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News of Zealand

News of Zealand: Latest Polls Show the 'Jacinda Effect' Is in Full Swing

Split reaction to Metiria Turei's departure, deadly quake in China, claims Kenyan elections were hacked and Google accused of being hostile to women employees.
Image via Labour Party Facebook page. 

Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by bFM and VICE NZ.


Support for Labour Soars While Greens and NZ First Take a Dive
The release of two major polls confirms the galvanising effect Jacinda Ardern has had on support for the party. According to the Newshub-Reid poll released last night, the Labour party has climbed nine points to 33 percent, while support for National has fallen to 44 percent, the lowest figure the party has received in the poll in the past decade. Support for New Zealand First and the Greens has also dropped, with New Zealand First falling more than three points to nine percent and the Greens dropping to eight. The UMR poll released this morning shows similar results, with Labour up 13 points to 36 percent, and the Greens falling from 15 percent to eight.

Divisions Remain Following Turei's Resignation
Kiwis remain deeply divided in their views of Metiria Turei following her resignation as Green Party co-leader. Turei has received an outpouring of support on Twitter since the news broke, with many thanking her for her contribution to New Zealand politics. Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has also acknowledged the impact Turei has made in Parliament over the past 15 years. However, many remain critical of the long-time MP, with National's campaign manager Steven Joyce saying the resignation was inevitable. ACT Party leader David Seymour said her actions had seriously damaged the Greens brand.


Labour Promises to Make New Zealand Waters Swimmable
Labour has announced its new water policy, which aims to make New Zealand rivers safe and swimmable for future generations. The policy includes plans to place a flexible royalty on the commercial consumption of water, which will impact both water-bottling companies and farmers operating irrigation schemes. Although farmers have admitted to being "terrified" about the policy negatively affecting their business, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said she was determined to work alongside farmers to achieve a workable solution.


Google Employees Say Company is "Hostile to Women"
More than 60 women are considering suing Google over allegations the company has a sexist workplace culture and a gender pay gap. Dozens of current and former employees say they've earned less than men in similar job positions, despite having equal qualifications.
Others say they've had difficulty moving up in the company due to a "culture that is hostile to women". The complaints come after a current male employee's 10-page manifesto was leaked in the weekend, which criticised diversity initiatives and argued that 'biological' differences might be the reason men hold more leadership positions than women in the tech industry.

South Korea and Japan Respond to North Korean Threat
South Korean president Moon Jae-in has responded to the heightened level of threat from North Korea by calling for an "intensive" upgrade of his nation's military force. Moon said he wanted "a complete overhaul, instead of minor improvements." Addressing the "increasingly difficult" situation, Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said "the US's deterrence capability is extremely important to Japan."


Earthquake in China Leaves At Least 19 Dead, 247 Injured
At least 19 people were killed and 247 injured by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that ravaged China's Sichuan province on Tuesday. Rescue teams have been helping thousands of people stranded by landslides to safety after the quake struck an area near a nature reserve popular with tourists. Another earthquake, magnitude 6.6, injured at least 32 more people when it hit in the Xinjiang region early Wednesday.

Kenyan Opposition Leader Claims Early Election Results 'Fake'
The Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga has claimed early election results have been doctored by hackers. According to Kenya's electoral commission, President Uhuru Kenyatta leads his opponent Odinga 54.3 percent to 44.8 percent, with more than 95 percent of votes now counted. Odinga, however, dismissed the results as "fake," casting a pall over a country with a legacy of election-related violence.

Taliban Releases 235 People Taken Hostage in Afghan Village
The Taliban has freed 235 civilians it had taken hostage in the Afghan region of Sar-e Pul, the local governor's office said Tuesday. An official said an "unknown number" of people remain in captivity in Mirzawalang after an attack on the village by Taliban and ISIS fighters. The militants killed around 50 people, including civilians, in the attack on a local, government-supported force in Mirzawalang over the weekend.

Glen Campbell Has Died at 81
Glen Campbell, the legendary singer and songwriter, has died at the age of 81. The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson paid tribute to "an incredible musician and an even better person," while Dolly Parton described him as "one of the greatest voices of all time."

Reporting by Katie Doyle, Ximena Smith and Leah Garcia-Purves.