'We don't want it to happen to anyone else' - Families of CTV building earthquake victims meet with PM

A large group of families who lost loved ones in Christchurch's CTV building collapse are met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today.

As they arrived at the Knox Church Hall they told 1 NEWS they hope the meeting will bring them a step closer to justice.

The meeting was prompted by Maan Alkaisi's letter to the Prime Minister requesting a meeting following the police decision not to prosecute in December last year.

Maan Alkaisi, who lost his wife says: "We've been in this situation for four years. It's not fair."

Julie Hibbs who lost her mother says: "We don't want it to happen to anyone else, and we don't want anyone to go through what we're going through."

CTV receptionist Mary-Ann Jackson, who fled the building as it collapsed says: "I hope there’s going to be some justice. Doubt it though."

The meeting is expected to run for an hour.


They're demanding justice after a decision not to prosecute anyone for the collapse. Source: 1 NEWS

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'Almost certain that he is going to be suspended from caucus' – crunch time as National MP Jami-Lee Ross' fate to be decided today

Political drama peaked yesterday as National MP Jami-Lee Ross was identified as the leaker of a report into Simon Bridges' travel expenses.

Mr Ross sent out a flurry of tweets just minutes before National Party leader Simon Bridges made the announcement, and now today's caucus will decide Mr Ross' fate.

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay spoke to TVNZ's Breakfast this morning about the National Party's political turmoil and what can be expected at caucus.

"It was extraordinary yesterday. When those series of tweets came out just six minutes before Simon Bridges was set to make the announcement, I think there was an audible gasp in the press gallery here," Mutch McKay said.

"Just, what he was revealing and what he was alleging just added a whole new layer into this mix."

Mutch McKay says today is "crunch time" as caucus meets later this morning.

"That's when his caucus colleagues will decide his fate, and there are lots of options for how this could play out. Jami-Lee Ross could dig in his heels, he could put up a fight and he could decide to stay on as an independent MP.

"It's almost certain that he is going to be suspended from caucus this morning and then expelled from the party over time."

Mutch McKay said if Mr Ross "decides to go quietly", he may choose to resign from parliament, prompting a by-election.

"Because Simon Bridges is so against this, he's not going to do that for Jami-Lee Ross in this instance, even though, perhaps, he would like to, so a lot of very interesting things at play here."

However, she says Mr Ross' political career is unlikely to survive in the National Party.

"By sending out those tweets, that basically seals his fate. His National colleagues will no doubt come out and suspend him today.

"Simon Bridges yesterday, in a press conference, said, 'Look, suspension is likely,' bearing in mind that it is a caucus decision. But he didn't come out really strongly saying, 'That’s definitely what I'm going to do', so it will be up to caucus to decide, but that's definitely the hint that we're getting from Simon Bridges and behind the scenes as well."

Mutch McKay said the incident came about after a recent falling out between Mr Ross and Mr Bridges.

"I don't think there was any secret about that - in fact, Jami-Lee Ross mentioned that in his tweet. And when he was the party whip – now, the party whip is the person who’s in charge of managing the MPs, if you like – they have a lot of information, they're in this circle, all of that and Jami-Lee Ross has decided to come out and use some of that.

"Now, there's Jami-Lee Ross saying one thing, Simon Bridges saying the other - both denying the allegations that either one has made - so it's an absolutely messy situation for the [National] Party, and not one that they want to be in. And on top of that, the issues of leadership for Simon Bridges, and it’s going to be a very busy and stressful day, you’d imagine, for the National leader."

She says the party’s political fracas "raises questions about the internal party dynamics" and Mr Bridges' leadership in the National Party.

"Now, Simon Bridges is very adamant that he has the full support of the party – this is one person acting alone, and that's certainly been the message that a lot of those senior MPs have been saying publicly as well, but it raises the question and it also brings questions about whether his leadership is so secure. He needs to take a stand today – it's a big day for his leadership today, and he will be tested and judged on that, and we'll see the outcome of that in the next few days."

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay spoke to Breakfast about National’s political turmoil and today’s caucus meeting. Source: Breakfast

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won't give parenting advice to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won’t give any parenting advice to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who announced they’re expecting their first child last night.

Ms Ardern said she was looking forward to congratulating the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in person during their time in New Zealand, however. 

Kensington Palace announced the news that the latest royal baby will arrive in the northern spring. Source: Breakfast

She added that while she was grateful for all the tips she received while she was pregnant with Neve, not everyone was after advice.

“One thing that you learn is everyone’s got advice and I love that, I love that everyone has got something to share their tips and tricks,” she told TVNZ 1's Breakfast. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told the royal family the news at Princess Eugenie’s wedding. Source: BBC

“Not everyone necessarily will want advice.”

The new-born was on her best behaviour while her parents expressed their gratitude for the messages of support. Source: 1 NEWS

A laughing Ms Ardern said she was sure the royals would be doing a fair bit of co-parenting when asked if Prince Harry should be the stay-at-home dad. 

The Prime Minister said she will congratulate the expectant parents in person during their trip to New Zealand which starts later this month. Source: Breakfast

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Latest teachers' pay offer is more of an increase than they got in three pay rounds under previous Government, says Jacinda Ardern

The latest pay offer to teachers is more of an increase in one pay round than they got in three under the previous Government, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.

Ms Ardern said the offer was a substantial one at over half a billion dollars and includes issues like extra non-contact time.

The deal is a 9.3 per cent increase, which equates to about $7000 for the average teacher, she said.

Teachers will now vote on further industrial action in November.

"All in all, a bigger offer in that sense in one pay round than what was offered by the last government across three pay rounds," she said.

"That’s what’s on the table and it’s now up to teachers to determine whether or not that’s going to be accepted."

"We hope that it will be enough to get teachers across the line."

Ms Ardern added that they would not be able to resolve the issues in education in one pay round and that pointing to the surplus as evidence of full Government coffers was unfair.

"The message of course that I have to share and I keep sharing, we know there are a huge amount of issues in education that we need to resolve," she said.

"We know that, and it’s not just about pay, but it is going to take us a little bit of time, we won’t resolve everything in one round."

"Anything we do with pay, we have to make sure we can continue on year-on-year-on-year."

"Keep in mind that we have $57 billion worth of debt that we’re trying to reduce down."

The prime minister said her Government was doing a huge amount to try address the issues in education, but they weren’t able to do it in one round as teachers vote on additional strikes. Source: Breakfast


Judith Collins ‘deeply disappointed’ in Jami-Lee Ross as National prepares for caucus showdown

National's Judith Collins says leader Simon Bridges has her full support as he deals with the fallout of his claims renegade MP Jami-Lee Ross was behind the leak of his travel expenses.

A dramatic day yesterday saw Mr Ross take to Twitter, making a series of explosive allegations, before Mr Bridges went public with his belief, based on an investigation, that the Botany MP was behind the leak.

READ MORE: 'Impossible' for Jami-Lee Ross to stay in National Party after expenses leak saga, says 1 NEWS political editor

Mr Ross' future with the party could be decided today as the party meets in Wellington, with Mr Bridges saying yesterday suspension was an option.

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

Ms Collins spoke with 1 NEWS at Auckland Airport today, as she prepared to fly to Wellington, and said she was disappointed with Mr Ross' behaviour.

"I'm absolutely supporting the leader," she said.

"I'm deeply disappointed and sad that Jami-Lee Ross behaved like that.

"Absolutely backing the leader."

At Wellington Airport, Michael Woodhouse also gave his backing to Mr Bridges.

Chris Bishop says Mr Ross has made it "pretty clear" with his tweets that he is no longer behaving like a member of the National team. 

Mr Seymour says everyone makes mistakes, and now it’s time to move on from the leaking scandal. Source: Breakfast

Background 

Mr Bridges said the report pointed to Mr Ross as sending an anonymous text that blew the lid on Mr Bridges' travel expenses, days before they were to be made public anyway.

The PWC report said it had not identified the leaker with certainty, however, "the evidence we have points to Mr Ross".

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.

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.

The Opposition leader launched an inquiry into the leak of his expenses earlier this year. Source: 1 NEWS

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."

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 MPs have hit out at Mr Ross, meaning he is unlikely to find much support for his position.  

Judith Collins says National Party leader Simon Bridges has her support at this morning’s caucus meeting. Source: 1 NEWS