Wellington woman denies charges of importing euthanasia drug, aiding suicide

A retired Wellington teacher has denied helping another woman commit suicide.

Susan Austen, 66, is facing one charge of aiding Annemarie Treadwell to commit suicide and two of importing the class C drug pentobarbitone - a drug used in other countries for voluntary euthanasia.

Ms Austen, who is the former chairperson of the Wellington branch of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, appeared at Wellington District Court this morning where she entered not guilty pleas.

She has elected for a trial by jury.

The charge of aiding suicide carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

Before her death on June 6 last year, 77-year-old Annemarie Treadwell wrote a submission backing a petition in support of assisted dying.

She said she had been living with chronic pain, clinical depression, and short term memory loss and didn't want to be a burden to her children.

Ms Austen was arrested soon days after police staged a breath testing checkpoint to gather details about euthanasia supporters leaving an Exit International meeting at her house in Lower Hutt late last year.

The checkpoint is currently under investigation by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Supporters from the group, wearing pink hearts with "Suzy" written on them, packed the court room and stood outside with placards.

Susan Austen entered a not guilty plea in the Wellington District Court today. Source: 1 NEWS

Sanitarium loses court battle over Weetabix import

Sanitarium has lost its argument that a British goods importer breached the Fair Trading Act by importing a product similar to its own iconic product, Weet-Bix.

The cereal giant took Christchurch store A Little Bit of Britain to the High Court over its British cereal Weetabix, arguing it breached the Fair Trading Act.

Sanitarium claimed customers could be misled into thinking the imported version was in fact its own Weet-Bix product.

Justice Gendall today released his reserved decision which said there was no chance of customers being misled, given the cereal was only on sale at a British speciality goods store.

However he did find importing the item with a similar name breached the Trade Marks Act and the store would need to cover up the Weetabix brand if it was going to sell the cereal in future.

The judge has asked both sides to make submissions on whether either side should be liable for costs.

Because of the Trade Marks Act breach, the 108 cartons being held by Customs will have to be destroyed.

The judge made the point that the cereal was already past its use-by date and would not be able to be sold anyway.

RNZ has approached the owner of the A Little Bit of Britain store for comment.

Sanitarium said this was the outcome it was looking for as it would protect its brand and prevent any confusion.

A statement from the company said the outcome would allow 'A Little Bit of Britain' to continue selling Weetabix in a way that respected the Weet-Bix brand.


Sanitarium is trying to block the importation of Weetabix.
Source: 1 NEWS


PM has baby Neve sit in on UN meeting, Clarke Gayford shares story of awkward encounter with Japanese delegation

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's baby daughter has made a splash at the United Nations, sitting in on a meeting with her mother.

Ms Ardern is among world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York this week and has had daughter Neve, born in June, in tow.

While the prime minister spoke at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit on Tuesday (AEST), Neve got a front-row seat on father Clarke Gayford's lap, catching the eye of cameras. She earlier watched proceedings with her mum.

Having become the second woman to give birth in elected office - and the first to take maternity leave - earlier this year, 38-year-old Ms Ardern has drawn the attention of global media during the visit.

The Prime Minister is attending the United Nations General Assembly, and took her family along today. Source: 1 NEWS

It marks the first time a female leader has brought an infant along to a general assembly meeting.

Ms Ardern also spoke about motherhood during the first of her scheduled high-profile US television appearances, on the Today Show .

"You don't know until you are there of course, but it's met my expectations, the joy though has far surpassed my expectations," she said.

However, she joked that taking a three-month-old on the 17-hour flight to New York felt about "on-par" with the pressure of running a country.

"There's that look you get when you walk onto a plane with a little one, that stare you get from other passengers ... I did actually apologise in advance."

Meanwhile, Mr Gayford - now a full-time dad travelling with the prime minister - on social media posted photos of a mock ID card that had been made up for Neve by staff at the UN, listing her title as "first baby" of New Zealand.

He also had a story to tell about Neve's first diplomatic incident.

"I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside UN yesterday, who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change," he said.

"Great yarn for her 21st [birthday]."

There was a very public appearance for the Prime Minister’s baby in New York. Source: Reuters



Former Prime Minister Sir Bill English officially knighted by the Governor General

Former Prime Minister Sir Bill English was officially made a Knight of the New Zealand Order of Merit at Government House today.

The former prime minister was one of three men named to receive a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday honours in June.

The 39th Prime Minister of New Zealand was honoured for his services to the state including 27 years in parliament.

His wife, Mary, was in the audience as he received the honour from Governor General Patsy Reddy. 

Sir Bill English was officially made a Knight of the New Zealand Order of Merit at Government House today. Source: 1 NEWS

Pictures: Baby Neve takes pride of place alongside Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford at United Nations

Baby Neve has made a very public appearance alongside her parents at the United Nations in New York.

The youngster was pictured with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and dad Clarke Gayford at the UN's General Assembly overnight, where her mum was to speak at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit.

It's the first overseas trip for Neve, born in June, after she skipped the PM's visit to Nauru. 

Read more: Baby Neve inspiration behind 'family-friendly policies', Jacinda Ardern tells millions of Americans on NBC's Today show

Read more: 'You can be strong, you can be kind' - Jacinda Ardern talks leadership, President Trump on US television

* The Prime Minister's office gave permission for the photos to be published

There was a very public appearance for the Prime Minister’s baby in New York. Source: Reuters