Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today it's midwives going on strike, claims Karel Sroubek forced an entire family into witness protection, an overhaul of our tourism industry, and a rainy Melbourne Cup. Hosted by Frances Cook.

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

DHB-employed midwives have voted overwhelmingly to strike, in the most drastic industrial action ever taken by New Zealand hospital midwives.

More than 1,100 will walk off the job for two hours, every 12-hour period, across all different shifts, for two-weeks from November 22nd.


Eighty per cent of union members from all 20 DHBs voted, with ninety per cent plumping for strike action.

Midwifery Employee Representation & Advisory Service (Meras) spokeswoman Jill Ovens says DHBs are refusing to recognise the full scope of midwives' skills and responsibilities.

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New bombshell claims that Czech man Karel Sroubek forced an entire family into witness protection, as a result of criminal behaviour.

National Leader Simon Bridges made the claims in Parliament this afternoon.

Bridges asked Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern whether she was aware of the case of the family.

Court documents provided to the Herald show an associate of Sroubek tried to give evidence against him in an upcoming trial by video link because of fears for his safety.

The application was denied but the High Court at Auckland was told in July 2010 that the associate was allegedly threatened by Sroubek and two other men with connections to the Hells Angels over a deal gone bad.

The court was told Sroubek went to his associate's home with two other men and assaulted him and threatened him with a knife over a debt of $12,000.

After this incident, the man went to the police and he and his family were placed in the witness protection programme.

Ardern says when the Government is in a position to share more information around the case, it will do so.

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The Ministry for Primary Industries thinks it's on track to eradicating Mycoplasma bovis.

MPI has been testing milk samples from every dairy farm in the country shortly after calving, when cows are most likely to be shedding the bacteria.

If successful, it would be a world first. No other country has managed to get rid of Mycoplasma bovis after becoming infected with the bacteria.

This is after there were initially fears the cattle disease was spreading out of control around the country.

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A terminal cancer patient is being forced to pay $8,000 every three weeks for the medication that is keeping him alive.

Auckland father-of-three Baden Ngan Kee has terminal lung cancer, and the drug Keytruda is keeping him alive.

But the medication isn't funded for lung cancer patients in New Zealand, even though it is for other types of cancer.

Ngan Kee is currently able to pay his own way, but knows he will eventually run out of money.

Drug company Merck Sharp and Dohme lodged an application for Pharmac funding in February 2017.

Three-months later Pharmac deferred the decision on whether to fund the drug for lung cancer.

Then, in November it was considered again when the company provided further information.

Today, nearly two years on, and funding Keytruda remains under assessment and there's no clear timeframe on when a decision will be made.

Pharmac has defended the delay, saying it is on a fixed budget and is assessing numerous different medications for lung cancer treatment.

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A tourism levy is one of a raft of changes coming for the industry, as Government moves to more hands-on role.

The new levy on tourists will raise about $80 million a year, and will be split evenly between tourism projects and conservation

It's part of the Government's draft Aotearoa-New Zealand Government Tourism Strategy, which is billed as ensuring all New Zealanders benefit from "productive, sustainable and inclusive" tourism growth.

It says growth in tourism needs to take into account regions outside Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch.

The report also notes increased pressure on the environment and infrastructure, as well as perceptions that the character of New Zealand's best-loved places may be changing.

It says that our relatively low population density means the impact of visitors in some places can be more visible, particularly if growth is poorly managed.

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The Government is rolling out a programme to get beneficiaries into the aged-care industry.

It's partnered with Medcall, a recruitment and staffing company that specialises in the healthcare sector, to train 160 clients for aged-care jobs across eight regions.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says working in aged care can be satisfying and fulfilling, and a recent pay equity settlement means conditions have improved.

But Aged Care Association chief executive Simon Wallace says it's just a drop in the bucket.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
Spark has pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act, both related to over-billing.

Penalties will be set at a later hearing.

Spark faces fines of up to $600,000 per charge, or $1.2million in total.

The Commerce Commission says letters offering new Spark customers a $100 account credit for subscribing to a particular broadband plan failed to mention the offer could only be redeemed by phoning Spark.

The offers allegedly created the impression customers signing up online would receive the credit, when they did not.

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A New Zealander has been sentenced to five years in a US prison after sharing child pornography with a Homeland Security investigator.

The federal prison sentence is the mandatory minimum penalty, according to local newspaper Bangor Daily News.

The report quotes the US Attorney's office as saying 41-year-old Bobby Owens, from Turangi, shared sexually explicit pictures of children with a Portland-based Homeland Security agent.

Court documents state a federal search warrant was obtained and executed later the same day. Owens was present at the residence, and admitted to sending the images to the agent earlier in the day.

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There's been a sharp increase in a less-common strand of Meningococcal disease in New Zealand.

Typically, in a year, there are between zero and six "Group W" cases.

But last year 12 were reported and three were fatal. This year, there've been 24, including six deaths.

Doctors, emergency departments and the general public are being urged to be on high alert.

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The Melbourne Cup is on today, although much of the partying and betting has been thrown out by heavy rain.

It was absolutely pouring down in Flemington ahead of today's big race.

A section of roofing collapsed in the Flemington press room after water made its way in, and there has also been areas of flooding around the track, including in the horse tunnel.

The big race is at 5pm, with live coverage on both nzherald.co.nz, and Newstalk ZB.

There's a bit at stake for the owner of one Melbourne Cup runner.

British billionaire Dr Marwan Koukash promised to strip to a G-string if his horse Magic Circle wins the cup.

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That's the Front Page for today, Tuesday November 6, 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, iHeartRadio here, and Stitcher 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.