Protesters block major Tauranga highway to call on government to fix deadly stretch of road - 'stop letting people die like this'

Protesters have blocked a major Tauranga highway today to call for major safety updates to be made to a deadly stretch of road.

Busy weekend traffic came to a halt as hundreds marched across Wairoa Bridge, which has already claimed dozens of lives.

Fix the Bloody Road safety campaigner Andrew Hollis said, "I've spoken personally with tow truck drivers that tow trucks away still with bodies in them. It's happening about once every quarter."

The protesters blocked State Highway 2 for half an hour to call for upgrades to the road.

"Just fix the road, man. Stop letting people die like this for no reason," one protester said.

In the last six years to March 2018, 21 people have been killed on the 37-kilometre stretch of road between Katikati and Tauranga.

While the National Land Transport programme recently allocated billions to improve regional roads, the Tauranga road is still under evaluation to see how it can be made safer – a process which could take four months.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said, "that bit of road is about to get significant safety improvements. We're investing in 26 intersection upgrades, side barriers and widening the central barrier."

$100 million will be spent on safety between Waihi and Omokoroa, but protesters say a four-lane highway must be built.

"What we're trying to do is get four lanes with a median strip from Takatimu Drive in Tauranga to Francis Road in Omokoroa," Mr Hollis said.

The government says they do not want more lives to be lost and has acknowledged that the infrastructure is not up to speed.

Hundreds of campaigners marched across Wairoa Bridge today. Source: 1 NEWS

‘Not enough is being done’ – homeless advocacy groups warn demand is on the rise

The group charged with housing the homeless in Auckland is warning the demand is on the rise.

It comes just a day before hundreds of volunteers hit the city’s streets to work out just how many people are living without a permanent shelter.

People like Clinton who ran away from home when he was just 13 and ended up sleeping rough in Auckland, including a feedbox and under a building.

It’s not known just how many people are currently living like this and that is why the tomorrow night’s count is so important.

“Until we have that data it makes it very hard to know how to accurately resource the response,” says Fiona Hamilton from Housing First Auckland.

Ms Hamilton’s organisation tried to find permanent homes for those without them and she says the demand is only growing.

“It’s all about resourcing and funding levels, so we basically need and have been advocating that that needs to be ramped up so that we can house more people,” she says.

Housing First got Clinton into this apartment earlier this year and it plans to help almost 1500 people nationwide over four years.

The government has put aside $63 million for the programme in this year’s budget, but the Salvation Army says more work is needed.

“Not enough is being done even though the government’s doing a lot it’s not doing enough quickly enough to address or steam the tide,” says Salvation Army’s Ian Hutson.

The warning comes a day before the first rough sleeper count takes place in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS


Good Sorts: Meet the craft beer brewers from Kapiti who aren't letting intellectual disability stopping them thrive

This week’s Good Sort is a group of enthusiastic craft brewers from Kapiti.

They all have an intellectual disability and were stuck at home on the benefit.

They hated not doing anything so when an opportunity presented itself, they got brewing.

Watch Hadyn Jones’ full interview above.

Not wanting to not do anything at home, these Good Sorts hopped right into this opportunity. Source: 1 NEWS


Man charged with murder after woman fatally stabbed in Christchurch - 'the tone of this neighbourhood has changed'

A 52-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a 28-year-old woman following a stabbing incident in the Christchurch suburb of Ilam last night.

Police were called to the scene on Ilam Road just before 8pm, where a 31-year-old man was found seriously injured after allegedly being stabbed by the other man.

Neighbour Maurice Nicholl said he "wouldn't have believed it in this area".

"We heard a kerfuffle over on the corner, loud voices, and sort of yelling. then they sort of wandered off down the road yelling at each other or whatever was going on," Mr Nicholl said.

The suspect is in Christchurch Hospital in a serious but stable condition with self-inflicted injuries.

Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Anderson said, "This was a domestic incident but as I said, it's early days and we've still got more to gather."

Police believe only one weapon, a knife, was involved. They are also inspecting a white vehicle as part of their investigation.

"I just want to reassure the community at large that this is an isolated incident and we don't believe that there is any ongoing risk to the community," Sergeant Anderson said.

Cordons around Ilam Road will remain in place for the rest of the weekend.

The 52-year-old man has since been charged with murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, as residents say they can't believe the incident happened in their neighbourhood.

Neighbour Joanne Neilson says she's recently become concerned about the area.

"The tone of this neighbourhood has changed. I've lived here since the 70s and I've been a student myself, but it just seems totally different since the earthquake," Ms Neilson said.

The accused man will appear in court once he has recovered from his injuries.

One man has been arrested following one fatal stabbing in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS

Six60 sells out show at Auckland’s Western Springs stadium

Kiwi band Six60 is the first New Zealand headline act to sell out a show at Auckland’s Western Springs Stadium.

The group, which was formed in a uni flat a decade ago, saw 27,000 tickets snapped up in the first 20 minutes of being on sale.

Now the entire 50,000 tickets have been sold.

The group are in good company with the likes of Bowie, U2, Guns N’ Roses and the Foo Fighters having performed at the stadium.

Six60 is making history with the first time any Kiwi band has headlined at the venue.

Lead singer Matiu is proud about their achievement.

“It's amazing, the fact that it happened, and it happened so fast, it's definitely surprising.”

Six60 had their big break in 2010 with their hit song Don’t Forget Your Roots which put them on the world stage.

“It is surreal when we stop and force ourselves to think about it.

“We still see this as a stepping stone, this is by no means that we've made it, if you're impressed with this, wait and see what we have next.”

Concert promoter Brent Eccles says selling out Western Springs is a massive achievement.

“The spirit of those big concerts are still here at Western Springs. It is the greatest venue in Australasia, maybe the world.”

The biggest show Six60 have played to date was back in February at Auckland's Villa Maria winery.

That was to an audience of around 10,000. Come February, they'll be playing to five times that number.

One of New Zealand’s top music executives says an event like this could change the band forever.

“It's pretty mind-blowing to be honest, there is no other Kiwi artist to have done this, it's amazing.”

The Kiwi group have sold 50,000 tickets to their concert. Source: 1 NEWS