Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today it's a fake doctor attempting to steal from a patient, possible cheating at Otago University, KiwiBuild homes for New Plymouth, and urgent surgery for a much-loved chicken. Hosted by Frances Cook.

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

A New Zealand woman has been jailed in the UK after she was found to have provided fake qualifications to work as a doctor for more than two decades.

Zholia Alemi, 56, has been jailed for five years after eventually being found out when she was convicted of trying to fake the will of an elderly female patient.


Had she been successful, she would have stolen up to £1.3 million - or NZ$2.4m - of the woman's fortune.

A judge described her as "despicable" when ordering her jail sentence.

The New Zealander's two-decade deception has sparked urgent checks in Britain - with 3000 foreign doctors to have their credentials investigated.

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University of Auckland has now confirmed Alemi faked her medical qualifications. She had started a medical degree, but didn't finish it.

A spokeswoman for the university told the Herald this afternoon that the only qualification Alemi had from them was a Bachelor of Human Biology.

Alemi worked as a psychiatrist in the UK for 22 years, treating thousands of mental health patients over that period and potentially earning up to £100,000 - or NZ$188,000 - a year.

She reportedly drove a Lotus Elise sports car.


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Otago University is investigating possible cheating at its medical school.

The medical students are having their exam grades withheld because of the cheating allegations.

Student magazine Critic reports the University of Otago's Medicine dean Barry Taylor sent a letter to third-year students saying the integrity of the exam had been compromised.

The exam was a clinic for practical skills.

It's alleged students were passing on information to those taking it later.

Students quoted by Critic say passing on information is common practice and has always been done.


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Sandbags are being offered to residents in Mosgiel and South Dunedin as torrential rain hits the city.

Dunedin City Council is calling on residents to cut their showers and turn off their washing machines to prevent overloading the wastewater system.

The torrential rain has closed a number of roads in Otago, including State Highway 1 south of Milton.

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The first KiwiBuild homes for New Plymouth have been announced.

The 68 modest starter homes to be built in Marfell are expected to be completed in mid-2019.

All will have a maximum price of $450,000.


Housing Minister Phil Twyford says this means mortgage repayments will be the same as the average rent for a three-bedroom home in New Plymouth.

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And Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is speaking out about the trade spat between the US and China that led to a failure to produce an Apec consensus, calling it "disappointing".

Apec ended in controversy after Chinese officials reportedly forced their way into the office of Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato to discuss the wording of the Apec communique.

China dismissed the report as "malicious rumours" while Pato said the report was exaggerated, and that the Chinese did not push their way into the room.

The dispute was mainly over a sentence in the draft communique that read: "We agreed to fight protectionism, including all unfair trade practices."

China reportedly refused to agree to the sentence as it amounted to singling out Chinese trade practices.


Speaking in Auckland today Ardern said the controversy was a reflection of "some of the differences in the international trade environment".

She says it was disappointing, but shouldn't diminish from the areas of "substantive agreement".

The Prime Minister also used Apec to raise steel and aluminum tariffs with US Vice-President Mike Pence, but admits she did tread carefully.

Ardern says Pacific leaders used the event to press climate change issues to world leaders.

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A landmark report warning the world has about a decade to limit global warming to 1.5C has prompted 150 Kiwi academics to call for urgent Government action.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report last month which showed climate change was already being felt - but the picture could be dramatically worse if nations were unable to make "unprecedented" cuts.


It warned CO2 emissions need to be halved over the next decade, while other greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide also need to be forced down.

The 150 Kiwi researchers – including emeriti professors and several fellows of the Royal Society – have now responded by signing a strongly-worded open letter to the Government

It says there's a big gap between the severity of the warnings from the world's most authoritative scientific body on climate change and the actions of our government.

The academics and researchers say they are deeply concerned about climate breakdown and want the government to act swiftly and decisively.

They also point to a survey from earlier this year, showing 79 per cent of people believe climate action needs to start immediately, even if other countries don't act.

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There is some good news for the environment though, with a major boost for the fight against kauri dieback and myrtle rust


Research, Science, and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced funding of almost $14m over three years for research into combating both.

Woods says both diseases are endangering some of New Zealand's most iconic trees.

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Fletcher Building has downgraded its earnings forecast by 10 per cent amid tougher trading conditions in Australia

The country's largest company held its annual meeting in Auckland today, and said the lower forecast was due to challenging Australian trading conditions and the timing of house sales in its residential division.

The company says trading in New Zealand is in line with the market, which is flat to slightly down on the year ended June with the volume of house sales being lower and taking longer to settle than expected.

But in Australia, the company faces challenging trading conditions for most of its businesses there as the residential sector cools.


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Meanwhile, A2 Milk net profit has rocketed up 65 per cent for the first four months of the financial year, compared to the same time last year.

The dual-listed alternative milk company gave a trading update before today's annual meeting in Melbourne,

Chief executive and managing director Jayne Hrdlicka said they're well prepared for any cross-border regulation changes in China, and their Australian business is continuing to strengthen.

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A man accused of manslaughter had to be restrained after charging from the dock in the Hamilton District Court - towards the victim's family.

Leon Wilson is one of the co-accused in the killing of Ngaruawahia man Mitchell Paterson.

Wilson and a member of Paterson's family were exchanging eye contact in court today when Wilson started yelling threats.


Seconds later, he stormed the dock and made it through to the second row of the lawyer's benches before he was finally restrained by staff from Corrections, court security, and detectives who were supporting the family in court.

Wilson was put into custody for the remainder of the hearing.

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An independent investigation has found police acted unlawfully by detaining a suicidal Queenstown man for a mental health assessment, but says their actions were "reasonable in the circumstances''.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority report said police detained the man for a mental health assessment in October 2017, after he called Lifeline and disclosed a suicide attempt, before "abruptly'' ending the call.

Lifeline contacted police, who went to the man's address to check on his welfare.

They discovered him distressed and agitated, and officers decided it wasn't safe to leave him alone until he had been seen by mental health professionals.


They took him to the Queenstown Police Station to await mental health services, who arrived seven hours later.

The Authority found police didn't have legal authority to take the man into custody, but they were taking steps to ensure the man's immediate safety, and the delay in obtaining a mental health assessment was beyond police control.

The report noted that in reality, police were often the sole responder to mental health incidents, and had to deal with distressed and volatile people.

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Organisers of the Auckland Pride Parade are still dealing with fallout for the decision to stop uniformed police officers marching in the parade.

Now the Defence Force has announced it won't walk the parade, in solidarity with police.

The Force's LGBT support group leader Stu Pearce says the next parade will be the 25th anniversary of queer members being allowed to serve openly.


He says they could not, in good conscience, support the event after the decision about police, especially on this anniversary.

Doubt's been cast over whether the parade will even now go ahead, after it appears sponsors and volunteers are unsure about taking part.

Even an LGBT group, Bear New Zealand, has pulled out of the parade.

Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust has withdrawn a $10,000 donation for the parade.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
Plans are afoot to turn New Zealand into a luxury destination for wealthy Chinese families.

The families will be charged up to $25,000 a day for luxury travel packages featuring chauffeured limousines, private vineyard and fishing tours and exclusive helicopter transfers to lavish Kiwi venues.


The high-end itineraries will include tickets to the country's most exclusive lunch and accommodation venues.

NZ Chinese Travel and Tourism Association chair Simon Cheung says the tours aim to push New Zealand as a premier destination to Chinese visitors.

Cheung says the weaker kiwi dollar - which fell 9 per cent against the yuan last quarter - was also making more Chinese see New Zealand as a "value for money" destination.

He says tourism is booming in China, but they need to move away from the cheap shopping tours currently dominating the market, as they benefit no one except the airlines.

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Some life-saving surgery has given a new lease of life for Lily the chicken.

Lily hadn't eaten for three days, and developed a large bulge in her abdomen which was causing her discomfort and preventing her from being as active as usual.


When owner Destiny Singer took Lily to the vets, they took an X-ray, and saw a lump. They thought it was a tumour, and the vet offered to put her down. Lily was on death's doorstep after not eating for so long.

However Singer opted for surgery.

When they opened Lily up, they found it wasn't a tumour, but an enormous amount of eggs.

The mass weighed almost 300 grams, more than 10 per cent of its body weight. For you or me, that's similar to an 8kg build-up.

The surgery was successful, although Lily won't be able to lay eggs again. The vet said it was a little difficult because he wasn't exactly specialised in chicken surgery.

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That's the Front Page for today, Tuesday November 20, 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 on Apple 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.