Surviving on benefits, young people leaving - Simon Bridges hears what worries Kiwis on his roadshow

National Party leader Simon Bridges has wrapped up his nationwide roadshow, saying he has heard many personal stories from New Zealanders on issues from trying to survive on benefits to worries about young people leaving the country.

Mr Bridges estimates at least 10,000 people have attended his public meetings from Gore to Kerikeri, with numbers ranging from about 100 in small towns to 500 in cities.

"We've had hard questions, easy questions on all the things you'd expect - health, education, law and order - but all your very personal stories," he told 1 NEWS in Tauranga today. 

"I remember a mum who couldn't get by on the benefits and also felt that she wasn't incentivised with her young children to get into work. And she wanted to see what we could do differently," he said. 

He had also heard from elderly people "who have real concerns for their children's future in New Zealand. worry about them leaving for overseas". 

"It's been really good for me, not just to listen, but also to get a real sense that we're on the right track in a bunch of areas, and the work we need to do to make it a competitive, exciting election where New Zealanders have a real choice in 2020."

Mr Bridges said he got a real and reassuring sense from New Zealanders "that we got things right in National in the economy, we were strong on that, we managed it well with their help as New Zealanders". 

"But there's also other areas where they want to see us maintain relevance, they want us to recalibrate and modernise. 

"And so we're in a process right now of making sure we listen this year. But then we get out and discuss our ideas, we put some things on the table next year so New Zealanders have really concrete proposals and plans before them in 2020, they've got a real choice at that election."

The National Party leader says about 10,000 people have attended his nationwide public meetings which wrapped up in Tauranga. Source: 1 NEWS

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Kiwis fined by Israeli courts over cancelled Lorde concert raising money for Gaza mental health

The Kiwis behind an open letter urging Lorde not to perform in Israel are raising money for mental health in Gaza after they were ordered by the Israeli courts to pay a NZ$19,000 fine.

Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab must pay three Israeli teenagers thousands in damages for harming their "artistic welfare" over the cancelled concert, which was to to be performed in Tel Aviv. 

The concert, scheduled for June 2018, was cancelled by the Kiwi singer last December, after the women wrote an open letter to the star asking her to reconsider. 

Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab say they won’t pay, and are fundraising for mental health services in Gaza instead. Source: 1 NEWS

"We will not be paying the court ordered amount. Instead, we would like to redirect the support extended to us back to Palestinians in need of mental health support," the pair said on their givealittle page.

Ms Sachs and Ms Abu-Shanab said the crowdfounding campaign was launched in the hopes of raising USD$12,000 for the Gaza Mental Health Foundation, which helps provide financial support for mental health support organisations.

As of 4.44pm, the pair raised $1,651.36 in donations from 40 donors.

To donate to the givealittle page, click here.


Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab. Source: Givealittle / Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab

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Weasel caught in trap at Wellington wildlife sanctuary after footprints found

Zealandia has caught a weasel after its footprints were found in the Wellington wildlife sanctuary on Monday last week.

The female weasel was found in a Department of Conservation trap today by a Zealandia ranger, at the southern end of the sanctuary where the animal was first detected.

Conservation and Research Manager Dr Danielle Shanahan is delighted with the result, saying the quick detection of the weasel dramatically reduces the risk to the sanctuary's wildlife.

"We'll continue to monitor things closely, keeping traps, camera traps and tracking tunnels out there until we're convinced that it was just the one animal," Dr Shanahan said.

Around 110 DOC200 traps were set in the urban wildlife sanctuary, baited with rabbit meat and eggs. 

Camera traps were also set, capturing the weasel on video three times at the same location.

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'Instead of a car, a newborn baby' - William Shatner takes dig at Elon Musk, bizarrely suggests sending baby Neve to space

William Shatner has made an odd suggestion to help improve the country's space programme - sending baby Neve Gayford into space.

The comments come after the Star Trek actor helped open Rocket Lab's new factory alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Auckland today.

In a dig at SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who put a car inside a rocket which was sent into orbit, Shatner said sending Ms Ardern's newborn baby would yield a greater payload.

"The Prime Minister has a baby, so why don't we put the baby as a payload. Get the baby up there, protect it - and, of course, bring the baby back home - but think how much better New Zealand's space programme would be," he said.

"Instead of a car, a newborn baby. What a wonderful place to be - on the cutting edge of this technology."

The Star Trek actor gave a very odd suggestion to help improve the country’s space programme Source: 1 NEWS


First of more than 18,000 crosses installed outside Auckland War Memorial Museum to mark WW1 deaths

On a dim and wet Auckland day, the first of more than 18,000 crosses - one to mark each death from WWI - are being carefully and painstakingly put in place outside the city's War Memorial Museum.

There was a private blessing this morning to mark the start of the installations.

The thousands of white crosses will keep being installed across the weekend and through to Monday afternoon at the earliest.

Auckland RSA president and Fields of Remembrance vice chairman Graham Gibson told 1 NEWS the end result will be a poignant sight.

"This is coming to the final stage, Armistice 2018, when the guns stopped. We're finally putting this field in as a national field," Mr Gibson said.

"It's 18,277 crosses."

The Fields of Remembrance started in 2014, as commemorations began intensifying leading up to this year's 100 year anniversary of the Armistice signing that ended the war.

There is grief behind each of the crosses, and a separate field is especially for the many families that have more than one cross.

"In that field is the nine mothers that lost four, the 51 mothers that lost three sons, and the 636 that lost two sons," he said.

"It's actually quite significant that we're starting to lay the field on this day, the 12th of October. History tells us that's when our bloodiest thing [happened] in the first World War, the Battle of Passchendaele, where we lost 846 men in the time it takes to play three games of rugby."

Current NZDF members have been laying the crosses today.

"It's only fitting that the military lay the crosses for the men and women that went before them.

"It was all for the young ones, and we wanted the young ones to understand what service and sacrifice was about."

From October 20, a bugler will walk through the fields at 7am and 7pm.

TVNZ will be broadcasting Auckland's Armistice centenary service live.

First of more than 18,000 crosses put in place at Auckland War Memorial Museum ahead of Armistice centenary commemoration. Source: 1 NEWS