Simon Bridges 'needs to be looking over his shoulder' after low Colmar Brunton poll rating - Labour's Kelvin Davis

Labour's deputy leader Kelvin Davis has brushed aside Labour's recent poll drop, after the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll was released last night,

Labour's deputy leader brushed off his party's drop in the poll but says National's leader should be concerned. Source: Breakfast

Instead, Mr Davis - speaking on TVNZ1's Breakfast today - suggested National Party leader Simon Bridges should be "looking over his shoulder", after only gaining 10 per cent as preferred prime minister in the poll. 

"The government is still strong on 54 per cent, we're still higher than we were on election night," Mr Davis, the Acting Prime Minister said.

Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party fell five percentage points to 43 per cent in the poll, while National climbed one percentage point to 44 per cent.

The Greens are on six per cent, up one, NZ First are up two to five per cent, and the Maori Party are steady on one per cent.

If the poll results were repeated at the next election, they would give National 54 seats, Labour 52, the Greens eight and New Zealand First six.

"We thought the previous poll was a bit strange, so we're not surprised it came down," Mr Davis said. 

1 NEWS' political editor analyses the April 15 Colmar Brunton poll. Source: Breakfast

Mr Davis said there was usually an average of a 3 per cent bump with new leaders.

Mr Bridges jumped nine points to 10 per cent after taking the National leadership.

"The result I think should be worrying Simon Bridges is that he's debuted on 10 per cent, when Jacinda became Prime Minister she debuted on 26 per cent."

"He needs to be looking over his shoulder because we know Amy Adams and Judith Collins are probably rubbing their hands together with glee," Mr Davis said, in terms of other MPs who may be vying to hold leadership. 

Ms Ardern retains the lead as the most preferred prime minister with the support of 37 per cent of the 1007 people polled, but is down four percentage points since the previous poll in February. 

Auckland Council says anti-1080 protesters trapped staff

Anti-1080 protesters allegedly locked Auckland Council staff members in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park last night.

The council dropped 1080 in the ranges earlier today after an interim junction stopping the drop lapsed on Friday evening.

Auckland Council parks, sports and recreation manager, Mace Ward, said they were trapped in the park for more than an hour.

"We were able to remove those chains and exit the park safely and secure the park overnight. What also happened overnight we had graffiti on signage and some of our toilets and facilities."

Mr Ward said following today's drop, staff would now clear tracks and test water quality in the ranges.

The council was given the go ahead to drop the poison after the interim injunction lapsed on Friday evening.

The Friends of Sherwood Trust won a temporary injunction in the Environment Court halting the major pest control programme two weeks ago.

However, on Friday the court refused the Trust's bid to further halt the drop.

Mr Ward said the first block of the operation, which covers 16,000 hectares, was set to be completed today.

Department of Conservation staff say in the past month they've had their car tyres slashed and wheel nuts loosened. Source: 1 NEWS

The pre-feed drop, which was completed before the drop was temporarily suspended, did not need to be repeated, Mr Ward said.

Following today's drop, staff will then work to clear tracks and test water quality in the ranges, he said.

On Friday, council staff phoned more than 100 households near the drop site to give them the required notice.

The action follows a recent spike in anti-1080 protests including one last week when dead birds were placed on the steps of Parliament, with activists claiming they were poisoned by the toxin.

However, after police were called in to investigate if the birds had in fact been bludgeoned, one of the protesters admitted some were actually road kill.

But a community board member said many residents in the Hunua Ranges did not oppose 1080 being dropped in the area.

Franklin Local Board member Malcolm Bell said no one wants to drop the toxin, but it needs to be done.

"We're in the situation where if we don't then wildlife, particularly the birds, are likely to be reduced drastically in numbers to the point actually where we probably won't have any native birds in the Hunua Ranges if we don't take action," he said.

There is a small minority of individuals in the area who oppose the drop, Mr Bell said.



Warnings as more heavy snow on the way for South Island

Motorists are being warned about several roads that are forecast to be hit with heavy snow tonight and tomorrow.

A cold front is forecast to move north across the country tomorrow, while a low develops to the east of the South Island and then moves away to the east late Tuesday.

A drop in temperatures, showers and snow was forecast over the South Island for tomorrow, and possibly across the lower and central North Island on Tuesday.

MetService said the cold snap was expected to affect many higher roads and farms in those areas, and there was a moderate risk the snow would reach warning criteria about inland Canterbury and Kaikōura from Monday evening.

According to Metservice, rain is expected to turn to snow tomorrow at several passes, including Lewis Pass (State Highway 7), Arthur's Pass (State Highway 73), Porters Pass (State Highway 73), Haast Pass (State Highway 6), Lindis Pass (State Highway 8).

Meanwhile, this evening snow is also expected to hit Crown Range Road, and the Milford Road (State Highway 94) tunnel.

A heavy snow watch was also in place north and south of the Rangitata River, North and Central Otago, and Dunedin.

The road snow warnings follow on from last week's snow blitz in Queenstown, when hundreds of people were left without power after trees knocked down power poles and numerous roads were shut.

But residents and stranded tourists made the most of the big dump. Source: 1 NEWS


Man charged with murder over fatal Tauranga stabbing

A man has been charged with murder following the death of a 48-year-old man in Papamoa, Tauranga yesterday.

Police say the 22-year-old man charged was known to the victim and will be appearing in Tauranga District Court tomorrow.

The police investigation is ongoing but no-one else is being sought in relation to the death.

Police still want to hear from anyone who was walking in the Harding Street area between 7.30am and 9am yesterday.

Neighbour Todd Madden, who was walking to their car on the front lawn with his six-year-old at the time of the incident, told the NZ Herald they saw a "young guy covered in blood" in a driveway.

"[He] yelled at me to call the police.

"Police arrived and he laid down on the ground and I grabbed the two kids."

The children told him there was a victim inside "laying in a pool of blood".

"They had been crying loudly for about 30 minutes but I just thought they were being naughty - I wished I had've gone over earlier."

Anyone with information should call Tauranga Police on (07) 577 4300 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

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

UK envoy urges EU to step back from the Brexit 'abyss'

Britain's foreign secretary today urged European Union leaders to "step back from the abyss" and seek a compromise over stalled Brexit negotiations.

Jeremy Hunt told the BBC that the EU should work with Britain to try to find a way to make British Prime Minister Theresa May's "sensible, concrete proposals actually work" in the divorce between Britain and the bloc.

He spoke a day after May used a rare televised address to complain the EU was acting in bad faith by rejecting her proposed Brexit plan without offering an alternative. She said talks were at an "impasse" over future trade relations and a possible border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU-member, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K.

A gathering of EU leaders in Salzburg not only failed to make progress on the topic of Brexit but led to bitter recriminations from both sides. Since the failed summit, the usually reserved May has used unusually blunt language to complain that EU leaders are not taking her proposals seriously.

EU Council President Donald Tusk used a satirical Instagram post showing him giving May some sweets with the caption "Sorry, no cherries" - a reference to the EU's refusal to allow Britain to cherry-pick what aspects of EU membership it would like to keep after Brexit.

The British foreign secretary said this approach, and comments by French President Emmanuel Macron characterising the leaders of Britain's Brexit campaign as "liars," are counterproductive.

"Insulting her on social media, getting to these standoffs where you are calling people liars and so on is not the way we are going to get a solution to this difficult situation," Hunt said.

The increasingly bitter stalemate has raised the prospects that Britain will leave the EU in March without a deal. The value of the British pound dropped Saturday because of fears of the possible economic costs of a "no deal" Brexit scenario.

In the fallout from the snap UK Election two of Theresa May's closest advisors failed to sell her vision and lost their jobs in the process.
Source: 1 NEWS