News of Zealand

News of Zealand: Winston Peters to Take Deputy Prime Minister

Plus the latest Auckland City Limits lineup, what climate change is doing to New Zealand, and the science of angry Tui.
October 23, 2017, 10:24pm
Image: Wiki Commons

Everything you need to know about the world today, curated by 95bFM and VICE NZ.

LOCAL NEWS

Winning Winston
Winston Peters is set to take on the role of deputy Prime Minister for the incoming government. Labour and New Zealand First will officially set out the allocations on Wednesday, but it is expected Peters will also take up the Foreign Affairs portfolio. It's a role the New Zealand First leader last held when his party supported Labour between 2005 and 2008. Other expected roles include Grant Robertson as Finance Minister, David Parker as attorney-general and Green Party leader James Shaw in the Climate Change portfolio. On the opposition benches, National Party leader Bill English and his deputy Paula Bennett are tipped to stay in their roles despite losing the election, so as not to cause instability within the party.

Auckland City Limits Lineup Announced
The first wave of announcements for returning music fest Auckland City Limits have been announced. Music icons Beck and Grace Jones will headline the event on Saturday, March 3 2018 at Western Springs Stadium, alongside a huge line-up of international and local talents. House duo Justice, Synth-pop stars Phoenix and singers George Ezra and Sigrid are all set to perform, with Kiwi artists SWIDT, Drax Project and R'n'B diva Aaradhna also appearing. The one-day festival, first held in 2016 with headliner Kendrick Lamar, attracted over 25,000 attendees, and Promoter Campbell Smith promises next year's festival will be even bigger. The full line-up is available online at AucklandCityLimits.com with more announcements still to come.

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Angry Tui Are Targeting Good Singers
A new study has revealed that tui get more aggressive towards rivals who are better singers. Researchers at Massey University found tui responded faster and more aggressively towards rival males that sing more complex and intricate songs. The author of the study, Sam Hill, says the birds would respond almost instantly when in the company of rivals. The study is one of the first of its kind, and says the tui's response likely comes down to their need to protect their territory from competitors. Meanwhile, the kea has officially been crowned Bird of the Year, after a heated campaign that gripped the nation. Receiving over 7,000 votes, the kea's closest competitors were the kereru—with just over 4,500 votes—and the kakapo with 2,500. It is hoped the Bird of the Year title will raise awareness for the now nationally endangered kea, with only between 3,700 remaining in the wild. Team Kea, who have been out on the campaign trail, say they are proud of their efforts, which saw them hit back at the Green Party when they released a video encouraging votes for the kereru. This year's Bird of the Year competition was the most popular ever, with over 50,000 entries, and worldwide attention from the likes of Buzzfeed and the BBC.

NZQA Cracks Down on Tertiary Institutes
13 tertiary institutions owned by members of the Chinese and Indian communities are bearing the brunt of a Qualifications Authority crackdown. Institutes including the New Zealand National College and IANZ were punished for breaking NZQA rules, such as passing students who should have failed. President of Independent Tertiary Education NZ, Christine Clark, says she does not believe NZQA was using any form of racial profiling to target companies. Instead, Ms Clark says the institutions were targeted because of poor quality and that they might have focused on the business side of their operations rather than on academic standards. The 13 offending institutions are part of a full list of 32 that NZQA used statutory actions against, and account for some of the more serious incidents. Five institutions lost their registration and another five lost their right to teach courses.

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New Report Shows How Climate Change is Harming the Country
A new report by the Ministry for the Environment has highlighted how climate change is harming Aotearoa. The report, titled 'Our Atmosphere and Climate 2017' confirms greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 24 percent in Aotearoa since 1990, and are continuing to rise. WWF organiser David Tong told 95bFM News the legislation to combat the problems set out in the report need to have the support from all political parties in order to be truly effective. "The really important thing is to get all parties to do this—to get National, to get ACT, to all come on board because no matter what your political ideology is, no matter what your job is no matter where in New Zealand you live, this matters to all of us." Tong adds that the new government should be looking to meet the target of zero emissions by 2050 through legislation such as a Zero Carbon Act.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Solomon Islanders Forced to Survive Off Coconuts
People in the Solomons are living off coconuts after a volcanic eruption has left many without water. A massive eruption has caused water tanks and wells to be contaminated by heavy ashfall and lava continues to spew from the crater. Residents only have a few days left of supplies and are having to rely solely on coconuts for drinking water. A volunteer group on the ground says the eruptions could be heard up to 20km away and many are in need of urgent support.

Shinzō Abe Wins Big in Japan
The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition won at least two-thirds of the Japan's parliamentary seats in snap elections this weekend. The new government is expected to try to ease the pacifist restrictions enshrined in Japan's constitution and bulk up the country's military. On Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said facing up to North Korea required "tough diplomacy."

Catalan Leaders Vow to Defy Spain
Catalan foreign affairs official Raul Romeva said "the people and the institutions in Catalonia" would not allow Spain to impose direct rule over the territory. Along with dismissing the current regional authority, the Spanish government is reportedly ready to seize power over the regional police force and the Catalan broadcaster TV3.

Philippines Says War with Militants in Marawi City Is Finished
The country's defence secretary said the five-month battle against pro-Islamic State rebels in the region is over after a final group of insurgents were killed. According to official estimates, 920 militants were killed in the operation to regain control of the city, while 165 soldiers and police officers and at least 45 civilians also lost their lives.

At Least 13 Killed by Suicide Bombs in Nigeria
At least 13 people died and 16 were wounded when three female suicide bombers detonated explosive devices in the city of Maiduguri Sunday. Although no group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings, Boko Haram has carried out multiple attacks in the area in recent years.

Reporting by Ollie Powell, Jack Marshall, Stewart Sowman-Lund, Leah Garcia-Purves and Lisa Boudet.