'We braved the elements' – stoked Wellington fisherman lands massive 12kg kingfish as Cyclone Gita approaches

Cyclone Gita hasn't been bad news for everyone today, as one stoked fisherman in Wellington used the calm before the storm to land a huge 12kg kingfish.

Robbie Clapham says he "braved the elements" in Wellington today because a big storm usually means he can snag a big fish.

"The calm before the storm is always the day to get out there, so we braved the elements and luckily we got rewarded today," he said proudly holding his catch.

While it isn't an exact science, Robbie believes the low pressure may have something to do with the fish trying to grab a feed before the storm hits.

The fisherman was definitely happy with his catch, which he says weighs 12kg and is about one metre in length.

Click here for 1 NEWS NOW's live Cyclone Gita updates.

Robbie Clapham says the calm before the storm is the best time to make a big catch. Source: 1 NEWS

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



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Government takes first step to freeze MPs' pay

The Government will take the first steps to freeze MP pay, in an attempt to share "New Zealand's prosperity more fairly", Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. 

A bill to freeze pay will be introduced to Parliament, which will freeze MP salaries and allowances until July 2019 "while we develop a fairer formula for future pay increases".

"MP salaries have risen at a rate that is out of proportion with wage growth of most New Zealanders," she said. 

It comes after the Remuneration Authority, that sets MPs' pay rates, had recommended a three per cent pay rise for MPs in August. 

Ms Ardern said at the time it was "just not appropriate for MPs to be the subject of such an increase".

Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said over the next year "officials will look at the settings for determining future MP pay increases, with possible further changes in place before next year’s review". 

"Because of the timing of the annual salary review process set in law, the Government must initiate this process to freeze pay quickly."

The Prime Minister said Cabinet confirmed a decision to freeze MPs salaries and allowances for a year. Source: 1 NEWS