Watch: Winston Peters labels National leader's question 'unadulterated nonsense' as fuel tax debate ignites in Beehive

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and National leader Simon Bridges have clashed over fuel taxes in Parliament's question time today.

Mr Peters was answering questions on behalf of the absent Jacinda Ardern, who is awaiting the arrival of her first baby, and was asked by National Party leader Simon Bridges if the Prime Minister was concerned that her Government has increased the cost of living in New Zealand.

"The basis of that question is unadulterated nonsense," Mr Peters replied.

Undeterred Mr Bridges pushed on, stating the new Auckland fuel tax would increase costs to an average family by $700 a year.

"Again that is unadulterated rubbish," Mr Peters said, accusing Mr Bridges of being inconsistent after wanting to extend road infrastructure around the country himself.

Mr Bridges then suggested that the fuel tax set to be implemented in Auckland has today been legislated by Government to be applied throughout any region in New Zealand.

Mr Peters suggested that people are happy to pay a fuel tax rather than a blanket increase in GST while also stating that other councils cannot put a fuel tax in place until 2021.



Former Auckland community board chairman is jailed for over four years for live streaming child sex shows

An Auckland businessman and justice of the peace has been sentenced to four-and-a half years in prison after earlier pleading guilty to charges involving the live streaming of child sex shows.

The 75-year-old, who also formerly served as an Auckland community board chairman, spent around $100,000 over a nine-year period paying suppliers in the Philippines for both adult and child services.

Martin Henry Lawes told police the amount of money was not significant because he was a multi-millionaire.

He stated he was helping the people involved by giving them money as they were often living in poverty.

Lawes set up two email accounts under fake names to access the sex shows and objectionable material.

Often they would involve children, some as young as 3 years old, undressing and engaging in sexual activity.

He would at times direct them to perform certain acts.

His offending was exposed during an ongoing international investigation.

Lawes resigned as Chairman of the Takapuna Local Community Board in 2010 and has been a Justice of the Peace since 2005.

New Zealand Police, the FBI and Filipino authorities teamed up to bring Martin Lawes to justice. Source: 1 NEWS

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Watch: Rogue circus camel sends kids flying as things go wrong in Pittsburgh

A startled camel started bucking during a circus when a child apparently threw a shovel at its feet, injuring six children and an adult and causing frightened circusgoers to flee the arena.

Two children and an adult were riding the camel during an intermission at the Shrine Circus at PPG Paints Arena when it became startled. Authorities say one child suffered a broken arm, while the injuries suffered by the others were considered minor.

The incident, caught on video , happened around 3:30 pm (local) as people were buying rides on tethered camels, ponies or elephants led by handlers. Ruthie Kester, a Latrobe resident who was at the circus, told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh that a child threw a shovel used to clean up after the animals at the camel's feet.

"They were giving camel rides and camels were walking around calmly. And then a kid threw a shovel at the camel's feet, which startled the camel and it started to buck," Kester said.

Jenny Lynch, who said she didn't see what caused the camel's reaction, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that a woman and two girls were riding the animal before it was startled and reacted "like a bucking bronco."

"The woman was holding onto the littlest one, then she fell right onto her head .?.?. The woman was trying so much to hold on to the child," Lynch told the news site. "I was shouting, 'Jesus help them.' It was very scary."

The camel was brought under control within seconds, and the circus resumed without any further problems. The animal was not injured, officials said.

It was the event's third and final day.

Authorities are seeking to verify that the shovel caused the animal's reaction, and police are reviewing video of the ordeal to determine the cause.

In a video posted on social media, an announcer can be heard saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, remain calm, please. Please remain calm. No unnecessary movement. Slowly leave the arena floor if you feel safer. We are looking for a medic, an EMT."


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Who are NZ's homeless? Thousands of Kiwi kids and it could be getting worse, expert warns

An estimated one in 100 New Zealanders are homeless with 24 per cent of the total homeless population being children and there are warnings this number could be higher.

According to 2013 census data, which was collated by the University of Otago, Wellington's Dr Kate Amore in her Severe Housing Deprivation in New Zealand study, around 41,000 Kiwis are classed as homeless.

"Before we did this we had no idea what the scale of homelessness was and if you need to address something you need to measure it and I think it has changed the conversation about homelessness," Dr Amore told 1 NEWS.

The data has always been collected every census but wasn't tapped into until 2001 when the first study by Dr Amore was published.

"This is the first work that shows the scale of the problem."

Dr Amore's study also uncovered the number of children 15 and under who are classed as homeless was close to 10,000.

"There are minors, children, sometimes on their own, but often with their family," says Dr Amore.

Discovering this last number in the 2013 census data, she predicts the number of homeless could have risen since.

Who are the homeless in New Zealand?

It was in 2009 that Statistics New Zealand, Housing New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development produced a definition for homelessness in New Zealand.

It defines homelessness as: "Living situations where people with no other options to acquire safe and secure housing are either without shelter, in temporary accommodation, sharing accommodations or living in uninhabitable housing".

This includes those sleeping rough, in cars and people who are in boarding houses, camping grounds and staying in other’s lounges or garages.

"For most people we're not talking about home ownership, we're talking about accessing a place to rent so anyone who can't access a place to rent is homeless," says Dr Amore.

Although rough sleeping and families living in their cars have become the picture of what homelessness looks like in New Zealand, 70 per cent of the homeless population are living in overcrowded conditions.

"There's only a small portion of the population sleeping on the streets. Half of the overall population are under 25, so it's a lot of young people, young families."

Nearly half of the population are women and a quarter are aged 15 to 24-years-old.

What causes someone to become homeless?

Dr Amore says homelessness is largely about affordability of housing for those on low incomes with nearly half of the homeless population in work or study.

"We know if there was a plentiful supply of affordable housing we wouldn’t have a homeless problem."

Other causes of homelessness are low incomes, care and support failures and for a small proportion personal circumstances.

Homeless numbers on the rise

The next census data should reveal the current number of New Zealand's homeless population which Dr Amore says could exceed the estimated 41,000 number.

"I hate to speculate, but since 2013 there are things that have happened that make us suspect that it's worsened."

Growth in population, the shortage of homes especially in Auckland and surging house prices have largely contributed to this.

"We know from population growth and demand on housing overall that the gap in the number of new dwellings we need to house the population is at least that number in Auckland."

This is despite there being enough dwellings in New Zealand to house the total population.

"It's not a lack of housing per say it's just that it's not equitably distributed with some people having multiple houses while some people have none."

Dr Amore says both governments have worked hard to address the issue of homelessness but that the number is "many times" higher than they currently building for.

"It's a great start, but we know that the need is every day growing and growing."

There’s no official record of how many Kiwis are homeless, however census data gives an estimate of those without a home. Source: 1 NEWS


Police arrest four teens, aged 14, 15, 16, 17 and two adults after violent Palmerston North dairy heist

Palmerston North Police have arrested four teens and two adults accused of participating in a violent aggravated robbery of a Bunnythorpe dairy yesterday afternoon.

The group entered the business around 3.30pm armed with baseball bats, threatening the shop attendant, authorities said.

Those charged yesterday included a 14-year-old, a 15-year-old, a 16-year-old, a 17-year old and adults aged 20 and 29.

The group had fled the dairy in a stolen vehicle, which was later found abandoned, said Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan.

But police stopped a second vehicle a short time later and detained those inside it, police said.

Authorities are still looking for witnesses to the robbery, or anyone who might have noticed a white Mazda Atenza station wagon around the time of the incident.

Those with information are asked to call police at 06 351 3880 or leave an anonymous Crimestoppers tip by calling 0800 555 111.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS


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