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Donald Trump’s face bloodied in shooting at rally


Former US president Donald Trump has been whisked off the stage at an election rally in Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd.

A local prosecutor said the suspected gunman and at least one attendee are dead.

The Secret Service said in a statement that “the former President is safe”.

Butler County district attorney Richard Goldinger said in a phone interview that the suspected gunman was dead and at least one rally attendee was killed.

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The presumptive Republican nominee was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers when bangs started ringing out.

Trump could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his neck.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by US Secret Service agents at a campaign rally.
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by US Secret Service agents at a campaign rally. (Source: Associated Press)

There appeared to be blood on his face.

He quickly ducked behind the riser as agents from his protective detail rushed the stage and screams were heard in the crowd of several thousand people.

Someone can be heard saying near the microphone at Trump’s lectern, “Get down, get down, get down, get down!” as agents tackled the former president.

They piled atop him to shield him with their bodies, as is their training protocol, as other agents took up positions on stage to search for the threat.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by US Secret Service agents at a campaign rally.
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by US Secret Service agents at a campaign rally. (Source: Associated Press)

The bangs continued as agents tended to him on stage.

The crowd cheered as he got back up and pumped his fist.

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick, who was sitting in the front row, told Politico that it appeared someone behind him was shot.

“All the sudden shots started to crack, someone behind me appears to have been shot,” McCormick said. “There’s lots of blood, and then the Secret Service were all over President Trump.”

His motorcade left the venue. His condition was not immediately known.

“President Trump thanks law enforcement and first responders for their quick action during this heinous act,” spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement. “He is fine and is being checked out at a local medical facility. More details will follow.”

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by US Secret Service agents at a campaign rally.
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by US Secret Service agents at a campaign rally. (Source: Associated Press)

Police began vacating the fairgrounds shortly after Trump left the stage.

Local officers described the area as a crime scene.

President Joe Biden has been briefed on the incident, the White House said.

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, posted a photo on X of Trump, his fist raised and his face bloody in front of an American flag, with the words: “He’ll never stop fighting to Save America.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson posted on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, that he was praying for Trump.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said in a statement on X that he had been briefed on the situation and Pennsylvania state police were on hand at the rally site.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by US Secret Service agents at a campaign rally.
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by US Secret Service agents at a campaign rally. (Source: Associated Press)

“Violence targeted at any political party or political leader is absolutely unacceptable. It has no place in Pennsylvania or the United States,” he said.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Senator JD Vance, the three men on Trump’s shortlist for vice president, all quickly sent out statements expressing concern for the former president.

Rubio shared an image taken as Trump was escorted off stage with his fist in the air and a streak of blood on his face along with the words “God protected President Trump”.

Former president George W Bush said in a statement: “Laura and I are grateful that President Trump is safe following the cowardly attack on his life. And we commend the men and women of the Secret Service for their speedy response.”

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a post on X that his “thoughts and prayers are with former President Trump” and expressed thanks “for the decisive law enforcement response”.

Tongan music teacher talks Brass band tours and climate activism


By Lydia Lewis, of rnz.co.nz and is republished with permission

Tongan teacher Mia Kami, a former activist and singer-songwriter, opens up her students’ minds through overseas music tours.

Kami has travelled to Aotearoa this week with the Tupou College brass band, for the Pacific Festival of Brass at the NZ National Brass Band Championships.

Members of Tupou College's brass band

Members of Tupou College’s brass band Photo: Mia Kami

The Championships date back to 1880. Tupou College is the youngest band to qualify and compete in the B grade.

“A lot of these kids have never travelled. It’s just a beautiful experience, seeing them in a completely different environment.”

She says it’s been a treat, watching their faces light up from the moment they boarded the flight over to New Zealand.

Tupou College's brass band for the Pacific Festival of Brass in Aotearoa.

Tupou College’s brass band for the Pacific Festival of Brass in Aotearoa. Photo: Mia Kami

“I overheard one of the boys, he was sitting next to the window seat. And he looked out and he was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, it’s the wing of the plane’,” Kami said.

Although she is taking a temporary break from activism to work in education, environmentalism is still close to Kami’s heart.


In 2018 she wrote the song “Rooted” to be used for an anti-logging campaign in Papua New Guinea. Although the song wasn’t picked up by that campaign it prominently featured at the ‘Our Oceans Conference’ in Palau.

Kami describes it as an “anthem of resilience and this anthem of hope.”

“We’re here to stay like you’re not moving us like you can try and do this to our, our people, our land, our oceans, but at the end of the day, we’re not going anywhere,” she said.

Mia Kami, a Tongan storyteller and songwriter.

Mia Kami, a Tongan storyteller and songwriter. Photo: RNZ Pacific

Kami encourages young people to fight for change, and says her song was to honour those who struggle to protect the environment.

“The work that they’re doing is really important and they deserve to know that.”

Kami said preparations are underway for the 53rd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Tonga, in August. She has high hopes tangible action will be seen when Pacific leaders gather for their annual meeting.

“I’m just hoping that whatever comes after is productive and effective, and centres on the up-and-coming generation,” she said.

Biden calls Ukraine’s Zelensky ‘President Putin’


US President Joe Biden has mistakenly introduced Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky as “President Putin”.

It came as Biden comes under intense scrutiny over whether he is fit enough to continue for a potential second term.

Speaking at NATO and with the Ukrainian leader waiting to speak on stage, Biden welcomed “President Putin”.

He was quick to correct himself by saying: “President Putin? He’s going to beat President Putin.

“President Zelensky. I’m so worried about beating Putin, we’ve got to worry about it. Anyway.”

Joe Biden speaks as Volodymyr Zelensky looks on
Joe Biden speaks as Volodymyr Zelensky looks on (Source: Associated Press)

Zelensky joked “I’m better”, to which Biden said: “You are a hell of a lot better.”

The NATO summit in Washington was seen as a way for Biden to showcase his leadership on the world stage.

His stamina and effectiveness are under the microscope like never before and he’s struggling to quell the Democratic Party’s panic about his chances this November.

It comes in the wake of his disastrous performance in a debate with Donald Trump last month.

– Additional reporting by Associated Press

Tongan police warn of scam posts sharing false education courses ads


Tongan police have warned social media users not to fall for scam posts sharing purported to have come from the Ministry of Education and Training offering up to 2000 free online courses.

The false posts directed social media users to websites that asked for their personal information.

“The Ministry of Education and Training has confirmed, through E-Government, that this advertisement is false and part of an online scam involving a malicious link”, the Police said.

“As such, the public is advised:

(a)        Not to engage with the advertisement as it is not true;

(b)        Not to open the link (https://tinvurl.com/vkvhsb6a) attached to the advertisement, as it is likely malicious and can result in the loss of sensitive information and potential victimisation in a scam;

(c)        Not to follow or share any Facebook pages promoting such advertisements; and (d) Report and block these fraudulent Facebook pages”.

In 2022, Tongan authorities warned the public about a scammer who promised the victim a fortune, convincing that he would visit and buy themselves a house and a car in celebrating his birthday.

The next day after receiving these affectionate messages, another WhatsApp number, +61433803023 (appears to be an Australian number) called the victim directing to send $2000 to pay for a package that has arrived at the Fua’amotu airport.

The victim, having led on to this intended malicious fraud, then proceeds to make loans but fortunately, the victim was alerted in time to the fact that this was a fraud. The victim then filed the case with Police.

David Tamihere did murder Swedish pair 35 years ago, Court of Appeal says


By 1news.co.nz and is republished with permission

The Court of Appeal is satisfied that David Tamihere did kill two Swedish backpackers who disappeared in the Coromandel in 1989.

In a judgement released today, the court declined to quash Tamihere’s convictions. It said it was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he murdered 23-year-old Urban Höglin and his fiancée, 21-year-old Heidi Paakkonen.

Tamihere was convicted in 1990 of killing the couple, who disappeared while tramping in April the previous year.

The Court of Appeal previously rejected Tamihere’s case in 1992, and an appeal to the Privy Council was denied in 1994 – but Tamihere was released on parole in 2010.

Then, in 2020, then Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy declared a royal prerogative of mercy amid controversy over elements of his case. That sent the case back to the Court of Appeal to decide whether a miscarriage of justice had taken place.

Tamihere was originally convicted in 1990 of killing 23-year-old Urban Höglin and his fiancée, 21-year-old Heidi Paakkonen.

The defence argued then that two key issues should lead to the convictions being quashed.

Firstly, that the original trial had in part relied on evidence from prison informant Robert Conchie Harris, who was convicted of perjury over it in 2019. And, secondly, the discovery of Höglin’s body two years after the murders a considerable distance away from where the couple went missing.

Together, those two events may have raised doubt about the accuracy of trampers’ identification of Tamihere.

However, today’s decision, while finding there was a miscarriage of justice over Harris’ evidence, found “the miscarriage does not justify setting the convictions aside” because other evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt that Tamihere murdered the pair.

The court’s ruling said: “We accept that it remains impossible to know the couple’s precise movements after they were seen in Thames on 7 April and why they were killed. But we do not accept that it is impossible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Tamihere killed them.”

Evidence included other trampers’ visual identifications of Tamihere being at Crosbies Clearing with Paakkonen, the finding at Tamihere’s home of distinctive items seen by the trampers, that Tamihere used the couple’s key to gain access to their car and that he cut up items found at Tararu Creek Road, including the couple’s tent and Paakkonen’s underwear

The Court of Appeal ruling added: “Having regard to the manner of Mr Höglin’s death and the evidence that she [Paakkonen] was not killed at the same time and place, the most likely motive for his death was a desire to abduct Ms Paakkonen for the purpose of sexual assault.”

The court noted that Tamihere had “lied” and adapted his account of what happened whenever confronted with new information. The case against him was “very strong”, it said.

“The evidence overall satisfies us beyond reasonable doubt that it was Mr Tamihere who murdered Mr Höglin and Ms Paakkonen. In our view, the case against him is very strong. It does not rest wholly on the trampers’ identifications. Rather, it derives its strength from the combination of visual identification and circumstantial evidence from a number of sources, including his use of the couple’s key to gain access to their car and his treatment of their property. It also rests in part on his admissions when confronted with evidence he could not explain away, and his proven lies.”

Given all this, it declined to use its powers under the Crimes Act to quash Tamihere’s convictions.

Heidi Paakkonen, 21, and her 23-year-old fiancé Urban Höglin went missing in the Coromandel in 1989.
Heidi Paakkonen, 21, and her 23-year-old fiancé Urban Höglin went missing in the Coromandel in 1989. (Source: 1News)

‘Tell us where to find Heidi’

Police said the judgment was “hugely validating” for all the staff who who had worked on the case.

However, there was one key piece of the puzzle missing — the location of Paakkonen’s body.

“While Sven’s body was located in 1991, the location of Heidi’s body remains a mystery,” Assistant Commissioner for Investigations Paul Basham said.

“David Tamihere is the one person who can help bring closure to Heidi’s family.

“Our message to him now remains the same as it has been for more than two decades:

“You know where Heidi’s body rests and her family has suffered enough.

“Tell us where to find Heidi, and help give her family the closure they deserve.”

‘I didn’t do it’

David Tamihere told 1News he wasn’t surprised by the Court of Appeal decision and maintained his innocence.

“I didn’t do it and I’ve been arguing – I believe, as the years have gone by – the Crown’s case has gone down the gurgler.”

One of New Zealand’s most high-profile cases

When Höglin and Paakkonen disappeared in 1989, it sparked New Zealand’s largest ever land search.

Tamihere, who had previous convictions for manslaughter and sexual violation, was in the area at the time – on the run from police having skipped bail.

He admitted to stealing the young couple’s car – but has always denied killing them

A timeline of one of New Zealand’s most notorious crimes

Swedish backpackers Urban Höglin and Heidi Paakkonen disappeared in Coromandel and David Tamihere admitted taking their car.

Swedish backpackers Urban Höglin and Heidi Paakkonen disappeared in Coromandel and David Tamihere admitted taking their car.

When he was found guilty of the double-murder in 1990, neither body had been found. Paakkonen’s never has been – but Höglin’s body was eventually discovered one year after the trial, in 1991, more than 70 kilometres from where police claimed he had been killed.

Tamihere’s defence argued moving the body that far didn’t make sense. There were other disputes too.

Tamihere’s counsel, James Carruthers, argued in court last year that the Crown prosecutors in the 1990 trial had “routinely called on fabricated prison informant evidence to prop up contentious eyewitness identification evidence”.

David Tamihere was convicted in 1990 for the murders of Swedish tourists Urban Höglin and Heidi Paakkonen (illustration).
David Tamihere was convicted in 1990 for the murders of Swedish tourists Urban Höglin and Heidi Paakkonen (illustration). (Source: 1News)

During the original trial, police used testimony from three inmates – including convicted murderer Robert Conchie Harris, who claimed Tamihere had admitted to sexually abusing the Swedes before killing them.

In 2019, Harris was found guilty of perjury.

Crown counsel Rebecca Thomson last year reiterated the Crown’s acknowledgement that the original case should not have used testimony from Harris – but said it does not change the guilty verdict for Tamihere.

Eyewitness evidence from trampers who claimed they saw Paakkonen with Tamihere at the murder scene was also questioned.

Tamihere’s lawyer said the connection was only made after they joined the search party and saw the media coverage.

But Thomson rejected Tamihere’s denial.

“This court can be positively sure of Tamihere’s guilt based on what was presented at trial,” Thomson said. “Only he can be the killer.”

Repair ship on its way, but Tongan internet users still struggling to stay connected


With a cable repair ship still nine days away from Tonga, internet customers in Vava’u and Ha’apai are struggling to keep connected.

Tonga Cable Ltd

And customers have been warned that satellites may not be the answer, even as Elon Musk’s Starlink is applying for a license to operate in the kingdom.

Sources told Kaniva News it was hard to make calls on Digicel and the ATM service was “up and down.”

Our source said EFTPOS was barely working which means transactions are hampered.

However, while the internet has improved, the good patches are intermittent and there are  still “off hours.”

The ABC’s Pacific Beat said internet services to Vava’u and Ha’apai earlier this month were severely disrupted, forcing internet providers to switch over to satellite internet. The rest of the country is still connected.

Former head of the Tonga Cable Company, Edwin Liava’a, said fibre optics provided greater capacity and bandwith, but continued breaks had made satellite providers attractive.

Media have reported that Tongan internet users have resorted to using Elon Musks’s Starlink satellite service, but at a cost.

The government is not happy with people using Starlink. They say it is technically illegal since the American company is not a registered provider in Tonga.

However, the Tonga Government is considering issuing Starlink a licence to offer broadband internet services in Tonga.

Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni said Starlink had applied for a licence to operate and the government was taking it into consideration.

People in Tonga who live in areas that have poor internet coverage already use Starlink connections to run their business internet and to communicate with family and friends. 

This has led to questions about whether the government should have already had a satellite back up plan or whether a second cable would be a better answer.

A government spokesman told Kaniva News this evening a second cable was needed to back up the existing cable.

Satellite backup was also needed when cable was completely disrupted with limited capacity. Cable had high capacity and repair costs, but low operating and maintenance costs.

Satellite was low in capacity, but high in operating costs to provide back up telecommunications.

“Satellite technologies like Starlink are very low in operating expenditure, but only suitable for residential and offices, not telecom backups,” the spokesperson said.

Questions have been raised about whether the government should have sought help from foreign naval vessels, including helicopters.

A specialist cable repair ship is sailing to Tonga from Singapore and is expected to arrive  in the islands next Thursday (July 18).

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Communication  said it appeared the cable had been broken by a recent earthquake near the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano. It was detected 73-96kms from Tonga’s main island of Tongatapu and  northwest of Haapai islands.

The Ministry has a spare section of cable about 60km long which it hopes will cover the damage.

“If not, we have to wait to give time to manufacture new cables”, the Ministry said.

This is the third time Tonga’s undersea cable has been disrupted.

In January 2019 Tonga’s cable was cut in an incident Tongan authorities blamed on a Malta-registered ship, the Duzgit Venture.

Tonga Cable said the cable was cut into four sections by an anchor dragged along the sea bed.

In 2022 the Hunga Tonga  volcanic eruption destroyed portions of the cable and cut Tonga off from the rest of the world.

At the time we reported comments by Dean Veverka, chief technical officer for Southern Cross Cables, which owns two other cables in the area.

He said satellites could only handle a  small percentage of the traffic requirements out of any country.

“These days submarine cables carry about 99 percent of all communications between countries,” he said.

Pacific islands being ‘debanked’ – what it means and why NZ is concerned


Analysis: The Pacific region is facing a debanking crisis, writes Louis de Koker for The Conversation.

The withdrawal of major banks from Pacific islands poses significant socio-economic risks to the region, prompting intervention by Australia, the US and New Zealand.

The so-called debanking of the Pacific – when banks close or restrict accounts because they believe customers pose regulatory, legal, financial or reputational risks to their operations – was the focus of discussions at this week’s Pacific Banking Forum in Brisbane.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and US President Joe Biden announced the forum last year to deal with growing concerns about the loss of correspondent banking relationships in the Pacific.

Correspondent banks provide banking services to other financial institutions overseas.

For example, a person in Vanuatu might want to send money to someone in Australia, where their local bank may not operate, so another Australian bank will facilitate the transaction on behalf of the Vanuatu bank.

While these relationships have declined globally in the past decade, the fall in the Pacific has been particularly steep. Between 2011 and 2022, the region lost about 60% of its correspondent relationships.

These relationships are significant because, among other things, they enable domestic banks to make and receive international payments. When foreign trade payments cannot be made, trade is threatened.

Also, many Pacific communities rely on money remitted by family members working overseas. In 2022, remittance receipts amounted to 44% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in Tonga, 34% in Samoa and 15% in Vanuatu.

Yet the value of these remittances is eroded by banking costs that consistently rank among the highest globally. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the average remittance cost in the Pacific was 9.1% of the transaction value – more than triple the global target of 3%.

Why is the Pacific facing a debanking crisis?

The provision of banking services in the region is challenged by the vast distances and small populations of Pacific Islands.

Foreign bankers also have to navigate different laws, regulations and risks of each jurisdiction. While general crime risks may be relatively low in the region, organised crime is increasing.

Money laundering laws require bankers mitigate financial integrity risks relevant to each jurisdiction and business relationship. This adds to the complexity and costs of each banking relationship. In some cases, bankers respond to this risk by terminating or limiting the relationship.

Pacific Islands such as the Marshall Islands are left with one bank and it is expected it might also close.

While other Pacific Islands – including Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu – may have a higher number of banking relationships, some services have been limited or are provided at a higher cost.

The Marshall Islands has only one bank and that is expected to close.
The Marshall Islands has only one bank and that is expected to close. (Source: istock.com)

Why the US, NZ and Australia are involved

This week’s Pacific Banking Forum, co-hosted by the Australian and US governments, drew together a wide range of debanking stakeholders.

Officials of governments, central bank governors, regulators, domestic and foreign bankers and representatives of international financial institutions and the Pacific Islands Forum joined to consider the drivers of debanking and potential solutions.

In his keynote address at the forum, Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers pointed to the importance of these services for local communities as the reason why his government has “been actively talking to all the major Australian banks to let them know how important a continued Australian banking presence in the region is to the government”.

Forum speakers also recognised the benefits of healthy and resilient cross-border correspondent banking relationships.

In her video remarks to the forum, US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen noted that correspondent banking “promotes healthy market competition in the financial services sector; facilitates trade financed through regional and global financial centres; enables financing for infrastructure and development projects; and helps to make economies and financial systems more resilient to shocks”.

Positive change

The Pacific debanking tide may be turning. In 2023, the Pacific Islands Forum commissioned and adopted a debanking study of the World Bank. They also adopted a roadmap of actions informed by the study to make correspondent banking more resilient in the region.

Discussion about the problem now involves Australian, New Zealand and US banks and their regulators. US, Australian and New Zealand dollars are key trade currencies for Pacific jurisdictions and correspondent banking services are important to the economic health of the region.

At the Brisbane forum, a number of Pacific representatives acknowledged the problem of scale in the Pacific and spoke in favour of regional solutions, aggregation of transactions and greater consistency of laws and processes.

International bankers and regulators, on the other hand, positioned the need for compliance with global anti-money laundering standards and the benefits of improved national identification systems, digital identity and appropriate technology.

While definitive solutions will take time to implement, the World Bank is considering a regional solution that will support temporary access to correspondent banking services if a country loses its last banking service in a key currency.

This will provide the relevant jurisdictions with access to appropriate services while they secure services by another correspondent bank. Such a facility will ease the immediate pressure on the Pacific and allow time for more sustainable solutions to be developed and implemented.

The Australian treasurer also pledged A$6.3 million in funding to secure digital identity infrastructure in the Pacific, improve compliance with global anti-money laundering standards and help build criminal justice and law enforcement capacity in the region.

It is important cross-border banking systems are open, secure and inclusive. The discussions this week in Brisbane may mark a return to a more resilient, re-banked Pacific Island community.

Louis de Koker is a Professor of Law at La Trobe University.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons licence.

Injuries of 4-year-old Alestra Kepa-Hati in weeks before her death revealed


By rnz.co.nz and is republished with permission

Police have revealed a four-year-old child who died in Northland almost nine years ago had suffered a broken arm, broken pelvis and two separate head injuries.

Police reignited their investigation into the October 2015 unexplained death of 4-year-old girl Alestra Kepa-Hati last week.

Detective Sergeant Natalie Syddall, of the Northland CIB, said Alestra’s injuries occurred in the two weeks before her death, when she was living with caregivers in rural Kaikohe.

Northland police were continuing to speak to two people of interest to the investigation, but wanted to hear from anyone who had seen Alestra, or had any involvement with her or her two younger siblings, after 28 August 2015.

According to information gathered so far, that was the last day the pre-schooler had been seen by anyone other than her caregivers.

At that time she was said to have been uninjured and healthy.

Syddall said injuries like those suffered by the four-year-old did not just happen.

“It is likely someone knows something or has seen something and that’s why we need the community’s help. It’s been nearly nine years since Alestra’s death. Allegiances change over time, and now is the time to do the right thing by this innocent child.”

Syddall said information could be provided in person at a local police station, or by calling the 105 reporting line and quoting file number 151003/8395.

Information could also be passed on anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111

Seriously, why is everyone I know moving to Australia?


By Janhavi Gosavi, 1news.co.nz and is republished with permission

Every week, I seem to find out someone I know is moving to Australia.

Re: News journalist Janhavi Gosavi asks why Kiwis are migrating across the ditch. (Source: Re: News)

I never realised how many people I knew until they started jumping the ditch, one by one, leaving me with a shrinking pool of friends that actually live in my city.

Between September 2022 and September 2023, 23,700 New Zealanders moved to Australia — that’s over half of all New Zealand citizens that left the country that year.

It makes us Australia’s fourth-largest migrant community.

What is it about Australia that New Zealanders find so attractive? And what is being done to keep New Zealanders here?

Making more money in a ‘new playground’

Jude Hempel (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou) has “no regrets” about moving to Australia.

The 26-year-old had lived in Auckland since she was three.

“Coming from a hospitality background, I felt like I had worked in every area of Auckland,” Jude says. “I was just bored and I was like ‘I need a new playground’.”

Seven months ago, she moved to Sydney. She flew over and stayed in a hotel for a week while looking for a job and a place to rent — she found both by day five, she says.

Australia was an ideal location because it wasn’t too far from New Zealand and there is no language barrier, she says.

When Jude lived in New Zealand, she made roughly $700-800 NZD per week as a manager working in hospitality.

Her weekly expenses came to roughly $1000-1200 NZD per week, leaving her in the negatives most weeks, she says.

She says she stayed afloat by dipping into her savings, using a credit card for big bills and unexpected expenses and asking for help from friends and family every week, which “was very awkward”.

“I worked my ass off in hospo, to the point where I mentally and physically forgot about my own health,” Jude says.

“And then I would be like ‘wait, I’m doing all this for that when I could be in a hot, beautiful country doing maybe a little bit less, getting a little bit more’.”

In Australia, Jude earns roughly $1000 AUD per week working as a manager at a sports apparel store and her expenses are roughly $600 AUD per week.

She is back in the positives now and is starting to save money, she says.

Jude remembers being shocked at the supermarket checkout when she was able to buy a week’s worth of groceries for $50 AUD.

“I was just like, ‘f**k off!’… This whole trolley would be like $150 back home. Like, it was like eggs, meat, breads.”

File image of a person at the supermarket
File image of a person at the supermarket (Source: istock.com)

A single mum wanting more support

Nancy, who is using a pseudonym for privacy reasons, is a single mum planning on moving to Australia later this year.

Nancy lives in Christchurch and makes $45,000 per year working 20 hours a week.

She says she can only work part time because she is raising a toddler.

She gets a Working for Families payment of around $250 per week and her Accommodation Supplement payment is between $130-155 per week.

She also gets a weekly Childcare Subsidy of around $6.10 per hour of childcare, which reduces her childcare cost to $80 per week.

Nancy says she feels she needs to keep her salary low so she can qualify for these payments.

She says if she found a job that made her more money, she might not get support from the government but also wouldn’t be making enough money to comfortably cover all of her costs herself.

It would leave her in “no man’s land”, she says.

In Australia, Nancy says she would be able to be on a higher salary and still access benefits.

Nancy estimates she could make up to $110,000 AUD if she worked full time in Australia.

She could still get 84% of the Australian Child Care Subsidy on that income, as long as she has a Special Category visa, which is what most New Zealand Citizens move to Australia with.

Nancy would potentially also get other benefits in Australia, like the Family Tax Benefit.

According to her research, Nancy says a bunch of full-time jobs in Australia are 35-37.5 hours per week and offer more flexibility which is ideal for parents.

“New Zealand… It just feels to me it doesn’t value the solo parent,” Nancy says.

Nancy has around $24,000 left on her student loan. If she moves to Australia, she will have to pay 3.9% interest on her loan payments.

That interest will increase to 4.9% from April 2025 but it doesn’t change Nancy’s decision to move to Australia.

“It’s exciting [to move to Australia] but it’s sad to be in a position where you feel you can’t make it work in your home country long term, where your family and your supports are,” Nancy says.

Economist explains why Kiwis are moving

New Zealand Institute of Economic Research senior economist Ting Huang says young New Zealanders think Australia has more opportunities for them and their potential children, a more vibrant lifestyle, a wider range of goods and services available, and it’s easier to get into the housing market there than in New Zealand.

There’s now also an easier pathway to gaining citizenship, Huang says.

Since July 2023, New Zealand citizens who have lived in Australia for at least four years have been able to directly apply for citizenship there without needing to get a permanent visa first.

Australia’s inflation is currently the highest it’s been all year and the country also has a rising cost of living.

While it’s not “cheap” to live in Australia, it is “less expensive” than New Zealand, with data from Stats NZ and the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing costs are similar but wages are higher, Huang says.

Christopher Luxon is expected to travel to Sydney to meet with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday.
Christopher Luxon is expected to travel to Sydney to meet with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday. (Source: Getty)

Knock-on effects on New Zealand’s economy

Between March 2023 and March 2024, New Zealand had a net migration loss of 52,500 citizens, which is the highest annual loss on record.

Teachers, police officers, healthcare and construction workers are in “hot demand” in Australia, Huang says.

If New Zealand loses a significant amount of workforce in these essential areas, it’s a potential concern that policymakers should really think about more, she says.

A reduced police force could mean people don’t feel safe to go out and spend money, or businesses don’t feel safe to operate at full capacity, which decreases sales and impacts our GDP, Huang says.

If we don’t have enough healthcare professionals, we can’t fully take care of New Zealand’s workforce which can impact productivity of labour, she says.

What is the Government doing to keep young people here?

Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says “current migration trends speak to how people are feeling about the state of the economy we inherited from the previous Labour government that couldn’t control its spending and let inflation get out of control”.

Upston says the Government is responding to these migration trends by giving New Zealanders tax relief, as laid out in this year’s Budget, and “prioritising new spending on frontline services that will improve our way of life, such as health, education, disability services, and Police”.

The Government has also announced changes to the Accredited Employer Work Visa that are expected to reduce the number of low-skilled migrants entering New Zealand, she says.

“This will make sure young Kiwis are put to the front of the line for jobs where there are no skills shortages, while at the same time attracting and retaining highly skilled migrants in roles where there are shortages, such as teachers.”

Upston says “putting more money into the pockets of hard-working Kiwi families is a top priority of this coalition Government”.

The Working for Families tax credit went up and will put up to $25 more per week into the pockets of low-and-middle-income working families, Upston says.

The Government has increased the Sole Parent Support benefit by $22.01 per week and the maximum weekly rate for paid parental leave by $42.70, she says.

Upston says tax changes in this year’s Budget also extended eligibility for the independent earner tax credit, increased the in-work tax credit and the minimum family tax credit, and introduced the FamilyBoost payment.

Would Kiwis living in Australia want to come back?

Nancy and Jude both plan on staying in Australia long enough to become citizens.

If there was anything that would make Nancy stay in New Zealand, it would be receiving more support as a solo parent, she says.

Jude plans on coming back to New Zealand when she has her own family because it’s important to her to raise her kids in the same country she grew up in.

In the meantime, she says she’s already visited home twice to see her community and recharge.

“Australia was very welcoming and New Zealand will always be a couple hours away… [It] feels bittersweet being here,” she says.

Police guard man after kids die in ‘devastating’ fire


By 1news.co.nz and is republished with permission

Investigators are returning to a devastating scene in a bid to make sense of it as a man who allegedly “frustrated” attempts to rescue his children from a burning home where three died remains in an induced coma.

Emergency crews at the scene of the triple fatal house fire in Sydney’s west. (Source: Nine)

The 28-year-old man, who is yet to be charged, remained under police guard in hospital in a critical condition last night.

The man is the father of the three children who died in the blaze, police confirmed.

Four other children and their mother were being treated in hospital and were expected to survive, police said.

Investigations will continue for some time, with dogs brought in to identify potential accelerants as police rake through the scene.

Neighbours and emergency services rushed to the Lalor Park home in Sydney’s west early yesterday as it was engulfed by fire.

The father of the children was arrested following the blaze.

The father of the children was arrested following the blaze.

The body of the third child, a 10-month-old girl, was found after firefighters extinguished the blaze.

Investigators would return to the property today, with a lot of work to do to determine what happened, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty told reporters.

“However, at this stage, it does appear that the 28-year-old man is responsible for multiple deaths of young lives that have been tragically taken away,” he said yesterday.

Detectives are treating the incident as a domestic-related multiple homicide, he said.

Attempts to enter the burning home were allegedly met with resistance as police officers and a neighbour heroically tried to rescue children from the fire, acting Superintendent Jason Pietruszka said.

“I can confirm during police attempts to get into the property, those efforts were frustrated by a male inside,” Pietruszka said.

“That male has been arrested.”

Their efforts prevented the loss of more lives, he said, but the fire and the death of three children would have a long-lasting impact.

“There’s no other word for it,” said Pietruszka.

“It’s completely and utterly devastating.”