Watch: Kiwi made robots helping get rural power restored after big storms

Transpower is trialling robots to help restore rural power after big storms.

The idea behind the mechanical workers is to cut down on the time it takes to fix a rural outage.

"Some of our workers are three to four hours away from our rural sites. So the idea behind the robot is that it can be based on site, and in an outage situation it can be livened up immediately from our control rooms remotely," Transpower's Mark Ryall says.

The robots were created by graduate students from Massey University.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp sent Tim Wilson along to meet the robots and put them through their paces in the video above.

Transpower is trialling robots to help restore electricity to rural areas. Source: Seven Sharp

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Judith Collins ‘deeply disappointed’ in Jami-Lee Ross as National prepares for caucus showdown - ‘I’m absolutely supporting the leader’

National's Judith Collins says leader Simon Bridges has her full support as he deals with the fallout of his claims renegade MP Jami-Lee Ross was behind the leak of his travel expenses.

A dramatic day yesterday saw Mr Ross take to Twitter, making a series of explosive allegations, before Mr Bridges went public with his belief, based on an investigation, that the Botany MP was behind the leak.

READ MORE: 'Impossible' for Jami-Lee Ross to stay in National Party after expenses leak saga, says 1 NEWS political editor

Mr Ross' future with the party could be decided today as the party meets in Wellington, with Mr Bridges saying yesterday suspension was an option.

READ MORE: John Armstrong's opinion: Simon Bridges would've been castigated as incompetent if he didn't expose Jami-Lee Ross as leaker

Jessica Mutch McKay says Simon Bridges faces a "long, drawn out and embarrassing process to try and get rid of him". Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Collins spoke with 1 NEWS at Auckland Airport today, as she prepared to fly to Wellington, and said she was disappointed with Mr Ross' behaviour.

"I'm absolutely supporting the leader," she said.

"I'm deeply disappointed and sad that Jami-Lee Ross behaved like that.

"Absolutely backing the leader."

Mr Seymour says everyone makes mistakes, and now it’s time to move on from the leaking scandal. Source: Breakfast

Background 

Mr Bridges said the report pointed to Mr Ross as sending an anonymous text that blew the lid on Mr Bridges' travel expenses, days before they were to be made public anyway.

The PWC report said it had not identified the leaker with certainty, however, "the evidence we have points to Mr Ross".

As the National Party leader was about to make the announcement yesterday, Mr Ross posted a number of tweets in which he said he had fallen out with Mr Bridges some months ago.

Mr Ross said in his tweets that he had become "expendable" and that Mr Bridges was about to "pin his leak inquiry on me".

"He can not find who the actual leak is," Mr Ross wrote.

The Opposition leader launched an inquiry into the leak of his expenses earlier this year. Source: 1 NEWS

He claimed Mr Bridges was attempting to use contact with Mr Ross' local police area commander and a journalist he is friends with as evidence that he is "somehow involved".

"I have said they are unrelated - he does not wish to believe that. Some months ago I fell out with Simon. I have internally been questioning leadership decisions he was making, and his personal poll ratings which show he is becoming more and more unlikable in the public’s eyes."

Mr Ross then claimed he had recorded the National Party leader "discussing with me unlawful activity that he was involved in".

In his tweets Mr Ross added: "Working on his instruction, he asked me to do things with election donations that broke the law".

Mr Bridges denied all of Mr Ross' accusations and called Mr Ross' tweets "false comments".

"He would say those things, given the situation… I've released the report… and it speaks for itself."

Other National MPs have hit out at Mr Ross, meaning he is unlikely to find much support for his position.  

Judith Collins says National Party leader Simon Bridges has her support at this morning’s caucus meeting. Source: 1 NEWS

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Fate of National party's expenses leaker Jami-Lee Ross to be decided today at caucus showdown

The fate of accused National party leaker Jami-Lee Ross will be decided by his caucus colleagues today.

That's after yesterday's explosive revelations from National leader Simon Bridges, identifying the Botany MP as the leaker of a report about his travel expenses.

READ MORE: 'Impossible' for Jami-Lee Ross to stay in National Party after expenses leak saga, says 1 NEWS political editor

Mr Bridges said the report pointed to Mr Ross as sending an anonymous text. 

The PWC report said it had not identified the leaker with certainty, however, "the evidence we have points to Mr Ross". 

READ MORE: John Armstrong's opinion: Simon Bridges would've been castigated as incompetent if he didn't expose Jami-Lee Ross as leaker

Jessica Mutch McKay says Simon Bridges faces a "long, drawn out and embarrassing process to try and get rid of him". Source: 1 NEWS

As the National Party leader was about to make the announcement yesterday, Mr Ross posted a number of tweets in which he said he had fallen out with Mr Bridges some months ago.

The Opposition leader launched an inquiry into the leak of his expenses earlier this year. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Ross said in his tweets that he had become "expendable" and that Mr Bridges was about to "pin his leak inquiry on me".

"He can not find who the actual leak is," Mr Ross wrote.

He claimed Mr Bridges was attempting to use contact with Mr Ross' local police area commander and a journalist he is friends with as evidence that he is "somehow involved".

"I have said they are unrelated - he does not wish to believe that. Some months ago I fell out with Simon. I have internally been questioning leadership decisions he was making, and his personal poll ratings which show he is becoming more and more unlikable in the public’s eyes."

It comes after the National expenses leak report pointed the finger at MP Jami-Lee Ross. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Ross then claimed he had recorded the National Party leader "discussing with me unlawful activity that he was involved in".

In his tweets Mr Ross added: "Working on his instruction, he asked me to do things with election donations that broke the law".

Mr Bridges denied all of Mr Ross' accusations and called Mr Ross' tweets "false comments".

"He would say those things, given the situation… I've released the report… and it speaks for itself."

Other National MP's have hit out at Mr Ross, meaning he is unlikely to find much support for his position. 

Mr Ross’ fate appears sealed after a day of explosive revelations over the leaking of Simon Bridges’ travel expenses. Source: Breakfast

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Make sure you stay ahead of the latest news, both nationwide and internationally, from the 1 NEWS team. Source: Breakfast

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Person missing after Christchurch home destroyed by fire

A house has been completely burnt to the ground in Christchurch this morning, with person missing. 

The fire service was called to the scene on Coates Road, Birdlings Flat, at around 4am.

A fire spokesperson told 1 NEWS the house was burning strongly upon arrival at the scene.

One person is still unaccounted for.

Two fire trucks and two tankers remain at the scene while they work on fully extinguishing the blaze.


Fire generic
File picture. Source: 1 NEWS