Winning 2020 election focus of National's caucus retreat as leadership speculation falls to the wayside

Bill English emerged from the National Party caucus retreat in Tauranga today, eager to shift the focus from leadership speculation to the 2020 election. 

"It's clear from talking to business in Tauranga there is a lot of uncertainty to government policy," he told media today.

Mr English said National have a "real commitment" to holding what he called a "fundamentally weak" government to account, and would be focusing on the 2020 election. 

1 NEWS political reporter Andrea Vance has the latest from the National Party caucus in Tauranga. Source: 1 NEWS

"We've got a strong team. National's not pretending [not getting into government] didn't happen... we fell short one way or another, even though we ran a good campaign and are by far the biggest party."

He said National would continue to work with parties with "whom we have a common interest" from now until the next election, which included NZ First. 

"We are going to work to get the government to moderate its policies... but we intend to viciously oppose industrial relations policy and the policy to close partnership schools."

Speaking with media Mr English turned his attention to proposed charter school legislation by the government, which would allow some existing charter schools to continue but would be decided on a "case by case" basis.

The National Party leader called the decision 'the worst of ideological behaviour'. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's nasty and vindictive policy, and the victims of it will be the kids. For a government who say children are at the heart of everything they're doing, the PM has not been able to give one reason why it is good for those kids to have their school closed. I think it's a disgrace."

The proposal comes after MPs Kelvin Davis and Willie Jackson said they were in favour of the model. Mr Jackson's Manukau Urban Maori Authority runs a charter school in South Auckland and had plans to open another.

Mr English said the proposed legislation was the "worst of ideological behaviour".

"The focus of these partnership schools are kids who were struggling. It changes their lives and the lives of their families."

"I challenge her to go to the schools and cook some sausages for the kids and tell them, 'this is the last one, because I'm going to close your school'." 

National's leader says the party won't rule forming a coalition with NZ First in the future. Source: 1 NEWS

Measles warning in Canterbury after second person contracts virus in a month

The Canterbury District Health Board is investigating a second case of measles in Christchurch after an 11-year-old has contracted the virus.

The 11-year-old child is recovering at home after contracting the virus in a waiting room. 

The diagnosis comes after a 30-year-old was hospitalised last month with measles.

Symptoms of measles include fever, coughing, runny nose, sore red eyes and white spots inside the mouth, often after three to five days a rash may appear.

Measles are highly contagious and need to be treated by a health professional.

Dr Humphrey of Canterbury DHB says the re-emergence of the virus is a timely reminder to everyone in our community to ensure that they are fully immunised. 

Measles Source: Breakfast


Police Minister Stuart Nash shrouded in fog as he tests cannon for burglary prevention

New Zealand's Minister of Police received a face full of fog today, while testing new cannons that are aiming to deter offenders from targeting dairies. 

Stuart Nash announced last week there would be more financial support for high risk businesses, after spates of armed robberies plague dairies around the country. 

The government is offering subsidised fog cannons to high risk businesses. Source: 1 NEWS

The new changes mean businesses will pay up to $250 for fog cannons, after only three cannons were installed by last November. 

It comes after a new $1.8 million fund for security systems including ultra-sonic sirens, fog cannons and DNA spray was launched by police to help prevent aggravated robberies in dairies and liquor stores last September. 

Police say 54 eligible and high-risk businesses tentatively signed on for the co-funded prevention measures such as ultra sonic sirens, fog cannons and DNA spray in 2017. 

Location and whether stores have been robbed before are a couple of the factors that determine a businesses eligibility for co-funding.

The Minister of Police has announced the fog cannon subsidy will be lifted so more businesses can afford it. Source: 1 NEWS