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Morning Briefing Aug 2: Tears flow on historic day for NZ

The Government offers its formal apology for the dawn raids of the '70s, NZ's housing is branded a human rights failure, and Dame Valerie Adams rewrites the record books.

Jacinda Ardern is covered with a mat of forgiveness during the Government's formal apology over the dawn raids. Source: Getty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has delivered a "formal and unreserved apology" to Pasifika communities for the dawn raids of the 1970s.

Yesterday’s three-hour ceremony proved a highly emotional occasion, beginning with Ardern covered in a traditional mat as a gesture of forgiveness.

Many could be seen wiping away tears as Ardern said she stood before them “as a symbol of the Crown that wronged you nearly 50 years ago”. Her full speech can be found here

After acknowledging past wrongs, Ardern also detailed several measures to help pave “a new beginning for Pacific peoples in New Zealand”.

These include $2.1 million in scholarships for Pacific communities and resources for schools and kura who choose to teach the history of the dawn raids.

While those in attendance yesterday accepted the formal apology, Justin Latif reports they also challenged the Government to tackle the racism still experienced by many in the community. 

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Housing a 'human rights failure'

The Human Rights Commission has announced a national inquiry into New Zealand’s housing crisis and revealed a national framework outlining the right to a decent home.

Chief Commissioner Paul Hunt says successive governments bear responsibility for the current housing crisis, with accessible healthy homes becoming less and less attainable.

The Commission says its guidelines will help clarify what the right to a decent home means in New Zealand. 

Adams rewrites record books

Dame Valerie Adams has become the first New Zealander to medal at four straight Olympics after taking bronze in the women’s shot put in Tokyo yesterday.

She now has the full set of medals, too, after golds in Beijing and London and silver in Rio, but she says yesterday’s bronze means the most.

The medal is her first since becoming a mother to her two children, Kimoana and Kepaleli, and a tearful Adams says she hopes her Olympic efforts can inspire other women.

Adams’ compatriot Maddison-Lee Wesche also impressed in yesterday’s shot put final, finishing sixth in her first Olympic outing.

Elsewhere, Hamish Kerr finished 10th in the men’s high jump final, while Julia Ratcliffe gave herself a shot at a medal after qualifying for the hammer throw final.

Other Kiwis gunning for medals today include the equestrian team, who are currently sitting fourth in the three-day event, and sailing pair Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who have a four-point lead in the 49er event going into today’s medal race.

The full rundown of Kiwis in action today can be found here.

Labour's support slips

A new poll shows Labour would need the Green Party to form a Government.

Last night’s Newshub-Reid Research poll saw Labour’s support down nearly 10 points to 43 per cent – but their slip hasn’t benefitted National. Instead it’s the ACT Party seeing a lift in support, up 4.2 points to 11.1 per cent.

ACT leader David Seymour also polled higher than National’s Judith Collins in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, again stoking debate over who the main Opposition voice currently is.

However, Jacinda Ardern still maintains a healthy lead in the preferred Prime Minister rankings, with 45.5 per cent support. 

Caution urged for returning Kiwis

The Ministry of Health is asking anyone who’s travelled from Queensland to New Zealand since July 26 to carefully check locations of interest after parts of the state entered a snap lockdown over the weekend. Officials are also asking returnees to remain vigilant over any potential Covid-19 symptoms. 

Queensland’s latest lockdown comes as New South Wales records another 239 Covid cases.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says "pleasingly" the cases are not outside the main eight Sydney local government areas of concern.

However, authorities are concerned some residents are “hiding” the presence of Covid in their homes for fear of losing their income. 

Meanwhile, Covid continues to run rampant through Fiji, with another 1121 cases confirmed yesterday. Another 12 deaths were also recorded there over the weekend, including an 11-month-old baby

Vaccine event hits target

New Zealand’s first mass vaccination event has reached its goal of vaccinating 15,000 people over three days.

A repeat event at Manukau’s Vodafone Events Centre is planned for six weeks’ time so people can receive their second dose.

Organisers say they’ve learned lessons around procedure and community engagement which they’ll apply to any other mass vaccination events. 

Other news of note this morning:

- Taliban forces are rapidly gaining control in Afghanistan, seizing around half of its 400 districts.

- China and India have missed a UN deadline to submit fresh plans for cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.

- The ministry in charge of MIQ is starting to suspend the accounts of some Kiwis using third-party voucher booking systems - but a site charging thousands of dollars for vouchers isn’t being punished.

- Just over 1000 guns have been handed back in the Government's latest firearms amnesty and buyback.

- A barrister specialising in media law says he's not convinced the proposed laws for hate speech will do the job the Government wants them to do.

- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie are expecting another baby.

- And 1 NEWS’ Good Sorts series celebrates a Dunedin dog helping to raise money for local search and rescue. 

And finally...  

Forward Slash by Poppy Lekner, the winner of the Parkin Drawing Prize. Source: Seven Sharp

The Parkin Drawing Prize has always pushed the boundaries (see last year’s winning entry, ‘Forward Slash’ by Poppy Lekner, which consisted of hundreds of forward slashes from a typewriter on an A4 piece of paper).

And that tradition looks set to continue this year, with entries including bacteria on a ceiling tile and a QR code that leads to a charcoal animation.

You can take a peek at some of the other art in the running for the prize here.