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COALITION TALKS DRAG
Christopher Luxon is gearing up for yet another round of negotiations today, as he and his would-be coalition partners continue to spar over the last few details.
The incoming Prime Minister says there are just three issues left to negotiate … and he’s confident he can find agreement with Act and New Zealand First.
He says all parties have differences of opinion on some matters, and there are trade-offs needed between all of them.
But Luxon won’t say what those last three sticking points are, other than to say they’re all committed to trying to resolve those issues.
CALLS FOR CEASEFIRE
Chris Hipkins has bent convention to call for a ceasefire in war-torn Gaza.
He says he’s doing so as the Labour leader – not as caretaker Prime Minister – and acknowledges it’s an unusual move.
Labour must consult with the incoming government, but National says it was informed four minutes before the statement.
National says it supports the goal of a ceasefire, but acknowledges the conditions have not existed for one so far.
MALL PARKING MADNESS
A popular Auckland mall is apologising after shoppers were left trapped inside the carpark on Saturday afternoon.
Some customers at Westfield Newmarket report sitting in their cars for at least three hours, while queuing for the exits.
A spokesperson says the mall offered additional complimentary parking and lifted the boom gates to ease traffic flow.
Meanwhile, Newmarket Business Association chief executive Mark Knoff-Thomas says it was a perfect storm.
GREAT BARRIER ISLAND
One of Auckland’s favourite getaway spots may be made off-limits to boaties this summer, amid the threat of an ecological disaster.
Biosecurity New Zealand’s banned anchorage at several sites around Great Barrier Island – to stop the spread of an exotic seaweed.
But the agency says caulerpa – which smothers marine environments – has spread beyond several controlled sites.
As a result, wider measures may be needed, and they’re now speaking with affected communities.
HOSPITAL WAIT TIMES
Te Whatu Ora has managed to complete just three of the 101 recommendations a taskforce made 13 months ago, to improve wait times.
The planned care taskforce made the suggestions as one of the first major pieces of work post the switch from DHBs.
Seventy have implementation or planning under way, while 28 have not been active at all.