Video: Bill English backed by National caucus, intends leading party into 2020

Bill English has been re-elected unopposed as National Party leader and says he intends to lead the party into the 2020 election, claiming National is "the strongest opposition the New Zealand parliament has seen".

Mr English, flanked by re-elected deputy Paula Bennett and senior whip Jami Lee Ross, told reporters National "will go into opposition with more seats than the Labour-New Zealand First coalition government with 56 seats on our side".

Mr English told reporters he has committed to leading an opposition "that will make sure the benefits New Zealanders have worked so hard for in our economy are not just preserved but continue to improve". 

He said people have done a lot of work over the last 10 years to get to being one of the better performing economies in the developed world. 

"The policies we are seeing from the incoming government could fritter that away. We will hold them to account on the high expectations they have created that for instance incomes will rise faster and that they will make better progress on some of the more challenging social and environmental issues," Mr English said.

Having lost the bid to sway NZ First, what will Bill English do now? Source: 1 NEWS

"We don't believe their policies point in that direction."

Mr English said the National opposition have a more positive view about New Zealand's prospects than the incoming government which has already set out to prepare people for a slowing economy and at the same time promising higher incomes.

"I think they'll find that a bit of a challenge."

He said the release of the coalition agreement today needs to be seen in the context of the agreement with the Greens and with Labour's policies which are the most significant of the government. 

"Taken as a whole, in the first place they look really quite expensive, so we'll be tracking closely the impact on on the government books and the impact of the significantly increased expenditure and whether it achieves results," he said.

"The policies also look to shift the economic direction somewhat and we’ll be holding the government to account on whether the broad sweep of the policies that is Labour, Greens and NZ First achieve the kind of greater economic performance that they’ve claimed."

Despite getting nearly half the votes, Mr English and his party will be on the opposition benches. Source: 1 NEWS

Bill English was prime minister for about nine months, winning National's leadership election unopposed following the resignation of John Key last December. 

Despite winning the largest share of the party vote, 44.4 per cent, in last month's election, National is now in opposition after New Zealand First last week opted to go into coalition with Labour, which will be supported by the Greens on confidence and supply.

Mr English says his party will fight for New Zealand from the other side of the house. Source: 1 NEWS



'My god she can run' - woman at centre of hilarious Kawakawa dog escape video says Lily is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame

A Bay of Islands woman told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp she is "never going to live this down" after footage of her rescue dog Lily dragging a bakery's flag down the main street of Kawakawa went viral around the globe.

CCTV footage of the freedom-seeking furball's runner — accompanied by Yakety Sax, the song made famous by the Benny Hill Show — has been viewed more than 500,000 times since it was posted to Facebook last night.

Lucie Green, a volunteer with Bay of Islands Animal Rescue, was taking the basset hound for a walk last week when she decided to stop at a local business to buy Lily a treat.

But the Basset Hound received a fright and bolted despite being tied to a large Coca-Cola flag forcing Lucie to give chase.

"For an animal with just little legs, my god she can run," Lucie told Seven Sharp.

Lily, Lucie and the rogue flag brought Kawakawa's State Highway 1 strip to a standstill, the whole escapade captured on CCTV.

"My partner owns a local CCTV company I got to the office and I told him what had happened.

"He didn't tell me he'd done it, but he edited footage and put the music on and uploaded it to Facebook and tagged me in it.

"I knew it was trouble when basically by the time we'd gone to bed last night it had hit 100,000 views," Lucie said.

Thousands of people have since commented on the video, with many of them admiring the dog’s spirit.

"I'm laughing my guts out it's so funny," wrote Facebook user Annie Hicks.

Lucie does see the funny side of events however.

"They say every dog has their day, so I guess Lily is enjoying her 15 mins of fame." 

Lily made a run for it when owner Lucie Green stopped at a shop in the Northland town. Source: Seven Sharp

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Tracking down New Plymouth youth MP candidates after Andrew Little's 'hip' appeal

Labour MP Andrew Little released a tongue in cheek video encouraging young people from New Plymouth to get involved in politics today.

The video inspired TVNZ1's Seven Sharp to travel to Mr Little's old school to find the perfect candidate for its new youth MP.

Judge for yourself if New Plymouth Boys' High students Thomas Foy and Jarrod Wilson have what it takes in the video above.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat is on the case after the Labour MP's piece of political theatre. Source: Seven Sharp

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Watch: Take a tour inside Kate Sheppard’s former house where suffragists worked to get women the right to vote

Suffragist Kate Sheppard's old house in Christchurch goes up for auction next month - so Seven Sharp host Hilary Barry took a tour.

Ms Sheppard was instrumental in gaining New Zealand women the right to vote in 1893. She carried out important work for the suffrage movement in the house during the late 19th Century.

Today saw celebrations around the country marking 125 years since women gained the right to vote in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern has indicated the Government is interested in buying the house for the nation. It's expected to fetch in excess of $3 million when it goes under the hammer on October 17.

Hilary Barry met with the home's current owner Julia Burbury who showed her around the dwelling set on one acre of gardens.

The house has a category one heritage listing.

The piece of New Zealand history in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million, is up for auction. Source: Seven Sharp


Mum distraught as son turned away from Hutt Valley High School because he didn't have permanent address

Being homeless has become an obstacle for one mother wanting to give her child an education.

Helen Taitapanui and her son were turned away from Hutt Valley High School last week because they don't have a permanent residential address.

Ms Taitapanui, is currently battling cancer and lives in a motel with her teenage son while they wait for a permanent home.

"We've got to be glad that we've got that when we know that a lot of our families are out there living in cars," Ms Taitapanui told 1 NEWS.

However, this was a problem when she tried to enrol her son at a local school.

"The response was it's against their policy to register children living out of a motel. you had to have a residential address," Ms Taitapanui said.

She complained to the Ministry of Education and shortly after Hutt Valley High School reversed its decision.

Ms Taitapanui says her son's excited about going back to school.

"I know once he steps back into the realm of education he'll be well and truly away."

She hopes by speaking out, another unnecessary obstacle will be removed for the homeless.

Being homeless threw up an unexpected obstacle for a mum wanting to educate her child. Source: 1 NEWS