How the world reacted to Jacinda & Clarke's newborn baby girl - tributes pour in

Jacinda Ardern has given birth to a 3.31kg baby girl, born at 4.45pm on Thursday June 21. The news was announced just after 6pm NZT.

Mr Peters is stepping up to the top job for six weeks while Jacinda Ardern grapples with motherhood. Source: 1 NEWS

8pm: Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters has offered his congratulations.

"Can I extend very best wishes to all the family at this very happy time," Mr Peters said.

"Like the rest of the country we welcome the news of the birth of a healthy baby and are naturally delighted for the new parents."

7.37pm: Helen Clark has written a powerful column in the Guardian, on how Jacinda's birth proves no doors are closed for women.

7.30pm: Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has congratulated the new family well. 

7.27pm: "Jacinda Ardern" is now trending worldwide on Twitter

7.22pm: A statement from fromer NZ prime minister Helen Clark reads:

" First and foremost, today is a very happy day in the lives of Jacinda and Clarke as they welcome the arrival of their baby daughter. My full congratulations go to both Jacinda and Clarke, and I wish them and their new baby all the best.

New Zealanders took the news of Jacinda's pregnancy in their stride. This is a sign of our maturity as a country and its acceptance that combining career and family is a choice which women are free to make.

Let's also celebrate Clarke as a modern man who is happy to be the full time parent of a young child.

For New Zealand, these events and the way our country has greeted them will be seen as inspirational by all who advocate for gender equality and women's empowerment.

Attitudes have changed a lot on these issues since I first entered New Zealand politics, and that’s a very good thing."

7.18pm: Deputy leader of the Labour Party Kelvin Davis has congratulated the couple on behalf of the Labour party. 

7.16pm: The news has made it all the way to Malta. 

7.14pm: Even though the Australian Women's Cricket Team know Jacinda Ardern supports the White Ferns... they're still big fans of hers.

7.11pm: It's early in the morning in the UK, but is hasn't stopped the media from reported on the PM's birth. 

7.08pm: Here's how some members of the coalition Government reacted. 

7.06pm: Here's how Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford broke the news

7.04pm: Time Magazine..

6.59pm: This from Sam Neill...

6.52pm: More tributes. The Black Ferns..

6.47pm: And the tributes keep coming...

6.45pm: Andrew Little...

6.43pm: This from Helen Clark.

6.37pm: Finance Minister and good friend of Ms Ardern, Grant Robertson, will speak in the morning. Ms Ardern may also, but there will be no further announcements tonight.

6.33pm: Reaction is pouring in from across New Zealand and the world. Here are some of the congratulatory messages.

The newborn weighing 3.31kg arrived at 4.45pm today. Source: 1 NEWS

6.28pm: Here is how 1 NEWS' Nicole Bremner broke the news during the 1 NEWS bulletin this evening.

6.24pm: The long wait is over. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford have announced the birth of their first child, a baby girl.

The pair announced the news on Ms Ardern's Instagram just after 6pm this evening.

In a statement, her office said: "The Prime Minister's Office can confirm that Jacinda Ardern has given birth to a healthy baby girl.

"The baby was born at 4.45pm Tuesday June 21 2018 at Auckland Public Hospital. She weighs 3.31 kgs.

"The child is the first for Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford."

Ms Ardern said: "I’m sure we’re going through all of the emotions new parents go through, but at the same time feeling so grateful for all the kindness and best wishes from so many people. Thank you."

The newborn weighing 3.31kg arrived at 4.45pm today. Source: 1 NEWS



Mum distraught as son turned away from Hutt Valley High School because he didn't have permanent address

Being homeless has become an obstacle for one mother wanting to give her child an education.

Helen Taitapanui and her son were turned away from Hutt Valley High School last week because they don't have a permanent residential address.

Ms Taitapanui, is currently battling cancer and lives in a motel with her teenage son while they wait for a permanent home.

"We've got to be glad that we've got that when we know that a lot of our families are out there living in cars," Ms Taitapanui told 1 NEWS.

However, this was a problem when she tried to enrol her son at a local school.

"The response was it's against their policy to register children living out of a motel. you had to have a residential address," Ms Taitapanui said.

She complained to the Ministry of Education and shortly after Hutt Valley High School reversed its decision.

Ms Taitapanui says her son's excited about going back to school.

"I know once he steps back into the realm of education he'll be well and truly away."

She hopes by speaking out, another unnecessary obstacle will be removed for the homeless.

Being homeless threw up an unexpected obstacle for a mum wanting to educate her child. Source: 1 NEWS


More chlorination likely with water services set to be centralised

The Government is set to strip councils of their power over water following Havelock North's 2016 gastro crisis which was a wake up call for the country.  

Speaking to Water New Zealand's conference today, the Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, gave her strongest hint yet of change. 

Havelock North's gastro outbreak prompted a review of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater nationwide.

The estimated cost of ensuring drinking water is safe is $500 million, and to fix water infrastructure, at least $2 billion. 

"The Government doesn't have a bottomless pit of money to throw at this," Ms Mahuta said.

But water won't be privatised. Instead, services are likely to be moved into a national water regulator and responsibility for water service stripped from the 67 councils and handed to a small number of entities.

Water NZ chief executive John Pfahlert said that would mean "you get better quality water and it doesn't cost as much to provide". 

But change for the water industry is unlikely to be without controversy.

Any change is likely to see authority over water taken away from local councils, and Local Government New Zealand will not be happy about that.

"We would have issues if it was compulsory because we believe bigger is not always better. New Zealand is incredibly diverse from the Far North to the Deep South," said Stuart Crosbie of Local Government NZ. 

Twenty per cent of drinking water is unsafe - so a national agency is likely to mean more chlorination.

"It's there for a good public health reason. So it'll take time for the communities like Christchurch and Geraldine and other parts of New Zealand which have traditionally not had treated water, to get their head around that," Mr Pfahlert said.

Back in Hawke's Bay, the health board is studying the long-term impacts of the campylobacter outbreak.

John Buckley's family believe he could be the fifth victim of Havelock North's gastro outbreak.

The 78-year-old died three weeks ago of a stroke, but prior to the crisis, they say he'd been healthy.

"He's spent a lot of time in hospital. He's had a lot of unexpected surgeries and bleeds and heart problems, kidney problems, all due to the campylobacter," said Kat Sheridan, Mr Buckley's daughter.

Ms Sheridan says the family wishes, "you can turn your tap on again and trustfully drink the water. Surely that's all we want".

Before any changes can happen Cabinet will need to approve the recommendations made in the review of water management. 

It comes after Havelock North's gastro crisis was a wake-up call for New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS

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Massey University's Vice Chancellor faces reprimand from colleagues over handling of Don Brash debate debacle

Massey University’s Vice Chancellor is facing reprimand from her colleagues over her handling of the Don Brash debate debacle.

At the October meeting of the Massey University Academic Board, two motions to censure Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas will be debated, after she banned Don Brash from speaking on campus.

They relate to her decision to cancel the Don Brash event, and for the process of decision making revealed in today’s Official Information Act (OIA) release.

Massey University vice-chancellor Jan Thomas and Don Brash Source: rnz.co.nz

"I think it’s safe to say there's a proportion of staff who aren't happy with how things have proceeded," Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor, Chris Gallivan told Newstalk ZB.

If the motions are passed, they won’t have much more effect than to register staff's disapproval of the way Prof Thomas handled the affair.

"The University Council is the Vice Chancellor's boss. It will be for the University Council to deal with this as they so wish, it’s not up to the Academic Board," Prof Gallivan says.

The University Council has been approached for comment by 1 NEWS.

But the former National Party leader is calling on the university's Vice Chancellor to resign. Source: 1 NEWS


Versions of synthetic cannabis in New Zealand up to 10 times stronger than strain that saw US 'zombie outbreak'

Experts are warning there are deadlier versions of synthetic cannabis available in New Zealand which are much more potent than the one which caused the so-called zombie outbreaks in the US.

The Government's been told two deadly types of synthetic cannabis are so potent they should be classified as class A drugs.

One of these drugs has been linked to a well-known case that rocked the United States in 2016.

"The concentrations we're seeing in New Zealand are much more potent than what we saw in the Zombie outbreak in New York," Health Minister David Clark says.

In some instances, the drugs found here were 10 times stronger.

The news comes after synthetic cannabis was linked to the deaths of at least 45 people since June 2017.

"I don't think we ever anticipated we'd get new synthetic drugs that would lead to so much harm," Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell told 1 NEWS.

Synthetic cannabis is already illegal - but the maximum punishment for dealers is two years in prison.

Making synthetic cannabis a class A drug would put it alongside methamphetamine, cocaine, magic mushrooms and lsd.

This would mean the police would have more power and the penalties would be significantly tougher for dealers and users.

The Government says it will make a decision on synthetic drugs in the coming weeks.

They're calling for the drug to be classified as Class A – the most harmful and dangerous. Source: 1 NEWS