'Mum is at peace now' - Abby Hartley's family pays tribute to her following death in Bali

The family of Abby Hartley - the Kiwi mum who fell critically ill during her second honeymoon, unaware that she had become the centre of fierce debate back home as she lay in a coma in a Bali hospital - have penned a loving tribute to her.

"Mum is at peace now and we are extremely grateful for the many years of joy and love mum brought us," her daughter, Sophie Hartley, said in a statement today published by NZ Herald. "She will forever be held in our memories and hearts and without a doubt she will make her presence known when she is watching over us."

The 41-year-old's death was announced this morning. 

For weeks, Ms Hartley's dire situation has been the catalyst for a larger debate about how far the Government should go to help Kiwis who have fallen ill overseas. Governments spanning both major parties in years past have declined to organise medevacs, worried about the expensive precedent it could set.

The 41-year-old Kiwi mum died in Bali, weeks after falling into a coma while on her second honeymoon. Source: Breakfast

Ms Hartley had travel insurance but the company determined that she fell ill due to a pre-existing condition she had not disclosed, and so refused to pay for her medevac back to New Zealand. Through Givealittle, however, Kiwis had raised $237,000 for the effort.

But many Kiwis, argued that New Zealand should make an exception in Ms Hartley's case.

"We have no bad feelings towards the Government and we understand their decision to not assist us with getting mum home," Sophie Hartley said in the statement, thanking everyone for their support that "has made everything that little bit easier".

Abby Hartley’s insurer didn’t pay out after she became ill on the Indonesian Island. Source: 1 NEWS

On TVNZ1's Breakfast today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was "absolutely gutted" by the news of Ms Hartley's death. But she defended the decision to refuse a medevac.

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"The thing that I find tough to know is there will, of course, be other cases like this," she said. "In those cases, we're always hoping the insurers do their bit to support New Zealanders when they have that insurance."

From left, Sophie, Abby, Richard and Toby Hartley in the intensive care unit in Bali.
From left, Sophie, Abby, Richard and Toby Hartley in the intensive care unit in Bali. Source: Sophie Hartley/Givealittle



Greenpeace links forest destruction for palm oil to global brands

Greenpeace says global consumer brands continue to buy palm oil from companies that are cutting down Indonesia's rainforests despite repeated pledges to clean up their supply chains.

The environmental group says in a report released Wednesday that 25 palm oil producing groups it has investigated destroyed more than 130,000 hectares of natural forest in Indonesia since 2015.

It says all but one of those producers had supplied palm oil to consumer companies that are household names around the world in the past year.

Palm oil, mainly produced in Indonesia and Malaysia, is used in a slew of consumer products from snacks to cosmetics.

Rapid forest loss and greenhouse gas emissions have made Indonesia the fourth biggest contributor to global warming after China, the U.S. and India.

Forest in Indonesia (file picture).
Forest in Indonesia (file picture). Source: 1 NEWS

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Winston Peters explains party's support for raising refugee quota

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says NZ First shared the Labour Party's "aspiration" to increase the refugee quota, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced it will be raised to 1500 today.

The NZ First Party leader's position was in stark contrast to comments made at the start of the month at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru.

"We never made a commitment to double the refugee quota," Mr Peters told media at the time.

The Deputy PM went on to argue there were other priorities for the Government.

"We've got 50,000 people who are homeless back home, and I can show you parts of the Hokianga and elsewhere, parts of Northland, with people living in degradation.

"We have to fix their lives up as well before we start taking on new obligations of the level that some people would like."

However, while standing next to Ms Ardern during the announcement today he took a much softer line on the refugee issue.

"This is about people not about politics and controversy, the fact is it was put to me in Nauru that the 1500 figure was already there, which it wasn't.

"The Labour Party policy I knew was an aspiration towards that, so was New Zealand First's an aspiration towards that, and I knew the Greens had a higher target," Mr Peters said.

"All I did was put out the plain facts and to say that it was a work in progress and I'm not surprised with the speed at which the progress has taken place.

"This was always on the cards that we'd get it done when we had all the background work done on refugee centres and a host of other things," he continued.

PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand's refugee quota was previously 1000, after being increased by the National-led Government from 750 in 2016.

The new quota will take effect from July 2020. 

Major points

- There will be six new settlement locations, on top of re-establishing Christchurch as a settlement location.

- Expanding the public housing supply for 150 extra refugee families is expected to cost $32.5 million over three years.

- Budget 2018 included money to build new accommodation blocks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre  

The NZ First leader said the increase was “always on the cards”. Source: 1 NEWS


New Zealand's refugee quota jumps to 1500 per year from July 2020, Government announces

New Zealand’s refugee quota will be raised to 1500, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. 

It was previously 1000, after being increased by the National-led Government from 750 in 2016.

That's 500 extra people who'll be making New Zealand home annually. Source: 1 NEWS

"It is the right thing to do," said Ms Ardern. 

"It puts New Zealand much more in line with the humanitarian policies of other developed countries."

Deputy PM Winston Peters said the increase was "about people, not about politics and controversy". 

The NZ First leader said the increase was “always on the cards”. Source: 1 NEWS

The new quota will take effect from July 2020. 

Major points

- There will be six new settlement locations, on top of re-establishing Christchurch as a settlement location.

- Expanding the public housing supply for 150 extra refugee families is expected to cost $32.5 million over three years. 

- Budget 2018 included money to build new accommodation blocks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre 

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

Background

Yesterday, Ms Ardern told media she wanted to see the current quota increased but a sticking point has been the vastly different policy positions of Labour's Government partners. 

Labour pledged to raise the quota to 1500 and the Green Party aimed for a quota of 5000.

Earlier this month NZ First's Winston Peters told media in Nauru that the focus needed to be on New Zealanders struggling at home.

"We have 50,000 people who are homeless back home and I can show you parts of Northland where people are living in degradation," Mr Peters said, while being questioned at the Pacific Islands' Forum.

National's Simon Bridges said yesterday if the refugee quota was lower than 1500 it would be a demonstration of "Winston Peters undermining the Prime Minister".

"If you look at the Prime Minister's rhetoric she's made great play about being a globalist, a progressive with soaring rhetoric on these issues.

"It's all very well to do the photo ops, the international pieces, but when you've got important questions like this back home that... [are] now are up in the air because of a lack of unanimity and cohesion."

PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS