Video podcast: 'They've got all that energy' - 1 NEWS political team on Labour's long-awaited swearing in ceremony

It was out with the old and in with the new this week at parliament, and the 1NEWS political team say the vibe of Thursday's swearing in ceremony revolved around the fashionable cool of Jacinda Ardern.

Corin, Andrea and Jessica all agreed there was an unusual excitement to the typical government swearing in ceremonies. 

"It felt a bit cool, and it's not a cool thing to do - you know, it's very traditional," Jessica Mutch said.

"A little bit hipster eh, I agree with you," Corin Dann said.

"And I had a quick moment of thinking 'oh yeah she's definitely got a bit of a cool factor about her'.

"Like Key, people loved Key right, and he was a populist and a genius all that whole popularist politics, he really was, and he connected with people.

"But she has got a little bit of that hipster factor about her, and it looks like she's going to bring a little bit of that to her government."

The 1 NEWS team were also impressed with the composure which Ardern handled all the attention.

"Jolly what, Jacinda Ardern handles it pretty well doesn’t she, cool as a cucumber," Dann said.

"I did look at all those ministers... They've got all that energy, like that first day of school energy, where they've got this opportunity, all these people you've known for a long time in opposition battling away in the dark days, and all of a sudden they've got this chance."

Andrea Vance also explains why she had the US Ambassador trying to flee from her this week. Source: 1 NEWS

Newly-released MBIE reports paint damning picture of building quake safety

Newly-released surveys reveal many high-rise buildings in Wellington and Auckland did not meet earthquake standards in preventing occupants being hit by objects. 

One report, by engineering and consultancy firm Beca, said non-structural elements are a considerable risk in earthquakes, causing up to two thirds of all injuries.

It was also found that all of the buildings surveyed in Auckland had inadequate bracing of fire sprinklers and pipes, while 73 per cent of those in Wellington were also inadequate.

Radio New Zealand today reported on several 2016 reports they received from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), which were conducted to investigate anecdotal accounts of widespread damage to ceilings and sprinkler systems during recent earthquakes.

Details released by the MBIE reveal non-compliance in securing non-structural elements in buildings against earthquakes was reported to the ministry in 2016.

Non-structural elements of a building include anything which is attached to a building, but isn't part of its actual shell, including exterior cladding, ceilings, partitions, stairs, air conditioning, ducts, lifts, escalators, transformers, lighting, cable trays, sprinkler systems, piping, plumbing and more.

Another report by engineering firm Kevin O'Connor and Associates (KOA) examined 41 floors in 20 commercial buildings more than four storeys high in Auckland and Wellington.

A view of Wellington from the top of the Majestic Centre.
A view of Wellington from the top of the Majestic Centre. Source: Luke Appleby

In addition, 89 per cent of ceilings in the buildings surveyed in both cities were poorly secured, as were 85 per cent of partition walls.

With some buildings having ceiling tiles weighing between 3kg and 8kg, KOE recommended to MBIE that they reassess their assumption that occupants would be OK as long as they got under their desks during a quake.

KOA also said there was "very little consent documentation for non-structural elements".

Another report released to RNZ by engineering firm Opus called current building industry standards for securing non-structural elements "fragmented" - but MBIE told RNZ it has ordered an overhaul of the current relevant standards.

MBIE also said there are seminars, a code of practice and training available aimed at improving the securing of the elements.

The Opus report recommended that enforcement be implemented to check the securing of non-structural elements in new buildings - enforcement currently only relies on complying with health and safety laws.

Opus reported that retrofitting existing buildings' non-structural elements to be fully secure in a quake would be "a huge task that can be very expensive".

However, for new buildings, Opus estimated that proper restraints on non-structural elements would have costed about $423m for the $9b of commercial construction carried out last year - about 4.7 per cent of the total cost.

A view of Wellington from the top of the Majestic Centre.
A view of Wellington from the top of the Majestic Centre. Source: Luke Appleby



Auckland phone scam impersonates police officer, tells victim family member has been arrested

A phone scam is targeting New Zealand's Indian community, with people being told a member of their family have been arrested and are then ordered to to pay the caller a significant amount of cash. 

Police said the caller, who has a male voice, states he is a New Zealand police officer and demands the victim pays them cash for their family to be released from custody. 

In some cases, the caller has asked the victim to purchase a significant amount of iTunes vouchers instead of cash. 

Detective Sergeant Bridget Doell from the Auckland City Police Financial Crime Unit says the scammers have been targeting the Indian community. 

"These scams are quite complex and on at least one occasion the scammer has known personal information about the victim," Detective Sergeant Doell said in a statement this afternoon.

"Police, or any other government agency, will never demand money or any other form of payment over the phone.

"In no instance would a call like this be genuine.

"If you think you’ve been scammed, we urge you to report the incident as soon as possible to your nearest police station and warn your friends and family so others in the community are also aware of this scam."

Detective Sergeant Doell said Police are investigating and are working to identify those involved in the scam.

If you have been targeted or have any information that may help police, contact the Auckland City Police Financial Crime Unit on (09) 302 6400 or your nearest police station.

Source: 1 NEWS