Raw video: Work colleagues take dramatic drive on flooded Napier-Taupo highway before it shut as torrential rain batters Hawke's Bay

Surface flooding has forced the closure of the Napier-Taupo Rd - State Highway 5 - as heavy rain batters Hawke's Bay.

Marthinus Swart and a work colleague were travelling to Napier from Tauranga this morning and told 1 NEWS theirs was one the last vehicles allowed to drive on SH5 before it was closed.

Footage Mr Swart shared with 1 NEWS of the journey shows surface flooding and debris on the road as well as significant flooding just off the road.

NZTA said a potential detour route was available via Palmerston North, which would add about four to five hours to the journey. 

"A second but longer detour is to go north from Taupo on SH5 to Rotorua, take SH30 and Sh2 to Gisborne and on to Napier," they said in a statement.

Local Josh Pye says he's never seen the river as high in more than a decade of being there. Source: 1 NEWS

Hawke's Bay Regional Council reported 291mm of rain fall today at their Gelngarry site - a one-in-20-year event. 

Civil Defence said this morning that the Esk River is at "high levels and rising", and warned that properties nearby need to remain vigilant throughout the day.

You can stay-up-to-date with the latest here.

Senior Station Officer Mark McGill says the flooding in Rissington can't be fought back – and the forecast is for more rain. Source: 1 NEWS

Marthinus Swart was one of the last drivers allowed on the SH5 this morning before it closed due to surface flooding. Source: Supplied



Watch: Winston Peters accuses Paula Bennett of asking 'mindless questions' and diving into 'moronic abyss' during Question Time

Winston Peters accused Paula Bennett of asking "mindless questions" and diving into a "moronic abyss" during Question Time today.

His comments came as National's deputy leader was quizzing Mr Peters, who was answering on behalf of the Prime Minister, on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill in the House today.

"Can she confirm that the Labour-led Government unanimously voted for the bill at select committee and the bill has now been prepared for a second reading, and do they know how they will vote for it?" Ms Bennett asked the deputy prime minister.

"On behalf of the prime minister, if that member will not conform to the proper language of an MMP environment we do not intend to answer her mindless questions.

"She knows full well the construction, we can handle it and that's why were here and that's why they're over there, because they just don't grasp what the new environment looks like," Mr Peters answered.

Ms Bennett was then given a warning by Speaker Trevor Mallard for prefacing her follow up by implying that Mr Peters led the Government instead of Ms Ardern.

She went on to try and get more answers about the bill, asking: "Does the govt support the employment relations amendment bill as it is currently written?"

Mr Peters again went on the attack in his answer.

"Look we're not going to have a dive to the moronic abyss that the member wants to go to.

"We are talking about a process of the full committee of the House and then onto the third reading, that's whats being targeted that's what we'll do."
 


Construction worker injured in workplace accident above Auckland's city centre

A construction worker has been injured in an accident on top of a construction site in Auckland’s city centre.

One person was transport to Auckland Hospital in a moderate condition, said St John spokesperson Mark Deoki.

Two fire department vehicles were also sent to the scene, near the intersection of Victoria St West and Graham Street.


St John Ambulance (file picture).
St John Ambulance (file picture). Source: St John.

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Māori youth labelled 'plastic': 'I'm not Māori enough but I'm not white'

Young Māori have spoken out about being labelled "plastic" because they can't speak the language - saying the hurtful term is used to imply they're fake or less Māori.

This week we've seen New Zealanders everywhere embracing te reo, sharing their stories, and encouraging others to learn the language.

But for many Māori who can't speak it, Te Wiki o te Reo Māori can be a stark reminder of the guilt and shame they feel not knowing their own language.

Eve Duncan Spring is from the iwi of Ngāruahine, but she's never learned how to speak her language.

Growing up it wasn't spoken in her home, and it wasn't offered as a language at the schools she went to.

"Where do I fit because if I say I'm Māori I'm not Māori enough but I'm not white, so if anything it just makes me sad," she said.

According to the 2013 census, just over 127,000 Māori can hold a conversation in te reo.

For Emma Brown, from Ngāpuhi, Māori was her first language as she went to Kohanga Reo.

But she was then enrolled into mainstream education for the rest of her schooling.

Now, she said, she could hold a conversation with a 5-year-old - anyone older and she feels out of her depth.

"We stopped using it around home and obviously stopped speaking Māori at school.

"I found that the better I got going through the westernised education system, the less I was able to retain that Māori that I learnt as a young kid."

She said through high school she often seemed worlds apart from the other Māori.

She had different interests from her peers, she enjoyed physics and she didn't hang out at the school marae.

As a result she was labelled 'plastic' by them, a term which still makes her angry.

"I don't know who came up with the standard."

"I've never heard a Pākehā be called plastic, but it's applied to every other culture like we've got standards to meet that someone else set for us."

Both Ms Duncan Spring and Ms Brown said the main reason they're not able to speak Māori has been their surroundings.

'It comes from within'

Jaymi Hirawani McTaggart had the same experience and she said she has been called plastic several times.

That's further complicated by her Pākehā-Chinese father and his stance on learning te reo Māori.

"I actually got discouraged by a couple of people. There's a outlook about it like 'it's not a global language, why's it so important to learn?' My dad was like, 'you should learn mandarin'."

However not everyone around them has been judgemental.

Tumanako Fa'aui said despite not being able to speak Māori he has had support from his elders.

"I've had enough kaumātua and fairly influential people tell me that it comes from within, it shouldn't be what's on the outside.

"You're Māori because of your whakapapa, it's not something for someone else to tell you."

Despite the label and the names, they're all taking steps to learn their reo. They've enrolled in courses and are learning from those around them who speak Māori.

Ms Brown said she still needs to put in more effort.

"We did a course at Unitec, the free Māori courses. My nana was fluent and my dad is so there are opportunities around for me to learn."

Mr Fa'aui said speaking with his mum at home has been the biggest help.

"I've been doing correspondence te reo courses and my mum has picked it up again so we're trying to speak as much as we can to each other at home."

- Reporting by Radio NZ's Eden More

rnz.co.nz

Jaymi Hirawani McTaggart, Emma Brown, Tumanako Fa’aui and Eve Duncan Spring talk about being labelled 'plastic'.
Jaymi Hirawani McTaggart, Emma Brown, Tumanako Fa’aui and Eve Duncan Spring talk about being labelled 'plastic'. Source: rnz.co.nz


Christchurch City Council gives $220 million covered multi-use arena the green light

Christchurch City Council has voted in favour of using $220 million for a multi-use arena - with a roof - in the central city.

After a lengthy discussion, the city officials voted to take the money from the Governments $300 million Capital Acceleration Fund.

The majority of the Government’s $300 million regeneration fund will go towards the stadium, but not everyone is happy with the move. Source: 1 NEWS

The Crusaders Super Rugby team are among those who will benefit from the project, after years of enduring their chilly temporary stadium in Addington.

"It's not going to be in my lifetime playing, but awesome to take the kids along to concerts and rugby," Crusaders captain Kieran Read said in June. "It's great to the whole community down there - it's a rugby stadium but it's more than that. It's for the Christchurch community so it'll be great."

The arena renews hope that Christchurch won't again be snubbed for All Blacks Tests and major crowd-pullers like Ed Sheeran.

Four options for the stadium have been shortlisted. Source: 1 NEWS

City officials decided to parcel out the other $80 million of the Capital Acceleration Fund to the Avon Rover Red Zone green spine and to transportation projects.

"We can't afford not to build a stadium," developer Richard Peebles told councillors today, according to Stuff.

He described the decision as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"If you don't build the multi-purpose arena in the CBD you will have lots more restaurants and bars closing," he said. "We need our engine running smoothly and we need it running well, and our CBD is that engine."

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

But not all agreed, with protestors calling for the money to be spent on "warm dry homes for our kids".

The key message is a new sports arena should not only have a roof, but also a retractable playing field. Source: 1 NEWS