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Labour confirms Hamilton West candidate

Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates on this sunny Tuesday, November 1 – made possible by our members. I’m Stewart Sowman-Lund, reach me on



Labour confirms Hamilton West candidate

Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates on this sunny Tuesday, November 1 – made possible by our members. I’m Stewart Sowman-Lund, reach me on


Nov 1 2022

Free 24/7 abortion hotline launches: ‘A huge step’

Image design: Archi Banal.

Women in their first 10 weeks of pregnancy will be able to access medication for an early abortion over the phone, the associate health minister has confirmed.

It’s been signalled for a while, but Ayesha Verrall confirmed the free telehealth service – 0800 Decide – has been launched today. “After consulting with the practitioner if a person wishes to proceed they can then choose whether to have medicines couriered to them or to pick them up from a supporting pharmacy,” said Verrall.

“This will significantly improve healthcare for those who live in rural areas, have concerns about privacy or don’t have a medical professional they feel comfortable seeing.”

People who contact the service will be connected with a clinician who specialises in abortion care and is willing to help. It’ll operate around the clock and will run alongside already existing in-person services, said Verrall.

“This is a huge step towards normalising and improving access to abortion care and I continue to be encouraged by the dedication of health professionals delivering this vital service.”

Read more: With doorstep pill delivery, having an abortion is about to get a whole lot easier

Image design: Archi Banal.

‘Disheartening’: The Caker speaks out after claims Chrissy Teigen ripped off her products

The Caker’s carrot cake box (Image: The Caker)

New Zealand baker Jordan Rondel – better known as The Caker – has spoken out after taking to Instagram with claims her products had been copied by a US celebrity.

In a widely shared social media post, Rondel claimed Chrissy Teigen had released baking mix products that were similar to her own – and said it followed the pair collaborating together on a baking kit earlier this year.

Rondel told The Spinoff she didn’t want this to become a “dramatic witch hunt” and said that Teigen had been “incredibly lovely” when they had worked together. “I think this is a case of her team taking way too much inspiration from me and hopefully Chrissy just being too busy to do anything about it,” Rondel said.

“I knew she was going to release a line of baking mixes… so the line wasn’t a shock but the packaging has really gotten my customers and fans riled up.” Rondel said Teigen’s team tried to call off the pair’s collaboration after four months so they could launch their own products.

She added: “Amongst the stresses of trying everyday to do what we do best, a business with a lot more power and resources taking such heavy inspiration from us when all we got from them after working on this collaboration for so long was a ‘one month only’ deal… [it was] a bit disheartening.”

Read the full story here

Labour’s Hamilton West candidate wants to ‘move on’ from Sharma drama

Jacinda Ardern prepares to speak at the Labour Party Annual Conference on November 6, 2021. (Photo: Mark Mitchell-Pool/Getty Images)

Labour has selected its candidate for the upcoming Hamilton West byelection.

Georgie Dansey, the chief executive of the Independent Schools Education Association and owner of a fitness training business, will stand for the party against the ex-Labour MP Gaurav Sharma and an as-yet-decided candidate from National.

The byelection will be an important one for Labour as Hamilton West is traditionally a bellwether seat and has swung both red and blue in the past. Dansey, who ran on the party list for Labour in 2020 and whakapapas to Ngāti Tūwharetoa, will bring “experience” and “continuity” as a candidate, said Labour president Claire Szabó.

“Georgie’s years of experience representing education workers and running her own business makes her ideally suited to advocate for Hamiltonians inside Government and ensure workers and business voices are represented,” said Szabó. “She brings a great perspective and represents Labour’s values of fairness and opportunity in this by-election.”

Dansey said she wants to focus on “accelerating progress” for the community. “No one has benefited from the recent drama with the outgoing MP. It’s time to move on and get back to focusing on the real issues Hamiltonians face, and I’m committed to working for Hamilton West on the issues that matter to them.”

National has announced three possible candidates for the seat: Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau, Frances Hughes and Tama Potaka.

Expensive flights not just an Air NZ thing, says airline’s boss

An Air Zealand plane after it landed at Sydney International Airport (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)

Air New Zealand’s boss says the issue of expensive flights isn’t just a local problem.

Numerous headlines this week have focused on the growing price of domestic and international travel on the national carrier. Ahead of the Christmas period, people have forked out hundreds to get around New Zealand.

Greg Foran told Newstalk ZB that capacity across the network wasn’t quite back to normal yet. “We’re back to close to 100% domestically, about 85% across the Tasman and 65% and growing internationally,” he said. “Although we’re hitting every port we’re not hitting with either the same schedule we were pre-Covid or the same number of seats.”

Conversations with his overseas counterparts from other airlines had signalled Air New Zealand wasn’t the only airline dealing with expensive flights, said Foran. “I see the same thing in all American airlines, I see it in Europe. Everyone is working hard to get capacity back.”

The airline should, Foran anticipated, get “pretty close” to be being back to normal by June next year.

The Bulletin: National’s candidate shortlist released for Hamilton West byelection

The National Party revealed its candidate shortlist for the Hamilton West byelection last night. National Party president Sylvia Wood said “We’re excited to select a candidate from such a strong, talented and diverse shortlist”.

The shortlist includes business director Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau, the general manager of Oceania Health Dr Frances Hughes, and chief executive of Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Tama Potaka. The party copped a fair amount of criticism following the release of the candidate shortlist for the Tauranga byelection which was accompanied by a photo of the contenders in remarkably similar suits.

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