Everything you need to know about the world today, curated by 95bFM and VICE NZ.
New Zealand Early Childhood Centres Not Up to Scratch
Researchers say New Zealand's minimum requirements for early childhood centres were the lowest they could find in the developed world. Researchers have warned the Ministry of Education to raise the minimum standards of early childhood centres at a seminar in Wellington. They highlighted issues with cold room temperatures, overcrowding and excessive noise. Deputy secretary sector enablement for the ministry of Education, Katrina Casey says the government was developing a 10-year strategic plan which aimed at raising quality.
Farmers Workers Protest Against Unfair Pay Review
Workers for the New Zealand retail company Farmers staged protests last week over an unfair pay review system. Workers and their supporters picketed outside of the flagship Queen’s Street store last Thursday over claims the company is unfairly reviewing workers performance. FIRST UNION retail, finance and commerce secretary Tali Williams told 95bFM’s Tuwhenuaroa Natanahira that Farmers is actively giving workers low performance reviews to justify low wage increases. She said, “they are being given a C or a D, which conveniently is the lowest increase of the scale or a D sometimes means no increase at all”. Williams added that it is disappointing that such an iconic Kiwi brand is lagging so far behind other NZ companies.
More Handcuffs Used on Prisoners
Gang violence is being blamed for the large increase in Corrections using handcuffs on prisoners. Latest figures revealed by RNZ show handcuffs were used 962 times in the year starting June 2017. Corrections Chief executive Ray Smith said “a ballooning inmate population that was more violent than ever" was the reason behind the increase in restraints. Victoria University criminologist expert Elizabeth Stanley said New Zealand's handcuff trends are “very close to the wind” regarding United Nations minimum standards for prisons.
Northcote Elects National’s Dan Bidois
Northcote has elected its new MP representation from the Northcote by-election on Saturday. National candidate Dan Bidois won the electorate by the slim margin of 1362 votes. Despite Labour candidate Shanan Halbert losing the by-election, Labour still called it a "historic night" for reducing the voting differential. The Northcote seat was vacated after former National MP Jonathan Coleman resigned just over six months from being re-elected in 2017.
Skippers Avoiding Compulsory Observers
Environmental lobby group Forest and Bird say commercial fishing skippers are avoiding having observers on board to monitor their activities. Fishing boats are required by law to have an observer onboard to check over environmental procedures but reports suggest this is not always happening. Forest and Bird chief executive Kevin Hague says, "in a significant number of cases, 50 in the past 18 months or so, fishing boats have refused to have an observer on board". Ministry of Primary Industries says ministry observers for deep sea fishing were not an issues but admits issues with onshore fishing companies.
Food Parcel Cooking Lessons Welcomed
The Kaitiaki Sisters are giving lessons in South Auckland on cooking with food parcels.The Sisters are a group of women advocating innovative community services. Thousands of food parcels are packed for people over the winter but many people don't know how to use the ingredients. For this reason the group's work has been warmly welcomed. The City Mission supports the Kaitiaki Sister's kaupapa as the current demand for food parcels is very high.
Basque Joins hands for independence
Thousands of people in the Basque country region of northern Spain formed a human chain in push for Basque independence. The human chain reached 202 km and linked the cities San Sebastian, Bilbao and Vitoria. Despite decreasing support for outright independence over the years, many still believe they should have the right to vote on the decision.The autonomous Basque country has a higher degree of self government than Catalonia which has also been seeking independence.
Fire at Iraq Ballot Paper Storage Depot
Firefighters are controlling a fire at Iraq's biggest ballot paper storage depot. The incident comes ahead of an important recount of the country's election votes. The outgoing parliament called for a recount after allegations of fraud against the winning alliance. Votes for the eastern district of the capital Baghdad were being held in the building. It is not yet clear whether the papers have been damaged or what caused the fire.
Trump Makes Unpopular Claims After G7 Summit
The G7 summit has ended with divisions between the US and the other G7 nations. US president Donald Trump made multiple unpopular claims during and after the summit in Canada. Trump called for Russia to be re-included in the G7 group but German chancellor Angela Merkel disagreed. Trump and his advisers also said that Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is engaging in bad faith diplomacy. This came after Trudeau asserted his opposition to US Trade Tariffs and vowed to retaliate against them. Trump has also retracted his endorsement of the G7 nations joint statement after the summit.
Italy Denies Refugees at All of its Ports
Italy has refused to let a humanitarian boat with over 600 refugees dock at any of its ports. Instead, Italy has requested Malta to open its ports for the vessel, potentially creating a diplomatic standoff between the two nations. Interior minister Matteo Salvini wrote on Twitter: "From now also Italy begins to say NO to the traffic of human beings, NO to the business of illegal immigration." The charity SOS Mediterranee has tweeted that its ship carrying the refugees will be heading north without specifying its destination.
Challenges Arise Over PNG Quake Displacement
Some Papua New Guinean communities who fled their homes after a major earthquake in February are reluctant to return home, and the Red Cross is predicting the displacement of people will create tensions and disputes over land ownership. The Papua New Guinea government said 500,000 people have been affected from the 7.5 magnitude quake and 270,000 still require aid. Red Cross believe the displacement of people will create tensions and dispute over land ownership. Red Cross has reported the death toll from the quake to have reached 100 whilst other reports have estimated a death of 150.
Additional reporting by: Jemima Huston and Damian Rowe.