blog may 4

Live UpdatesMay 4 2022

Mallard withdraws five parliament trespass orders

It’s Wednesday May 4 and welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates. I’m Stewart Sowman-Lund, you can get in touch with me on stewart@thespinoff.co.nz


The latest

  • Five trespass orders related to the occupation of parliament grounds have been withdrawn.
  • Covid-19 latest: A child under 10 is among 24 new deaths. There are 481 people in hospital and 8,454 new cases.
  • Act fundraises to keep Māori Party out of parliament after poor poll result.
  • The health minister wants to have the backlog at our hospitals cleared as soon as possible.
  • New Zealand singer-songwriter Marlon Williams has launched a brand new single – his first solo music in four years!
blog may 4

Mallard withdraws five parliament trespass orders

It’s Wednesday May 4 and welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates. I’m Stewart Sowman-Lund, you can get in touch with me on stewart@thespinoff.co.nz


The latest

  • Five trespass orders related to the occupation of parliament grounds have been withdrawn.
  • Covid-19 latest: A child under 10 is among 24 new deaths. There are 481 people in hospital and 8,454 new cases.
  • Act fundraises to keep Māori Party out of parliament after poor poll result.
  • The health minister wants to have the backlog at our hospitals cleared as soon as possible.
  • New Zealand singer-songwriter Marlon Williams has launched a brand new single – his first solo music in four years!
May 4 2022

At-home heart checks could be ‘game-changer for Māori’

A new service that delivers heart checks in the home was launched in Waikato today, the first of its kind for cardiac health in Aotearoa.

Through the programme, Hāpaitia te Hauora Manawa, an outreach nurse specialist and echo sonographer will travel to remote communities to carry out heart screening for at-risk patient groups.

Launched today at Kirikiriroa Marae by Kiingi Tuheitia and Tipa Mahuta, co-chair of the Māori Health authority, the programme was co-designed by Māori community leaders, nursing staff, specialist cardiologists, Waikato DHB management and executives, regional NGOs and industry partners, and will be led by experienced Māori liaison specialist nurse Patumahoe Leaf-Wright.

The programme includes a bilingual (English-te reo) remote health management platform with telehealth capability.

“Māori have some of the highest incidences of heart related diseases in the country, being 9.8 times more likely to be admitted with heart failure and 2.8 times more likely to be admitted due to a heart attack,” said Riki Nia Nia, executive director of Māori health at Waikato District Health Board.

“The delivery of these type of community programmes can be a game-changer for Māori. It enables us to reach people that may have difficulty accessing healthcare in traditional settings, close equity gaps and improve the disproportionate health outcomes that have long affected our whanau,” he said.

“We have seen first-hand the benefits of the community-led Māori vaccination campaigns and we expect to see similar success with the launch of this programme.”

Backers of Sean Plunket’s The Platform revealed

Wealthy Tauranga family the Wrights have been confirmed as the backers of broadcaster Sean Plunket’s new media venture The Platform.

Set to launch next Monday, The Platform is an online only talkback network that will feature the likes of Martin Devlin and Michael Laws.

Until now, just how Plunket had managed to bankroll the project was a mystery. In February, he told The Spinoff’s Duncan Greive that he was the sole shareholder of The Platform and that he’d secured private funding to ensure the outlet could run for at least two years.

The Wright family became involved with Plunket last year. “We thought that New Zealand could benefit from a non-biased, open broadcast media, but didn’t know how to do it,” Wayne Wright Jr told BusinessDesk. “Coincidentally, Sean knocked on our door, and asked us if we’d be interested in partially funding his idea. We listened and decided to fund the whole operation.”

Why is Hobson’s Pledge publishing Star Wars ads in the Herald?

It’s May the fourth so there’s certainly no shortage of Star Wars content being widely shared on the internet. But, what you might not have expected to see upon perusing the national newspaper was an ad for Don Brash’s right wing lobby group Hobson’s Pledge masquerading as a poster for a Star Wars film.

Hobson’s Pledge, the group founded to oppose special rights for Māori, has taken out a full page ad in today’s edition of the Herald. There’s also a smaller banner ad on the bottom of the front page.

Both ads are titled “Democracy Wars: Attack on the Votes” and use a play on the Star Wars tagline of “a long time ago, in a galaxy far away”. Though instead of tackling droids and clones, the ad alleges that “the democratic rights of New Zealanders are under attack from the [government] committed to dividing us by race”.

The ad depicts Jacinda Ardern as a shadowy sith, while ministers Grant Robertson, Nanaia Mahuta and Willie Jackson flank her.

For some reason the posters use a mix of fonts: the heading uses a font that is suspiciously similar to the Transformers logo while the subheading uses a Star Wars-esque style.

(Photo: Twitter)

It’s not entirely clear what “attack” the group is referencing; the ads themselves do not reference any particular issue. But most recently, Hobson’s Pledge has been targeting the proposed three waters reforms. The ministers featured on the ad have all been involved in advocating for three waters reform.

It’s the style of the ads that is more interesting. The Spinoff spoke to two intellectual property experts, both of whom believed that Disney could have a copyright claim against Hobson’s Pledge should they choose to engage.

“It depends on the aggressiveness of the right’s holder,” said Narly Kalupahana, a former IP lawyer. “Disney could choose to do something, but the question is whether it’s worth their while.” Kalupahana compared it to driving 53km in a 50km zone, saying it depends if people were watching.

David Harper from Potter IP similarly believed the ads could constitute copyright infringement. However, he said “parody ads” were often ignored by big businesses. “There’s almost a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ where the rights holders tend not to take action,” he said. “Because you’ve got companies like Disney which come from the US and they have their legal principles very much based on free speech.”

The fact that Hobson’s Pledge was a political group could convince Disney to act, both Harper and Kalupahana agreed. It might depend on whether the ads were a one-off or continued to be run in the Herald. “My initial view is that it would technically be copyright infringement but I doubt Disney would take any action,” said Harper. “But you never know. And if they continue to run the ads that would up the ante a bit.”

The Spinoff has approached Disney for comment.

Trespass notice dropped against Winston Peters

The trespass notice against Winston Peters has been dropped after the former deputy PM launched legal action.

Peters was barred from parliament’s grounds for two years after he visited the occupation of the parliamentary precinct back in February. He launched a judicial review of the trespass notice earlier today after seeking legal advice.

Five of the trespass orders have been dropped this afternoon, and according to Peters they were all directed at former MPs. There are two trespass orders for people not arrested at the parliament occupation still in place.

In a statement, Peters said it should not have taken legal threats for the notice to be dropped. “This whole issue from the start to finish has been an absolute shambles, and has caused a number of people unnecessary anguish and expense,” he said.

Five parliament trespass notices rescinded

Five trespass orders related to the occupation of parliament grounds have been withdrawn, according to speaker of the house Trevor Mallard.

It’s not yet known whether that includes the trespass notices issued to former MPs Winston Peters and Matt King. Both have told media they have not yet been informed of any changes to the current two-year ban from visiting parliament grounds.

A press release sent out by Mallard has confirmed 151 trespass notices were issued in relation to the occupation. Of those, just seven were for people not arrested at the protest. Five of those have now been rescinded, meaning just two people not arrested continue to face a ban from parliament grounds.

“I have been working with police and parliamentary security to constantly assess threats to parliament, and the advice I have received is that it is no longer necessary to retain trespass notices for these five people,” said Mallard.

As noted by Newsroom’s Jo Moir, the statement was sent out at 2pm – after the prime minister’s afternoon media run. That means Jacinda Ardern will likely not face questions on the matter until at least tomorrow.

Introducing The Boil Up, The Spinoff’s new food newsletter

The Spinoff’s first-ever weekly food newsletter is here. Launching this week, The Boil Up, written by Charlotte Muru-Lanning, is a collection of Aotearoa’s best in food and beverage, delivered to your inbox every Thursday.

Produced in partnership with our friends at Boring Oat Milk, the newsletter will bring you the political, social, trendy, personal and delicious aspects of this country’s diverse and ever-changing culinary landscape.

The Boil Up will be a shared table where we can gather to break bread and contemplate the meaning of food in our lives. From new restaurants to historic family recipes, cocktails to cookbooks, there’ll be something for all tastes.

Subscribe to The Boil Up here and go in the draw to win a three month supply of Boring Oat Milk and cool Boring merch.

Covid-19 latest: Child among 24 new deaths, 481 in hospital, 8,454 new cases

There have been 24 more deaths of people with Covid-19, including a child under 10 and a person aged between 10 and 19 years old.

The deaths include 12 people who have died over the past three days and an additional 12 who died since March 5. These deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 801 and the seven-day rolling average to 13.

Nine of the deaths were people from Auckland, while the Ministry of Health has reported four were from Waikato, two from Bay of Plenty, one from Whanganui, one from MidCentral, two from the Greater Wellington region, three from Canterbury and two from Southern.

One person was under-10, while another was a person between the ages of 10 and 19. Two were in their 40s, one in their 50s, two in their 60s, nine in their 70s, five in their 80s and three were aged over 90. Seven were female and 17 were male.

There are now 481 people in hospital with Covid-19, while 14 are in intensive care. Auckland City Hospital is treating the most Covid patients, with 89.

There are 8,454 new community cases, with the seven-day rolling average of community case numbers sitting at 7,746. Last Wednesday it was 7,884.

The number of new Covid-19 cases in Auckland today is 2,568, down on yesterday but still up on recent weeks.

A message from our creative director, Toby Morris

Here at The Spinoff we’re proud to be a bit different. In the way we approach our journalism, in our tone, in the things we’re thinking about, all the way through to our design and our videos and our podcasts. We’d like to think we’re doing things in a way that no other New Zealand media organisations would.

And it’s our beloved members who let us do that – both through their financial support, and the encouragement of their engagement. They’re readers who care like we care, who are also interested in seeing things done in a slightly different way.

If you like what we’re doing and want to see more of it, have a think about joining up, and help The Spinoff be The Spinoff. Join today!

Luxon quiet on whether he’d work with Māori Party in 2023

National’s leader Christopher Luxon isn’t willing to discuss whether or not he’d work with Te Pāti Māori come next year’s election.

The latest Newshub Reid Research poll puts the minor party in the king or queenmaker position. It would bring three MPs to parliament – enough to form a government with either Labour or National. But co-leader Rawiri Waititi has ruled out entering into any government arrangement that involves Act, effectively sidelining National as well.

Luxon told RNZ that it was too early for him to contemplate possible coalition arrangements. “We’ve got 18 months to go to the election, there’s a long way to go. My job is to make sure that the National Party can really demonstrate we can run this economy… that’s what I’ve got to focus on,” he said.

Asked whether that meant he was ruling out Te Pāti Māori as a potential partner, Luxon didn’t answer. “I’m not going to get into the conversation because there’s more important things for me to focus on.”

Unemployment rate remains low, wage growth rises to record high

New Zealand’s unemployment rate remains at a record low of 3.2%, according to the latest Stats NZ figures.

The March quarter brought a slight rise in the underutilisation rate up to 9.3% from 9.2%, largely due to a bump in available potential jobseekers – that’s people who want and are available to work, but aren’t currently looking.

“However, this was tempered by smaller underemployment declines, as fewer people who were employed part-time both wanted and were available to increase their hours,” said Stats NZ’s wellbeing statistics senior manager Becky Collett.

At the same time, annual wage inflation has risen to its highest level since March 2009. it’s up to 3%, up from 2.6% on the last quarter. Wage inflation is, effectively, the percentage by which workers’ income has risen. While it’s up three points, that’s not even half the rise in prices seen through the 6.9% increase in the annual inflation rate.

Even Sharyn Casey questioned whether Eli was really leaving DWTS

It wasn’t just the viewing public who questioned whether Eli Matthewson had really been eliminated from Dancing with the Stars. Even host Sharyn Casey doubted the result was real.

Matthewson, who was competing for charity OutLine, left the show on Monday night after just two weeks. That’s despite wowing the judges with his routines.

Appearing on The Real Pod after being cold called, Casey said she was gutted by the result. “They don’t tell us until they give us the card, and so when they brought the card out I looked at it and was like ‘oh god, they’ve stuffed this up and circled the wrong person’,” she said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever had an elimination where I can’t stop thinking about it and it’s making me so mad.”

Listen to The Real Pod here

After checking in with the producers, Casey said she was assured the result was correct. “If they had a behind the scenes of our faces when we saw it, we were genuinely really shocked,” she said. “I just felt like it was such an important story and such an important thing for our kids to see a same sex couple and it being completely normal, and just how much it helped other people, so it makes me really sad that it’s over so quickly.”

Angry viewers have accused the show’s producers of rigging the results, but Casey confirmed that the charity element meant that wasn’t the case. After two weeks with shock eliminations, surely it’s time for the bottom two dance-off to return?

For more DWTS NZ, follow The Real Pod on Apple PodcastsSpotify or your favourite podcast provider.

Winston Peters launches legal action after parliament trespass order

Former deputy prime minister Winston Peters has launched judicial review action against the decision to trespass him from parliament grounds.

The New Zealand First leader revealed yesterday that he’d been barred from parliament for two years after he visited the occupation of the parliamentary precinct in late February.

In a brief statement, Peters said he’d “carefully” considered advice from his lawyers before launching his legal action. “This is not about whether former Members of Parliament should be treated differently to others who were at the protest – they should not,” he said. “This is about fairness, freedoms, democracy, and one law for all New Zealanders.”

Peters added: “It is my intention to seek a precedent on behalf of the hundreds of others who were unreasonably and therefore unlawfully trespassed for peacefully protesting.”

Speaking to RNZ about the trespass order, Peters compared speaker of the house Trevor Mallard to Hitler. “He’s meant to be Parliament’s person but … give him a cap, he thinks he’s Hitler,” Peters said.

“If people were peacefully protesting, which is a fundamental right in our type of society – and critical to our society, whether you agree with it or not – they should have been heard.”

Former National MP Matt King is, so far, the only other person to announce they’ve been trespassed from parliament.

Here 12 celebrates the houses that feel like home

Get your copy of Here 12 today (Image: Supplied)

Here is an architecture and design magazine about what it’s like to live in Aotearoa. Not just about houses, Here covers books, art, design and the beautiful things you might like to have in your home. It’s a magazine that’s progressive, joyful and fun.

Here 12 is on sale now. Called Soul Full, it’s about houses that just feel right – houses that feel like home, whether it’s because of a beautiful design or the collection inside it. It features a fabulous off-grid cabin in Abel Tasman and architect Pete Bossley’s own home in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Published six times a year, Here is a locally owned, independent title, committed to making something beautiful – and meaningful.

Here is offering Spinoff readers seven issues for the price of six. Subscribe now using the code SPINOFF22. (Sponsored)

Leaked court document shows US abortion rights under threat

Abortion rights in the US could be under threat, after a leaked Supreme Court document showed the landmark Roe v. Wade decision could be overruled. That case, from 1973, established the constitutional right to abortion in the United States.

While the Court has confirmed overnight that the leaked document was legitimate, it reiterated that it was simply a draft and that it may not be the finalised decision on the subject.

The fact that a Supreme Court document has been leaked will cause major concern among US lawmakers. Chief justice John G. Roberts Jr. called it a “betrayal of the confidences of the court” and ordered an investigation into how the leak came about. “This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the court and the community of public servants who work here,” he said in a statement, reported by the New York Times.

Since the leak yesterday afternoon, protesters have rushed to the Supreme Court buildings in Washington. According to The Guardian, larger protests are planned in the coming days. Anti-abortion demonstrators prayed and celebrated but pro-choice protesters lit candles.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks as other Senate Democrats listen during a news conference about the leaked Supreme Court draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on the steps of the Senate on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has labelled the Court’s preliminary ruling as “radical” and said it would represent “a fundamental shift in American jurisprudence”.

Some Democrats are calling for the right to abortion to be ratified in law, in case the decision of Roe v Wade is overturned. “Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW,” former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders tweeted. “And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.”

“I am angry. Angry and upset and determined,”added Elizabeth Warren, speaking outside the court. “The United States Congress can keep Roe v. Wade the law of the land. They just need to do it.”

Pro-choice demonstrators during a protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg)

Steam plume above Ruapehu

It was reported by GNS Science at around 9.45am above the crater lake. Scientists say it wasn’t accompanied by any seismic activity but they conducted an observational flight. Ruapehu is into its sixth week of increased seismic activity and on Monday, GNS science reported the strongest activity at the site in 20 years.

If needs be, the Department of Conservation is ready to extend the exclusion zone around the area but don’t think there is a likelihood of significant ashfall. A Tongariro national park ranger told RNZ he still anticipates there being a ski season.

Want to read The Bulletin in full? Click here to subscribe and join over 36,000 New Zealanders who start each weekday with the biggest stories in politics, business, media and culture.

Act fundraises to keep Māori Party out of parliament after poll result

The latest Newshub Reid Research poll showed our parliament’s most minor party could hold the balance of power in 2023.

Te Pāti Māori have landed in the so-called “kingmaker” position – and not for the first time – assuming they hold on to the Waiariki electorate they won in the last election. That would bring them three seats and allow them to choose whether to form a Labour or National government.

They’ve ruled out working with Act, effectively meaning last night’s poll result would ensure a three-party coalition between Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori.

Last night’s poll result prompted the Act Party to email supporters asking for money to “keep the Māori Party out of government”.

The email, sent out with David Seymour’s name, said: “Here’s the bad news: the centre-right would need the Māori Party to form a government. But the Māori Party doesn’t want to be in government with Act because we believe in one person, one vote.”

A part of the email sent to Act backers.

Support for Act was down 1.6 points in the latest Newshub poll to 6.4%, a drop on election night but still well up on the party’s pre-Covid polling. Labour and the Greens had also dropped, while National surged by almost 10 points.

Hospital backlog to be handled nationally under new health plan

The health minister wants to have the backlog at our hospitals cleared as soon as possible. Andrew Little’s announced that hospital wait lists will be managed nationally as preparations get under way for the new overarching health system.

From the start of July, DHBs will be scrapped as the new Health New Zealand and Māori Health Authority come into effect. But before that launch date, the two interim entities will be responsible for overseeing hospital wait lists across the country.

Little said that despite the success of our Covid strategy, both the delta and omicron waves had had an impact on hospitals. The number of people waiting longer than four months for their first appointments with hospital specialists had doubled because of the pandemic, he said, and the number of people waiting longer than four months for treatment had more than trebled.

“For people who need these procedures and appointments, having to wait is distressing,” Little said. “Now, with the benefit of having one of the most highly vaccinated populations in the world, and with a suite of new medicines available to treat Covid-19 patients and keep many of them out of hospital, we can start managing on a more business-as-usual basis.”normally for long periods of time.”

It could take three to five years to clear the backlog if the health system did not try a new approach, said Little. “It is my expectation that we can clear the backlog in considerably less time than that.”

A taskforce led by Counties Manukau chief medical officer and colorectal surgeon Andrew Connolly will be responsible for overseeing the initial work, with a national plan to be delivered to hospitals by September. “I expect a national review of all waiting lists and a reassessment of the situation of everyone on it,” Little said. “I also expect the taskforce to make full use of all health resources, including those in the private sector.

Marlon Williams back with first new music in four years

New Zealand singer-songwriter Marlon Williams has launched a brand new single – his first solo music in four years.

Titled ‘My Boy’, Williams described the new track as “a pop song with a Māori folk strum”. Despite being officially released today, the song was previewed on select dates of Williams’ 2021 New Zealand tour. And it’s a banger.

“The urge to turn every song on the planet into a Māori strummer descended on me like a fever sometime during the long and winding tour cycle of Make Way for Love,” explained Williams. “So, writing it into my artistic life became the only way to get the fever to lift.”

Adding to the excitement of new music, there’s also a brand new music video. Check it out below. And keep your fingers crossed that Marlon will be touring the country again very soon (he’s just announced new Europe and US dates for later this year).