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Labour leader Chris Hipkins on final election results: ‘It is likely we’ll see some recounts’

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Labour leader Chris Hipkins says there are likely to be some recounts after final results showed some slim winning margins, but says it is now clear that a National/ACT/NZ First deal is required to get a majority.

Labour Party leader Chris Hipkins has spoken to media after the release of the final election results today.

The National Party has lost two seats after today’s results were released, which means it can not form a majority with the ACT Party.

Labour gets the same number of MPs total, but its wins for Rachel Boyack in Nelson (29 vote margin) and Phil Twyford in Te Atatū (131 votes) means two who expected to get in on the list – Shanan Halbert and Tracey McLellan – look set to lose their places barring further resignations from sitting MPs.

Watch the media conference with Chris Hipkins here:

In his media conference today, Hipkins acknowledged the results and congratulated those MPs who had picked up a seat on the final results.

“There are still a number of seats where the margins are very very close. I think it is likely we’ll see some recounts in electorate seats.”

He said if Peeni Henare wanted to call a recount in his seat – which has a mere margin of four votes, “he’ll have my absolute support to do that.”

“You generally don’t call for a recount if you’re ahead,” Hipkins said, noting the very close wins for Labour in Mount Albert and Nelson.

National has every right to call for a recount if it wished, he added.

Hipkins also took a moment to thank those MPs who are not going to be returning to this Parliament, “a number of those who are Labour members of this Parliament”.

“The final result now being out does mean that Christopher Luxon can get on with the task of forming his new government. It’s clear that a National/ACT/New Zealand First is required to get a majority in the new government.”

Hipkins said “however long it takes” he is willing to lead the caretaker government.

He said there was a lot of vote splitting between Labour and Te Pāti Māori in electorates.

“If you look at the party numbers there was strong support for Labour among Māori voters,” he says.

Hipkins said Labour has lost a lot of support, “and we do need to reflect on that.” He said he had absolute conference in Labour’s 34 MPs and they will be a strong opposition.

“Overall I think we do need to spend some time reflecting on Auckland in particular,” Hipkins said, noting several seats that Labour either lost or have turned out to be very close. He said he wanted to rebuild the party’s support in Auckland.

“Our own internal research showed that we lost a lot of support at the end of that (Covid) lockdown period in 2021.”

Labour will have a caucus meeting in the next few weeks to look at going forward. Asked if he wants to stay as leader, “I’ve still got a bit of fight in me. … I’m still absolutely committed to the Labour Party.”

“It’s a job that I enjoy,” he said.

VIA RNZ

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Graduate nurses not guaranteed jobs under Health NZ budget cap – union

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Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora is freezing the hiring of graduate nurses into the hospital system, the nurses’ union NZNO says.

It said Health NZ was pausing the mid-year intakes of nurse entry to practice and specialist practice.

The programmes provided graduates with support and professional development to facilitate their transition during their first year of practice.

NZNO chief executive Paul Goulter told Morning Report it was worrying that the health agency had changed its tune after previously committing to the permanent employment of new graduates.

But Health NZ denied the pause in the recruitment of graduate nurses.

“What they’re saying is they will recruit all of the graduate nurses and what they’re not saying is there is a budget in place and that they cannot go past that budget,” Goulter said.

He said the budget cap was worrying the sector.

The agreement was that the public health system and hospitals “would employ New Zealand-trained graduate nurses as they came out of their degree programmes”.

Alternatively, they would be placed in primary health or age residential care.

“There is an absolute shortage of nurses and it’s acute in various areas.”

The statistics were “terrible” in mental health, emergency, oncology, and women’s health, Goulter said.

It did not make sense to lower the number of NZ-trained graduate nurses being hired.

“We need more of them. We’re using internationally qualified nurses, immigrant nurses at the moment, but that does not and cannot substitute for the need to train our own and give them good jobs.

“What been we’ve been told is that no longer can they guarantee every graduate nurse a job.”

Goulter said no guarantee of a job from Te Whatu Ora would “disincentivise nurses to go into training or for those nurses that are coming out of training to stay inside the system”.

In a statement, Health NZ chief nurse Nadine Gray said there was no pause in the recruitment of graduate nurses.

“Any statements saying otherwise are incorrect.

“The graduate process is still underway; applicants have expressed their preferences and matching is happening across the sector.”

Health NZ was continuing to employ graduate nurses where vacancies were available, Gray said.

The health sector in New Zealand was bigger than just Health NZ, she said, and graduates could also be employed in primary and community care, aged residential care or public health.

However, Goulter said those who found jobs in other areas would be disadvantaged by the wage disparity than what they would earn with Health NZ.

Health NZ declined to be interviewed by Morning Report.

‘Set the record straight’ – grad nurse

Third-year nursing student Sarah was shocked about the potential recruitment freeze.

“We’ve been told our entire degree that we’re in such demand and that New Zealand’s crying out for nurses. Here we are fully New Zealand-trained, and potentially facing hiring freezes.

“My fiancé is a high school science teacher and as soon as I told him the news … his first reaction was, ‘Well, I guess we’ll go to Australia’.”

Sarah said students needed certainty.

“Someone needs to set the record straight officially, or you’re going to have a lot of new grad nurses that are not going to sit registration in a month and will go somewhere else.”

Source: RNZ

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Police guarding scene after Massey house fire overnight

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Seven fire trucks were required to put out a blaze in an abandoned house in Massey overnight.

The fire on Don Buck Rd was first reported around 10pm, with multiple calls coming in from the public, said Fire and Emergency NZ northern shift manager Carren Larking.

Nz herald

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Mother of missing Marokopa children posts letter she says is from their fugitive dad

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The mother of the missing Marokopa children has published a letter which she says was written to her by the children’s fugitive father, Tom Phillips.

Police have been searching for Ember, eight, Maverick, nine, and Jayda, 10, since December 2021, when they were taken by Phillips to an unknown location – though police believe it was in Western Waikato within Marokopa or the surrounding areas.

Tom Phillips does not have legal custody of the children and there is a warrant out for his arrest.

A picture posted by Cat on social media which she says is the last birthday we got to celebrate with Jayda as a family.

A picture posted by Cat on social media which she says is “the last birthday we got to celebrate with Jayda as a family”. Photo: Supplied

Posting on Facebook, their mother, known as Cat, said she was “well aware of the hateful rumours being spread around” and asked that people knew her before judging her.

She said she was sharing the letter to show that all was not as it seemed and to assure people that the children would be coming home to a loving and stable family.

Cat said she along with their two sisters, grandparents, aunties and cousins would be waiting for them.

The handwritten letter – which is not dated or signed and which RNZ has not been able to verify – describes the writer’s love for Cat, apologises to her and says he has a good heart and means well.

“I know if I ever give up trying to make things right I will regret it forever,” the letter says.

“Im sorry for everything I have ever said or done to hurt you,” it says.

The letter goes on to say that “although I make multiple f*** ups I have a good heart and I mean well”.

“We have an awesome family and thats worth fighting for,” is the last line of the letter.

Cat said she had not spoken out earlier because she did not believe it would bring her children home, but the fact that police were now offering a substantial reward had given her the courage to break her silence.

On Tuesday Cat broke her silence to make a video appeal provided by police for people’s help in returning the children to her.

Police have offered an $80,000 reward for information that would help discover the whereabouts of three children and lead to their safe return.

RNZ has contacted the police to verify whether they knew about the letter and whether they can confirm it is from Tom Phillips.

 

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