The Government has announced $1.9 million in additional funding for fog cannons in dairies, liquor stores and petrol stations; and nearly $20 million will be invested through the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund in a hydrogen energy facility in south Taranaki. 

1.Tributes are flowing for the former Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons who died suddenly last night at the age of 75. She is being remembered as a tireless environmental and social champion who believed in treating everyone with dignity no matter their politics.  

2.Former Labour minister and Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is set to run for the Māori Party in the Tāmaki Makaurau seat. It’s understood Tamihere’s endorsement meeting with the Māori Party is tomorrow and an announcement will be made on Sunday.

3.Muslims are being encouraged to stay home from Friday prayers if they are unwell in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The New Zealand Muslim Association, says it is following Ministry of Health advice which is that public events can go ahead but with an increased focus on hygiene.          

4.The local share market has fallen back into big losses today following weaker US markets. The benchmark Top 50 index fell about 2.3 percent in early trading, erasing all of yesterday’s games.

5.OPEC has called for global oil production to be cut by one and a half million barrels a day in response to falling prices caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

6.The jury in the trial of a police officer accused of raping his collegue has watched CCTV footage of the night. The officer who cannot be named is accused of raping the women as she slept in a Kerikeri motel last year.    

7.The defence in the trial of a Hastings man accused of trafficking 13 Samoan nationals and using them as slaves over a 26 year period has opened its case. The trial of Joseph Matamamata who denies 24 charges of trafficking and slavery is nearing the end of its fourth week in the High Court in Napier.   

8.The Christchurch Foundation fund for the victims of the March 15th mosque attacks is switching to long term community support. An independent adviser to the foundation Raf Manji says about $7 million has been distributed directly to the bereaved and injured.        

9.Nearly $20 million will be invested through the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund in a hydrogen energy facility in south Taranaki. The Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters who made the announcement this morning, says alternative energy initiatives are vital for the future of the region.    

10.PHARMAC is warning patients prescribed the medicine Logem not to stop taking it without talking to their doctor. Following the death of a sixth person. The agency has faced criticism over switching about 11,000 patients to the generic brand of the drug Lamotrigine.        

11.The Government has announced $1.9 million in additional funding for fog cannons in dairies, liquor stores and petrol stations. An estimated 470 retail businesses across the country will be eligible for the security measure. Police Minister Stuart Nash said the funding meant business owners would pay no more than $250 for fog cannons that normally cost $4000.

12.The doctor who murdered teenager Amber-Rose in Dunedin two years ago will be sentenced this afternoon. Venod Skantha who is 32 faces likely life imprisonment for stabbing the 16-year-old to death.  

13.Elizabeth Warren, who had been a frontrunner in the Democratic race to contest the White House, has ended her campaign. A former bankruptcy law professor who forged a national reputation as a scourge of Wall Street even before entering politics, Warren had banked on a strong showing on Super Tuesday after a string of disappointing finishes in the early states.

14.Abduction, forced return, torture and a campaign of intimidation. Today, the damning allegations made against the billionaire ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, by his former wife, Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussain, became established fact, published in a series of judgements by Britain’s High Court.

15.Scientists say the winter in Europe has been the warmest on record by far. Data from the European Union’s Copernicus Satellite shows the average temperature was almost 1.4 degrees celsius higher than the previous record.

16.Scientists say more snow fell on South Island glaciers this year, but warn it’s likely to be a temporary break on the climate change front. The annual snowline survey each March is a guide to the effects of snowfall on long-term glacial ice. Scientists were concerned that the effects of the Australian bushfire dust might have increased glacier melt this season.

17.Residents from Wellington south coast complain the smell from a sewage spill at the landfill on Monday left them gagging. A report from the contract Veolia states two mechanical failures at the sludge treatment plant at the Southern Landfill probably caused the smell.       

18.The six major banks have announced they will not be involved with the annual Wellington International Pride Parade. Kiwibank says it was a difficult situation but following consultation with the team, decided it would not be appropriate to participate tomorrow.        

19.The former movie producer Harvey Weinstein who was convicted of rape and sexual assault last week has returned to jail. 

Leave a comment