Most watch video: Jacinda Ardern, adorned in beautiful korowai, attends Queen's dinner for Commonwealth leaders

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has arrived at the Queen's dinner for Commonwealth heads of government in London today.

She's being accompanied by her partner Clarke Gayford and wearing a korowai designed London.

The Prime Minister said she admires the Queen because she has lived her life - and raised her children - in the public eye. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Ardern said it seemed like it was only the media who were interested in the topic, and that the Commonwealth is valuable to New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS

Later New Zealand’s Prime Minister attended a high level security meeting with the Five Eyes Intelligence Sharing Alliance. Source: Breakfast

Earlier Ms Ardern had a one-on-one audience with the Queen.

The Prime Minister is being accompanied by her partner Clarke Gayford. Source: Breakfast

MPs give self-confessed medicinal cannabis law-breakers second chance

Hundreds of medicinal cannabis advocates have been told to reconsider their submissions to parliament on a government bill that could widen access to the drug.

They've divulged illegal drug use and cultivation, and even serious mental health problems including past suicide attempts.

But now the Health Select Committee is offering them the chance to change their submissions before they're made public.

"We [had] quite a few submitters disclose they were using cannabis," said Labour MP and Health Select Committee chair Louisa Wall.

On the advice of parliament's Clerk, the committee told 224 of the more than 2,000 submitters that because of what they'd shared they could withdraw, amend, or anonymise their submissions, or leave them unchanged.

1NEWS has been told many people who use cannabis therapeutically were too scared to make a submission and tell their story about how ill-gotten cannabis had improved their lives.

The Drug Foundation's executive director said getting a note back from the committee was "kind of a bit scary".

"You're admitting to breaking the law or you're admitting to these other things," he said. "It's made people really nervous and wonder should they in fact keep their submission involved in this process."

The note sent out last week said: "In terms of criminal liability ... submissions are protected by parliamentary privilege".

But because the submissions would be published permanently to parliament's website, where they'd be searchable by name, that privilege would "not prevent an investigation taking place independently".

"We did want to highlight that the process is incredibly public, and that [submitters] did have to make some decisions about what they'd chosen to disclose," Miss Wall said.

She conceded parliamentary staff could have made it clearer that people could submit anonymously from the beginning, but emphasised the action the committee had now taken was to protect submitters.

That said, not everyone's been deterred.

One woman told 1 NEWS she started giving her adult son cannabis five years ago to manage his epilepsy, autism, and severe self harming behaviours.

She said her son was now much better. However, she also said she's always scared the police will knock down her door because of the drugs. She wants MPs to know her story, and is keeping her submission as it is.

"If they are prepared to go on record, in defiance of the law, then they should do that as well and highlight the silliness around our current law," Mr Bell said.

Individuals have until the middle of next week to withdraw or amend their submissions.

Close-up shot of hemp
Source: Te Karere


Two injured in crash near Hanmer Springs

A crash involving a car in Canterbury has closed a highway and left two people injured.

Police were called to crash near Hanmer Springs at 4am this morning on the Percival Bridge on Hanmer Springs Road. 

The two people have been transfered to Christchurch hospital with critical and serious injuries. 

Police say River Road and Jollies Pass Road are closed and diversions are in place.  

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating and motorists should expect delays. 

Car crash scene near Hanmer Springs.
Car crash scene near Hanmer Springs. Source: 1 NEWS