Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today it's thousands of teachers striking, churches included in inquiry into child abuse, and kiwi being brought back to the hills of our capital. Hosted by Frances Cook.


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The first day of primary and intermediate teacher strikes went ahead today, with tens of thousands of teachers taking industrial action, and nearly half a million students impacted.

The majority of primary and intermediate schools will be closed for one day this week, as part of rolling strikes around the country.

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The Ministry of Education did put another offer to the union NZEI on Thursday, but its members haven't yet considered it for a vote.

The union's standing its ground over pay, class sizes, and the sector's ability to recruit new teachers.

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The Government says the deal they offered is worth $700 million over three years.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says he's disappointed the union has decided to go ahead with strikes next week without taking the Government's latest offer to its members.

Hipkins says the latest offer would give the majority of teachers a pay rise of close to $10,000 over three years, and there's no more money in the pot.

Members will consider the offer at meetings during the strikes.

Strikes are taking place in Auckland on Monday, the rest of the North Island (except Wellington) on Tuesday, Christchurch on Wednesday, the rest of the South Island on Thursday, and Wellington on Friday.

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Churches are being rolled into the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the abuse of children in state care.

Cabinet has signed off the extended inquiry, which former Governor General Anand Satyanand says was strongly argued for during consultation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the investigation will pave the way to confront a dark chapter in our history.

She says of the 400 submissions received on the draft Terms of Reference, including faith-based institutions in the inquiry was one of the most strongly argued issues.

Male Survivors Aotearoa chairman, Phillip Chapman, says the Church should have been included from the beginning.

The inquiry will hear evidence from January next year.

The first interim report, focusing on children in state care, will be delivered in 2020. The second report, focused on faith-based institutions, will follow in 2023.

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A three-part Herald series starting today has found a worrying link between students being expelled from school, and dying early from accidents or suicide.

The series is investigating how our schools are struggling to cope with kids who are wired differently, and the lifelong effects of education failure.

The first story out today details how children who die in accidents or suicides before they turn 25 are about 100 times more likely than their peers to have been expelled from school.

The Auckland District Health Board's child and youth mortality review group found 43 per cent of young Aucklanders who died between the ages of 10 and 24 from non-medical causes had been stood down from school.

The study shows the high stakes of failure in an education system that is struggling to cope with growing numbers of children with conditions including autism, dyslexia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Waiting lists for specialist services have ballooned even though successive Governments have poured more money into them.

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An inquiry into Wally Haumaha's appointment to Deputy Police Commissioner has found the process followed was adequate and fit for purpose.

But it's still made a number of recommendations for change.

Mary Scholtens QC has released her report into whether the Police Minister had all the necessary information before appointing him to the role.

The inquiry was called for after victim advocate Louise Nicholas raised concerns about Haumaha showing support for police officers accused of her rape.

The report makes a number of recommendations, including that the State Services Commission seek anonymous, confidential views during the appointment process where appropriate.

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State Services Commissioner Chris Hipkins says the report was right to focus on issues of due diligence - and not "rumour and innuendo".

Hipkins says the Government was satisfied with the process used to appoint Haumaha, and said there were issues of natural justice at play.

However, neither Hipkins or Police Minister Stuart Nash, would say whether they had confidence in Haumaha himself.

National Party police spokesman Chris Bishop says the inquiry was too narrow and only ever about the process, not Haumaha's suitability.

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House price growth has slumped, leading some economists to say it's now a "buyers market".

While house prices in many areas around the country are 40 per cent to 70 per cent higher than in 2007, annual gains are at generally at 10 per cent or less, while quarterly price growth has eased to mainly single-digit gains for many places.

ASB's quarterly housing confidence survey found, for the three months to October, the number of people who believed it was a good time to buy increased from 14 per cent the previous quarter to 16 per cent

Meanwhile those thinking it was a bad time to buy stayed steady on 19 per cent.

ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley says it's likely down to the slowing of house price growth across much of the country, more homes to choose from and a favourable interest rate outlook.

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On the other side of the coin, KiwiSaver financial hardship withdrawals have jumped 60 per cent in two years, and rising housing costs are getting the blame.

Figures show the number of hard-up people who took money out of their retirement savings have risen from 10,666 in the year to June 2016 .. to 17,000 in the year to June this year.

To qualify KiwiSaver members must clearly show they have been unable to meet daily living expenses such as mortgage repayments or urgent medical expenses for a dependent family member.

Statistics New Zealand information shows that in the last 10 years weekly housing costs have increased 53 per cent yet wage increases are at 44 per cent.

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For those keeping track of the Wellington bus shambles, changes are being made to timetables in a bid to help reliability and connections.

Greater Wellington Regional councillor Daran Ponter says as well as adjusting timetables, they're adding additional services in the early morning and late evening.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
A major project kicks off today with a mission to bring kiwi back to Wellington backyards.

Capital Kiwi is an initiative to bring our native icon back to 23,000 hectares of public and private land in the lower North Island.

Project lead Paul Ward says they have to first get rid of all the pests.

The first trap was been laid this morning at Te Rawhiti Station.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB

Australian police have made their first arrest in the cases of strawberry sabotage which saw the berries pulled off the shelves in both Australia and New Zealand, after sewing needles were found in the fruit.

Police in Queensland arrested 50-year-old My Ut Trinh who apparently worked in the strawberry industry, north of Brisbane.

She appeared in court today.

It's alleged Trinh had grievances about her treatment at work.

She allegedly told others she "wanted to bring them down" and "put them out of business".

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Rocket Lab is ushering in a new era in access to space - from a peninsula in Hawke's Bay.

Yesterday it put six private satellites in orbit, about 500km above Earth, for four separate global customers.

CEO Peter Beck says they've now put spacecraft in orbit twice in a single year, which will ramp up to a frequency of space access never heard of before.

He says this is just the beginning - they're already looking forward to another one in a few weeks, which is a mission for Nasa.

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That's the Front Page for today, Monday November 12, 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.