United Future party to disband due to falling vote numbers - 'Extremely proud of what we've achieved'

The United Future party has confirmed that it will disband due to falling vote numbers.

The party failed to reach the five per cent threshold in the September General Election.

Former party leader Peter Dunne retired just weeks out from this years' elections, saying "there is now a mood amongst Ohariu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter".

After three decades, the United Future leader won't be standing for Ohariu after polling saw him in trouble. Source: Breakfast

The United Future party was formed in 2000 and Mr Dunne held the Ohariu seat for more than 33 years - since 1984.

United Future leader Damian Light said in a release this morning that "all good things must come to an end".

"We're extremely proud of what we've achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour," Mr Light said.

"Despite our successes in parliament, it is no secret that we have struggled at election time.

The United Future leader was a key government ally, but won't stand in his long-held Ohariu seat this time around. Source: Breakfast

"We know people like our policies and vision but it hasn't translated into votes.

"While the reasons vary, what has become clear is that United Future will not be able to achieve the significant number of votes required to break the high threshold."

The release said the decision to disband was accepted unanimously among party members at this weekend's Annual General Meeting in Auckland.

"Thank you everyone who has stood, supported and voted for us throughout the last 15 years," Mr Light said.

"We have achieved a massive amount in a short space and we are proud.

"While there is sadness at end of United Future Party, all good things must end."

Mr Light says all the tax would do would be to "disincentivise" the sale of housing.
United Future leader Damian Light. Source: 1 NEWS



Jacinda Ardern outlines Government's top 12 priorities for New Zealand over next 30 years

The Prime Minister has announced 12 priorities as part of a 30-year plan that will be a focus of the Government's ongoing work.

Jacinda Ardern outlined the plan during a speech in Auckland today.

"The Coalition Government’s long-term plan is a blueprint which sets out our priorities and the steps we are taking to build a more modern and fairer New Zealand that we can all be proud of," says Ms Ardern.

"This plan represents our shared vision and priorities; Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens. It establishes the foundation for the Government’s work and includes issues of particular importance to each of the parties which are supported by all of them.

"Our Government has a firm eye on the future. That's why our plan is looking 30 years ahead, not just three."

The Government's 12 priorities are: 

- To grow and share more fairly New Zealand's prosperity

- Supporting thriving and sustainable regions

- Transitioning to a clean, green carbon neutral New Zealand

- Delivering responsible government with a broader measure of success

- Ensuring that everyone is either earning, learning, caring or volunteering

- Supporting healthier, safer and more connected communities

- Ensuring everyone has a warm, dry home

- Making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child

- Committing to deliver transparent, transformative, and compassionate government

- Building closer partnerships with Māori

- Valuing who we are as a country

- Creating an international reputation we can be proud of

The Prime Minister gave details of the Government plan during a speech in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS


SH1 Desert Road closed after stock truck rolls

Part of the North Island's Desert Road  (SH1) has been closed after a stock truck rolled today.

Emergency services were called to the scene near Paradise Valley Road at 1.10pm.

The truck driver was uninjured following the incident but cattle are on the road.

A vet is in attendance to attend to the animals.

Diversions are in place and motorists have been asked to avoid the area and delay travel if possible.

The road is expected to closed for some time while the scene is cleared.

A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle
A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle. Source: 1 NEWS

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Canterbury engineer hopes to quake-proof buildings with old tyres

A University of Canterbury team is a million dollars closer to its goal of developing quake-proof building foundations from old tyres.

The money from the Endeavour Fund, administered by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, will go to researching new foundation systems for low-rise homes and buildings.

The project's science leader said waste tyres were an affordable source of building materials that could be adapted for wider use.

Gabriele Chiaro, a senior engineering lecturer at Canterbury University, said 3.5 million used tyres were sent to landfills or dumped each year in New Zealand.

"This gives rise to stockpiles of tyres that cause enormous environmental issues."

Mr Chiaro and his team planned to use them to create what was described as an "eco-rubber, seismic-isolation foundation system" for buildings throughout the country.

It is a system that filters the energy of an earthquake by combining two critical elements: A rubber-gravel mixture that disperses seismic shock waves and a flexible "raft" foundation made of steel fibre-reinforced rubberised concrete, that does not crack like regular concrete.

The system would not only absorb the shock, but also prevent damage, Mr Chiaro said.

There were similar studies elsewhere in the world, but mainly in countries that did not have the same earthquake risk.

"In New Zealand we are trying to assess the problem of tyre waste management, and by doing so we are also able to minimise the seismic damage for medium-density, low-height residential buildings."

He said the development was aimed for use in housing developments, which was where a gap existed in earthquake strengthening, but the technology could also be used in small-scale commercial developments.

Mr Chiaro said preliminary studies were done in 2015, which revealed the potential for development. A prototype could be ready within two years before laboratory testing was done, and field trials could be expected within five years.

"After than, we anticipate that in 10 years' time this foundation will be used in most of the buildings built in New Zealand."

Mr Chiaro did not think it would be hard convincing regulatory authorities of its merits, provided it was affordable and resilient.

The $1m Endeavour Fund is New Zealand's largest contestable research fund, aimed at ambitious research projects to improve the lives of New Zealanders.

Mr Chiaro expected the project to attract interest.

"There is potential for great collaboration with Japan and the USA, with whom we already have a connection, and also with Europe."

By Tracy Neal

rnz.co.nz

Gabriele Chiaro, a senior engineering lecturer at Canterbury University, said 3.5 million used tyres were sent to landfills or dumped each year in New Zealand.
Gabriele Chiaro, a senior engineering lecturer at Canterbury University, said 3.5 million used tyres were sent to landfills or dumped each year in New Zealand. Source: University of Canterbury


Man charged with murder after fatal stabbing of woman, 28, in Christchurch

A man has been charged with murder following last night's fatal stabbing of a woman, 28, on Ilam Road, Christchurch.

Police say the man, 52, has also been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He remains in Christchurch Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Another man, a 31-year-old, remains in Christchurch Hospital in a serious but stable condition after the incident.

Police have confirmed to media today that 52-year-old man turned the knife on himself, Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Anderson said.

Police say although the investigation is still in its early days those involved were known to each other and Police are not seeking anyone else over the incident.

Police say although the investigation is still in its early days those involved were known to each other and Police are not seeking anyone else over the incident.

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If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Detective Inspector Scott Anderson spoke about the incident on Ilam Road. Source: 1 NEWS