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CITY RAIL LINK COSTS
Auckland ratepayers will be saddled with a roughly $220 million bill each year to run the City Rail Link - once it opens.
The costs are outlined in more than 1000 pages of documents for a council budget meeting on Wednesday.
Mayor Wayne Brown will present his first proposal for a new 10-year budget.
Brown is suggesting paying for the bill with a one-off 8 per cent rates rise in 2026.
That’s on top of a 7.5 per cent increase next year and 3.5 in 2025, which will lock in funding for the CRL going forward.
COVID PRIVACY BREACH
A vaccinologist is warning against misinformation after a significant Covid data breach.
A 56-year-old man will face Wellington District Court today - charged with accessing a computer system for dishonest purposes.
Te Whatu Ora says a staffer downloaded a large amount of vaccine data, which has been posted to an overseas conspiracy site.
Auckland University’s Helen Petousis-Harris says the staffer making claims about vaccines is a tech expert, not a health worker.
Another ceasefire in Gaza seems unlikely - as fighting resumes on both sides.
It comes after a pause in fighting, which saw the release of some hostages kidnapped by Hamas, in exchange for scores of Palestinian prisoners.
Israel has withdrawn its negotiations and Hamas is saying it won’t resume talks, until the current Israeli military campaign ceases.
Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says fighting resuming is ‘heartbreaking’ while asserting no peace will be achieved through military action.
GANG TATTOO BAN
The new Police Minister is drawing a line under rumours of a potential gang tattoo ban.
Mark Mitchell confirms it will not be included in legislation, which is expected in the Government’s first 100 days.
He says the buck will stop at insignia, like patches, despite threats from gangs tattooing patches on their face.
But Mitchell says he doubts they will do it.