Winston Peters slams media, Electoral Commission after NZ First caucus meets for first time

Mr Peters was in a combative mood from the moment he arrived in the capital. Source: 1 NEWS



Jennifer Lawrence hints at future career in politics

Jennifer Lawrence has hinted she's keen to move into politics and is always interested in furthering her knowledge.

The Hunger Games actress admitted it is a subject she is very "passionate" about and she's keen to learn more about the subject.

She said: "I think being outspoken and having a passion for justice is part of my make-up. As I have gotten older, my passion grew into politics."

Asked if it's a career option, she added: "Acting is always going to be my first passion but I'm incredibly passionate about politics. I'm always educating myself."

Jennifer is currently working with Represent.Us, an anti-corruption campaign focusing on stopping political bribery and fixing broken elections and it's a subject she cares deeply about.

She said: "Everything that I care about falls under the wide net of political corruption."

The 28-year-old actress caused a stir in 2014 when she wrote an essay about Hollywood's gender pay gap and she felt it was very important for her to speak up about the issue.

Lawrence detailed what she called a "degrading and humiliating" experience early in her career.

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New pilot programme trialled to help integrate refugees into Kiwi culture

New Zealand's refugee quota has increased and the Government has decided to trial out a new pilot programme, to help those fleeing war-torn countries integrate into a new way of life in the South Island.

Church and community groups in Christchurch, Nelson and Timaru are opening their homes as part of a Government pilot programme to help provide support for new refugees.

Helping out with things such as teaching refugees how to use public transport, setting up a bank account and integrate into society.

Syrian refugee Muaz Al Dairi arrived three months ago and is settling into his new life in Nelson.

"What we know about New Zealand it is helpful people yes and peaceful here yeah I know this thing since I was child," said Mr Al Dairi.

Gleniti Baptist Church member Mark Pavelka backs the government programme as a positive move.

"I really support this programme because I think it’s a very responsible way to bring in refugees to enfold them in a support network," said Mr Pavelka.

"It helps the government carry the load because the community shares that load, I'm all for it I think it's great."

It involves more hands-on community involvement and sometimes fish and chips. Source: 1 NEWS

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Police investigating after needles found in strawberries at Auckland Countdown

Police say they have started an investigation with the Ministry for Primary Industries after needles were found in strawberries at an Auckland Countdown.

A police spokesperson told 1 NEWS that police are taking the report seriously and are investigating together with MPI.

They also stated that the person who reported the incident was not harmed as the needles were found before anyone had eaten them.

The investigation comes after needles were found in a punnet of strawberries sourced from Western Australia, which was bought in a Countdown supermarket in St Lukes, Auckland according to MPI.

Countdown has withdrawn a brand of Australian strawberries from sale as a precautionary measure, and is advising customers to cut up strawberries before consuming them.

The Choice brand of strawberries was sold nationwide last week.

MPI says this brand has not been implicated in the Australian contamination incident and associated recalls.  

In a press release today Countdown says "we take food safety very seriously and we have withdrawn any remaining Choice strawberries from sale from Countdown, SuperValue and FreshChoice supermarkets while we investigate this with our suppliers.

"Customers can return any Choice brand of strawberries they may have at home to Countdown for peace of mind and a full refund.

"As an extra precaution and following similar advice from public health authorities in Australia, customers should cut up any Australian strawberries before eating them.

"There have been no reports of any illness or injury in New Zealand. The strawberries affected by this withdrawal have not previously had any issues of this nature reported and had not been withdrawn from sale in Australia."

NSW authorities are investigating more than 20 incidents of needles found in strawberries. Source: Breakfast

Countdown is in contact with both New Zealand and Australian authorities as they investigate this matter.

A spokesperson from Foodstuffs NZ told 1 NEWS that Pak'nSave and New World do not stock the brand of strawberries in question.

Foodstuffs NZ say they have already pulled all Australian-sourced strawberries from their shelves.

The halt comes after needles were found in different brands in Australia. Source: 1 NEWS

Anyone who finds anything suspicious in their food is asked to contact police immediately.

Countdown says the strawberries came from Western Australia. Source: 1 NEWS


Proposed law would give police power to spot fine shoplifters

A New Zealand First MP has submitted a bill to Parliament, which would give police the power to hit shoplifters with an immediate fine.

If pulled from the member's bill ballot and passed, Darroch Ball's bill would give police the power to fine shoplifters up to one-and-a-half times the price of the item.

"What the bill does is introduce a new offence, which would be shoplifting, which is defined as the petty theft of anything under $1000," Mr Ball said.

"It gives police the option to use their discretion on whether to give an instant fine ... for those petty thefts and those shoplifters."

He said that would free up police and court time, while giving retailers a greater ability to have thieves dealt with.

Sixty-eight percent of shoplifting incidents currently go un-reported because retailers don't believe those responsible will ever face prosecution, Mr Ball said.

"For the most part [shoplifters] don't get prosecuted or the punishments against, or any action against those offenders is quite minimal, if they have any at all," he said.

"So what this will do is it will give the retailers the confidence that when they do call police, and they do have that evidence, there that something can be done immediately."

And the bill's got the seal of approval from Retail New Zealand.

Its spokesperson Greg Harford said petty theft was a problem right across the sector, and this bill would go a long way to remedying it.

He said New Zealand loses around $1 billion a year because of shoplifting.

"We think this bill will absolutely act as a deterrent against shoplifting. One of the reasons that people actually shoplift now is that they think there are no consequences for the activity," he said.

"This will mean that there are consequences, those consequences will be proportionate for the offence and it will be a really good way of discouraging people from beginning a life of crime through shoplifting."

rnz.co.nz

Midsection of man hiding jeans in jacket at store
Midsection of man hiding jeans in jacket at store. Source: istock.com