'We have to fix Auckland' - Transport Minister releasing updated Auckland transport plan today including two new major roads

The government is set to announce its 10-year Auckland Transport Alignment Package for Auckland transport today, which will include two new major road upgrades to ease congestion.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford, speaking to TVNZ 1's Breakfast today, said the funding hinged on a new regional fuel tax in Auckland, and would focus as a priority on public transport.

"We have to fix Auckland for the sake of the country," Mr Twyford said.

"Aucklanders know they're spending hundreds of hours every year in traffic that they'll never get back."

The first of the two projects is Penlink - a new connection between the Northern Motorway and the Whangaparoa Peninsula on the North Shore, with funding of about $200 million.

The second will be Mill Road in South Auckland, which will provide relief from a known choke point around the Papakura are, and Mr Twyford said funding will be in the area of "half a billion".

Penlink would be built on a public-private partnership basis, Mr Twyford said, which will likely mean the route will be a toll road.

The full package will be released later today.

The Transport Minister said his 10-year funding package is hinged on a new regional fuel tax. Source: Breakfast

Biggest World Cup in Rugby features some 'golden oldies' giving it their all in Christchurch

The biggest world cup in rugby is underway in Christchurch with huge numbers - and that's just the age of the players.

The Golden Oldies World Cup has attracted 115 teams from right around the globe to the garden city.

Golden oldies prides itself on catering for all abilities and agilities.

"So we've got red shorts gold shorts and purple shorts, anyone over 60 can wear red shorts, over 65 can wear gold shorts and over 70 can have the purple shorts and as I say you can't get tackled - but then again you can't score a try either," one official explained.

Amongst the hundreds of players was former Highlander and Scottish international, Brendan Laney, whose well aware that he has been targeted.

"It's a slow target now," Laney chuckled.

It's fair to say rugby will be the winner on the day. As in final score: rugby one, old age nil.

The Golden Oldies World Cup has attracted 115 teams from right around the globe. Source: Seven Sharp


Little-known involvement of Pacific Islanders in WWII Maori Battalion remembered

The little-known role of Pacific Islanders in New Zealand's Second World War efforts was remembered in a ceremony yesterday.

Tonga sent troops to fight with the Americans in the pacific but Manoel Santos, Alex Leger and Joseph Vailima headed for these shores where they served in the Maori battalion.

How they ended up in the 28 battalion is not entirely clear to family.

"I think he had quite an adventure with those people," Santos' son John said.

"Whether he was put straight into the Maori Battalion or whether it was his colour. I think with the Maori Battalion perhaps he could pick up things they were doing much more easier than anywhere else."

The young father served in Egypt before being sent home injured.

Still, his deep battalion friendships enduring over a lifetime

"When one of them would come around especially Leger they would talk all night and have a few drinks I tried to find out what they were talking about but as soon as I was found out I was told to go to bed."

Wartime trauma reared its head at celebrations like New Year's.

"The ships would be blowing the things at midnight that really affected him... I would say that was part of the things he experienced while he was away," John Santos said. 

The soldiers, who would have travelled the furthest to fight, volunteered for the Maori battalion. Source: 1 NEWS