Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today it's a woman taken hostage by a knife-wielding stranger, voting rights for prisoners, calls for urgent action on rip off electricity prices, and a superstar arrives in town. Hosted by Frances Cook.


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

A man has been charged with kidnapping after holding a knife to a woman's throat in Auckland's Westfield Manukau mall for 1.5 hours.

Counties Manukau Area Commander Inspector Adam Pyne says the victim wasn't known to the offender.

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The scene was quickly evacuated. Officers were on the scene within minutes, and immediately began negotiations.

Inspector Pyne says the knife being held to the woman's throat had a five inch blade.

The woman was up from Christchurch, and had her 12-year-old daughter with her.

A 30-year-old man has now been charged with kidnapping.

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Denying New Zealand's prisoners the right to vote is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights.

That's according to a ruling released today by our highest court, the Supreme Court.

Jailhouse lawyer Arthur Taylor has fought through New Zealand's highest courts against a 2010 law made by the then-National Government, which banned all prisoners from voting.

Prisoners could previously vote in elections if they were incarcerated for less than three years.

The declaration alone, however, doesn't require Parliament to repeal the voting ban.

Justice Minister Andrew Little says the government isn't sure yet how they will address it.

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A mother of 11 from the Gloriavale community has died after being swept away in front of her family in a swollen West Coast river.

Rejoice Steadfast had been watching the raging Haupiri River yesterday with family members during the wild weather .. when the bank collapsed and she fell in the water.

Rejoice Steadfast is the daughter-in-law of Gloriavale secretary and treasurer Fervent Steadfast.

The Haupiri River flows by Gloriavale, a remote Christian community, in the West Coast's Grey District.

The area was hammered with heavy rain yesterday, with some weather stations in the ranges recording more than half a metre of rain, causing widespread flooding and slips.

A Gloriavale spokeswoman declined to comment this morning.

The weather has left plenty of other damage in its wake.

Bridges along one of the main routes from Christchurch to the West Coast have significant flood damage.

The Hokitika River has seen its second biggest flood in 50-years.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern still has confidence in Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, and says she would not accept his resignation

Ardern says she is unhappy with the process that saw Karel Sroubek granted residency and wants it improved, but is standing by her Immigration Minister.

The Government has faced serious questions over why the convicted drug dealer was allowed to stay in New Zealand.

In the latest revelations, Iain Lees-Galloway revealed it took him about an hour to review the file on the convicted drug dealer, and that he didn't read the entire case file.

Opposition MPs say his handling of the case has been reckless.

Jacinda Ardern told Newstalk ZB she hasn't spoken to Lees-Galloway, but she won't be asking for his resignation - and wouldn't accept it if he offered to resign.

Immigration New Zealand general manager Stephen Dunstan says his department gave Lees-Galloway all he needed to make the correct decision.

Dunstan is confident in how they handled they Sroubek case, but is remaining tight lipped on whether the Minister made the right decision.

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A last-ditch attempt to prevent primary school teachers striking next week has failed.

Teachers have confirmed they will walk off the job in nationwide rolling strikes from Monday.

Facilitation this week failed to resolve the teachers pay dispute with the Ministry of Education.

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Four independent power retailers have banded together to complain to the market regulator, saying kiwis are being ripped off.

Pulse Energy, Electric Kiwi, Vocus Communications and Flick Electric today laid a joint complaint with the Electricity Authority, arguing that the current high spot prices set by the generators are neither transparent or justified.

Claims over whether the whole electricity market is functioning as it should be have been up for debate in recent weeks. The larger energy companies say the market is working as it should be.

However, Flick Electric chief executive Steve O'Connor says current prices show the market is flawed.

Johnathan Eele, Vocus head of regulatory and commercial, says unless changes are made, Kiwi families will continue to be "ripped off".

The four independent power retailers have asked the Electricity Authority to take urgent action.

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A survey of people's experiences of welfare has found an overwhelming trend of negative experiences with Work and Income and a desperate lack of income.

The survey is by community campaigning organisation Action Station.

Spokeswoman Laura O'Connell Rapira says 84 percent of people say they don't currently receive enough income to live with dignity and participate fully in the community.

She says four out of five have had negative experiences.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB

A Christchurch man has pleaded guilty to stabbing his former partner to death outside her work in broad daylight.

Keshni Naicker was attacked by Shui Prasad outside Ilam LifeCare in September

Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Cottam says police hope the guilty plea will go some way to helping the Naicker family, as well as Asveen Sharan and his family, to "move on with their lives" without having to go through a court trial.

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The man who allegedly destroyed a $300,0000 sculpture on Wellington's waterfront has appeared in court this morning.

Hunter Macdonald, 28, appeared in the Wellington District Court on a charge of wilful damage after he was filmed climbing and snapping the Len Lye Water Whirler last month.

He's disputing how much should be paid in damages.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester earlier labelled the behaviour "an act of utter stupidity".

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A University of Otago study shows almost one in eight New Zealanders over the age of 15 are on antidepressants.

That's despite little evidence the drugs are helping curb our country's alarming suicide rates.

Researchers are warning of significant side-effects of the drugs and the limited evidence about the long-term impacts.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson says there's not a lot of other types of treatment or support readily available for people.

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Police won't march in next year's Auckland Pride Parade, after being informed by the festival Board they aren't welcome in uniform.

Police diversity liaison co-ordinator Inspector Tracy Phillips says it's left police upset and frustrated.

Phillips says she has been given no specific reason, other than some not liking the police as an institution.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB

Taylor Swift is in town for her first ever stadium show in New Zealand, kicking off in Auckland tonight, but it's likely to be a wet one.

Charli XCX and Broods are opening, but then the Blank Space will be filled by the superstar herself.

Unfortunately, that's just as the heavy rain is predicted to start.

For those who do stick it out, there's some audience participation that could fulfil their Wildest Dreams.

In Sydney, the audience was given white electronic wristbands, which changed colour throughout the night, making the fans part of the show.

Hopefully they're not too Delicate, and can withstand the rain.

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That's the Front Page for today, Friday November 9, 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.