Ministry will 'leave no stone unturned' over shocking photos of bobby calves

MPI Minister Nathan Guy says it will do the best it can to take court action. Source: Breakfast


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Fletcher Building scraps Steel & Tube takeover

Fletcher Building has scrapped the proposed takeover of Steel & Tube Holdings after its enhanced offer was rejected.

The rejection sent the target's shares plummeting to their steepest fall in two months from a four-month high.

The $315.4 million offer, at $1.90 per ordinary share in cash plus a special dividend up to five NZ cents per ordinary share upon deal completion, was about 11.8 per cent higher than the previous bid.

New Zealand’s largest construction company launched its bid earlier this month, but Steel & Tube said the initial offer had undervalued the company.

A "lack of support from Steel & Tube's board to progress the proposal in a timely manner" was blamed by Fletcher for their withdrawal.

Steel &Tube said its advisers' view was of an intrinsic share value between $1.95 and $2.36.

Fletcher Building sign and logo
Source: Te Karere

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Lime e-scooter test ride: Do they live up to the hype?

The latest wave of GPS-tracked travel options has hit New Zealand in the form of Lime scooters, and they're a lot of fun, but they're also not without their pitfalls.

There are easy instructions available on how to sign up - they just take your details from Facebook and you then add a credit card - they've even built Apple Pay into their app.

I found a free scooter after a two-minute walk and decided to take it for a quick ride around central Auckland's Victoria Park to see what they can do.

But before we get into the ride, lets just talk about the cost.

Importantly, the app tried to put me on a recurring charge scheme when I signed up and I had to opt out. Bad form, Lime - it should always be opt-in - that's really sketchy behaviour.

I rode a Lime scooter for 38 minutes, travelled 3km, and the total price was $11.40, with a $1 discount applied for some reason. Much, much more than I was expecting.

These scooters are definitely not as cheap as you might imagine - Uberestimate.com lists the price for a 3km UberX ride at $8-11, so just bear that in mind.

OK, so how do they handle?

If you have never ridden a scooter, skateboard, or even a bike before, you'll want to be really cautious the first time you set off.

These things are fairly big, the non-adjustable handle bars are quite tall, and they are a lot heavier than they look.

They feel bottom heavy with the handle bars so high off ground, and it takes a while to get a feel for them, so don't go straight on to a busy footpath like I did.

These scooters have relatively small wheels compared to a bike, and you really feel any bumps in the road - there's no suspension on these bad boys.

They are deceptively quick to accelerate downhill or even on flat land, so be careful. The throttle button has no middle ground - it's either off, or on full-blast.

You are allowed to ride these things on the footpath legally without a helmet, but whether you actually should is a different matter.

I definitely got a few scornful looks from pedestrians as I zoomed down Victoria Street, and the bell attached to the Lime-S is too quiet for purpose. 

Honestly, I felt really out of place riding on the sidewalk, borderline irresponsible, and I definitely felt like if I was a pedestrian, I would consider yelling "get off the footpath!" at someone like me.

On the flat, on a nice smooth piece of concrete, my speed topped out at 27.6km/h, and I weigh about 90kg. The handling at top speed is ... precarious at best.

Uphill, it really struggled. I went up Victoria Street West heading east, a pretty average slope by Auckland standards, and I actually needed to push the scooter a bit like a skateboard to help it along.

It has a small LED light mounted on the front, but I definitely wouldn't count on that to give you any type of actual lighting - it's more of a warning for people in front of you.

The rear (and only) brake seems to work as advertised and I never felt like it was going to let me down.

In the interests of journalism, I verified that you can, in fact,  do a pretty decent skid on these scooters, because the brakes will lock up if you pull them hard enough.

These scooters are definitely not safely ride-able with one hand, so if you're thinking about taking one to grab a coffee on your lunch break, best of luck to you.

All in all, I think they're good for a bit of fun, and come with a certain "look at me" novelty factor, but considering they cost similar to a taxi, are a menace to pedestrians, are legitimately dangerous if you fall off, and will struggle on hills, I'm not overly impressed.

Five out of ten.

The scooters are being launched in Auckland and Christchurch, and can be found using a smartphone app. Source: 1 NEWS

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Two dead in two-vehicle crash on SH1 near Ashburton

Two people have been confirmed dead in a two-vehicle crash near Ashburton in Canterbury this afternoon.

Police say the collision happened on State Highway One near Ealing Road shortly before 1.40pm. 

The Serious Crash Unit is attending and diversions remain in place at Delmaine Road and State Highway 79.



MP Jami-Lee Ross says 'I'm expendable' as Simon Bridges names him as leaker

The investigation into who leaked details of National Party leader Simon Bridges' expenses points to MP Jami-Lee Ross leaking the information. 

Mr Bridges said the report pointed to Mr Ross as sending an anonymous text. 

The PWC report said it had not identified the leaker with certainty, however, "the evidence we have points to Mr Ross". 

The Opposition leader launched an inquiry into the leak of his expenses earlier this year. Source: 1 NEWS

As the National Party leader was about to make the announcement, Mr Ross posted a number of tweets in which he said he had fallen out with Mr Bridges some months ago.

Mr Ross said in his tweets that he had become "expendable" and that Mr Bridges was about to "pin his leak inquiry on me".

"He can not find who the actual leak is," Mr Ross wrote.

He claimed Mr Bridges was attempting to use contact with Mr Ross' local police area commander and a journalist he is friends with as evidence that he is "somehow involved".

"I have said they are unrelated - he does not wish to believe that. Some months ago I fell out with Simon. I have internally been questioning leadership decisions he was making, and his personal poll ratings which show he is becoming more and more unlikable in the public’s eyes."

Mr Ross then made an accusation saying he had recorded the National Party leader "discussing with me unlawful activity that he was involved in".

In his tweets Mr Ross added: "Working on his instruction, he asked me to do things with election donations that broke the law".

Mr Bridges denied all of Mr Ross' accusations and called Mr Ross' tweets "false comments".

"He would say those things, given the situation… I've released the report… and it speaks for itself."

Mr Bridges said suspension of Mr Ross from the National Party caucus was an option.

The inquiry came after the National Party leader's expenses were released earlier than scheduled, revealing $113,973 was spent on travel and accommodation between April and June.

Last week, an independent review found no evidence that staff in the office of Parliament's speaker, Speaker Trevor Mallard, or Parliamentary Service finance and corporate staff released details. 

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

Earlier this month, Mr Ross took time off from Parliament for health reasons, with Mr Bridges saying it was unrelated to the leak inquiry. 

Read More: National launches internal inquiry into Simon Bridges' expenses leak

A PWC report pointed the finger at MP Jami-Lee Ross as the person who leaked Simon Bridges’ expenses. Source: 1 NEWS