Just what makes NASCAR driver Tony Stewart such a legend in the speedway world?

Seven Sharp's Michael Holland meets the motorsport legend. Source: Seven Sharp

Video: Auckland's rail operator calls train worker strike 'disappointing and premature'

Auckland's rail operator says the strike action planned by workers tomorrow is "disappointing and premature".

The industrial action means the 30,000 Aucklanders who commute on trains will have to find alternative transport.

The worker's union is protesting a plan that'll introduce driver only trains, which are already used in several places overseas including Melbourne, London, and France.

The rail operator Transdev says it calls the system driver-door operations.

"Because 'driver-only operations' suggests there's only one person on board that train,"  says Transdev Managing Director, Michel Ladral. "That's not the case".

Maori wardens and transport officers would still be on carriages at times, with security guards at stations.

But the Rail and Maritime Transport Union believes the system will put lives in danger.

Transdev is frustrated with this, as it says rigorous testing and discussion is still ongoing.

"We are half way through and they are already calling this strike," says Mr Ladral. He also says the union has been asked to work with them during the testing process.

"If they had said to me 'we're worried about jobs' then we would fully understand," he said.

Commuters across Auckland are advised to allow extra time for travel tomorrow.

Auckland Transport chief transport services officer Mark Lambert said: "Roads will be busier tomorrow".

"We're looking at putting additional capacity on key bus routes, but unfortunately due to the short notice of the strike action and the sheer volume of train service affected we haven’t been able to put on alternative bus services for those rail services," he said.

If possible Auckland Transport is encouraging people to ride share, travel at alternative times of the day, or work from home.

The rail workers will be striking for 24 hours from 2am tomorrow.

Commuters across Auckland are advised to allow extra time for travel tomorrow or work from home if possible. Source: 1 NEWS


'It adds something new' - Shakespeare comedy gets a Maori face-lift at Auckland's Pop-up Globe

A classic Shakespeare play is getting a unique Maori twist when it opens at Auckland's Pop-up Globe theatre tonight.

The new version of comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, will feature Maori folklore and te reo weaved seamlessly into the Elizabethan era.

Actor Reuben Butler plays Puck in the play. He told TVNZ1's Te Karere about the new Maori face-lift it received.

"It's definitely something that a lot of people are saying we're glad to see that, it adds something new.

"And it's good to see those characters portrayed as Maori people, it works so well so it's awesome," Butler said.

The Kiwi actor believes the Maori twist means Shakespeare's work will be accessible to a bigger group of people.

"I don't think it's something that's been done that much in terms of delivering the message in a different way, so that it reaches a wider range of people.

"And I'd say that's a big drive to have Maori in there," he said.

Butler isn't the lone Maori of the cast, Te Kohe Tuhaka is the associate director, and Maori designer extraordinaire Shona Tawhiao also has a role.

The Auckland Pop-up Globe's Shakespeare summer season, featuring five different plays, kicks off tonight, and runs until march 2018.


Maori folklore and te reo has been woven into this version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Source: Te Karere