Traffic misery for Wellington commuters as crash blocks SH2 southbound

The southbound lane on SH2 north of Wellington is back open following a truck crash that left two people seriously injured.

The incident took place around 1km south of the Haywards interchange.

Police say the truck left the road and went down a bank near the Hutt River.

Motorists have been told to expect significant delays as the backlog clears. 

Pike families confirm Winston is holding fast to manned re-entry coalition policy

Pike River families spokesperson Sonya Rockhouse has confirmed Winston Peters is holding fast to his promise of making manned re-entry into the mine a coalition deal-breaker when it comes to forming the next government.

Ms Rockhouse, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, said the meeting yesterday between the families and NZ First "reaffirmed what he's been saying all along".

"That will be part of the deal ... manned re-entry into the Pike River drift," Ms Rockhouse said.

Mr Peters met with National and Labour delegates yesterday and says they've agreed on protocol for serious talks. Source: Breakfast

Labour, as well as the Green Party, have already committed to re-entering the mine, signing a memorandum of understanding with the Pike River families earlier this year.

The National Government, however, has repeatedly stuck to its guns about not re-entering the mine, saying expert advice suggests it is still to dangerous.

Mr Peters had made re-entering the drift a bottom line in any coalition deal. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Rockhouse described it as a "win-win" for the families, who have battled long and hard for the bodies of the miners to be recovered.

The NZ First leader met with families yesterday, and said re-entry remains a bottom line for forming a government. Source: Breakfast


'We want to have confidence in those final results' - why we're waiting so long for special votes to be counted

As the wait for special votes to be counted is almost over and the country eagerly awaits Winston Peters' coalition decision, political commentator Dr Bryce Edwards explains the reason NZ is holding out for the special votes to roll in.

The long wait for special votes to be counted is in the legislation, Dr Edwards said on TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning. 

"They make sure they give the Electoral Commission enough time, ten (working) days, and for all the different votes to come in, especially around the world."

About 15 per cent of the special votes are from overseas, meaning they need to be sent back to New Zealand, then back to the original electorate.

"We do want to have a bit of confidence in those final results."

Dr Edwards said the time it takes to count special votes could be reduced slightly in the future.

Mr Peters was waiting for the special votes to be counted before starting detailed negotiations with the left and right.

Typically the centre-left does well out of the special vote count, and Dr Edwards said the likelihood of National gaining two seats was "incredibly low".

"In this election campaign we have seen some unexpected things happen, it's just a question of how many seats National lose. They might lose none."

He said that would be "the upset". 

Dr Edwards said if Labour and Greens did not gain any seats, Mr Peters would not be "comfortable" aligning with the parties on a bare majority. 

"But we'll really just have to wait and see."

Dr Bryce Edwards tells TVNZ 1's Breakfast just why NZ is holding out for the special votes to roll in. Source: Breakfast