Watch: The touching moment Jacinda Ardern helps schoolboy deliver speech on the scourge of plastic bags

The kids have always known it, single use plastic bags are a plague on the environment, and one primary school student politely let Jacinda Ardern know today in no uncertain terms.

Announcing the Government's policy to phase out single use plastic bags within the next year, the Prime Minister said the number one issue she receives letters about is plastic bags, and the majority of them are from kids.

To acknowledge that, Ms Ardern had several children up on the podium to read their letters about the destructive environmental impact plastic bags have.

"We all love the beach, it’s New Zealand, we are basically a beach, but we are destroying our beach, we are littering on our beach, it’s become a dump," the primary school boy said.

At one point Ms Ardern helped direct the boy with his speech notes.

"All sorts of fish are dying. So I’m writing this because we did a beach clean up at the beach and it was terrible."

"I couldn't believe the beach looked like that. At stores people use plastic bags, they are single use plastic which gets thrown away and turtles all eat them because they think it’s jellyfish.

"So I think you should ban plastic bags from stores, put tote bags.

"Did you know when fish eat single use plastic and we catch the fish and eat it, we’re eating plastic which can’t be good. We picked up an estimated 400 litres of rubbish which is crazy, and there’s more."

Plastic bag phase out

Alongside Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage, the Prime Minister announced the move to phase out the bags over the next year, with a six month phase-out period proposed.

The move comes after a petition with 65,000 signatures called for a ban on the single-use bags.

"We use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags, many of which end up polluting our precious coastal and marine environments and cause serious harm to all kinds of marine life, and all of this when there are viable alternatives for consumers and business," Ms Ardern said.

She said it was "important we take the time now to get this right" so Kiwis could adjust shopping habits.

Ms Sage was confident New Zealand would embrace the change, with the Government working alongside retailers to help with the transition.

"New Zealanders are proud of our country’s clean, green reputation and we want to help ensure we live up to it. Phasing out single-use plastic bags helps do that."

The public are able to give their views on the change until September 14, which includes options when the complete phase-out date should be and retailers that should be exempt. 

The youngster spoke at the Prime Minister's press conference on banning plastic bags. 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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Person missing after Christchurch home destroyed by fire

One person is still unaccounted for after a house was completely burnt to the ground in Christchurch early this morning. 

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.

Two fire trucks and two tankers which were working on fully extinguishing the blaze has since left the scene.


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File picture. Source: 1 NEWS


'I've got my man back' - Dad emotional as he gets back on track with estranged teen at Outward Bound course

An Auckland father wept as he told of the breakdown of his relationship with his son and how taking part in an Outward Bound course for parents and teens has brought them back together.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp visited Outward Bound's gruelling week-long course in the Marlborough Sounds for parents and teens, a programme that's in hot demand. 

School director for Outward Bound, Simon Graney, said putting some work into the parent-teen relationship, "and being conscious about how you want it to be, how you want it to progress for the rest of your life is incredibly important". 

Grant Hohala and is teenage son Jesse are city folk through and through. 

"Couple of boys from the North Shore. We don't get out a lot," Grant said.

So two nights in the bush was always going to be a test. 

"I tried to sing songs to him, and he beat me up for singing to him," Grant said. 

The bigger challenge is rebuilding their father-son bond which was fractured when Jesse fell into the wrong crowd. 

"I just split off from the rest of my family and did my own thing. And that's kind of what got me in trouble," Jesse said.

Grant became emotional as he spoke about the estrangement.

"You never ever want to be not around your son. 

"So, like Jesse and I had a big chat about what was happening.  And so here we are. As a team, bro."

Success at the course relies on being there for each other. 

Jesse said his relationship with his Dad is "definitely" better for coming to the course.

Grant said he hasn't got a son back, but a man.

"I didn't think he'd pull himself back together. I just thought, 'Holy sh**, where did my gorgeous son go?' And now, I haven't got that gorgeous son back. But I've got my man back, and that'll do me."

Seven Sharp’s Arrun Soma took a look in the Marlborough Sounds. Source: Seven Sharp