Why is New Zealand's road toll so high this year? Judith Collins v Carmel Sepuloni

The MPs battle out the biggest topics of the week. Source: 1 NEWS

Death of Whanganui Prison inmate to be investigated

A prisoner died at Whanganui Prison over the weekend.

Prison director Reti Pearse said prison staff found the man when they unlocked his cell on Saturday morning.

Staff members provided immediate assistance, but the prisoner was unable to be revived, Mr Pearse said.

All deaths in custody were referred to the Coroner, and the independent Corrections Inspectorate would also carry out a review.

Police had notified the prisoner's next of kin and support was being provided to staff and other prisoners.

Mr Pearse said he was unable to comment further regarding the identity of the prisoner while the matter was being investigated.


For 21 days convicted murderer John Vogel was locked up alone in a cell in Auckland Prison.
Source: 1 NEWS


Boatie sentenced over night-time ferry collision in Waitemata Harbour

A man has been sentenced to 120 hours of community work after his boat collided with a ferry in the Waitemata Harbour in 2016.

Grant Reginald McCutcheon was found to have been to blame for the night-time collision between the 15-metre boat he was on and the Fuller's Seaflyte ferry.

The Auckland District Court was told that Seaflyte was on McCutcheon's starboard, meaning he was obliged to give way.

The Seaflyte's captain did not see the other vessel until it was about 15-metres away when he put the ferry's engines into full reverse to try and avoid a crash.

His efforts were unsuccessful and the vessels collided, causing extensive damage to the smaller boat.


The boat collided with the ferry in the Waitemata Harbour. Source: rnz.co.nz


Washout 'could' delay Napier to Wairoa railway reopening, Kiwirail boss says

Kiwirail could have to delay the re-opening of the Napier to Wairoa railway line after recent severe weather has washed out part of the track.

An section of the track is suspended in mid-air after heavy rain earlier this month washed the earth out from beneath it.

"The washout happened just north of Raupunga during the severe weather which hit the region earlier this month. It extends over a distance of around 45 metres," a spokesperson from Kiwirail said.

"Our teams are continuing to assess the damage and any impact it may have on the planned reopening date for the line."

Kiwirail initially stated the mothballed logging line would be back in action by December. 

Acting Kiwirail Chief Executive Todd Moyle told 1 NEWS geotechnical engineers have been on site assessing the track and working out the best option to fix it.

About 50 metres of track was undermined by heavy rain, potentially delaying the line's reopening. Source: 1 NEWS

He says the December reopening date "could" be delayed by the new washout but didn’t expect and push back to be significant.

"There’s a couple of options that we’ve got and we need to get all the information in so we can be well informed to make the right decision on how we fix it.”

Mr Moyle told 1 NEWS the slip is "significant" but not something they haven’t dealt with before.

"That may mean we have to go and divert the track a bit but we will find a way to get that line open."

The repairs will also look at building up the resilience of the hillside.

Mr Moyle says Kiwirail has confidence in the whole railway network from Napier to Wairoa but the amount of recent rainfall made for special circumstances.

Todd Moyle says geotechnical engineers are now assessing the track to work out the best way to fix it. Source: 1 NEWS

'It could destroy us' – Auckland strawberry grower fears for local industry amid needle contamination scandal

An Auckland strawberry grower worries the discovery of needles in strawberries imported from Australia sold at an Auckland Countdown could "destroy people's incomes".

Phil Greig spoke to 1 NEWS today from his strawberry farm in Kumeu, north-west of Auckland.

He says the issue is an Australian problem and doesn't want Kiwi strawberries to be tarnished from the incident.

It comes after a needle was found in a punnet of the fruit here following similar instances in Australia. Source: 1 NEWS

"I don't think anyone's really going to bring in Australian strawberries now and hopefully that will solve the problem.

"The main thing is not to panic," Mr Greig said.

However, he is worried about local growers' livelihoods after the discovery.

"I don't think it will happen here to be honest, it's just a dumb thing for people to do and it just destroys peoples' incomes, from the staff right up to the top, and it could destroy us."

His final piece of advice for those worried about buying the sweet fruit treat: "The main thing is to get out there and eat New Zealand strawberries, they're coming on thick and fast in the next couple of weeks and they will be beautiful."

The Choice brand strawberries came from Australia, and have since been pulled from shelves. Source: Breakfast

Woolworths-owned supermarket chain Countdown yesterday announced it was removing Choice brand strawberries, imported from Western Australia, from shelves across NZ after an Auckland customer reported discovering needles in their fruit.

It is the first such case reported across the Tasman.

The company said it had alerted authorities in Australia while New Zealand police and government agencies have also launched their own investigations.

Phil Greig says there’s no reason to believe the issue could spread here, and that no needles have been found in NZ fruit. Source: 1 NEWS