Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today it's key developments for workplace bullying, a shameful result for NZ's treatment of motor neuron disease, growing worries over antibiotic resistant bugs, and a clever trick for when you're cycling in the rain. Hosted by Frances Cook.

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An independent review has been launched into bullying and harassment in Parliament.

The review had been talked about for a while, but has become more urgent after recent events, including the sexual assault scandal at Russel McVeigh, allegations of bullying behaviour by Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, allegations of bullying by Meka Whaitiri, and Dame Laura Cox's report into bullying and harassment of the UK's House of Commons staff.


Jami-Lee Ross and Meka Whaitiri both deny the claims.

Speaker Trevor Mallard announced the review, and says bullying and harassment must be unacceptable in any workplace.

The review will look at whether bullying has occurred, and if so, the nature and extent of it since the 51st Parliament, which started in October 2014.

It will not act on specific incidents, but look at trends or patterns and make recommendations to address them. It will, however, provide support for individuals by referring them to services, including a phone line to counsellors.

Debbie Francis is leading the review.

She has led a major culture change programme across the New Zealand Defence Force, has delivered change projects across the public and private sectors, and was lead partner for PriceWaterhouseCoopers People and Change practice.

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The review comes as allegations bubble up of an 'inappropriate touching incident' at a Young National event.

This morning, Newsroom revealed a woman reported the touching and inappropriate behaviour from a male Young National member after a Young Nat Christmas Party last week.

Police have confirmed they are investigating the alleged incident.

The National Party says it doesn't know the identity of the victim or the alleged perpetrator.

Speaking to media this morning, Party President Peter Goodfellow says the victim doesn't want their identity revealed, and that's why the party is in the dark.

He says they've offered support and advice through an intermediary, and the matter is now for police.

National leader Simon Bridges says he learned about the incident late last week, and sought assurances that everything had been handled and dealt with appropriately.

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And a workplace bullying expert is warning Kiwi businesses need to do more to protect employees.

Dr Gary Namie, a psychologist and head of the United States' Workplace Bullying Institute, says New Zealand is well-positioned to virtually eliminate instances of workplace bullying, were the Government and business willing to tackle the problem.

He's visiting NZ for CultureShift, New Zealand's first "Action, not just words" anti-workplace bullying summit.

A 1700-person study showed New Zealand has the second-worst rate of workplace bullying in the developed world, with one in five workers affected.

Namie says while workplace bullying may manifest as verbal or physical abuse, it's typically more systemic than that, and can be defined as repeated health-harming mistreatment by one or more people.

He says some of the most devious tactics are covert, where an employer gets a worker behind closed doors in order to try and convince a competent individual that they're suddenly incompetent."

Namie says our small size means legislation could have a big impact, and fix it nearly overnight.

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New Zealand's motor neurone disease death rate is the highest in the world and five times the global average.

That's from a new Global Burden of Disease study, which experts say should be a major wake-up call for healthcare systems and research funding agencies to up their game.

In New Zealand, the risk of developing the crippling condition - that takes away a persons' ability to move, speak, swallow and breathe - was one in 300, and most died within 15 to 20 months of their diagnosis.

Auckland University of Technology professor and world-renowned neurologist Dr Valery Feigin says sadly, the cause of the disease is yet to be discovered, which means the reason New Zealand is top of the chart is also unknown.

Feigin says the Government needs to take a better look at funding research priorities, as well as addressing a significant shortage of neurologists in New Zealand.

She says the disease cannot be cured but an early diagnosis can help slow progression.

A 2015 study estimated that with New Zealand's growing population, 77 neurologists were needed to meet patient demand.

That's about three times the number we currently have.

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Auckland Council has unanimously voted on a plan to pedestrianise Queen St, and will trial removing non-essential cars from the city centre.

The plans will be put up for public consultation before anything is set in stone.

The number of pedestrians on Queen St has doubled in the past three years, and cutting down on cars has been mooted in the city's master plan since 2012.

Mayor Phil Goff says trials will start next year, based on a plan to be presented in March.

It involves an "open streets" approach, which means opening the streets to pedestrians and other users by closing them to traffic. It will also be trialled in other urban centres around Auckland.

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Clients of online broking firm Halifax NZ say their funds have been frozen after the Australian-based parent company went into administration.

Partners at insolvency specialist Ferrier Hodgson were appointed administrators of Halifax Investment Services in Sydney on November 23, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

The New Zealand subsidiary is managed by Andrew Gibbs, who declined to comment, saying he was in a meeting before hanging up the phone when contacted by the Herald today.

Auckland-based investor Zhiwei (Luke) Luo says he and other clients have been told they cannot withdraw funds from their account with Halifax. He has $45,000 invested.

He wanted answers, after his account manager told him he was no longer employed.

Only the administrator had access to the funds, and so he didn't know if his investment was safe or not.

A creditors' meeting will be held in Sydney on December 5.

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An Auckland youth worker who preyed on a 12-year-old girl, coercing her into performing sexual acts on him, gloated on social media by predicting he would escape a jail sentence.

Devonte Mulitalo, 23, had pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual connection with a young person under 16, and a second charge of indecent communication with a young person.

The former youth worker, who was 22 at the time he abused a 12-year-old girl, was yesterday sentenced to home detention.

But just weeks before sentencing, the 23-year-old posted an image to social media mocking his victim - and gloating that he wouldn't be going to jail.

In his post, Mulitalo was handcuffed and dressed in a prison outfit, with a caption that he wouldn't be going to jail, accompanied with a middle finger emoji.

Despite his disturbing post on social media, Mulitalo wrote an apology letter to his victim which was presented to the court.

His defence lawyer said he was genuinely remorseful.

Mulitalo was sentenced to 11 months home detention and was ordered to undertake the SAFE programme.

He was also added the child sex offender's register.

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An Australian tiler has been given three convictions as a belated wedding gift by the Queenstown District Court.

The events before the 25-year-old Taylor Graeme Ryan's appearance in court was described as a stag do gone horribly wrong.

He'd arrived last Thursday, ahead of his wedding on the weekend, but after several drinks police were called to an "altercation".

Bystanders, including Ryan's two brothers, tried to intervene and "de-escalate the situation".

But when police arrived Ryan waded into Lake Wakatipu to avoid them.

The water was about seven degrees, so after 15 minutes, his brothers waded in to try and bring him out.

He refused, so police were next in the water, over fears for his safety. He again refused to accompany police, ultimately punching Constable Ian Madden in the chest.

The court was told pepper spray was then used, and it was described as "effective".

Judge Brandts-Giesen says the entry to Lake Wakatipu was "not a very good idea''.

He says Ryan put himself and others at risk, and he was lucky to be put in a paddy wagon, rather than a hearse.

Ryan was ordered to pay fines of almost $1000.

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Scientists are raising concerns over rising cases of a bug that beats even last-resort antibiotics.

[Carbapenemase producing Enterobacterales, or CPE, is found in the gut bacteria of a carrier and is transferred by touch to surfaces, skin or food when that person hasn't washed their hands properly after going to the toilet.

Someone else could then unknowingly transfer the bacteria to their mouth.

ESR microbiologist Dr Kristin Dyet says the bacteria produced a specific enzyme that leaves antibiotics inactive, and its rise is partly due to the increased use of the drugs.

While New Zealand has low levels of antimicrobial resistance compared to rates observed internationally, rates are nonetheless on the rise.

So far this year, there have been around 50 cases and most people found to have it here became infected overseas.

Surveillance has linked infections with people receiving care in foreign hospitals – particularly in the Indian subcontinent.

Researchers are calling on health authorities to create a national plan to meet the threat.

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An update on the Northland whale stranding - they've lost half their pod, but it looks like the remaining pygmy killer whales in Northland could survive.

Twelve of the rare oceanic dolphins stranded on Ninety Mile Beach on Sunday, and four died on the sand.

Volunteers eased the remaining eight into the water this morning.

However, two were euthanised after they immediately re-beached.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
Nick Prosser has had a stutter all his life but with the luck of the Irish it has almost disappeared completely.

The 28-year-old was trying out accents with his colleague when he discovered his stutter disappeared when trying an Irish accent for fun.

Prosser says he was amazed the speech disorder he had all his life had almost vanished from something so simple.

He says the stutter has previously held him back in conversations and jobs.

Having never been to Ireland, Prosser believes his ability to talk in the accent came from his mother who descended from the country.

He's not alone in this, Hollywood actress Emily Blunt has previously revealed in interviews she too had a stutter and claimed speaking in an accent helped her.

However, speech specialist Annette Stock says she's never heard of the technique before.

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Hilarious footage has emerged of an ingenious Wellington cyclist riding along Taranaki St while wearing a bizarre DIY raincoat.

In videos posted to social media, the cyclist is seen riding through the city with a giant cardboard box sheltering them from the heavy rain, with a tiny front window cut out for visibility.

The cardboard box covers the full length of the bike, allowing the rider to stay completely dry while still being able to pedal.

Some Wellingtonians joked in the comments that it was cheaper than finding a flat, or using public transport.

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That's the Front Page for today, Tuesday November 27, 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.