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Christopher Luxon, Winston Peters and David Seymour to finally meet – at least that’s the plan



The leaders of National and ACT are on their way home to Auckland, where they will meet with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters on Wednesday.

The first meeting between all three is a significant step forward in their ongoing efforts to form the next government.

National leader and incoming Prime Minister Chris Luxon and ACT leader David Seymour were in the capital on Tuesday, while Peters remained in Auckland.

Speaking at Wellington Airport, Luxon told RNZ it had been a “good” day with “productive conversations”.

“We’re making progress but there’s more to do.”

Asked if he had expected Peters to be in Wellington as well on Tuesday, Luxon said: “There were good, productive meetings at all levels and good intensive conversations – it’s been great.”

Seymour was on the same flight out of Wellington, and told RNZ they had had “a couple of meetings with our colleagues in the Nats [National Party]” in Wellington.

“Obviously, we’d hope to meet with our colleagues in New Zealand First but they were in a different city, nonetheless, here we are.”

It was a “risky business” to assume where Peters was “these days”, said Seymour, but he confirmed ACT would meet “with the Nats more tomorrow in Auckland”.

He was reluctant to go into any details about whether the meeting would include New Zealand First: “We’ll have a meeting, and the location… we’ll see.”

There were “a series of further meetings booked to, again, just keep sharpening those pencils, improving that agreement so we get the best agreement and the fastest agreement possible”.

“Let me just say it’s in a secure but undisclosed location, and that’s not trying to be tricky – it’s just that we really do want to get this done as quickly as possible.”

NZ First leader Winston Peters and Darroch Ball departing ACT headquarters on 9 November, 2023.

NZ First leader Winston Peters and Darroch Ball departing ACT headquarters. Photo: RNZ / Craig McCulloch

Peters had “not given a reason” for not coming to Wellington on Tuesday, “but there could be many reasons that I think we should leave to him”, he said.

In Peters’ absence, Seymour said there had been “a lot of good work”.

“We’ve continued to work through with National on areas of agreement and disagreement. We want a solid, public policy-heavy agreement because the challenges New Zealand is facing are large.

“And the government’s response is going to have to be nimble, detailed and decisive, and that’s what we’re working towards.”

Today marked a month from the general election, and Seymour acknowledged “everyone, everywhere wants everything all the time to be better and faster, there’s no question about that”.

“All I can say is I think ACT has been first up and ready to deal with whomever; we’ve reached out first and we’ve been engaging first in order to get to the result that we want and I think we’ve played a good role in it so far.”

Asked how far negotiations had progressed, Seymour said “there are areas where we’re certainly, I guess you could say, dotting the i’s, there’s areas… of substance that we still have to work out”.

“But what’s important is that we are not going to get the fastest agreement, but we’re going to get the best agreement – and I think that’s an important distinction.”

All of his dealings with Peters had “actually been very professional”, he said.

“That’s all I can say. Obviously it’s helpful to be in the same city but there’s clearly been some miscommunication there and I’ll leave it to him to explain his location.”

ACT leader David Seymour leaves NZ First's offices after a brief meeting with Winston Peters.

ACT leader David Seymour leaves NZ First’s offices after a brief meeting with Winston Peters. Photo: RNZ / Craig McCulloch

Seymour said he’d been in Wellington “primarily” to meet with National and “thought [Peters] would be here too”.

A potential threesome in the capital had turned into a twosome today, but Seymour joked it “could be worse – we could be in a foursome, but at least that’d be good for playing golf”.

RNZ understands Peters was presented with a proposal by National at the end of last week, but found it unacceptable – so meetings and calls with both of the other leaders continued over the weekend and throughout Tuesday.


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Christchurch terror attack inquest: ‘Significant blind spot’ relating to St John’s specialist paramedics – coroner



A woman who was forced to leave the side of her bleeding husband following the terror attack at Christchurch’s Linwood Islamic Centre only discovered he had died the following day after seeking help from then-prime minister Jacinda Ardern.

Saira Patel’s husband Musa Patel was one of seven people who died after being shot at the Linwood Islamic Centre, following the massacre at nearby Al Noor Mosque on 15 March 2019.

Supported by her son, Patel told the inquest into the deaths that she and her husband were praying in separate parts of the mosque on the day of the attack.

Patel said she thought a tyre had blown when she heard a loud bang. A baby began to cry, and she could soon smell gunpowder.

She yelled, “Someone is shooting, someone is shooting” as people ran to escape.

When Patel found her bleeding husband, she told the Coroners Court she could hear him saying his “last prayer” as if he knew he was about to die.

Imam Hafiz Musa Patel

Musa Patel died at Linwood Islamic Centre on 15 March 2019. Photo: Facebook/ US Embassy Suva

She said she was forced to leave when police arrived and started treating Musa Patel, an order that distressed her to this day.

“I think any dying person who is about to leave this world would be very desperately craving and needing to be close to their loved ones. My presence during his final moments would have made a big difference in my life and I think maybe his last moments of departing this world,” she said.

She did not know her husband had died until the following day, when she approached then-prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who led her to a counsellor.

Patel said the counsellor showed her a photo of an unidentified man in hospital who was not her husband.

“I knew then that my husband was dead. There was no-one else who could have identified him, and this last unidentified man was my last hope,” she said.

Patel thanked the doctors and paramedics who did everything they could to console her husband in his final moments.

“I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

“I was trying to be with him in that last moment but maybe they were chosen to be with him.”

Dr Alison Wooding from nearby Piki Te Ora Medical Centre was one of the doctors who treated Musa Patel when staff went to the mosque to help the injured.

She told the court he was meant to be the first victim taken to hospital but realised he had died after he was moved onto a stretcher.

Wooding said she and others were talking to Musa Patel the entire time they cared for him, but she did not recall him ever responding.

Police officers gave evidence on Tuesday saying Musa Patel had been able to communicate with them at first but his condition deteriorated over time.

Wooding told the court she felt apprehensive and worried about the situation at the mosque, but safe and protected between armed and vigilant police officers.

29th November 2023 Iain McGregor/The Press/Pool Christchurch Masjidain Attack Coronial hearing. Coroner Brigitte Windley.

Deputy chief coroner Brigitte Windley. Photo: The Press / Iain McGregor

‘Significant blind spot’ relating to St John emergency response team – coroner

The coroner has queried a “significant blind spot” in the way St John ambulance officers work with specialist paramedics trained to work in dangerous situations.

Deputy chief coroner Brigitte Windley questioned St John duty manager Bruce Chubb about the organisation’s response massacre.

Two Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) paramedics were among ambulance officers who went to the scene of the shooting in Linwood Avenue.

No-one from St John attended the Al Noor scene in a SERT capacity.

Chubb told the Coroners Court that SERT teams worked under police and it was not uncommon for St John not to know when they had been requested, where they were, or what they were doing.

In response, coroner Windley said: “My concern is that that creates a significant blind spot for St John, doesn’t it?”

“Isn’t it that these are critical resources in terms of closing that care gap for people who are dying and injured and being able to get a response in, and you’ve got no visibility about where they are and even if in fact they’ve been deployed?”

041223 CHRIS SKELTON Witness, Bruce Chubb from St John command and control during the Christchurch terror attack inquest held at the Christchurch Justice precinct.

St John’s Bruce Chubb. Photo: Stuff / Chris Skelton

Chubb said he was not suggesting it was “okay” that St John did not know where SERT officers were but said it was the practice at the time.

He was not aware of any changes to the SERT policy since the terror attack.

Chubb told the coroner he thought it was “always nice to know” where resources were, to which she replied, “I would suggest it’s more than nice to know. I would suggest that St John needs to know”.

Chubb earlier told the inquest that he believed general ambulance officers should not have entered either mosque immediately after the shootings because of the safety risk.

Windley said the court was concerned St John ambulance officers had to breach the organisation’s policy in order to get an emergency response in place.

“Do you agree that that’s fundamentally a problem?” she asked.

“Yes,” Chubb replied.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chubb told counsel for families Kathryn Dalziel that the terror attack was a catastrophic event that he did not expect and was never prepared for.

“I don’t believe any of my colleagues were either, so it was fundamentally overwhelming,” he said.

The inquest will examine the following 10 issues over seven weeks:

  • Events of 15 March 2019 from the commencement of the attack until the terrorist’s formal interview by police
  • Response times and entry processes of police and ambulance officers at each mosque
  • Triage and medical response at each mosque
  • The steps that were taken to apprehend the offender
  • The role of, and processes undertaken by, Christchurch Hospital in responding to the attack
  • Coordination between emergency services and first responders
  • Whether the terrorist had any direct assistance from any other person on 15 March 2019
  • If raised by immediate family, and to the extent it can be ascertained, the final movements and time of death for each of the deceased
  • The cause of death for each of the victims and whether any deaths could have been avoided
  • Whether Al Noor Mosque emergency exit door in the southeast corner of the main prayer room failed to function during the attack and, if so, why?

The inquest continues.


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Protests raise questions about next year’s Waitangi day



In the wake of protests over the new government’s policies on co-governance and the Treaty, the head of the Waitangi National Trust Board says it is important Treaty partners front up and have a conversation on 6 February.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says he intends to visit for Waitangi Day, as does ACT’s David Seymour.

The protests taking place across New Zealand on Tuesday were part of a “National Māori Action Day”, led by Te Pāti Māori and iwi, to challenge the government over its policies on the Treaty of Waitangi, and other policies affecting Māori.

Waitangi National Trust Board chairperson Pita Tipene expected for that sentiment to flow through on Waitangi Day.

“Clearly, the Māori people see it as an attack on the Treaty of Waitangi and the constitutional basis of this country,” Tipene said.

These include switching from Māori to English names on various government departments, rewriting legislation to make mentions of the principles of the Treaty more specific, and progressing an ACT bill calling for the principles to be set down under its own prescription, rather than decades of jurisprudence.


Ngāti Hine leader Pita Tipene

Ngāti Hine leader Pita Tipene Photo: RNZ

Tipene told Checkpoint there was no invite list for politicians per se, and the doors of the Trust were open for all to come along.

“Given that it is a Waitangi Day commemorations period, it’s really important that the Treaty of Waitangi is the focus, and therefore the Treaty partners should front up and have a conversation.”

He would be disappointed, but not surprised, if parties in government were not represented there on the day.

“It has happened before where governments or political parties have chosen not to front up at Waitangi.”


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Te Pāti Māori protests – Day of action focuses on new government’s Māori policies



Police says protesters are causing widespread delays at key transport networks around the North Island, but there have been no arrests so far.

A police spokesperson says commuters should allow travel time this morning, with Te Pāti Māori’s planned protests disrupting travel routes.

There are large gatherings in Tāmaki Makaurau and central Wellington, along with a number of other cities and towns.

The spokesperson says Auckland motorists are advised there are heavy delays on parts of the motorway network this morning.

The demonstrations are in response to Te Pāti Māori’s call for action against the new government’s policies on co-governance and the Treaty.


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