Watch: Virtual reality simulator puts Wellington 6m underwater after huge sea level rise

Wellington City Council has developed a virtual reality environment where users can raise the sea level in the capital by up to 6m.

The project was undertaken to help illustrate the projected effects of climate change, with WCC innovation officer Sean Audain telling Stuff it's often easier to show people a problem rather than explain it.

"There's a lot of science that shows us what's going to happen to the oceans or the ice caps there not much science showing what's going to happen to cities," he said.

With just a modest 1m sea level rise, much of Wellington's famed Oriental Parade beach is washed away - at 6m, the waves are lapping at the steps of the Beehive.

WCC Chief Resilience Officer Mike Mendonca said Wellington faces difficult decisions in the future as it looks for ways to push back the inevitably-rising tides.

"We're a long way from making those decisions, but there's no denying the fact that at some time in the future we will have to make some hard calls," Mr Mendonca said.

This simulation shows which parts of Auckland would be underwater at high tide if the sea were to rise by three metres. Source: 1 NEWS

The application took about two years to create and an online version will be available on the WCC website from this afternoon.

'She's got a lovely presence about her' - Paula Bennett praises Jacinda Ardern's skills of communication but says government lacks 'ideas'

She may have been coaxed into it, but National deputy leader Paula Bennett has admitted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has a talent for communicating her political message.

The problem, Bennett claims, is there isn't much substance to it.

Speaking on TVNZ's Breakfast today, Bennett was asked to give the biggest achievement and biggest mistake of the Labour-led Government's first six months.

"I think certainly the Prime Minister is a really great communicator, as someone who is struggling for the words," Bennett joked as she tentatively worded her answer.

"She is, and she's pro New Zealand, and it comes across in everything that she does."

But unsurprisingly Bennett was far more fluent when articulating the main shortcoming of this government, in her opinion.

"The downside is they've more or less outsourced government," she said.

"It's like they don't have to do anything or come up with the ideas themselves, they've got 75 working groups now and they aren't able to actually execute a program because they haven't got one.

"But she's got a lovely presence about her and she does communicate that really well."

National leader Simon Bridges made the same criticism of the government on April 19, pointing out there are more working groups at the moment than Labour MPs.

The National deputy leader was asked to give a highlight and lowlight from the government’s first six months. Source: Breakfast


'Things have got away on us' - Salvation Army says poverty in New Zealand at its worst since the last recession

The Salvation Army is urgently asking for help, saying that the number of "everyday people" in need now is at its worst since the last recession.

The organisation has launched its annual Red Shield appeal, asking people to give more now than ever - because the number of families coming to them for help is unprecedented.

About 336 families go to the Salvation Army per week for help, with about 120,000 people helped per year.

Speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, Salvation Army Head of Welfare Services Major Pam Waugh said 100,000 New Zealand children "are in severe poverty".

"I think things have got away on us - housing prices are just horrendous, rent for people is very difficult to maintain on limited incomes," she said.

"It's not the myth of a benefit family with ten or twelve children, it's everyday people who are struggling.

"Food is the dispensible - you've got to get your rent paid, you've got to keep your power on, and so the things that they go without is the food or the medical costs or basic clothing needs for children.

"You see children coming to school with inadequate clothing .. and they're skipping meals so they don't get a lunch.

"This is becoming a crisis ... we can not normalise it, we've got to take drastic action to change it."

Major Pam Waugh says her organisation believes poverty is becoming a national crisis and drastic action and help is needed. Source: Breakfast