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Morning Briefing May 5: Speaker controversy explodes in Parliament

Trevor Mallard is at the centre of explosive scenes in Parliament, cricket officials pull pin on the IPL - and is the overheated housing market beginning to slow?

Trevor Mallard. Source: Getty

There have been extraordinary scenes in Parliament as the Speaker of the House again finds himself embroiled in the defamation case involving a former staffer.

Mallard last night used parliamentary privilege to accuse the man of sexual assault after last year apologising to him for a false rape accusation. Parliamentary privilege means Mallard is immune from any court action for last night’s comment. 

The National Party is now renewing its calls for Mallard to resign. 1 NEWS political reporter Benedict Collins will be speaking to Breakfast after 7.30am to unpack the importance of what just transpired.

Meanwhile, National’s leader Judith Collins was also making headlines yesterday, as she continued to defend a speech to party members that suggested the Government is introducing “separate systems of governance” for Māori.

She says her accusations that Labour is sneaking through the recommendations of the He Puapua report has been well-received by members and caucus. Labour dismissed the speech as “just embarrassing”.

The Spinoff’s Leonie Hayden has put together a guide to what the He Puapua document says and why it’s caused so much controversy here.

The stoush over “separate systems” for Māori came as the Far North District Council voted in favour of establishing Māori wards.

Two hours of passionate presentations at yesterday’s meeting ended in cheers, tears and hugs as the vote was announced.

The Far North will now join nine councils to have already voted to establish Māori wards in time for the 2022 elections and three others that made the commitment earlier.

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Housing market starting to slow?

Figures released last night show property values have continued to soar around the country – but change could also be coming.

The new CoreLogic data has found a reduction in demand for housing valuations, which could indicate the overheated market is beginning to slow.

The report follows the Government’s March announcement of an extension to the bright-line test and the removal of mortgage interest deductibility for investors.

The Reserve Bank is today releasing its assessment of the economy, which may include details about further restrictions on investors.

Housing affordability will also be addressed in this month’s Budget after Finance Minister Grant Robertson revealed the first hints of what to expect on May 20.

Speaking in Wellington yesterday, Robertson said "Budget 2021 will be a recovery Budget.” He says nearly $1 billion in unspent money from the Covid fund will be reallocated to key priorities, including housing, climate change and child wellbeing.

Robertson also revealed he’s leading a new implementation unit to ensure those core priorities are tackled.  

National’s finance spokesperson Michael Woodhouse has called the pre-Budget announcement “irresponsible” and says the implementation unit is an admission of failure

Officials pull pin on IPL

The Indian Premier League has been postponed indefinitely, as more players test positive for Covid-19.

The move has been confirmed by IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, who says the decision was taken for the safety of all stakeholders.

Yesterday’s match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was postponed after two Kolkata players tested positive for the virus.

Ten Kiwi players and coaches are part of the Kolkata and Bangalore squads. A further seven are part of other franchises in the tournament.

The move comes as global leaders call for India to go into lockdown as the country records more than 20 million cases of Covid-19.

Labour waters down Uyghur motion

Parliament is set to debate whether to declare the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China as genocide today.

The ACT party originally brought forward the motion, which gained support from the Greens and the Māori Party yesterday.

However, Labour has labelled China's alleged actions in Xinjiang a human rights abuse, rather than genocide. According to Stuff, ACT Party deputy leader Brooke van Velden says Labour wouldn’t support the motion unless “genocide” was removed from its wording.

Kiwi sentenced over child sex abuse ring

A New Zealander has been sentenced for his part in leading an international online child sex abuse ring.

An investigation by Customs not only brought down John Ritchie Hellewell, but also led to the rescue of a child in the US and the arrest of his abuser.

Meanwhile, German police have also shut down one of the world's largest child pornography sites.

The Boystown platform, which had more than 400,000 subscribers, allowed members to swap and share abusive images and footage. Three people accused of maintaining the site have been arrested. 

Other news of note this morning:

- Samoa’s head of state is calling for the country to go to the polls again to bring an end to a deadlock in parliament.

- Authorities are promising to investigate the collapse of a metro overpass in Mexico City, which has killed at least 23 people.

- Gisborne police and volunteers are still searching for a missing four-year-old boy, last seen yesterday afternoon.

- Sexual and reproductive health provider Family Planning says it's "appalled, but not surprised" after Labour MP Kiri Allan revealed the sexist and racist abuse she has received on social media while undergoing treatment for cervical cancer.

- The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating the case of a greyhound trainer whose dog tested positive for methamphetamine last year.

- Exclusive figures released to 1 NEWS reveal more than 6000 people have been caught breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules, and that just 10% of those were prosecuted by New Zealand Police.

- And an Otago plumber and a storage shed owner have spoken to Seven Sharp after managing to apprehend a man who had been on the run from police for six months. 

And finally...

Source: istock.com

We all have pet hates when it comes to email. (I still curse the “reply all” functionality every day.) 

But navigating the fast-paced age of technology can be hard for some people. Not only does the technology itself constantly change but so do the rules around how we're supposed to use it.

So, when it comes email, are many of us ignoring common etiquette? Seven Sharp investigates the ins and outs of subject lines, emojis, and other pitfalls here