NZ Navy's Te Kaha to support US Seventh Fleet after fatal collision near Japan

The frigate HMNZS Te Kaha is extending its deployment in Asian waters to support the United States Seventh Fleet after the fatal collision involving the USS Fitzgerald.

Seven US sailors were killed when the Fitzgerald, a guided-missile destroyer, and a Philippines container ship collided off the Japanese coast on June 17.

Te Kaha is near Japan as part of the Royal New Zealand Navy's Naval Task Group deployment throughout Asia and Defence Minister Mark Mitchell says the US has accepted the offer of help.

The frigate's role will be to contribute to the security and protection of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group.

Announcing the deployment today, Mr Mitchell extended the government's condolences.

"Our thoughts are very much with the bereaved families and the crew of the USS Fitzgerald after this terrible event," he said.

Mr Mitchell said the US was quick to help when the Kaikoura earthquake struck last November.

The USS Sampson, a sister ship of the Fitzgerald and which was in Auckland for the RNZN's 75th anniversary celebrations, was sent to the South Island to help with the recovery effort.



Law student 'free to try' to change policy with climate change case against Government, PM says

The Prime Minister says a law student is "free to try" to change Government policy or the law with her case against the Government saying not enough has been done to combat climate change.

Sarah Thomson's judicial review against the Minister of Climate Change in the High Court in Wellington claims the Government's Paris Climate Agreement targets don't go far enough - but the Government argues its targets are fair.

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

Bill English today said that "the targets for New Zealand are already pretty challenging" and added that Ms Thomson is "of course free to try like anyone else to influence Government policy or the law in this respect".

This is the first time in New Zealand history where a case has been taken against the Government over climate change, and while Ms Thomson told 1 NEWS she is nervous ahead of the review, she is also confident.

"I've got the backing of amazing lawyers and scientists," she said.

"I see it as an ordinary person taking a stand, you know?

"You don't need to be an expert or have a position of power to make a difference and I hope that message gets through."

Some big guns are backing the little player in a David and Goliath battle. Source: 1 NEWS

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'Really tough to make ends meet' - those teaching our littlest children say they deserve a big pay rise

New Zealand's early childhood education (ECE) worker's say their pay just doesn't add up, and now they're launching a campaign for pay equity.

The NZ Educational Institute will be campaigning to raise the wages of 20,000 ECE workers to the same level as kindergarten staff.

Qualified ECE teachers currently earn between $2000 and $9000 a year less than kindergarten teachers.

Early childhood teacher Mel Burgess told 1 NEWS that it's just not enough.

"Earning the wages that we get it's really tough to make ends meet.

"I've got the same qualification, I'm working to the same curriculum, I'm doing the same role, so it just boggles the mind," she said.

Unqualified staff earns even less, typically earning just above the minimum wage.

"People across New Zealand value what our early childhood educators do, we want the Government to step up and show that as well," Lynda Stuart the NZ Educational Institute President said.

The Government subsidises all children who attend ECE, so any pay raises would need to be covered by the taxpayer or private employers.

Early childhood teachers can be paid as much as $9000 per year less than kindergarten teachers. Source: 1 NEWS