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News of Zealand

The News of Zealand: Monday 10 July

Water exporters should be paying tax say The Greens, French spy speaks out on the 32nd anniversary of Rainbow Warrior sinking, 122 countries say no to nuclear weapons and the Vatican says no to gluten-free bread.
Image via Flickr user Ricardo /

All you need to know about the world this morning, curated by 95bFM and VICE NZ.


Greens Promise Tax for Water Exporters
The Green Party yesterday announced a tax for companies that bottle and export New Zealand water.
Co-leader James Shaw announced the policy at the party's campaign launch in Nelson yesterday. Shaw said the party would charge a levy of 10 cents per litre, which would be split between local councils and mana whenua.
The Greens also plan to come up with a fair way to charge all commercial users of water and protect water sources, as practices like irrigation can leave rivers depleted.
Shaw said it's unfair that our own drinking water is being contaminated, while our purest water is being exported overseas.
Last year about 27 million litres of water was exported.

French Spy Behind Sinking of Rainbow Warrior Breaks Silence
The French spy behind the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior 32 years ago has broken her silence.
Christine Gabon, who was never brought to justice, said she was serving her country as part of the military operation—codenamed Opération Satanique—and was carrying out her job.
Gabon was believed to be gathering information about the Rainbow Warrior before leaving the country seven weeks before the sinking of the ship at the Port of Auckland.
She has stated she will not be apologising to the New Zealand public for the incident as it would have too many implications.
Today is the 32nd anniversary of the sinking, in which Portuguese-born crew member Fernando Pereira was killed.


Marae to House Homeless for Second Winter in a Row
After hosting as many as 200 homeless people last winter, Te Puea Marae in Mangere, South Auckland will once again open its doors.
For six months, from 18 July, the marae will house those needing shelter over the colder months.
Spokesperson Hurimoana Dennis told Radio New Zealand that this year they've been working with government agencies to prepare for winter.
"We believe we can still… support homeless families. We did it last year—we learnt some things, and we put people into homes."
"It's an opportunity… to work with agencies, to show agencies what best practice engagement looks like for our Māori families, our communities, and those who are homeless."

$100,000 Funding Cut to Auckland Women's Centre
Auckland's Women's Centre says the Government is failing to address gender inequality by cutting its funding this month.
The Government will redirect the $100,000 the centre received every year as part of the $11 million the Government is shifting from community organisations into programmes that fit outcomes outlined by Whānau Ora.
Manager Leonie Harris told 95bFM the funding for the centre is essential in supporting women who face an unfair social disadvantage.
"We earn 14 percent less than men do, we still, after all these years, bear most of the responsibility for raising children, and one in three women will be hit by their male partner in their lifetime."
Harris said the Government needs to set up a fund specifically for women to address these problems.


Auditor-General: Spending on Water Infrastructure Needs to Flow Faster
The Auditor-General is warning councils that New Zealand's water infrastructure is being run-down due to under-spending.
This could lead future generations to pick up the bill if councils continue to under-spend on maintaining water-service levels.
Infrastructure New Zealand chief executive Stephen Selwood said that councils are not able to fund key investments, which are causing service levels to fall behind.
This means that many small towns with ageing populations could face further problems related to infrastructure maintenance.


122 Nations Endorse UN Treaty To Ban Nuclear Arms
In an historic move, 122 countries have approved a United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
The Netherlands, who host US weapons, was the only nation taking part in the discussion to vote against the treaty. All countries that currently have or host nuclear arms boycotted negotiations.
The US has criticised the treaty, arguing it should not disarm its weapons while North Korea is developing a missile programme.
The treaty needs the signatures of 50 countries to become part of international law.

Iraq PM Visits Mosul to Celebrate 'Victory'
Iraq's Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, is celebrating a 'victory' by security forces in Mosul, saying the city has been taken back from the so-called Islamic State.
The Prime Minister's office said he will be visiting Mosul to congratulate Iraqi forces, who have been battling the Islamic State since last October.
The Prime Minister has met with military leaders but victory has not been formally declared.
Aid organisations say almost a million people have been displaced by the fighting in Mosul over the past three years.

Trump Agrees to Work with Russia on Cyber Security
US President, Donald Trump says it's time to work constructively with Russia following a meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany over the weekend.
Trump tweeted that the US and Russia will be sharing an "impenetrable Cyber Security Unit" to safeguard the country from election hacking, as well as "other negative things".
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said interference in the 2016 election continues to hinder relations with Russia.
Tillerson said that while Trump accepts Putin's assertion that Russia was not involved, disagreement between the two nations could still be on the cards.
The proposal to partner with Russia has been heavily criticised by senior officials in the Republican Party.

British Columbia Under State Of Emergency As Wildfires Spread
A state of emergency has been declared in British Columbia, Canada as the province battles more than 180 wildfires.
An estimated 7,000 people have been forced from their homes in several communities in the central interior region.
The British Columbia Wildfire Service said that lightning, strong winds, and high heat are all contributing factors in the aggressive spread of the fires that are now burning across hundreds of kilometres.
No deaths or injuries have been reported and authorities are urging residents to stay safe.

Vatican Bans Gluten-Free Bread For Mass
The Vatican has banned the use of gluten-free bread during Roman Catholic mass.
Bread used to celebrate the Eucharist, knows as the host, can be made from genetically modified organism but must not be gluten free.
The church said the new rules are needed because the bread is now sold in supermarkets and on the internet.
Roman Catholics believe bread and wine served at mass are converted into the body and blood of Christ through a process known as transubstantiation.

Reporting by India Essuah, Mark Casson and Alessandra Nixon.