Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today, a woman who sold her daughter for sex has had her jail sentence increased, Marama Fox pleads guilty to drink driving, the minimum wage will rise in April and US dad posts a hilarious NZ dating ad for his sons. Hosted by Juliette Sivertsen.

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A woman who sold her teenage daughter to strangers for sex will now serve more time in prison.

In March, Kasmeer Lata was jailed for six years and 11 months for dealing in slaves, dealing in a person under 18 for sexual exploitation, and receiving earnings from commercial sexual services from an underage person.


The 36-year-old had first forced her daughter to have sex for money with a man on her 15th birthday.

She would go on to sell the girl at least 1000 times for sex.

In October, her sentence was appealed by the Solicitor-General.

Today the Court of Appeal released its decision and the appeal was allowed and Lata will serve more time.

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Former Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox has admitted a charge of drink-driving.

Fox appeared in the Hamilton District Court this morning after blowing over twice the legal limit in November.

When questioned by police at the scene, Fox told officers she'd had only had about six glasses of wine earlier in the night so thought she was okay to drive.

She blew 593 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

Fox told police at the time she'd just come from an event at the Claudelands Events Centre in Hamilton.

Fox was remanded at large, without bail conditions, to reappear in court in February when an application for discharge without conviction will be heard.

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Six fur seal kekeno pups have been found decapitated at a Canterbury Bay.

The Department of Conservation is appealing for information after the headless pups were found in the remote but popular Scenery Nook, on the south side of Banks Peninsula.

DOC says a tourism operator discovered the bodies of the 11-month-old seals floating in the tidal wash on Monday.

When the Department of Conservation visited the bay, they couldn't find the seals' heads and believe they may have been killed elsewhere before being potentially dumped from a boat and left to be found by visitors to the scenic bay.

Mahaanui Operations Manager, Andy Thompson, says the deaths are cruel and senseless.

DoC is appealing for any sightings of boats in the area since late last week.

The hotline to phone to report any information in the investigation is 0800 HOT DOC.

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Two 20-year-old men convicted of raping a drunk 15-year-old girl at a Christchurch house party have had their jail term reduced after a successful appeal.

Brooke Rolleston and Brandon Roche were convicted at Christchurch District Court last year after a jury found them guilty of the January 2016 rape and sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection of the teenage girl.

Judge Alistair Garland sentenced Rolleston to 11 years and two months' imprisonment and Roche to 10 years and nine months.

But the pair appealed their convictions after claiming they didn't receive a fair trial because of apparent juror bias.

They also alleged their sentences were manifestly excessive.

Today, the Court of Appeal released its judgment which throws out the pair's appeals against their convictions.

However, Rolleston had his prison term reduced by 15 months, and Roche had his sentence quashed and substituted with a sentence of nine years and seven months in jail.

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The parents of Nicky Stevens have described the Health Minister's approach to their meeting as cagey, but ready to listen.

The pair meet David Clark this morning to discuss mental health services following the death of their 21-year-old son back in 2015.

A coroner's report has found Nicky's death was avoidable and Waikato DHB failed to undertake crucial processes.

Nicky's mother, Jane Stevens, says they're doing everything they can to ensure it doesn't happen again.

She says her son paid the ultimate price for the sick and ailing mental health system, so they have to see some action.

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Fulltime workers on minimum wage will soon get an extra $48 a week, before tax.

The minimum wage is set to rise by $1.20 an hour on April 1st, to $17.70.

It will rise every April, for the next three years.

Council of Trade Unions president, Richard Wagstaff, says it's a massive victory for the working poor.

But there are fears upcoming wage increases will hurt both businesses and consumers.

Kim Campbell, from the Employers and Manufacturers Association, says some businesses could pass the extra costs on to consumers.

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A Christchurch woman battling Southern Response for a settlement says its surveillance methods speak volumes.

An inquiry has confirmed a private security consultant spied on Kiwis, on behalf of the government agency.

The State Services Commission investigation into the use of external security consultants by Government agencies uncovered failings across the public service.

It found the Southern Response Agency, set up to settle Canterbury earthquake insurance claims, used external agency Thompson & Clark to spy on claimants at meetings.

The chairman of Southern Response, Ross Butler, quit last night, hours after the report came out.

EQC Fix spokesperson Mel Bourke says many people are still battling Southern Response for an earthquake settlement.

She says Butler's departure doesn't mean the company's culture has shifted.

Gerry Brownlee says the Government has treated the Southern Response chair disgracefully.

The former Christchurch regeneration minister says it should be remembered Southern Response was established when former insurer AMI failed.

But Megan Woods says Butler was not asked to step down by anyone in the Government.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
Ridesharing newcomer Ola says it has signed up 4000 drivers and clocked 25,000 rides since it launched in New Zealand last month.

The Indian-founded company has used a 9 per cent commission rate to lure drivers, significantly under-cutting Uber which is at 25 per cent or 28 per cent, and the 15 per cent clip of the ticket taken by home-grown Zoomy.

Ola's New Zealand country manager, Brian Dewil, concedes 9 per cent is a sweetener to help kick things off.

He says his company's commission rate will double to 18 per cent after the promotion period ends, but it won't go any higher.

Fifty per cent discounts and "tempered" use of surge pricing are also being used to attract customers.

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A new test could discover whether E. coli in Kiwi rivers comes from cow poo.

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research say a nationwide microbiological river survey is overdue.

There hasn't been one for 20 years.

This comes after new research found dangerous strands of E. coli in three Canterbury rivers.

Health and Environment manager Libby Harrison says new tech can narrow down E. coli's source, from dairy farming to pukeko.

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Researchers are eyeing a fresh way to help Kiwis battling with severe mood disorders.

Depression remains the leading cause of disability worldwide, while bipolar disorder presently ranked fourth on the World Health Organisation's global burden of disease index.

Dr Katie Douglas, a clinical psychologist and Otago University researcher, said both of these disorders were linked with problems with memory, planning and attention, all of which made it harder for people to live and work.

Further, both depression and bipolar disorder are now recognised as ongoing, relapsing disorders, and not just episodic ones.

A four-year study being led by Douglas would bring together two therapies that are gaining rising attention around the world.

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A pair of hopeful parents are matchmaking for their sons in New Zealand this summer.

They've published an advertisement in the Herald addressed "To parents" promoting their "three wonderfully successful, handsome and unmarried sons".

The family - from Oregon, USA - are visiting over summer and hoping to introduce their boys, aged from 28 to 32, to "nice New Zealand daughters".

The ad reads "at the very least we'll embarrass our sons - and the truth is, we do find some enjoyment in that".

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That's the Front Page for today, Wednesday December 19, 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 Juliette Sivertsen on Twitter.