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News of Zealand

News of Zealand: Metiria Turei Under Pressure After Voter Fraud Admission

The Greens co-leader registered outside her electorate to vote for her mate in the McGillycuddy Serious Party, immigration officials under investigation for corruption and National dangles a big transport carrot.
Metiria Turei. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

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Greens Co-leader Confesses Enrolling to Vote at Different Address
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei has admitted to enrolling at an address where she was not living in the 1990s to vote for a friend who was running as a candidate for the McGillicuddy Serious Party. A Newshub report found Metiria Turei's official listing address the same as the father of her daughter, Paul Hartley, in 1993 and 1994. The act was committed at the same time as she was illegally collecting a benefit. She said it was one of many mistakes she made, like many people, as a young person. Turei also confirmed that her mother was living with her at the time, but stressed that they were financially independent.

National Set to Announce $2.6 billion Transport Package for Auckland
National has a $2.6 billion transport package for Auckland in the works. The package aims to tackle Auckland's congestion chaos and includes a new highway alongside the Southern Motorway, a Northwestern Busway, and a new rail track between Westfield and Wiri. Most of the funding will come from the Government over a 10-year period as Auckland Council is close to its debt ceiling. Transport Minister Simon Bridges said the aim is for most of the projects to be completed within a decade.


Immigration New Zealand Officials Under Investigation
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) officials are being investigated following an accusation of fraud. This year alone the agency has received 53 allegations of staff fraud, corruption, and dishonesty. This is an increase from last year's total allegations of 23. Some INZ officials are believed to have been granting visas and residency to family and friends. A total of 43 investigations have been completed, seven are substantiated cases, and a further 10 are currently underway. Five of the seven substantiated cases have conflict of interest elements to them. Two staff members resigned before the relevant investigations could be completed.

One-Third of Springhill Corrections Inmates Assaulted
An investigation into the Springhill Corrections facility found one in three inmates have been assaulted in the prison, with very few being reported to corrections. According to the investigation, many inmates have little confidence in Springhill staff members. Nearly half of the 560 inmates at Springhill who were interviewed as part of the survey, claimed feeling unsafe at times. The report shows a recent increase in prison numbers have left staff stretched.


Trump Urges Mexico to Stop Talk of Wall Payments
President Trump has reprimanded Mexican President, Enrique Peňa Nieto, for publicly refuting his claim that Mexico will pay for a border wall. The phone call which took place in January and was revealed when the call transcript was released. In the conversation, Trump acknowledged that Mexico would not pay for the wall but threatened to cut ties with Mexico if they continued their claims publicly in the media. Trump based his election campaign on the promise to build a wall along the US southern border, pledging to make Mexico pay for it.

Scaramucci to Explain Firing in Live Online Event
Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications director fired only 10 days into the job, will share his thoughts on the surprise dismissal during an online event broadcast live this Friday. Scaramucci said he only ever planned on being at the White House for between six and nine months anyway, describing himself as a "special purpose vehicle" brought in to stop leaks.

Russian Prime Minister Calls US Sanctions 'Trade War'
Russia's prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said US sanctions signed into law by President Trump Tuesday constitute a "full-scale trade war" against his country. In a post on Facebook, Medvedev wrote: "The hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished." He added that the White House had revealed its "utter powerlessness."

Brazilian President Wins Congressional Vote on Corruption
Brazilian lawmakers in that country's lower house of Congress have voted against sending President Michel Temer forward to face corruption charges at the Supreme Court. Opposition parties could gather only 227 votes, short of the 3,421 required. Temer has refuted allegations he took bribes from the head of meatpacking company JBS.

Venezuelan President Denies Doctoring Voting Data
Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has rejected a claim that the turnout in Sunday's referendum vote on his new "constituent" legislative body had been deliberately exaggerated. Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica, whose company provided the voting machines, said the count had been "tampered with." But Maduro said Mugica had been "pressured to the neck by the gringos and the Brits."

Reporting by Alessandra Nixon, Lucy Austin and Ollie Powell.