'I will now be able to grieve' - Nadene Lomu is relieved to finally have a headstone on Jonah's grave

The widow of Jonah Lomu, Nadene Lomu, says she will finally be able to grieve now that a headstone has been placed on the grave of the All Black legend in South Auckland.

Members of both sides of the famous family took part in an emotional ceremony in Auckland today. Source: 1 NEWS

A large group of family and friends gathered at Manukau Memorial Gardens today for a ceremony to unveil the headstone at the grave of the legendary winger who died in November 2015 aged 40, after suffering from a long-standing kidney condition.

Members from both sides of the family joined Nadene and the couple's two young sons at the graveside. 

There had been reports of tensions between Nadene and the mother and brothers of Jonah over the headstone and its inscription, and invitations to today's ceremony were issued at short notice late last week.

Lomu died suddenly in November 2015, today his family and rugby luminaries were present at the unveiling. Source: 1 NEWS

Nadene told 1 NEWS  after the ceremony that "the pressures and the things that have come with trying to do everything have almost been unbearable for me".

She said she wanted the headstone done a while ago, adding, "I haven't had a chance to grieve. So I think for me now that this is done I will now be able to grieve". 

"I think everyone has their own take on when a headstone should and shouldn't go up. A lot of it too, I believe, and even for the Maori culture is it's when you're ready. And even for today I couldn't have prepared myself for today. I knew it was time".

Nadene said "everyone's happy" with the headstone, "so I'm happy that everyone's happy".

"That's all I wanted , I wanted everyone to be happy. I've given it my best, the boys and I have really done our best on this and it's just nice to know that everyone's happy."

Rush, a former All Black, said Lomu was an amazing athlete and person at the unveiling of his headstone in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

Nadene said she was thankful that Jonah's brother John attended the ceremony and spoke at it.

She said the short notice for today's ceremony was because the headstone wasn't ready earlier, and also the wet weather Auckland has had recently.

Jonah's brother John told 1 NEWS the family came together today.

"I guess in a way it's time for us to close a chapter of what's been happening and just come together," he said.

He said he didn't know what reports of the family being unhappy were about and "there was nothing about us being unhappy".

He said for the family as Polynesians the headstone is the final thing they needed to have done. 

"And it's now done so we're happy. It's good, it's awesome. I'm happy Mum and Dad are both mentioned on it," John said.

The widow of the All Black legend says she's "happy that everyone's happy" with the headstone following reports of tensions in the family. Source: 1 NEWS


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Kiwis should care about North Korea-US summit as it's 'our region', says PM

As the time nears for North Korea's Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump to meet, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the world will benefit from denuclearisation and she hopes to see tangible signs of that from the summit.

"New Zealand's hopes and aspirations won't be dissimilar to the rest of the globe," she told media today from Wellington.

"We do need, and will benefit from seeing long term denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, but particularly outside of North Korea will be looking at is tangible signs that that denuclearisation is happening."

Dann says “so much is at stake” as the US and North Korean leader are set to meet in Singapore on Tuesday. Source: 1 NEWS

TVNZ1's Q+A host Corin Dann said there was "so much at stake", as the world prepares for the 9am (local time - 1pm NZT) meeting tomorrow in Singapore. 

"Trump in no way can walk away from this summit [with North Korea] looking bad, he needs a victory. That will be an important reminder to Kim Jong Un too about the attitude he needs to bring," Mr Dann said. 

When asked why new Zealand should care, Ms Ardern said "we should care about what's happening in North Korea because it's out region, but when it comes to nuclear weapons, so should the rest of the world". 

"Not only is it our region, we've taken a strong and consistent view, we're not just opposed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, we're consistently been opposed to their existence."

The US President is confident an agreement will be made. Source: Q+A

"Regardless of who got us there, if we end up in a point where we have a greater security, where we have non proliferation and denuclearisation, we should celebrate whoever is at the table to bring that about."


“We're not just opposed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, we're consistently been opposed to their existence,” Jacinda Ardern said. Source: 1 NEWS

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Watch: Jacinda Ardern says baby name decision going 'terribly' - 'Do you have any suggestions?'

As the Prime Minister gears up for an announcement on the new chief science adviser and a decision of the future of Waikeria Prison, settling on a name for her soon-to-be-born baby is not going smoothly. 

Today Jacinda Ardern was asked how the baby name decision was going. "Terribly," Ms Ardern replied, and asked the media for suggestions.

'Winston' was shouted, to which Ms Ardern said, "You're not the first to suggest that."

Ms Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford's baby is due this Sunday. 

When asked if she was excited, Ms Ardern said: "Yes, of course, the impending arrival of a new addition to your family is an exciting time. I have to admit things like travel does add a little air of tension because it means you're not just managing the arrival, you're managing logistics in case things happen before you're ready.

"So I think it probably makes a little more sense for me to be grounded in one place from now on."

The PM is due to give birth on Sunday, but will continue to work – if not travel – as hard as ever. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Ardern said earlier she will continue to work as hard as ever but will now head back to Auckland in case the baby arrives early. 

The level of national significance an event would have to be for her to become involved during deputy PM Winston Peter's time as acting PM during her leave has been set out already, she said. "Things of national interest, and significant political interest, these things are often intuitive."

"Really, it will just be what we continue to do on a day-to-day basis now, continuing over that six week period."

Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford will sharing the good news when the baby is born, "given all of the well-wishes we’ve had and the kindness New Zealanders have shown".

However they "hope to have a little bit of quiet time together as a family too". 

Ms Ardern’s baby is due this Sunday, but coming up with a name isn't going so well. Source: 1 NEWS


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