Morning Briefing Oct 2: Labour takes aim at supermarket prices

Are we forking out too much at the checkout? Kiwis’ grocery bill may get more affordable if Labour is re-elected, with the political party yesterday announcing it would review supermarket and building supply prices if they get a second term.

Supermarket trolley. Source:

The party said it wanted to ensure New Zealanders are not paying too much for their groceries and house-building materials compared to other nations.

The latest from the campaign trail also had National tout policy to safeguard and enhance the SuperGold card, currently available for senior citizens to receive discounts, if elected.

Judith Collins also pledged to deliver a $300 million dry dock at Northport in Whangārei that will create 600 jobs.

However, Opportunities Party (TOP) leader Geoff Simmons was quick to come out swinging at the party’s water policy yesterday, saying it was "cowardly" and that it "blatantly ignores Te Tiriti o Waitangi".   

1 NEWS' Benedict Collins will be on TVNZ1's Breakfast around 7.20am to unpack the week in politics.

Sign up to get the Morning Briefing delivered direct to your inbox – here. 

Infected plane brings in new Covid cases

Yesterday, 12 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in New Zealand, of which 10 were from the same flight from India.

Passengers seated all over flight AI1354, which arrived on September 26, have tested positive for the virus on their day three tests.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay is now warning there could be more from the same flight.

However, she added she was confident systems were in place to manage it.

There were no cases of Covid-19 in the community yesterday – the sixth straight day.  

Meanwhile, the man accused of escaping a managed isolation hotel in central Auckland has been remanded in custody after appearing at Auckland District Court yesterday.

The 36-year-old deportee, who has interim name suppression, is accused of absconding from Ramada Hotel by tying bed sheets together, then spending the day roaming the streets of Auckland on Sunday.  

Hope for Aussie getaway

It may be too early to book your ticket yet, but clearer plans on how Kiwis could spend a holiday across the ditch are getting worked out.

Yesterday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told 5AA radio that New South Wales and South Australia would be the first states Kiwis could travel to when a trans-Tasman bubble becomes a reality.

Jacinda Ardern discussed the trans-Tasman bubble with Morrison earlier in the week.  

It comes as Forsyth Barr analysts Andy Bowley and Scott Anderson yesterday told Stuff the prospect of bubbles with New Zealand was increasingly likely as new Covid-19 case numbers in all Australian states and territories, other than Victoria, were now at consistently at low levels.  

'Not the dream' staff envisioned

A months-long investigation by 1 NEWS’ Kristin Hall has uncovered “toxic” and disturbing details about work conditions for staff at Oscar award-winning visual effects studio Weta Digital.

A Queen’s Counsel will conduct an independent inquiry into claims of bullying, harassment and misconduct at the company.

It comes after Hall recounted stories, including of sexual harassment and indecent assault, bullying, and mental health distress, of some of the 48 current and former staff who bravely spoke out.

Read part one of the story here and part two here

Edging deeper at Pike River

Pike Recovery Agency CEO Dave Gawn hasn't lost hope of finding human remains.

The recovery operation, which aims to find the 29 men killed in the explosion on November 19, 2010, is expected to finish by Christmas.

The team is now working through debris from the explosion which shows how far material has been propelled up the tunnel, where many of the men were waiting to finish their shift. 

Other news of note this morning:

- An inquest is underway into the death of New Zealand-born policeman, Matt Ratana, who was fatally shot in London a week ago today.

- Going after the small business vote, ACT leader David Seymour wants to freeze the minimum wage for three months if he’s voted in at the election.

- Children with a disability are more likely to live in poverty than other children, according to a new report.  

- Hawke’s Bay iwi Ngāti Kahungunu says it supports legalisation of cannabis to reduce Māori incarceration, and in fact is exploring setting up its own medical marijuana project.  

- The US presidential debate commission says it will soon adopt changes to its format to avoid a repeat of the disjointed first meeting between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. 

- There appears to be consensus across political parties, with Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, National leader Judith Collins and now NZ First leader Winston Peters all in favour of a four year parliamentary term.

- An international team of researchers are starting to unravel why some people are mildly ill with Covid-19 or have no symptoms, while others die.  

- KiwiRail says decades of under investment is behind the mammoth issues with Auckland's train network. 

Angel made her way home after seven years missing. Source: 1 NEWS

And finally...

Christmas has come early for one Christchurch cat owner whose beloved family pet disappeared without a trace seven years ago.

Charline Dempsey had long ago accepted that her now 15-year-old tortoise shell named Angel would never come home.

That is, until she received an unexpected call from the SPCA.

Find out how a miracle coincidence reunited the pair here