Watch: Animation shows sneak peek of $25 million gondola set to be built at Whakapapa ski field

The gondola will take five minutes to transport passengers to Knoll Ridge Cafe in 10 person cabins. Source: Supplied



Inside Parliament: New Zealand's overcrowded prisons 'haven't changed' in decades – 1987 news item illustrates

In the latest episode of Inside Parliament, the 1 NEWS political team show how New Zealand's overcrowded prisons are hardly a new problem, after discovering an eerily familiar news track from 1987.

Political Editor Jessica Mutch and political reporter Katie Bradford watched the old news piece about crowded prison cells in Hamilton, and how Corrections were resorting to using police station cells to house inmates. 

"Thirty years on and we've added in a working group to the mix," Mutch said.

"But I always find it fascinating with these historic clips that we get up just how familiar they are, how the questions are the same.

"Usually the characters are different but not always. Perhaps not with Winston Peters. But it's just kind of interesting, asking the same questions, doing the same things. We can learn a lot from history."

A weekly catch up with our political reporters about the stories they’ve been covering. Source: 1 NEWS

Listen to the full podcast on SoundcloudiTunes and Facebook

1NEWS’ Jessica Mutch and Katie Bradford discuss a 1987 news piece reporting on overcrowded prisons. Source: 1 NEWS

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Government pitching in $10m for new high-speed gondola at Whakapapa ski field

A $25 million high-speed gondola will be built at Whakapapa ski field, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.

A $10 million loan from Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will be granted to Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Ltd, with the remaining $15 million coming from local government and local investors along with the operator.

The project is being hailed as a boost for tourism across the central North Island.

The gondola will replace the national chairlift, with Mr Jones saying it "has capacity to safely and swiftly transport up to 2,400 passengers per hour to Knoll Ridge Café in 10 person cabins – a journey that will take five minutes".

Mr Jones said it will attract an estimated 500,000 additional visitor days by 2025 and increase the number of non-skiers visiting.

"As part of a suite of other projects, this could be transformative for the central North Island and the Ruapehu district in particular.

"The new gondola will enhance the upper mountain at Whakapapa and allow it to become a year-round destination, providing greater certainty for employers and stable employment for local workers.

"The project is part of a broader plan to boost visitor numbers to the Ruapehu and Taupo districts, and is expected to have significant economic and social impacts in those communities.

"The Gondola has the potential to be the linchpin investment creating the 'must do' attraction around which other investments would work."

Construction is set to begin in November, with the gondola likely to be in use by next winter.

The gondola will take five minutes to transport passengers to Knoll Ridge Cafe in 10 person cabins. Source: Supplied