'No concerns, absolutely none' - Jacinda Ardern has confidence Winston Peters will do a great job as Acting PM while she's on maternity leave

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has absolutely no concerns about Winston Peters' ability to perform the role of Acting Prime Minister while she is on maternity leave.

Ms Ardern, who is due to give birth on June 17, and Mr Peters released a jointly crafted letter yesterday outlining the arrangements of her six weeks of maternity leave.

When quizzed about Mr Peters' reputation and his ability to lead in her absence, on TVNZ1's Breakfast today, the prime minister was unequivocal.

"I would challenge that (Mr Peters' reputation)…keeping in mind, Winston Peters has been Deputy Prime Minister before, he has been Acting Prime Minister before, this is not new," she said.

"I have absolutely no concerns, absolutely none, and nor should anyone else."

"We already have a relationship that means where we're in pretty close contact with each other on issues that we work through."

"I certainly don't have any concerns about that, about my brief absence from parliament and I won't be very far away, just good old Sandringham."

Ms Ardern said she was unsure how many hours she would work while on maternity leave but keeping across the issues was important to her.

"It is a little hard to quantify because I have said I will still receive Cabinet committee and Cabinet papers."

"I guess just to give you an indication, they trickle into me basically on a daily basis and I make my way through them through the course of the week and then on the weekend I get my Cabinet papers and that varies a little bit but I tend to have one of those double briefcases full of those each weekend."

"So it's a reasonable amount of reading but that's something I want to do to make sure that I continue keeping fully across the range of issues that we tackle."

"I do that when I'm away as well, so when I travel overseas I do the same thing."

Mr Peters will fill on for the PM while when she takes time off to look after her soon to be born child. Source: Breakfast

Deaf man in his 90s trespassed from bank: 'I have lost my personal dignity'

A Christchurch bank is being accused of elder abuse after trespassing a 93-year-old customer who is legally deaf and suffers from dementia.

The action was taken two weeks ago when Cheng Kung got into an argument with the manager at the Bank of New Zealand branch in Upper Riccarton, Christchurch, who claimed Mr Kung hit her with an umbrella.

Mr Kung, who can talk but needs people to write down what was communicated, denied hitting the manager with the umbrella and said it only struck the woman's desk.

"I am very angry. [I have] lost my personal dignity," he said.

Following his argument with the manager over his belief the bank short changed him, BNZ withdrew all his money from his current account and sent him a cheque, he said.

But it took over a week to reach him, during which time he had no money.

Neighbour Cecelia Miras, who has a background working with dementia sufferers, said she was outraged at how he was treated, labelling it "elder abuse".

Mr Kung was wrong to lose his temper but the bank overreacted, Ms Miras said.

"Maybe he's sick, [he's] hyperglycaemic, he has diabetes you know.

"He may be thirsty, he may be dehydrated, who knows. I know the bank has the right to deal with the situation but I think they over-reacted ... trespassing a 93-year-old man."

BNZ was not able to comment on Mr Kung's case due to privacy concerns but in a statement said it needed to ensure customers and staff were safe.

After the incident, Ms Miras complained and was told by the bank there was limited capability to help Mr Kung because staff were not trained in how to deal with people suffering from dementia. She wanted bank staff to have better training in this regard.

"It's just not fair because we are in New Zealand, you really value the human rights, you value old people, but the way he has been treated I think that he felt discriminated [against] and he said he lost his dignity as a person," she said.

Age Concern is helping Mr Kung, but did not want to comment specifically on his case.

Its chief executive, Simon Templeton, agreed businesses needed to do better to cater for people with dementia.

"We have a lot of people living in the community today who are supported to stay in the community and live a busy active life with mild and even moderate dementia and we know that those numbers are going to increase."

Cheng Kung
Cheng Kung Source: rnz.co.nz


Privacy lawyer says use of supermarket facial recognition software will lead to court action - and cost taxpayers money

A privacy lawyer says Foodstuffs' use of facial recognition software in its supermarkets in New Zealand will lead to court, where it will cost taxpayers money through legal aid.

Foodstuffs, which operates New World, Pak'n'Save and Four Square brands, has admitted it uses facial recognition software in some of its store to help staff to identify repeat shoplifters.

Privacy lawyer Kathryn Dalziel, speaking this morning to TVNZ1's Breakfast, said sooner or later the use of the software will lead to court cases, which will cost the public money through legal aid.

She also said it would be good for Foodstuffs to have carried out a Privacy Impact Statement regarding the technology, and to post that information on their website for everyone to see.

"I'm very concerned about what they're doing," Ms Dalziel said.

She said that using CCTV for deterrance is usually the best bet, and that people finding out Foodstuffs is tracking their face could lead to "deterrence of customers generally".

Ms Dalziel also pointed out that many times the CCTV software produced inaccurate results, and that "you shouldn't use information about people unless were satisfied it's accurate".


Foodstuffs has told the Otago Daily Times it makes no apology for protecting its business.

"Theft is a growing problem, as is the increase in aggressive behaviour towards our staff ... there is no shortage of incidents resulting in significant harm and sadly, in a recent tragic case, death.

"We use multiple strategies to protect our people, customers and product and we make no apology for this.

"Where CCTV - which may include facial recognition technology - is used in our stores, signage alerts customers to the fact images may be taken, as per privacy requirements.

"Footage can only be used for the purpose it is intended, which is as a deterrent and tool against theft and as a means of keeping customers and staff safe.

"The Auror system, minus facial recognition, is deployed in a number of our South Island stores.

"This system does not include facial recognition but does capture images and licence plate numbers, enabling our loss prevention staff to identify offenders more easily and get on top of theft.

"Some stores in the North Island use a system which includes facial recognition technology.

"The system requires store security to identify the individual as trespassed from the store or as a person known to have shoplifted in our stores, and manually input the information into the system – they will then be picked up by the CCTV on future visits.

"The real benefit here is that the technology greatly assists store security in identifying, monitoring and potentially excluding people with a history of shoplifting.

"CCTV helps reduce the risk of falsely accusing innocent customers of theft and can assist the Police in their investigations, should it be required.

"Facial recognition is simply a more accurate version of CCTV."

Kathryn Dalziel says the Privacy Commission is already looking into Foodstuffs’ use of facial recognition software in some of its stores. Source: Breakfast