The Warriors made an emotional return to Mt Smart Stadium this week ahead of Sunday's NRL clash with the West Tigers, the Auckland club's first home game in more than 1000 days. The team has spent the last two and a half years based in Australia due to the Covid pandemic. As Joe Porter reports, for the Warriors and their fans, there's no place like home.
Ready Player One? Otago Museum is transforming into an interactive game zone as part of its latest exhibition. Code Breakers celebrates video games created by New Zealand and Australian women and offers visitors a chance to try their skills. Tess Brunton picked up a controller and headed to museum for a sneak preview.
Schools are having to get creative to keep classes going as students and teachers are hit hard with Covid and seasonal bugs. Yesterday the government announced it's supplying 50 child sized masks to all Years 4-7. That's on top of giving out up to 30,000 masks a week to all other students and school staff. At the moment some primary schools are having to plug significant gaps with multiple teachers sick. Wendy Koefed is Newmarket School principal and president of the Auckland Primary Principals' Association. She talks to Lisa Owen.
Locals in a Hawke's Bay community are devastated and angry at the SPCA's decision to close its local centre. The Waipukurau SPCA will soon close its doors and it's not the only small centre facing the same issue. Our Hawke's Bay reporter Tom Kitchin has the story.
No traffic lights, no tarseal and an 80km/h speed limit. Driving in the Chatham Islands is as laid back as the way of life, but it still requires a licence. And that means a trip to the mainland for a rigorous and condensed testing process. Manawatū reporter Jimmy Ellingham and cameraman Angus Dreaver went to see them put through their paces.
It's been a less-than-ideal week for the All Blacks ahead of their first test of the year. Covid-19 has handed the home side a rollercoaster buildup - and hundreds of extra Zoom calls - for tomorrow night's opening clash against Ireland in Auckland. But while Irish eyes will be smiling at the chance to do something they've never done in Aotearoa - most of the history remains on the All Blacks side going into the sold out fixture at Eden Park. Sports reporter Clay Wilson talks to Lisa Owen.
It's not just chopping onions that'll make your eyes water these days, but paying for them too. As the price of fruit n veges hits harder, many Kiwis are growing their own. On the Hibiscus Coast a small community garden is now humming with keen gardeners providing produce for those in need. They're desperate for more space, but council rules are stunting growth. Our reporter Louise Ternouth and cameraman Nick Monro went for a visit.
After years of the housing crisis in New Zealand, emergency housing is becoming entrenched on Rotorua's main road - Fenton Street. Around 40 motels in the tourism hotspot are now being used as emergency accommodation leaving just a handful free for people to book into for a night away. Now the borders are open and the school holidays are looming. Rotorua wants to welcome back visitors, but the situation's proving all too much for some. Nick Truebridge and cameraman Nick Monro have the story.
This deal mean Aotearoa's cheese industry gets a bigger nibble at the European market according to the government. It says there will be new and improved quota access for more than 31,000 tonnes of the stuff - through a combination of tariff elimination for existing trade arrangements and the new deal. Whitestone Cheese managing director Simon Berry talks to Lisa Owen.
It's the $1.8 billion deal the PM says unlocks access to one of the world's biggest and lucrative markets. But the free trade agreement signed with the EU has left the meat and dairy sectors with a sour taste in their mouths. The deal wipes tariffs for exports including kiwifruit, onions, apples, wine, mānuka honey, seafood and fish - among others. The government says it delivers tangible gains for exporters into a restrictive agricultural market. But the Opposition says the Prime Minister will need to explain to farmers why there were not more gains for meat and dairy. Here's political reporter Katie Scotcher, in Brussels.
New Zealand will learn overnight if negotiators have managed to secure a trade deal with the European Union. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrived in Brussels early this morning, where talks have reached a critical stage. Our political reporter Katie Scotcher is in Brussels. She joins Lisa Owen with the details.
A large police operation to clear out an established occupation at Māhanga Bay in Wellington has dragged on most of the day. Six people have been arrested and more have been shifted out of the area. Our reporter Kirsty Frame and cameraman Samuel Rhillstone have been there today.
Plastic. It's not so fantastic, according to 100,000 New Zealanders who've signed a petition urging the government to ban single-use plastic bottles. But with about a billion of them sold in this country every year, it's going to be a tough habit to break. Ruth Hill reports.
The ongoing spread of Omicron, influenza and other winter illnesses is being described by one urgent care doctor as a "tsunami". Health Minster Andrew Little said the health system as a whole is managing, but Waikato emergency clinic doctor Lesley Topping firmly disagrees.
Classical musical piped into the shearing shed, white walls to better spot blood splatters and mattresses at the end of the sheep chute, on a certified carbon zero high country farm, has some people raging. This week's episode of Country Calendar featured Lake Hawea Station run by entrepreneurs Geoff and Justine Ross. They bought the 6500 hectare farm in 2018 and run 10,000 merino sheep. The couple describe themselves as disruptors and believe animal welfare is a cornerstone of their farm. It has upset some though, with a few on social media describing it as "woke bollocks". Farmer Geoff Ross talks to Lisa Owen.
The government is supplying thousands of masks to school kids and staff in a bid to curb the spread of Covid. It has also revised its advice on testing for re-infections of the virus, as thousands of cases are still being reported daily. Year 4 to 7 students will be able to get 50 child size masks each. And up to 30,000 masks will be supplied to all other students and school staff. There were 7,423 cases of Covid-19 reported today and another 19 deaths of people with the virus and 411 people in hospital. Covid Response Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall talks to Lisa Owen.
A surprise starter and surprise position switch, headline the All Blacks team for the first test against Ireland. Uncapped powerhouse Leicester Faingaanuku will start on the wing in Saturday's sold out clash in Auckland. But the biggest eyebrow raiser comes in the forwards, with Scott Barrett set to start at blindside flanker for the first time in almost three years. It all comes amid a Covid disrupted preparation for the All Blacks - which has only added intrigue to what is already their most anticipated season opener for several years. Clay Wilson has more.
Auckland Council has been dealing with the hot potato of protecting 'character' homes instead of supplying more housing. The council met with local boards to discuss the rezoning of so-called special character areas. Felix Walton has more.
The brakes have gone on a social housing development on Auckland's North Shore following complaints it could change the character of the neighbourhood. That's despite thousands of desperate families in the city on the wait list for a home. Kāinga Ora was going to build 37 homes and a community room on Bonair Crescent in Millwater but has now suspended its plan. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to Parliament asking for the development to be stopped because of concerns for the safety and security of the community. Kāinga Ora regional director North and West Taina Jones talks to Lisa Owen.
'Bereft of any humanity ... nothing less than torture'. A judge's words as he sentenced a woman to life imprisonment for the murder of a five-year-old boy. Malachi Subecz was beaten, starved, burnt and thrown against walls. Today his uncle said the little boy was in the care of monsters. Leah Tebbutt was in court.
Emergency medical clinics in Wellington are being swamped with patients due to a surge in winter ills, meaning some are waiting hours to be seen. Checkpoint has been reporting on a health system under pressure with many GPs so under the pump they are not taking on new patients, forcing some patients to travel long distances or wait to see a doctor. Some hospital emergency departments have been offering vouchers or paying emergency clinics to stay open longer and take their overflow patients. Dr Kelvin Ward is the medical director of the Wellington Accident and Urgent Medical Centre and is also the chair of the Royal College of Urgent Care. He talks to Lisa Owen.
Turkey has agreed to pave the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. The two countries had applied to join the alliance in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is promising to stress New Zealand's commitment to a "fiercely independent" foreign policy when she speaks to NATO leaders in a few hours' time. Jacinda Ardern is in Madrid to attend the leaders' summit overnight, which kicked off last night with a dinner for NATO partners hosted by the King of Spain. Our political reporter Katie Scotcher will be at summit. She joins Lisa Owen with the details.
The biggest challenges for Auckland's City Rail Link are likely yet to come, according to the watchdog on government spending. A report into the multibillion dollar project by the Auditor General's office says it will cost more than is budgeted and will take longer than expected, partly due to Covid. The 3.4 kilometre twin tunnel underground rail link is expected to double the number of Aucklanders living within 30 minutes' travel of the city centre. But the report also says the CRL will likely face more disruptions due to supply chain delays and competition for workers. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff talks through the details with Lisa Owen.
The government has unveiled its plan to get Wellington moving but it could take some time to get the plan moving. It wants light rail and a second Mt Victoria tunnel for the Capital as part of the Let's Get Wellington Moving project. The additional tunnel will be for buses and cars while the existing one will become cyclists and pedestrians only. And the plan includes a light rail network to Island Bay, but with a fallback option of a rapid bus network. If it's green lit by the local councils the business case alone could take until 2024 to complete. Transport Minister Michael Wood talks to Lisa Owen.
The All Blacks have been dealt more disruption ahead of Saturday's sold out first test against Ireland in Auckland. Star outside back Will Jordan is the latest to test positive for Covid-19, taking the tally to three players and three coaches out of action after contracting the virus. And, as Clay Wilson reports, another big name is also under the weather.
New Zealand is known for its cold homes, and as winter bites, calls are growing for more support for those who can't keep warm. Charities say more and more people are struggling to pay their power bills, and the winter energy payment and cost of living payment are falling short. Louise Ternouth reports.
Emotions have run high at a fiery meeting with Bromley residents this afternoon around the ongoing stench from the Bromley wastewater plant saga. It was the first of three community meetings as the Christchurch City Council continues to cop flak for an apparent lack of urgency in fixing the problem at the plant. Adam Burns spoke to some residents after today's meeting.
After laying low for two days, the National MP Simon O'Connor has returned to Parliament with a mea culpa for his caucus. On Saturday, the MP published and then later removed a message supporting the US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade. O'Connor says it was his own choice to take the post down - and denies he - and his conservative colleagues - are being gagged. Here's our deputy political editor Craig McCulloch.
Now to a dirty secret about laundry detergents, some are so ineffective you're better off just washing your clothes in water. That's according to tests carried by Consumer NZ on 55 liquid and powdered clothes cleaners. It turns out the some of the pricier products are the worst performers. James Le Page talks through the details with Lisa Owen.
The Prime Minister kicks off the first day of her whirlwind trip to Europe this evening with meetings with the leaders of France and Spain. Jacinda Ardern is visiting the region in a push to get a trade deal with the European Union over the line and to attend the NATO Leaders Summit in Madrid tomorrow. Our political reporter Katie Scotcher is in Madrid and joins us now.
The Supreme Court has ruled Family First does not qualify for charitable status, saying the group's work does not fit the description. The lobby group, which advocates conservative values, was fighting a decision to be deregistered by the Charities Registration Board. Soumya Bhamidipati reports.
The Human Rights Commission is warning schools they cannot refuse to enrol students or discriminate against them because of their sexual orientation or family status. In a statement, the Commission says while it broadly supports a school's right to maintain and express its religious beliefs and special character, it would be concerned if that meant students or parents were excluded because of their views about marriage or gender. The warning follows controversy surrounding Tauranga's Bethlehem College. Human Rights Commission manager of the conversion practices response service Andre Afamasaga talks to Lisa Owen.
Transpower is urging power companies to boost their electricity generation this evening, to reduce the risk of power cuts. The lines company has asked the power companies to "ensure energy and reserve offers are accurate" and to increase that supply. It's warning if there's not enough power in the network this evening, households may face outages. The peak period is from 5pm to 7.30pm. If the situation worsens, Transpower could declare another grid emergency like it did on Thursday. And that could mean asking households to turn off some lights.
The health crisis has become an excruciating reality for a woman who has waited 11 days for surgery after being placed in the wrong ward. This afternoon the DHB has been forced to apologise after the woman, who suffered two snapped bones in her left leg, had her surgery delayed multiple times. And to make matters worse, in almost two weeks, she lay in the same gown and her hospital sheets were not changed. Katie Todd has Georgina's story.
The drug behind the deaths of more than 100,000 people in the US last year is now thought to be behind 12 overdoses in Wairarapa at the weekend. The United Nations has described Fentanyl as one of the world's deadliest drugs. Now, experts here are calling for better prevention, before someone in New Zealand dies from it. Soumya Bhamidipati reports.
Our cameraman Nick Monro caught some orca cruising in the waters off Big Manly Beach in Whangaparaoa this morning. Two of them appear to have feasted on a stingray for breakfast - and others were summersaulting through the water. It was a beautiful, chilly morning in Auckland this morning - perfectly still for Nick to be able to capture this video on his drone.
The gilded crown of Wellington's entertainment scene is officially back in business. The heritage St James Theatre has been closed since 2019 for earthquake strengthening. Our reporter Hamish Cardwell and cameraman Angus Dreaver got a tour, and learnt about some of its spooky history.
A new report says it's harder than ever for first home buyers to get a foot on the property ladder. However industry leaders point to softening house prices as reason to hope. Leah Tebbutt with this report.
As Air New Zealand ramps up, laying on 40,000 extra seats from tomorrow, it's also bringing back hundreds of workers. The national carrier is offering cash incentives of up to $1400 to entice people to work for it. The aviation sector is scrambling to fill jobs shed when the pandemic grounded flights. And its also facing monster fuel increases that are trickling down to ticket prices. But Air New Zealand boss Greg Foran's gearing up to reach 100 percent of pre-Covid domestic flight demand and 50 percent of long haul.
No-one lost power as a result of this morning's grid emergency - but how close did we come to a repeat of last winter's infamous August blackout? Consumer advocates are calling on electricity companies to put power in the hands of the people and roll out smart-meters to avoid future outages. Ruth Hill reports.
The Crown has described the New Zealand First Foundation as "a sham", as it closes its case against two men accused of mishandling political donations. The pair have been on trial at the High Court in Auckland for the past two weeks, charged with obtaining nearly $750,000 by deception. They deny deceiving the New Zealand First party by collecting and spending money that should have been treated as donations with reporting obligations. Our political reporter Anneke Smith has more.
An Auckland mother has described her terror after being told to pick up her kids and run as a man wielding a knife approached Mairangi Bay this morning. Four people sustained moderate injuries in the random attack, which started in Murray's Bay before spilling to neighbouring Mairangi Bay. The man is now in custody and assisting police. Katie Todd and Nick Monro report.
New research from a UK study shows Omicron may be less likely to cause long Covid than its predecessor, Delta. But here in New Zealand, researchers and long Covid sufferers say that's not the case for Kiwis and they're renewing calls for support and warning just how severe the long-term impacts can be. Louise Ternouth reports.
The electricity grid operator is working to make sure there's enough power for tonight's peak demand after calling a grid emergency earlier today and threatening to disconnect customers if it couldn't boost supply. [embed] https://players.brightcove.net/6093072280001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6308362306112 Transpower issued an alert shortly before 8am, and a number of hot water systems were switched off to ease demand during the morning peak, with more generation coming online within an hour. But Contact Energy's standby generation failed, Genesis had reduced output and there was also a drop off in the forecast wind generation. Transpower chief executive, Alison Andrew, talks to Lisa Owen.
Four people have been attacked by a lone man with a knife on Auckland's North Shore, in what police are calling a traumatic but isolated incident. The four stabbing victims have moderate injuries, while the offender is in custody and helping police with their investigation. Police were initially called to Murrays Bay just before midday. But the attacker then made his way to neighbouring Mairangi Bay, with people running to escape as he approached. Eventually he was taken down by a member of the public - with a crutch. Checkpoint reporter Katie Todd has the details.
The streets of South Auckland are turning red this week as Tonga's national rugby league teams return to action against their New Zealand rivals. Tongan fans have become renowned for their wild support of their teams - and Saturday's double-header at Mt Smart Stadium is expected to be no different. A community event to ramp up the excitement is being held at the Ōtāhuhu Rugby League Club this afternoon - and joining us from the event is sports reporter Clay Wilson.