With a straight down the middle approach, Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive on Newstalk ZB delivers the very latest news and views to New Zealanders as they wrap up their day.
It's no vax, not play and no stay for SkyCity patrons going forward.To meet obligations under health and safety laws, SkyCity says it will introduce vaccine mandates for all visitors and workers across its sites around the country.SkyCity Chief Operating Officer Callum Mallett told Heather du Plessis-Allan the definition for mandates for both hotels and casinos captured under hospitality.“We looked through that framework and absolutely decided that bring in CVC for entry to our total properties, including casinos, Sky Tower, etc. was the right thing to do for the health and safety of our staff and customers.”LISTEN ABOVE
The All Blacks have received an open letter on their latest sponsorship deal.More than 100 signatories signed an open letter written by Kiwis in Climate denouncing their deal with Ineos.Australian sailor Nathan Outteridge has joined Emirates Team New Zealand for the next America's Cup.It comes amid concerns that Peter Burling and Blair Tuke may not sign new deals.Quinton de Kock has backtracked on his decision not to take the knee at the T20 World Cup.The South African wicketkeeper-batsman sparked controversy after coming out publically with his decision, after refusing to do so at their first match against the West Indies. Phil Gifford and Miles Davis joined Heather du Plessis-Allan to discuss the week's sports news
China is offering no significant new goals for reducing climate-changing emissions ahead of the UN climate summit set to start next week in Glasgow.China, the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that cause global warming, formally submitted its goals Thursday. The highly-anticipated announcement includes targets previously established in speeches by President Xi Jinping and domestic policy documents.China says it aims to reach peak emissions of carbon dioxide — which is produced mainly through burning coal, oil and natural gas for transportation, electric power and manufacturing — “before 2030.” The country is aiming for “carbon neutrality” — no net emissions of CO2 — before 2060.“It's not surprising, but it is disappointing that there wasn't anything new” in terms of goals, said Joanna Lewis, an expert in China, climate and energy at Georgetown University.Lewis said the document released today “gave more detail about China will meet those goals," however, by measures including increasing its wind and solar power capacity, as well as carbon-absorbing forest cover.Climate experts say key questions about China's future carbon emissions remain unanswered.“The document gives no answers on the major open questions about the country's emissions," said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air in Helsinki. “At what level will emissions peak and how fast should they fall after the peak?”Nations participating in the UN climate conference, known as the 26th Conference of Parties, or COP26, submit what are called “nationally determined contributions” that lay out emissions reduction plans.It's still possible that China may have additional announcements at the climate summit related to financing for renewable energy overseas, said Lewis.Sam Geall, CEO of nonprofit China Dialogue and associate fellow at Chatham House in London said China's pledge is “consistent with everything that we've seen from Xi Jinping's previous statements.”He and other experts are concerned that pledges on emissions targets and also on financial support to help reduce emissions and adapt to a changing climate, especially for developing countries, “are coming in far too late, far too small.”- by Christina Larson, Associated Press
Just hours after he arrives in Rome, President Joe Biden will meet with Pope Francis on Friday at the Vatican, where the world's two most notable Roman Catholics plan to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and poverty.The president takes pride in his Catholic faith, using it as moral guidepost to shape many of his social and economic policies. Biden wears a rosary and frequently attends Mass, yet his support of abortion rights and same-sex marriage has put him at odds with many U.S. bishops, some of whom have suggested he should be denied Communion.White House press secretary Jen Psaki, in previewing the visit, said she expects a “warm and constructive dialogue” between the two leaders.“There's a great deal of agreement and overlap with the president and Pope Francis on a range of issues: poverty, combating the climate crisis, ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” Psaki said. “These are all hugely important, impactful issues that will be the centerpiece of what their discussion is when they meet.”National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the president and pontiff would meet privately, then hold talks with expanded delegations. Biden is visiting Rome and then Glasgow, Scotland, for back-to-back summits, first a gathering for leaders of Group of 20 leading and developing nations and then a global climate conference.As only the second Catholic president after John F. Kennedy, Biden has made his audience with the pope a clear priority. It will be his first scheduled meeting on his five-day trip abroad and his wife, Jill, will also attend. Biden and the pope have previously met three times but this will be their first encounter since Biden became president.Following the papal meeting, Biden will meet separately on Friday with Group of 20 summit hosts Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. He will end his day by meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, part of an effort to mend relations with France after the U.S. and U.K. decided to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, scotching an existing French contract.Biden's meeting with Pope Francis generated some controversy in advance as the Vatican on Thursday abruptly canceled plans to broadcast the meeting with Biden live and denied press access. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the revised television plan reflected the virus protocol for all heads of state audiences, though he didn't say why more robust live TV coverage had been initially scheduled and then canceled.Viewers will only see the arrival of the presidential motorcade in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace, where a Vatican monsignor will welcome Biden. There will be no live broadcast of Biden greeting Francis in the palace Throne Room, nor live footage of the two leaders sitting down to begin their conversation in Francis' library.The Vatican said it would provide edited footage of the encounter after the fact to accredited media.A live broadcast was particularly important because the Vatican has barred independent photographers and journalists from papal audiences with leaders since early 2020 due to the coronavirus, even though external news media are allowed into other papal events.This decision comes as U.S. bishops are scheduled to meet in roughly three weeks in Baltimore for their annual fall convention. Among the agenda items for that convention is an effort by conservatives to disqualify Biden from receiving Communion. Any document emerging from the event is unlikely to single out the president by name, but he still could face some form of rebuke.Francis has stressed that he will not reject political leaders who support abortion rights, though Catholic policy allows individual bishops to choose whether to prevent people from taking Communion.Over the years, Vatican meetings between presidents and popes have had their share of awkward moments.President Ronald Reagan had trouble keeping his eyes open on his first visit to the Vatic...
There are calls for a banking inquiry after ANZ posted a near $2 billion profit.It's up 44 per cent on the previous year.Simplicity founder Sam Stubbs says it's being driven by lending less to businesses and more in home loans, claiming the bank is milking us.Sam Stubbs joined Heather du Plessis-Allan.LISTEN ABOVE
Capacity has been the main issue in our MIQ system.So it's hard to fathom that last week, there was just one person who stayed at a Wellington MIQ facility.101 rooms at the Grand Mercure were sitting empty whilst up to 50 staff at the facility were looking after the one person.National Covid Response Spokesperson Chris Bishop told Heather du Plessis-Allan it's like Fawlty Towers, except it's not funny, it's ridiculous.“You got tens of thousands of people offshore, Kiwis wanting to come home for family emergencies, for funerals, for births, deaths, weddings and can't get in because they've got to play the MIQ lottery.”LISTEN ABOVE
A non-partisan collective of over 100 Kiwis have written a public letter to New Zealand Rugby denouncing the All Blacks' new sponsorship deal with global petrochemical company Ineos.NZ Rugby announced a six-year partnership with Ineos in July which will see the UK-based firm become the rugby governing body's "official performance partner" from 2022.Ineos will appear on the back of the playing shorts and on the front of training jerseys of each of NZR's teams in black (the All Blacks, Black Ferns, All Blacks Sevens, Black Ferns Sevens, Māori All Blacks, All Blacks XV and All Blacks Under-20) from next year.The public letter by Kiwis in Climate, a group of international and domestic Kiwis working in climate and related fields, called the Ineos deal "a backwards step for the All Blacks and New Zealand".The letter was also co-signed by several notable New Zealanders, including former All Blacks Bob Burgess and Chris Laidlaw, Sir Bob Harvey, musician Neil Finn, Dame Anne Salmond, climate scientist Dave Frame, former Black Stick Emily Gaddum and Sophie Handford of Schools Strike 4 Climate.The Kiwis in Climate collective said the deal was a missed opportunity to be a global leader, at odds with key values that usually set the All Blacks apart and suggested it "high tackles our Pacific neighbours" who are hit with the worst effects of climate change and carries significant reputational risk.The collective has also offered its expertise to NZR to help design and define a strategy for achieving net zero CO2 emissions by a specified date in the future. NZ Rugby has signaled that it is open to a meeting with the collective.Burgess, who played for the All Blacks from 1971 to 1973 and was a strong opponent of the national rugby team's tours of apartheid South Africa, said NZR is "putting itself on the wrong side of history"."Not again. NZ Rugby is putting itself on the wrong side of history – and putting off potential supporters and players – with this deal with Ineos," Burgess said in a statement."It should be seen as a leader and not risking the falloff in interest in the game we saw in the 1980s when the NZRFU continued to play against apartheid South Africa."Demonstrators hold anti-fracking placards in the UK. Photo / GettyHowever, he added that "it's great to see NZR is willing to meet Kiwis in Climate to discuss this issue in more detail".Describing themselves as rugby fans at heart, the signatories pointed to extensive evidence that Ineos "is on the wrong side of the paddock and getting away with a series of professional fouls", which includes expansion of fossil fuel reliance and advocacy for fracking.Despite Ineos' "substantial planned investments in green hydrogen", the group questioned the integrity of Ineos' plan for meeting its new 2050 carbon neutrality goal. It notes that much of Ineos' climate pledges amount to greenwashing.The letter comes as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference is set to begin in Glasgow, heralded as the biggest climate talks since the Paris Accords and billed as humanity's "last best chance" to keep the guardrail of 1.5°C in play."We've put this together, above all, because we're All Blacks fans," said Kiwis in Climate convenor John Lang. "Global leaders are gathering in Glasgow to address the global coordination problem from hell, something that requires leadership not just from government but also non-state actors and private players. Meanwhile, the All Blacks are gathering a few miles away having just signed with a fossil fuels major when countries like France and the Netherlands have just banned fossil fuel advertising. This is the tobacco story all over again."The All Blacks brand is synonymous with the New Zealand brand. The irony runs deep: they'll be wearing a recycled Adidas jersey, sponsored by Steinlager which promotes carbon zero beer, and soon to be adding INEOS, a private fossil fuel giant, to the black jersey."If you're confused by this branding decisi...
A tech commentator says Facebook's name change is a rebranding exercise.The tech company has announced it's changing its name to Meta with the aim to better reflect future technology it's working on.However, social media platforms it owns, such as Facebook and Instagram, won't change.Tech commentator Bill Bennett told Heather Du-Plessis Allan the name change is more to do with recent criticism the social media giant has faced.“It's facing a lot of regulatory pressure pretty much every day. More leaks come out about the terrible things it's been doing. It's just getting worse and worse and worse.”LISTEN ABOVE
I'm not convinced that ANZ's massive profit yesterday means that we suddenly need a banking inquiry. This is the call from Sam Stubbs, the CEO of Simplicity KiwiSaver.He thinks there is such a thing as too much profit, he's pointed out that banks are making close to $1000 off every Kiwi, and that if we're prepared to launch an inquiry into supermarkets which make only $120 off each off us, then we should launch an inquiry into banks.I think Sam Stubbs might find his call reasonably popular. Many of us would consider a profit of nearly eye watering $2 billion. And few of us enjoy the amount of money banks make of us.And few of us like the fact that we allow that much profit to go offshore.But why does that mean we need an inquiry? What is ANZ doing wrong? ANZ has made this profit because we went crazy on the housing market with cheap money over the last 18 months.We bought increasingly expensive houses and we bought a lot of them.And you can hardly accuse the banks of being too free with their lending can you? The banks introduced LVRs on lenders before even the Reserve Bank did.And they're being so strict by the sounds of things that they're even going through bank statements looking for frequent bar, gambling and restaurant spending before they approve loans.So unless there's a suggestion they're playing fast and loose, I can't see the need for an inquiry.Other than just beating up on banks because they're unpopular corporates like they have been for centuries.Actually healthy profits in banks are something we should applaud.Because it shows our economy is doing well.And that — in the time of a pandemic and lockdowns — is not a given.So instead of beating up on ANZ, maybe we should take heart from the fact its profit shows confidence and resilience in the New Zealand economy.
Truckies have dismissed claims the Government is "bending over" for the industry.There are growing calls for people to be fully vaccinated if they want to leave Auckland.Otago University epidemiologist Nick Wilson claims getting this mandated is being made difficult by the trucking industry.Transporting New Zealand CEO Nick Leggett told Heather du Plessis-Allan they've been complying with testing at the Auckland border.“This idea, I think, that truck drivers are putting the rest of the country in danger is an appalling attack on really important vital workers who keep New Zealand fed and clothed.”Leggett says requiring truck drivers to be fully vaccinated before leaving the region would cause issues.LISTEN ABOVE
A loophole in the troubled MIQ has been identified after an email was sent out by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise three days ago.The door's being opened for up to a dozen people to come back to New Zealand and stay in managed isolation if they book for lunch or dinner at the New Zealand Pavilion at the Dubai Expo.They don't have to begin their journey in New Zealand, they can travel from other countries to Dubai, they don't even need to be engaged in the Expo nor too they need to have any commercial activity in Dubai.They have to be an export customer which most of us are likely to be.They have to return to New Zealand on an Emirates flight leaving on November the 21st.That's led to at least one business leader who has been trying to get back into New Zealand from a place other than Dubai, to commit to fly to Dubai for lunch. Fortunately for him, he managed to get a slot in the ballot and didn't need the lunch offer after all.The Government has already ring-fenced 400 spots in managed isolation for businesspeople, Government staff and performers to attend the expo which opened earlier this month.A total of 401 rooms will be filled by returnees from Expo 2020 Dubai between this month and March next year.The dozen rooms being made available for the flight from Dubai comes at a time when tens of thousands of desperate Kiwis are in the lobbies waiting to strike the ballot for available MIQ rooms.And other Kiwis have spoken out at their fury and upset about not being able to secure a room to be home in time for Christmas, or to visit terminally ill relatives.National's Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay says it's ridiculous and makes us look like a laughing stock. "There are business people desperate to get overseas to save their businesses from ruin but can't because the MIQ system's a dismal failure."If you can't afford to book a lunch in Dubai the Government doesn't care about you, is there any wonder why Kiwis see this as a joke?" he asks.At the time the rooms were made available to Expo travellers in early August, Act Party leader David Seymour likened the move to Government favouritism, which disadvantaged average New Zealanders."There's no way you can explain that it's fair the needs of someone going to Expo 2020 are more than the needs of someone who hasn't seen their kid in a year," he said."Why should they not have the same level of importance?"Expo 2020 Dubai has been designated as a major event by the Government after it provided $62 million for attending the event including building a new pavilion.About 600 representatives from private sponsors including Fonterra, NZ Trade and Enterprise staff and performers and entertainers will be in Dubai as part of the New Zealand representation.
Facebook is changing its company name as it shifts its focus to the "metaverse" and confronts wide-ranging scrutiny of the real-world harms from its various platforms after a whistleblower leaked hundreds of internal documents.Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that Facebook will change its corporate name to Meta, effectively demoting Facebook's namesake service to being just one of the company's subsidiaries, alongside Instagram and WhatsApp, rather than the overarching brand.The company formerly known as Facebook also said in a press release that it plans to begin trading under the stock ticker "MVRS" on December 1.A rebranding could be part of an effort to overhaul Facebook's reputation and turn the page following a series of PR nightmares, including misinformation on its platforms, content moderation failures and revelations about the negative effect its products have on some users' mental health.The name change, which was announced by Zuckerberg during the company's virtual reality and augmented reality conference Facebook Connect, aligns with its growing focus on the metaverse, which refers to efforts to combine virtual and augmented reality technologies in a new online realm."I've been thinking a lot about our identity as we begin this next chapter. Facebook is one of the most used products in the history of the world," Zuckerberg said on Thursday. "It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly it just doesn't encompass everything that we do."Today we're seen as a social media company," he added, "but in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people. And the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started."Zuckerberg, who said he loved studying classics in school, said the name was inspired by the Greek word meta, which means "beyond." "For me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build."The company also replaced its corporate sign, which featured a picture of a "thumbs up," outside of its California, headquarters with one touting its new logo: a blue infinity sign.Facebook did not announce any executive changes on Thursday. But on Zuckerberg's personal Facebook page, his job title was changed to: "Founder and CEO at Meta."When asked by The Verge if he would remain CEO at Facebook in the next 5 years, he said: "Probably. I don't have a specific date how long I want to be doing this for. I guess what I could say is I'm very excited about the next chapter of what we're doing."Zuckerberg kicked off the big product event by teasing a series of new social, gaming and workplace concepts for the metaverse -- and by acknowledging the optics of focusing on such products amid renewed scrutiny of the company."I know that some people will say that this isn't a time to focus on the future, and I want to acknowledge that there are important issues to work on in the present. There always will be," Zuckerberg said. "So for many people, I'm just not sure there ever will be a good time to focus on the future. But I also know that there are a lot of you who feel the same way that I do.""We live for what we're building," Zuckerberg added. "And while we make mistakes, we keep learning and building and moving forward."Facebook showed a series of concept videos that highlighted its vision for metaverse, such as sending a holographic image of yourself to a concert with a friend attending in real life, sitting around virtual meeting tables with remote colleagues or playing immersive games with friends. Facebook recently said it would hire 10,000 people in Europe to build out the concept.Zuckerberg also announced Messenger calling is coming to VR, plans to operate a virtual marketplace where developers can sell virtual goods and a new home screen in Oculus Quest to make chatting and games in the virtual world more social."Your devices won't be the focal point of your attention anymore," he said. "We're starting to see a lot of these technologies comin...
A former anti-vaxxer now suffering through a Covid infection says he wishes he had taken the vaccine.John Koutsimanis says he was put off getting the jab after reading misinformation about the vaccine's safety on social media.Koutsimanis believed Covid was like the flu - but has changed his mind since catching the Delta strain almost two weeks ago.He told Heather du Plessis-Allan every time he felt he was about to get better - he would get worse.“Just very dark long days and nights and with pain and feeling hot and cold and then more pain and thinking you're sweating it out and then it just doesn't go away.”LISTEN ABOVE
NZ Post is pleading for customers to tweak their Christmas shopping strategy this year.The organisation's parcel delivery has been slammed due to the current lockdown conditions in Auckland.With Aucklanders currently unable to shop in-store while restrictions remain in place, recent demand for online shopping in Auckland has increased by more than 90 per cent since before lockdown. In response to the demand, NZ Post has gone from delivering 440,000 parcels per week in Auckland to more than 740,000.NZ Post's latest eCommerce Spotlight report shows that New Zealanders have spent $1.7 billion online over the past three months, an increase of 22 per cent on the same period last year.Auckland has had the biggest quarter for online shopping ever, with Aucklanders spending over $700 million online over the past three months, $122m more than the same quarter last year, and a massive 51 per cent increase on 2019.Due to the enormous pressure, NZ Post has increased its delivery team by 800 staff and is currently recruiting for 300 more."We've extended our operating hours and are processing 24/7, and we've re-designed our Auckland network to get parcels where they need to be as fast as we can," NZ Post chief customer officer Bryan Dobson said."Our posties are now helping out our couriers too – delivering even more parcels alongside mail."Dobson says that there are, however, physical limits to what the company can achieve despite the increase in staff.Across the country, NZ Post is now delivering two million parcels a week - equivalent to four every second.But this doesn't mean that all Kiwi customers should rush out and immediately do their shopping.One way that customers can ease this demand is by opting to click and collect wherever possible.Dobson has also advised that customers should make bulk orders of a number of items rather than making a series of individual orders.He further encouraged Kiwis to check the latest deadlines and ensure they make their orders before the Christmas delivery cut-off dates to avoid disappointment.For orders being sent abroad, NZ Post is advising New Zealanders to get their packages sent as early as November 15 to ensure they make it to their destination by Christmas.Items being sent internationally to some destinations have a cut-off date as early as November 24.The cut-off date for items being sent within New Zealand on the economy service is December 21.It's important to note here that these cut-off dates only apply for items already in your possession. You will need to allow for even more time if you need to order something online first before sending it on to a loved one in a different location. This means that may need to start making your Christmas purchase decisions by early November to ensure sufficient time for delivery.Dobson has advised Kiwis to do their shopping a bit differently this year and ensure items are delivered on time.NZ Post's Christmas shopping tips:Think ahead, start planning what you want and need to buy during the shopping season now.Make a list of what you need so you can place fewer, larger orders and reduce your shipping costs.Use 'click and collect' options with your favourite retailers wherever possible.Consider bulk buying items that you usually purchase online monthly or weekly into one larger order that can be sent in one go.
By now, you might've caught up on the video that's doing the rounds on social media and the online newspapers of one of those hikoi protestors bragging about having got through the Auckland border. This is Tammy Watson, videoing herself while driving.What appears to have happened here is that Tammy left the official Mercer checkpoint yesterday where the rest of her protestor mates are.Today, she tried a back-route crossing at Pukekawa.She told the cops she was on that road because she wanted to avoid the congestion on the motorway.And they waved her through.Now, the cops say they're not going to investigate this any further.Because she had the paperwork to go through showing an exemption to move from Kapiti Mana to Kerikeri.And she didn't need a test because she was relocating from a Level 2 area to a Level 2 area.Is paperwork proof of honesty?The two alleged sex workers who went to Northland had paperwork too showing they were essential social services workers.And Tammy doesn't make it sound like she was moving to Kerikeri. She made it sound very much like she's really joining the hikoi.It might be that Tammy is actually moving home and this is all bluster, but I'd like to know.I'm getting a little tired I'm getting a bit tired of this hands-off, education first, policing by consent approach that they've taken thus far.If you cast your mind back, it feels a lot like they only charge the alleged rule-breakers AFTER the public fury forces them to act.For example the Wanaka couple. Cops didn't charge them for nearly two weeks. When that started winding people up, they were charged.Brian Tamaki. Not charged until after public outcry over his first protest.The North Shore party. Which the cops went to at 4am while it was underway. No one was fined until after public outcry. Compare that to the Aussies who are constantly being updated by the cops on how many fines they're handing out to rule breakers.I'm not into getting people in trouble for no good reason.But I am aware that this stuff is undermining the compliance in Auckland.It's very hard to want to follow the rules when you see people bragging about flouting the rules and getting away with it. Like Tammy is suggesting she's done.
Small businesses are on their knees, that's the verdict from Xero's Small Business Index for September. On average, Auckland firms are waiting 29.6 days to be paid, four and a half days more than in August. Craig Hudson is Xero's managing director in New Zealand and he joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVE
You'd be hard pressed to find a place in the developed world right now that isn't suffering from labour shortages. The problem is especially bad in the US, where employees are resigning in droves to look for greener pastures. Sam Dickie from Fisher Funds has been keeping an eye on this and he joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVE
Groundswell NZ is appalled with the Government's decision to mandate the appropriation of Councils 3 waters assets into the 4 new mega 3 Waters administrations for peppercorn compensation. They say this is just one more example of the tsunami of unworkable regulations being forced on New Zealanders, and is blatant theft of the assets of Council Ratepayers. But is the “Mother of all Protests” a tone-deaf exercise considering the plight of many urbanites? LISTEN ABOVE
ANZ New Zealand has seen a 44 percent profit increase for the year to September. Profit is at $1.92 billion. Home lending by the bank increased by $9.3b to $99b over the year. Liam Dann is the Herald's business editor at large and he joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVE
More opposition to the Government's plan to confiscate water infrastructure from councils, this time it's Federated Farmers. The industry body has called the mandatory transfer of all the country's water assets to four new entities a "huge call". Andrew Hoggard is president of Federated Farmers, he joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVE
It's not sustainable. That's the message Act leader David Seymour says he's had from dozens of Auckland businesses he's visited in the city today. He told Heather du Plessis-Allan the main thing they want is some certainty and about when and how it ends. “They don't understand the traffic light system, they don't have faith in the transition to it and they're putting on a brave face behind the masks.” LISTEN ABOVE
Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper joined Heather du Plessis Allan with reaction to the MIQ adjustment announcement and the Government backing away from local government delays.LISTEN ABOVE
Southland District Mayor Gary Tong is eyeing up the same job in Invercargill. Tong has held his current mayoralty for three terms - and will run against Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt in next year's local election. Tong says he was concerned about breaking the news to Shadbolt - but the incumbent was 'ever the professional'. Tong told Heather du Plessis-Allan he's quietly confident of his chances. “From the chatter I've had in the last 12 hours, it's been absolutely amazing. The comments of support that have come through on texts and phone calls.” LISTEN ABOVE
The Covid-19 Response Minister has defended not letting international arrivals in Auckland self-isolate at home. From November 14, MIQ stays for returnees are halving to seven days, followed by about three days of home isolation. There have been calls to let those staying in Auckland solely home quarantine, because of the community outbreak. Chris Hipkins told Heather du Plessis-Allan it's too hard to work out at the border, where people are headed. “Establishing a system to work all of that out, itself would be a quite a significant logistical challenge and by the time we figure that out, we might not need to use it.” LISTEN ABOVE
It's understood Auckland's light rail project will cost about $10 billion. The Newstalk ZB newsroom understands the Government will unveil details of this tomorrow. Greater Auckland Transport commentator Matt Lowrie told Heather du Plessis-Allan he's hoping for clear answers. “What we don't know yet, is what that cost is for, there are a couple of options that are on the table. Is that cost for the most expensive option or is that the cheapest option?” LISTEN ABOVE
Relief and anger were the dominant emotions in Christchurch today. Relief because the city hasn't been plunged back into lockdown after two new Covid cases were revealed this morning. Locations of interest were only revealed just before three this afternoon, and spread across the city including supermarkets, petrol stations and takeaway shops. But anger because it took until three o'clock this afternoon to find out about any potential locations of interest. Sam MacDonald is a Christchurch City councillor and he joined Heather du Plessis-Allan along with Dr Apisalome Talemaitoga who is a GP in Manukau, Auckland and shares the councillors frustrations at the lack of information being provided. LISTEN ABOVE
I wish that I could praise the Government today for delivering wonderful news regarding the MIQ changes and for making rational, science-based, grounded in reality decisions, but I can't. Yes, credit to them for finally reducing the length of MIQ stays from 14 days to 7 days, followed by 3 days home isolation. That's welcome. it'll free up some space in MIQ. But why did they stop there? Why are they still requiring anyone flying into Auckland, which is where the vast majority of people fly into, to do any MIQ at all? These people are not a risk to Auckland any more. Chris Hipkins pointed out only 2-3 out of every 1000 arrivals are Covid positive. We had 664 covid cases in the last week. We're not going to notice another 2 or three. They're no real risk to us anymore. And why wait two and a half weeks to implement this? It's not complicated. You basically just let someone out a week earlier. But no, we wait to 14 November. So, someone flying in from 14 November gets a shorter stay of 7 days, but everyone flying in the day before, 13 November, still has to do two weeks. That's crazy. And then to top it off, we're told Kiwis coming home have to wait until the end of March before they can expect to do home isolation. Australians are doing this on Monday. So, by the time we get to do it, the Aussies will have been in and out of their country with NO ISOLATION WHATSOEVER for 5 months. So, while I'm happy that we're taking steps in the right direction, and credit to the Government for that, I can't hide my disappointment that they are taking baby steps when they can go faster; they just don't want to. They need to speed this up. The Government is now deliberately holding a handbrake on our economic recovery and reconnection for no good, scientific reason.
We still don't have a venue for the next America's Cup, but that doesn't mean there aren't any dramas. A former Team New Zealand director Jim Farmer has told the syndicate he's looking at legal action if Jeddah in Saudi Arabia gets picked as the venue. Hamish Rutherford is the Herald's Wellington business editor and he joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVE
Tough day for A2 milk, they had their investor day and investors reacted with a big sell off. A2 stock was down 11 percent. Mark Riggall from Milford Asset Management joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVE
The Government is set to force through its Three Waters reforms, u-turning on a previous position to make it voluntary for councils to join up to the amalgamation plan.Listen above as Jack Tame and David Farrar discuss the day's news with Heather du Plessis-Allan on The Huddle
It was a bombshell announcement from Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta this morning The Government will go ahead with its plans for water reform, and will take power over water off local councils. Instead, four new water bodies will look after drinking, storm and waste water. Councils were promised a right to opt out, but that's now been taken off the table and the government will force councils to hand over control. Nanaia Mahuta told Heather du Plessis-Allan the reform is not confiscation."It provides these water service entities with a financially sustainable ability to fund infrastructure and asset management."LISTEN ABOVE
An Auckland businessman and mayoral hopeful has set his own freedom date from lockdown. Leo Molloy says he will re-open his viaduct bar 'HeadQuarters' on December 1, and claims someone must lead the way. The Government has given no firm indication for when Auckland outlets can resume operating. Molloy says under his rules -- patrons will need to show proof of vaccination and would be served by fully-vaccinated staff. Molloy told Heather du Plessis-Allan two out of three of Auckland's DHBs are well on track to hit their jab target. "I'm allowing for 20 or 30 days to get the 9,000 remaining first jabs, and get them jabbed the second time as well so we all qualify. Then I can't see how there's any further obstruction." LISTEN ABOVE
Nanaia Mahuta's just pushed the nuclear button on the Three Waters reform and potentially picked herself a big fight. The Minister for Local Government has done exactly as predicted and announced she's confiscating the water assets of every single council and territorial authority up and down this country She's had to confiscate the assets, because after asking nicely, the vast majority of local bodies told her no, they wouldn't willingly hand them over This has the potential to go badly for Mahuta and the Labour Government in so many ways, but here are the three most obvious problems Number one: The confiscation issue. Who likes having their assets confiscated off them? Answer: no one. So, you can expect ratepayers up and down this country to object to that big time Number two: The Māori issue. The water infrastructure confiscated from your council, will be given to four new big organisations. They will be governed by a group appointed in a complicated system starting with a fifty –fifty power sharing of the local council and the local iwi. Let's not beat around the bush here; that is going to raise the hackles of a lot of people who see this as giving power to unelected iwi who haven't funded the assets, and that's a potential problem for Labour because they are seen to be pushing too hard on Māori issues. So, they've only got themselves to blame if they get a racially-charged backlash on this. Number three: The election issue. The confiscations might be law this year, but they don't' take effect until 2024. But between now and then we have two sets of elections. The local government elections next year, and then the central government elections in 2023. So Mahuta has just given mayoral candidates and council candidates in every single territorial authority something to complain about next year. And they will. And the targets of their complaints will be Mahuta, Labour and confiscation and iwi governance. It cannot be good to have election campaigns up and down New Zealand fought on whether Labour are a “revolting pack of thieving liars” as one councillor said today. So, politically, this feels like a bad idea all round.
Clothing company Designer Wardrobe is closing its stores in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The buy-sell-rent-businesses Chair is blaming the Government's so-called "unclear" pandemic timeline for the decision. Simon Moutter says if there was certainty stores could reopen in December - they would have kept their physical stores. Moutter told Heather du Plessis-Allan the Government doesn't understand the cash-burn caused by lockdown. “Access to capital is very fragile for a small-medium business and therefore, without certainty you simply can't access it." Designer Wardrobe will still operate its online store. LISTEN ABOVE
A hair salon in the Manuwatu is raising money and donating some of its profits to Auckland hair salons. Levin's Patricia Farrow hairdressing and beauty is currently donating 50 percent of every voucher purchased to Auckland salons. And next Saturday, 30 percent of the salon's earnings will go to the cause. Owner, Paula Wyatt joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVE
A primary principal is sceptical over Government's hopes for a staged re-entry for younger students. November 15's been pencilled in as a tentative date. The Ministry of Education's now working with the sector on how to make it happen, including possible outdoor learning and a combined in-class and at-home model. South Auckland Primary School principal, Karl Vasau told Heather du Plessis-Allan he has no faith in a staged approach. “It will work in maybe Year 9 and 10, which are very different, but not in the primary school sector I just cannot see that working at all.” LISTEN ABOVE
There's been fierce backlash today since the Government announced it's ploughing ahead with its Three Waters reform. It will take over control over drinking, storm and waste water, even though the majority of councils have spoken out against the move. Nigel Bowen, mayor of Timaru, Anita Baker, mayor of Porirua and Phil Goff, mayor of Auckland joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVE
The local film industry is shaken up after the fatal shooting involving Alec Baldwin. Industry guilds say New Zealand safety standards are strong but fatigue, low budgets, and long hours can still present risks to cast and crew members. Thursday's shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins highlighted multiple suspected errors, and the intricate work of professionals such as armourers on movie sets. "Everybody is gobsmacked this could even have possibly happened," actor and Equity New Zealand president Jennifer Ward-Lealand said. "It's a tragedy. It's an absolute tragedy. I don't know how the film can go on. To have lost your director of photography, I just don't know how you could get over it." Ward-Lealand and her husband Michael Hurst have both worked with firearms and armourers on local productions. Ward-Lealand said armourers in her experience always carefully instructed actors and followed multiple safety procedures and checks. "That's probably why I know never to put my finger on the trigger." Hurst said he couldn't understand how the shooting of Hutchins happened. "The gun never leaves the sight of the armourer." Stage and screen actor Michael Hurst says knowing the strict guidelines around using weapons, it's hard to comprehend how the Santa Fe fatal shooting could have happened. Photo / Doug Sherring. Hurst said in his experience, actors waited for verbal and visual reassurances from armourers. "It's too problematic if anything goes wrong. All the armourers have to be qualified." Hurst said when firearms were used in theatre, police were told, and multiple safety plans were supposed to be closely followed. New Zealand stunt professional Stuart Thorp said armourers frequently were ex-military professionals and the use of guns on local sets involved detailed planning. "Armoury itself is a specialist position and they know all about the different types of ammunition. Effectively the first assistant director is in control of the set." Rust director Joel Souza reportedly told investigators three people were handling firearms, which the armourer and first assistant director checked before giving to actors. A violinist plays behind a photograph of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a vigil in her honour in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo / Andres Leighton, AP Thorp said it seemed some crew were out firing live rounds for target practice near the New Mexico set. "It's an assistant director that picked the hot weapon off of the cart and gave it to Mr Baldwin." But Baldwin believed it was a cold or unloaded weapon. "The live weapon should never be anywhere near the prop ammunition." Thorp, a Stunt Guild of New Zealand member, said the use of weapons on productions involved safety briefings and often co-operation between different departments. "Say if you have a sci-fi show, a company like Weta or the art department might add moulding to weapons," Thorp said. "Generally the rubber guns are under the art department." Different stunts could require different weapons and techniques. Thorp said sometimes a computer-generated muzzle flash was used on scenes. "Even if it's a rubber weapon, treat every weapon as if it's loaded." Thorp said after more ad-hoc approaches a few decades ago, New Zealand laws now made producers and department heads responsible for ensuring safety was taken seriously. "Definitely in New Zealand, the standards around this sort of thing in my experience are super-rigorous." Alec Baldwin in Santa Fe with Halyna Hutchins' husband Matt and Matt's son after the shooting incident. Photo / Backgrid Other hazards could include rigging, but Thorp said the film industry adopted the best practices from arborists, scaffolders or other industries where rigging was used. He said the fact crew raised safety concerns on Rust before the shooting made the tragedy even more alarming. "Usually it's not just one thing that's gone wrong. There are multiple layers of mistakes that...
"Incredibly disappointed" police have blasted the behaviour of anti-lockdown hīkoi members who blocked a state highway, risking public safety. A strong police contingent is continuing to monitor a hīkoi involving members of the Sovereign Hīkoi of Truth (SHOT) movement at the Southern Auckland checkpoint border after a police line had to be used to move the protesters off the highway in the early hours of this morning. "Police are incredibly disappointed that this group of protesters have chosen to take this action," they said in a statement. "By carrying out non-essential travel they are putting themselves, our staff and the wider community at risk, while additional Police resources have had to be redeployed in order to monitor the movements of this group at the checkpoints." The group claim to be heading to Waitangi - but have been told they are not welcome there by local Māori leaders. Tai Tokerau Border Control founder Hone Harawira has described the hīkoi as "a scam" organised by Pākehā anti-vaxxers. "There is no invitation from Waitangi Marae, no invitation from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, no invitation from Ngāti Kawa or Ngāti Rahiri, and no invitation from Ngāpuhi," the former Tai Tokerau MP said. The convoy of around 50 vehicles carrying about 100 people arrived at the Southern checkpoint border in Mercer just before midnight. Two protest vehicles, including a bus, remain parked on State Highway 1 in the northern lanes with the drivers refusing to move them. Traffic is being diverted around them and police are attempting to get the drivers to move them off the road. Police negotiators and iwi liaison officers were called in to help after some of the protesters "surged forward" on foot from Orams Rd blocking the southern lane of SH1, but when this failed a police line was used, a police media statement said. "The group was directed by police to a gravel area on Orams Rd, to move away from blocking the road and disrupting traffic travelling through the checkpoint." The group is trying to get to Waitangi in Northland where leader of the Outdoors Party and prominent anti-vaccine and anti-5G activist Sue Grey will be speaking. Grey flew to Kerikeri on a private plane yesterday and then travelled to Waitangi yesterday. Speaking on a Facebook livestream, Grey wanted to set the record straight and confirmed the Waitangi event was going ahead, but the "really, really bad news" was the hīkoi had been blocked at Auckland's southern border. Police had put a big truck across the road and laid down spikes, she said. However, this had been strongly denied by police. Grey said her co-leader Alan Simmons had told her that Hone Harawira seemed to have single-handedly convinced police that the event had been cancelled so a whole group of people were not being allowed through the checkpoint to attend. Grey, speaking on a second livestreamed video, said people stopped at Auckland's southern border were "pretty unhappy and frustrated" at the way they had been treated and urged people to go and support them. "It seems to me the people who need support are the people that are blocked at the border down in the south of Auckland wanting to come here that have been stopped. It would be helpful for people to give them some support because there are some pretty unhappy people there who are pretty frustrated with the way they've been treated and the information we have that it all came down to one person telling the police that everything is and that's why they weren't allowed to come through." She said it seemed so unfair that if you could afford to fly on a plane from Wellington you could get there, but there was no route for those who wanted to drive from level 2 into another level 2 area. Her advice to those who were being stopped was that it "if was good enough for police to block the people then it was good enough for the people to block the police", adding if the road was closed then it should be to everyone not j...
A former TV and radio presenter has backed away from her earlier claim that Mother Earth created an earthquake out of displeasure with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Covid management plan. Former Breakfast, Good Morning and RNZ presenter Liz Gunn now says she was only using a metaphor. It comes after Ardern had been holding a press conference last Friday to unveil the nation's new 90 per cent vaccination target and traffic light system for handling the virus when an earthquake hit the central North Island. Gunn subsequently posted a video online saying Mother Earth's quake had arrived just after Ardern announced her "evil plan". "Our mother, our jewel, this beautiful country said enough, enough," she said. However, Gunn today told Newstalk ZB's Heather du Plessis-Allan that she had been using the earthquake as a metaphor. "I'm sorry ... I have a sensitive soul, I do work in metaphor," Gunn said. "The metaphor is that we are all collectively getting broken." Gunn earlier expressed anti-vaccination views in her video. Du Plessis-Allan said to Gunn that she had talked about having a heart condition in her video and asked whether she had a medical exemption for not getting the Pfizer Covid vaccine. "I do not give out my personal medical details," Gunn responded. "I do not ask people personal medical history. What has happened to our country?" Gunn said she respected du Plessis-Allan's right to have a different opinion on issues. "I'll get into Parliament if I have to and defend your right to do what you want with your body," she said. Gunn posted her video on Saturday. In it, she said the introduction of vaccine passports was a way to divide the nation and segregate people with different vaccine statuses from one another. During a 10-minute interview with du Plessis-Allan today, she said she had received lots of emails of support since posting her video. "The emotional side of me, I often read these and I have to stop and I have to weep for our country," she said before reading aloud one letter she said she had received. Gunn previously worked at TVNZ between 1990 and 2003. She was part of the original TVNZ Breakfast team alongside Mike Hosking and Susan Wood in 1997. In 2001, Gunn took Alison Mau's place as host, forming a team alongside Hosking. But she sparked headlines in December that year when she quit the programme live on air. At the time, it was reported that Gunn and Hosking had not clicked as a presenting team but TVNZ bosses were left scrambling when Gunn told viewers she wouldn't be back in 2002. During that time, Gunn also worked at Radio New Zealand, hosting a number of shows before finishing up in 2016. Gunn's latest video came after Ardern announced on Friday that New Zealand would move to a traffic light system to manage Covid-19 when District Health Boards have 90 per cent of their eligible populations vaccinated. LISTEN ABOVE
Sealord has spoken out publicly for the first time since Foodstuffs North Island cancelled a large chunk of its frozen fish range. The company says it's decreasing products in New World and Pak n Save in the North Island by 50 to 70 percent, reducing the number of products from 24 to between 4 and 11. Sealord's chief executive Doug Paulin told Heather du Plessis-Allan it's nothing personal and that Foodstuff's North Island are looking to implement similar measures across other categories. “This is something they're doing across both of their banners, Pak'n'Save and New World, and across all categories. It just happens that ours is one of the first to be done.” LISTEN ABOVE
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid is "leaning towards" requiring staff in the National Health Service (NHS) to be vaccinated against Covid-19, he said Monday. "Those fantastic people working in the NHS, they are naturally more vulnerable to being exposed to diseases and viruses, and of course that includes Covid," Javid told British broadcaster Sky News. "But, also, the people that they are looking after so well are naturally vulnerable. That is why they are at hospital, and it's about giving them the protection they deserve too." A similar mandate already exists for workers in the care sector, said Javid. As of November 11 all care workers in England are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, he said, unless they are exempt under the regulations. "There is the requirement in care system at the moment that you are vaccinated. And the vast, vast majority of people I speak to in the care sector, that is exactly what they want, because they know that it's not just good for them but - most importantly - it's important for the people that they are looking after so well," said Javid. "In the NHS we are thinking of doing the same thing. We've been very clear about this." A final decision is yet to be made, said Javid, who added that 93-94% of NHS workers are already vaccinated. "What we saw with the care sector is that when we announced the policy, and then we set it in law -- November 11th is the sort of cut-off date -- then we saw many more people come forward and do the right thing and get vaccinated," he said. "And that's what I hope that, if we do the same thing with the NHS, we will see." UK authorities are also encouraging those eligible to get booster vaccines against Covid-19. The NHS has already given four million booster doses and will contact eligible people to offer them a booster dose, according to a statement from the prime minister's office at 10 Downing Street published Saturday. Everyone over 50 or at high risk from Covid-19 will be invited for a booster shot six months after their second dose. - text by Nina Avramova and Jack Guy, CNN
New Zealand's Men's T20 world cup campaign begins at the somewhat untimely hour of 3am tomorrow morning. The Blackcaps will be playing Pakistan, the first time the two are meeting since the tour of Pakistan was abandoned last month due to a security threat. Former Blackcap Craig Cumming joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVE
We'll find out tomorrow whether Australia's inflation rate is just as hot as New Zealand's. The consumer price index here rose 4.9 percent in the year to September. HSBC's chief economist Paul Bloxham told Heather du Plessis-Allan he is predicting numbers around 3 percent for Australia. “The headline number will track at 3%, and the underlying measures, which are the main thing that really matter for interest rates, we still think will be below the RBA's target.” LISTEN ABOVE
Those looking to refix their mortgage might be watching nervously as home loan rates keep going up. Kiwibank's chief economist Jarrod Kerr said interest rates have lifted much faster than he expected. Infometrics principal economist Brad Olsen told Heather du Plessis-Allan banks are passing costs on to customers. “Their own costs, they money they are having to buy to back themselves up is becoming more expensive and they're saying well, look, we've got to pass that on to our customers.” LISTEN ABOVE
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday announced a sweeping vaccine mandate in businesses in the hospitality sector, and others including gyms, barbers, and hairdressers where customers are expected to have vaccine certificates. Listen above as Ben Thomas and Hayden Munro discuss the day's news with Heather du Plessis-Allan on The Huddle
A New Zealand economist says vaccinated people should get hospital priority. New Zealand Initiative Economist Eric Crampton told Heather du Plessis Allan New Zealand only has 183 ICU beds, so cases will be dealt with based on urgent need. He says the default means people who have elective surgeries planned will be pushed out. “The only option for rationing something that's this scarce, that also reduces the need, as best I can tell, is a vaccination mandate.” LISTEN ABOVE
Increased forecast milk payments are a boost for farmers who still face other concerns. Fonterra has increased its forecast farmgate milk price to a mid-point of $8.40/kg of milk solids, matching the previous highest pay out. Dairy NZ chief executive Tim Mackle told Heather du Plessis Allan it's good, but farmers are still toughing it. “They're concerned about other things like being understaffed or even issues around regulation, we've seen a tsunami of regulation come at them, and Covid uncertainty, they're feeling it too.” LISTEN ABOVE
Vaccine mandates are coming in a big way. The Government has announced vaccine mandates for workers at any business that requires a vaccine certificate. That includes such high-risk settings as hospitality and gyms and close-proximity places like hairdressers, and barbers. For all other employers who want to introduce their own vaccine mandates, the Government will introduce a new law to help them decide whether they can do so. Workplace Relations Minister Michael Wood told Heather du Plessis-Allan the policy is to ensure consistency. “You go in using your Covid vaccine certificate, we think it's important that you've also got the confidence that the staff who might be serving you are also vaccinated.” LISTEN ABOVE
Scott Morrison has announced Australia's plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 following lengthy — and at times very heated — debate between the Coalition. But, the modelling which supports the plan will not be released until a later, unspecified date. Under the plan, more than $20bn will be invested in “low emissions technologies”, including carbon capture and storage, by 2030. It is expected to generate between $60bn and $100bn in “co-investment”. A “new priority” to deliver “ultra-low-cost solar” power is also included in the plan. Projections show Australia is on track to cut emissions by 30 to 35 per cent by 2030, but Scott Morrison said the formal target of a 26 to 28 per cent reduction would remain. Mr Morrison said it was important to note that in that same period of emissions reduction, since 2005, the GDP had grown by 45 per cent. Mr Morrison stressed that the national plan would ensure net zero was met by 2050 through “technology, not taxes”, with investments in a portfolio of technologies and incentives on offer. “Australia has already achieved more than a 20 per cent reduction in our emissions since 2005,” Mr Morrison told reporters on Tuesday. “We're getting it done on emissions reduction. “Australians want action on climate change ... but they also want to protect their jobs and their livelihoods. “They also want to keep the cost of living down and they also want to protect the Australian way of life, especially in rural and regional areas.” Mr Morrison said his government's plan got the “balance right” and “charts a uniquely Australian way”. “Our plan is a fair plan, it's a practical plan ... it's been carefully put together.” The Prime Minister said his government had listened to the concerns and ambitions of Australians, describing the plan as an energy, trade and economic plan — not just an environmental one. As part of the plan, the government will not introduce new costs or taxes for Australian households and businesses; will expand consumer choices without introducing mandates; will drive down the cost of a range of new energy technologies; will keep energy prices down; and will be “accountable for progress”. As part of the plan, technology costs will be driven down for companies involved in developing clean hydrogen, solar, energy storage, low emissions steel and aluminium, carbon capture and storage, and soil carbon, as well as emerging technologies. Soil carbon and carbon capture and store methods will play a major component in driving down emissions. By 2050, emissions will have reduced 131-278 per cent in sectors using those methods. Clean hydrogen will be central for electricity, transport, industry, mining, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Mr Morrison said regional and rural Australians should feel confident that the plan was safeguarding their future. “I say to the people of rural and regional Australia — this is a good plan for you. You can plan for your future in confidence,” Mr Morrison said. The coalition has been divided on the plan, and earlier, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese called the process of the government's climate policy a “shambles”. He said they are “committing the fatal mistake of wanting to provide two contradictory messages to different parts of the country”. “Matt Canavan has already flagged that they can have a different view on net zero after the election,” Mr Albanese said. While the junior coalition partner agreed “in principle” to the net zero by 2050 target, Senator Matt Canavan told ABC Radio National on Tuesday he would “continue to campaign against the policy”, and that Australia should be “growing the coal industry”. “Coal prices have never been higher, they are at record highs,” Mr Canavan said. “There is so much demand for this product and yet (voters) don't see a government in Canberra backing them.” Speaking in a party room meeting ahead of Mr Morrison's announcement, Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Ba...