Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today it's a worsening teacher shortage, frustration at the lack of diversity on company boards, and a glamorous royal visit. Hosted by Frances Cook.

Early childhood centres are joining schools in highlighting a major teacher shortage.

Early childhood centres say it's their worst-ever shortage, creating a market where qualified teachers can get "whatever they want".

A survey by the Early Childhood Council has found that 30 per cent of childcare centres have unfilled vacancies for qualified teachers this month, with the average time required to get a suitable applicant up from 70 working days at this time last year, to 97 days now.


Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds says the Government not extending overseas teacher recruitment to early childhood teachers, isn't helping.

For more on this story, click here.

• The royals are officially in town.

Their first stop in Wellington on Monday morning was a symbolic gesture showing mental health is an issue close to the hearts of Prince Harry and Meghan.

The royal couple have taken part in an open discussion about mental health at Wellington's Maranui Cafe this morning.

National Telehealth Service chief executive Andrew Slater met the couple.

He says the Duke talked about his concerns over the impact of gaming and social media on youth mental health.

He also gave the Duchess a blue broach with the numerals 1737 on it - the number of the "Need to talk?" helpline.


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex then took a flight to Abel Tasman National Park. They'll be in Auckland today.

For more on this story, click here.

• Local businesses will be happy that Meghan Markle is using the trip for a spot of fashion diplomacy, wearing New Zealand designs that have immediately sold out.

So far she's worn items including a Maori tattoo-inspired diamond necklace, by New Zealand designer Jessica McCormack.

New Zealand designer Karen Walker has also experienced an influx of online orders after the Duchess was spotted wearing her earrings, sunglasses and, most recently, a trench coat, while braving the windy Wellington weather.

For more on this story, click here.

• 3D mapping could be about to change the way councils plan and develop housing, road and water infrastructure.

Up to $19m from the Provincial Growth Fund is going into expanding 3D mapping of the Earth's surface, using airborne lasers.

The data is used to better manage natural hazards like flooding, landslides and erosion.

The investment is one of the Government's biggest single uses of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to date.

The funding will be spread around councils across the country and allocated based on applications.

For more on this story, click here.

• The State Services Minister says the law that protects whistleblowers is weak, and needs to be simplified.

The Government has investigating the existing protection, following the high-profile case last year of Ministry of Transport workers who raised concerns about fraudster Joanne Harrison. Those workers then lost their jobs in a restructure Harrison was involved in.

A summary produced by the State Services Commission after consultation with a range of public and private sector organisations has now found key areas for reform.

Among them is a need for an independent oversight body which would provide advice, assess complaints to determine which body should handle them, set standards and monitor compliance and investigate complaints about the investigation process.

Minister Chris Hipkins is now looking for public feedback on the proposed changes.

For more on this story, click here.

• And in other news out of the beehive, New Zealand has signed an international declaration to cut plastic wastes from our economy and environment.

Minister Eugenie Sage says products and packaging need to be designed to be taken apart, and the materials reused or returned to nature through composting.

She says the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment will see a commitment to a "circular economy" approach, looking at the whole system of plastic importation, production and use.

• Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced help to create a sustainable future for the Pacific.

The Government is giving $70m to NGOs that help evolve and develop local organisations in the Pacific.

Winston Peters announced the new partnership strategy at the Council for International Development's annual conference this morning.

Peters says we need to move beyond the idea that Pacific Islands are beneficiaries, and focus on a development agenda led by them.

For more on these stories, tune in to NewstalkZB.

• There's frustration the country's corporate sector is moving at a "snail's like" pace when it comes to gender diversity on boards.

A study by AUT Public Policy Professor Judy McGregor, economist Shamubeel Eaqub and barrister Catriona MacLennan shows just over 24 per cent of board members of New Zealand's top 100 NZX companies are female.

The researchers want an action plan, including for the NZX Top 100 companies to set targets of 50 per cent women on boards within 12 months; for New Zealand to follow the Australian Stock Exchange's example of quotas for women on boards; and fund managers to implement diversity on boards and in management.

They also want diversification to be on the agenda for the Prime Minister's new business advisory council, due to hold its first meeting on November eighth.

For more on this story, click here.

• The New Zealand Dental Association is calling for targeted subsidised funding for people who can't afford treatment.

President Bill O'Connor told media too many people are putting up with pain and infections due to high dental costs.

Health Minister David Clark says the Government is looking at ways make treatment more affordable.

And it may be just in the nick of time, after the latest development in the e-scooter madness.

A dentist is warning of the danger of "smashed smiles" posed by Lime e-scooters, after treating a rider who was concussed after striking the pavement face-first.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has requested an urgent safety briefing from council officials, which is due by the end of this week.

Dr Andrea Shepperson from Lumino at Quay Park says a patient arrived needing extensive treatment, after they braked to avoid pedestrians and lost control, hitting the pavement face-first.

It's possible the Lime e-scooters will be gone in a few months if Auckland Council decides not to renew the street trading licence it operates under.

They're currently on a three-month trial, and even if it's extended, the Council says it could amend the code of practice to address the ongoing issues.

For more on this story, click here.

• A tornado has struck near Hamilton.

Sharemilker Sam Owen, was heading west along State Highway 26 in his tractor when he spotted the strange cloud formation in the distance.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says more isolated tornados are possible this evening in the upper North Island due to instability in the atmosphere, plus warmer than average weather.

You can see photos of the twister, and more on this story, when you click here.

• And just in time for the 100th year anniversary of Armistice Day, the New Zealand Herald is paying tribute to the momentous events that led to the end of World War One with a New Zealand On Air funded documentary series, The Liberation of Le Quesnoy.

The series tells the story of the New Zealand-led liberation of the French town Le Quesnoy, where unlike many other liberated areas, there was no loss of life to the French civilian population.

That's something the locals have never forgotten, and links between the town and New Zealand endure to this day.

Alongside historians, audiences will hear audio excerpts from the letters and diaries of those liberated in Le Quesnoy, read by their relatives or associates.

For more on this story, click here.

That's the Front Page for today, Monday October 29, making sure you're across the biggest news of the day. For more on these stories, check out The New Zealand Herald, or tune in to Newstalk ZB.

You can subscribe to this podcast onApple podcasts here, and iHeartRadio here.

If you like to stay up to date on social media, you can find host Frances Cook on Facebook here, Instagram here and Twitter here.