Shocking video shows what can happen to a child's insides if they swallow a battery

The Government is warning of the dangers of button batteries after statistics revealed around 20 children each year are rushed to Auckland's Starship Hospital for treatment for swallowing a button battery, with some needing serious emergency surgery.

The alarming statistics show battery makers needed to improve their safety processes, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says.

"They're particularly small and they can do a lot of harm in a short amount of time and they can have long lasting effects for the children," he said.

Mr Faafoi attended an event at Starship yesterday, alongside representatives from the hospital and Auckland District Health Board, warning of the dangers the batteries posed.

The Government has outlined its plan to help protect curious children who accidently ingest the tiny batteries. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand will be one of the first countries in the world to enact a "product safety policy statement" in a bid to improve the warning labels on potentially harmful products including button batteries. 

The batteries - which fit into small electronic devices, such as watches - can not only choke and block a child's airways, they can be corrosive to human tissue, as shown in a grim experiment conducted by the BBC.

Health correspondent Fergus Walsh used a slice of ham and a jug of water to show the damage small lithium batteries can do to human flesh.

Once water touches the battery, it causes the meat to bubble and burn.

"Eventually this would have burned its way right through the ham," Welsh says. "Same thing with a child's throat."

The corrosive process is called hydrolisation and is caused by the electric current from the battery reacting with body fluids to create a current which in turn "eats into tissue".

It can visibly begin damaging tissue within 30 minutes with health authorities warning that time is of the essence when treating a child suspected of swallowing a button battery.

Two car crash leaves one person dead, two others seriously injured in Hauraki District

A person has died in a two car crash on State Highway Two in the Hauraki District last night. 

Emergency services were called to the scene of the fatal crash around 9pm. 

A police spokesperson said one person died at the scene and another was flown to Waikato Hospital with critical injuries. 

A third person was also taken to Waikato Hospital with serious injuries. 

The road was closed with diversions in place last night. 

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS



Iwi leaders unhappy issues like water ownership aren't on new Government's radar

The Iwi Leaders Chairs forum who were once close to National are renegotiating their relationship with the new Government.

Iwi Leaders welcomed Jacinda Ardern to Waitangi and the welcoming tone was reportedly clearly different from previous years. 

Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau says, "the main thing for us is at this time is confirm that relationship between the Crown and the Iwi Leaders, because firstly, we're the only group that has a legal mandate to speak for our people including in court."

"So if you watch today National used to walk in pat them on the head like 'Madge', and then have a meeting and then walk out. There was true engagement here in Māoritanga terms and that's a tremendous difference over the last nine years."

Despite the warm welcome, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says "there are still a lot of issues the government and Iwi Leaders need to find solutions to."

New Ministers told tribal leaders, the forum's priorities, like water and constitutional issus are not on the Government's radar, prompting a blunt response from Iwi leaders.

In a letter obtained by 1 NEWS, the forum told the Prime Minister in December that it would consider legal options.

Sonny Tau says, "We are like every other citizen in the country, everybody's got the ability to go to court over any issue they want, and there's no difference for the Iwi leaders."

Former politician John Tamihere says the letter wasn't "necessarily sanctioned by a lot of the leaders".

"I think there's a change in the way in which the Iwi leaders will work with this government."

After being issued the letter the Prime Minister is also optimistic that they "can keep working together".

The 50 tribe Iwi leaders forum is talking about legal options if agreement can't be reached over major issues with new Government. Source: 1 NEWS