What kind of chain reaction could US missile strike on Syria cause?

The first direct US attack on the Syrian government is retaliation for this week's chemical bomb attack on civilians. Source: 1 NEWS

Watch: Donald Trump ignites war with Syria, fires 59 missiles on chemical weapons - then lobs verbal grenade at al-Assad

US President Donald Trump has addressed the strikes on Syria, after the launch of 50-60 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a Syrian government airbase early this morning. 

"Tonight I ordered a targeted miliary strike in Syria," Mr Trump said this afternoon.

Mr Trump said the attack was aimed at the area where the recent chemical weapons strike on Syrian civilians originated from. 

He said it was in the United States security interest to "prevent and deter" chemical weapon use. 

From the footage of the chemical weapon attack on Syrians earlier this week, Mr Trump said it could not be disputed they were used on the civilians. 

"Years of previous attempts of changing [Bashar al-Assad's] behaviour has failed," Mr Trump said. 

"The region continues to destablise, threatening US and allies."

He called on other nations to "end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism."



After years of wrangling, Govt passes changes to Resource Management Act - but what will it mean?

Parliament has passed the controversial bill that makes sweeping changes to the Resource Management Act.

The government relied on the Maori Party for a bare majority on the legislation, and it passed its third reading today by 61 votes to 60.

The RMA Amendment Bill is mainly designed to make it easier to free up land for housing and allows ministerial override, in some circumstances, of council planning decisions.

The government's usual allies, ACT and United Future, oppose it and the government struck a deal with the Maori Party by offering enhanced iwi participation in the decision-making process.

NZ First leader Winston Peters strongly opposes that, and has vowed to repeal the bill if his party is part of the next government.

Environment Minister Nick Smith is in charge of the bill and says it's an important part of the government's long-term programme to increase housing supply and affordability.

"The biggest changes to the law are in the content and way plans are developed," he said.

"The current 80,000 pages of RMA plans and rules are excessively complex and expensive.

"The process for writing a plan takes seven years on average. The new national planning standards will hugely reduce the bureaucracy."

Dr Smith says the changes will substantially reduce the number of consents needed.

"Councils will have a new power to waive the need for consents for minor issues - boundary issues like building a deck will be able to be resolved by simply getting a neighbour's consent and the gains will save homeowners millions of dollars in costs and delays."

National was only able to pass the changes thanks to a deal with the Maori Party. Source: 1 NEWS