what I think are really compelling arguments - that essentially we had a penalty for those who struggle to pay their power bills the most."

"It's great, I think really they were misleading and they were late payment penalty fees most impacting low income Kiwis and I urge other retailers to do it as well," says Green MP Gareth Hughes. 

"One company at least has seen sense and is going to treat people fairly regardless of how much income they've got," added Mr Bennett.

The Meridian logo Source: 1 NEWS

Other major power companies were contacted by 1 NEWS to see if they'd follow suit.

While Genesis, Contact and Mercury have no plans to ditch their prompt payment discounts, Trustpower is considering it.

Smaller retailers like Pulse Energy, who have already ditched the practice, call the payments deceptive and want them gone for good.

Meridian is set to replace the discount scheme with credits of equal value for all customers and says no one will be worse off. 

"The total cost to us is $5 million so that's money back into those customers' pockets," says Mr Barclay.

The government is now considering further actions to bring prices down. 

The move comes just days after government investigation into electricity prices questioned the fairness of the practice. Source: 1 NEWS