Watch: 'Millions of Americans dream of coming to New Zealand' – new video unveiled to tap into lucrative US market

Tourism New Zealand want to tap into the lucrative US market, utilising Jurassic World actress Bryce Dallas Howard who "absolutely fell in love" with the country when she visited as a five-year-old and while she was living in Mount Maunganui filming Pete's Dragon last year.

Teaming up with National Geographic, a string of videos and articles were created to show-off the country to the US visitor market, in an attempt to jump US tourist numbers year-on-year by six per cent.

On TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning, Lauren Vosper from Tourism New Zealand said despite US visitor numbers rising due to added airline connections driving down prices, there are still barriers such as the perception New Zealand was a "long way away".

"We've got a great number coming already, but there's a massive opportunity to unlock even more."

"We know from our research millions of Americans dream of coming to New Zealand. US tourist's satisfaction was one of the highest ratings out of all of Tourism New Zealand's market."

US visitor numbers are currently at an all-time high, with numbers jumping from about 190,000 US tourists to New Zealand in 2013, compared to 2017 ending in May where 323,000 Americans travelled here. 

The video, starring Byrce Dallas Howard, aims to "unlock" barriers stopping Americans travelling here. Source: Breakfast



Watch: Jacinda Ardern, Simon Bridges trade barbs over 'Labour led Government' terminology - 'We're in government and you're not'

Jacinda Ardern and Simon Bridges traded barbs over the terminology "Labour led Government" in a spirited exchange during Question Time in the House today.

The issue was raised by Mr Bridges after Winston Peters had recently taken exception to the Opposition using the term "Labour led Government" in the House.

Yesterday, a reporter also pointed out Labour's official website used to have the phrase "to get the latest from the Labour led Government click here" on it's homepage, which has now been changed to read "to get the latest from the Coalition Government, click here."

"Does she agree with her deputy prime minister's insistence that his Government was not Labour led?" Mr Bridges asked the Prime Minister today.

Ms Ardern sought to discredit the question as irrelevant in her answer.

"While that member's caught up on semantics this Government is proud that a recent survey said that the people of New Zealand have greater confidence in us then they did that last government.

"I don't think they particularly care about descriptors and what was on a website. We have the support of New Zealand and that's why we're here and you're over there," Ms Ardern said.

Speaker Trevor Mallard then had to ask for order in the House before Mr Bridges was able to press on.

"Speaking of semantics why are there over 50 references by her ministers in this Parliament to being a Labour led Government?"

Ms Ardern's answer was a brief one.

"Because we're in Government and you're not."

Ms Ardern eventually finished the debate simply by saying "because we're in Government and you're not". Source: Parliament TV


SPCA probes suspected poisoning of 'much-loved' Titirangi chickens

The SPCA is investigating whether chickens have been poisoned in Titirangi.

The roaming chickens are a familiar sight in Titirangi, where locals recently reported finding them in a state of distress.

SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen told Morning Report they were told by locals it might be a pest-management initiative, but if that was true, it was a "cruel and horrible" method.

Seven wild chickens, all of which had similar symptoms, were taken in by SPCA after locals reported the incidents to the organisation.

One had to be put down and the other six were doing "reasonably well".

Toxicology tests will be carried out on the chicken that was euthanised to determine the cause of the symptoms of disorientation, stumbling, falling and being dazed.

"There's ways and means of dealing with problems if they are a problem, and that's to do a humane solution - to either move them on somewhere, find someone who does want to have them as a permanent thing.

"If they are sick or injured we would, of course, humanely euthanise them if that was the right action for that chicken," she said.

Residents were hopeful the six chickens they took in would survive.

"The chickens are much-loved... in that neighbourhood and the residents of Titirangi are happy to see them.

"They are actually very social beings and make you smile," she said.

rnz.co.nz

Chicken (file picture). Source: rnz.co.nz

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Eight cattle die after 1080 drop in Waikato as DOC work to increase numbers of endangered kokāko

Eight cattle have died in the Waikato following a 1080 drop there.

1 NEWS has been provided with video from a concerned local showing a dead cow lying in the 1080 drop zone.

The Department of Conservation said it appears the cattle escaped their paddock through a broken fence line, wandering into the Mapara Wildlife Reserve where the poison was dropped.

"We have been working closely with the landowner concerned to confirm exactly what happened, and also to support them as any good neighbour would under these circumstances with the burial of the animals and feed for the others," DOC Operations Director David Speirs said.

Officials emphasised that the area is "one of their most important strongholds for kōkako (an endangered native bird) on mainland New Zealand" due to 30 years of pest control in the area, including the controversial 1080 programme.

The latest drop, focusing on the eradication of rates, possums and stoats, took place 6 September.

The cattle had been spotted in the drop zone during a pre-flight two weeks earlier, and the farmer who owned the animals was advised, officials said.

"No stock should ever be allowed within the pest control operational area," DOC said in a statement.

Department of Conservation staff say in the past month they've had their car tyres slashed and wheel nuts loosened. Source: 1 NEWS

The animal deaths come at an especially sensitive time for the Department of Conservation, as anti-1080 activists step up protests.

The government agency has suggested many of the protestors have been influenced by fake news and misrepresented photos on social media.

With the increased publicity has come a torrent of online threats an abuse of workers, DOC threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki told RNZ yesterday.

The Department of Conservation says eight cows that died in the Waikato wandered off their paddock and into the drop zone.


Sky Tower turns violet tonight to mark women's suffrage anniversary

For one week starting tonight, the Sky Tower will be violet to commemorate the 125th anniversary of women's right to vote in New Zealand.

The Auckland landmark will also be adorned with a 13-metre high projection of Suffrage 125 - Whakatū Wāhine logo.

Following a hard fought suffrage movement, both men and women went to the polls on 19 September 1893 - making New Zealand the first nation in the world in which women had the right to vote.

"The colour violet represents dignity and self-respect and the white camellia of the Suffrage 125 logo was worn by people supporting women's right to vote in New Zealand," SkyCity officials said in a statement.

Touted as the Southern Hemisphere's tallest free-standing structure, the Sky Tower often projects different colours onto its spire to commemorate special occasions such as Matariki and Anzac Day, or to express solidarity with other nations in the wake of natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Tim Wilson joined members of the armed services as they flicked the switch tonight. Source: Seven Sharp

Irish pubs are preparing to open early as New Zealand gets into the Irish spirit. Source: 1 NEWS

The Auckland skyscraper lit up in red, white and blue in tribute to the French. Source: 1 NEWS

Sky Tower marks 20 years of operating on Thursday and it’s watched Auckland grow up around it. Source: Seven Sharp