Should drug testing of beneficiaries be stopped after 'so few' fail?

This week on Inside Parliament, the 1 NEWS team discuss the interesting findings into beneficiary drug use.

Reporter Benedict Collins questioned the large amount of resources that go into testing people on the unemployment benefit, when "so few fail". 

Figures show that 47,115 beneficiaries were referred to jobs that required drug testing in the year to June and 170 of those failed the tests.

The fail statistic includes people who did not turn up to be tested.  

Watch the full episode of Inside Parliament:

A weekly podcast with 1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch and political reporters Benedict Collins & Maiki Sherman. Source: 1 NEWS

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Reporter Benedict Collins said the amount of resources going into drug testing people on the unemployment benefit was “pretty extraordinary”. Source: 1 NEWS


Thirty-one people recently treated at Christchurch Hospital after taking synthetic drugs, 12 this week

A total of 31 patients have been treated at Christchurch Hospital for the effects of taking synthetic drugs since September 20, with two people remaining in ICU. 

A spokesperson for the Canterbury and West Coast DHB said 12 more people have presented or were admitted to Christchurch Hospital just this week. 

"Three more patients have received intensive care following synthetic cannabinoid use, but are no longer in ICU. Two of the original three remain in ICU."

It comes a spate of admissions to Christchurch Hospital over the last three weeks of people who had taken synthetic drugs.

"There have been no synthetic cannabinoid-related deaths in Christchurch hospital during this time," the spokesperson said. 

They're calling for the drug to be classified as Class A – the most harmful and dangerous.
Source: 1 NEWS


Wellington's much-maligned Island Bay cycleway at least a year away from being fixed

Locals enraged by the botched cycleway in the Wellington suburb of Island Bay will likely have to wait another year for it to be fixed.

The Wellington City Council agreed in September last year to revamp the cycleway after locals fiercely opposed the design which saw the cyclists riding between the curb and cars.

However, work has not started yet as the council is hoping the Transport Agency will help cover $24m of the $32m project.

But the agency won't give funding for just the Island Bay section so the council must present a plan that covers the cycleway from Island Bay to the Basin Reserve, council documents show.

Island Bay locals aren’t convinced about the unusual design, labelling it “an accident waiting to happen”. Source: 1 NEWS

It was not clear what the cost of changing the Island Bay stretch of cycleway would be but it was likely to be more than the $6m first budgeted.

Wellington City Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons said the delay is the right course of action.

"This to me is really the only responsible approach given that we can access a significant amount more in government investment to connect the Island Bay cycleway through to the centre of Wellington."

The council would use what it had learnt from the Island Bay debacle while building the rest of the cycleway, Ms Fitzimons said.

The council would continue to do maintenance on the road over summer, including repainting markings in the middle of the road, and trying to remove old markings which were still visible.

The cycleway has been mired in controversy since its inception in 2011 with more than 100 people marching through Island Bay in December last year. They were protesting against the council's proposed solution to raise the cycleway to the same level as the footpath so cars can park up against the curb.

The Island Bay Residents Association is pushing ahead with plans to file legal action against the council.

By Laura Dooney


The community is calling for a return to the pre-cycleway design that wouldn't see carparks removed. Source: Breakfast


'Every woman has a story' of barriers to sport - Jacinda Ardern

Women's participation in sport needs to be considered down to a schooling level. says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

It comes after the Government announced a $10 million investment over three years to increase efforts to grow female leadership, coaching and governance among women in sport. 

The initiative, launched on the United Nations' Day of the Girl, will see an increase in support for female athletes, hoping to improve participation rates among women and girls.

Today, Ms Ardern said they "need to worry" about participation barriers for women down to schooling level.

"I hope that we have full buy in at every single level because it's often at school that that participation starts or stops, and determines whether it carries on later in life."

Ms Ardern spoke about her own sporting experience growing up. 

"Sport has never been something that I particularly excelled at, but it was something that was social, something that we were always encouraged to do. 

"But I saw lots of reasons along the way why other young weren't participating or didn't feel comfortable participating. I think every woman has a story, that at some point felt like they were discouraged from participating."

The Prime Minister also responded to concerns of a lack of accessibility to Black Ferns jerseys, after a story was published on the Spinoff describing it as the "rarest piece of NZ sporting merchandise". 

"We should be able to have the most basic things like merchandise for our sport teams that are female and male, equally available," Ms Ardern said.

"We're talking about a world champion team and ones which have a huge following. Things are turning around and we need to keep up."

The Prime Minister made the comments as her Government announced $10 million to support women staying in sport. Source: 1 NEWS

Person airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after two-car crash in Canterbury

One person has been airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after a two-car crash in Canterbury today.

The incident occurred between a truck and a ute on Bealey Road, near the intersection with Greendale Road, Selwyn, at around 12.30pm.

The Serious Crash Unit is in attendance and traffic is being diverted around the scene.

Source: 1 NEWS