Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today, there's been no immediate show of support for National MP Sarah Dowie over an alleged text to Jami Lee Ross, a New Zealand professor has been sentenced for indecently assaulting a dementia patient, apologies after commuter chaos in Auckland and Gordon Ramsay wheels through Auckland's Viaduct. Hosted by Juliette Sivertsen.

Police are keeping quiet on the investigation into a text allegedly sent from the phone of National MP Sarah Dowie to Jami-Lee Ross

The investigation was apparently sparked by a call to the Crimestoppers hotline.

The text contained the words "you deserve to die".


There was no immediate show of support for the Invercargill MP.

Anne McCracken, who is regarded as one of Dowie's strongest organisers in the electorate, said: "There will be no comment today."

Others who were involved in Dowie's 2017 campaign, lawyer Sean Woodward and businessman Jon Turnbull, said they were no longer involved in her party support network.

The only current member of her electorate committee to be identified, Murray Halstead, refused to make any comment.

The words of the text Dowie allegedly sent to her former lover and colleague, Ross, could breach the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

For more on this story, click here
Southerners will likely think carefully before voting in 2020, after a string of MPs falling from grace

The alleged text from Dowie comes after Dunedin South MP Clare Curran kept important meetings quiet, and Todd Barclay secretly recorded his staff when he was Clutha-Southland MP.

Political scientist Bryce Edwards says people have to look at the character of candidates.


He says New Zealand politics is in a new era where MPs are under much more scrutiny partly due to changes in the media, social media, and technology.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
John Tamihere has called a press conference in West Auckland tomorrow tomorrow morning

The Waipareira Trust chief executive has been setting himself up to challenge Phil Goff for the mayoralty at the local body elections on October 12.

Last October, he told the Herald he was "still crunching the numbers" before making an announcement in the New Year.

For more on this story, click here
A university professor has been sentenced to eight months' home detention for sexually assaulting an 82-year-old woman with dementia in a rest home

The 55-year-old later claimed the offending was "two friends who just had an intimate moment together", but late last year he pleaded guilty to indecent assault.

He appeared in court today for sentencing on what Judge Stephen Harrop earlier described as "unbelievable offending".

The man has fought for name suppression since his arrest but was declined final name suppression in court today.

However, an interim order suppressing his name will extend until midnight so he has time to inform friends and family of his offending.

• If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline Safe to Talk on: 0800 044 334 or text 4334.

For more on this story, click here
Police investigating the death of Shannon Baker believe two previous incidents at his address may be connected to his violent death.

The 55-year-old was found dead inside his home on Calgary St in Auckland's Sandringham on December 11.

He was the victim of a violent assault and police believe he died in the early hours of the morning.

Detective Inspector Aaron Pascoe says a large number of people known to Baker have been spoken to, which revealed two prior incidents.

Police believe there's likely to be a link between them and Baker's death.

For more on this story, click here
Three sacks of human remains have been collected from a Maketū beach, after a landslide unearthed human remains from an urupā, or burial site.

The bones include those of adults and children and are being kept by Te Puke police until decisions are made about re-interment.

A six-week rahui, prohibiting the collection of seafood or any other food from the area, was placed on January 14.

Liam Tapsell, an elder from Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketū, says local iwi and members of the public were picking up bones for at least a week since the slip - including two young boys finding a jaw bone.

For more on this story, click here
Chaos for Auckland commuters today

The city's train network was brought to a halt when the signals went out just after 7am.

Buses had to replace the trains as KiwiRail staff tried to resolve the issue.

Some commuters were stuck on trains for over half an hour, others were left stranded at train platforms for hours, with no alternative route available to get to work.

And Uber appears to have reaped the benefits.

Some paid eye-watering Uber surge-fares to get to work.

One woman coughed up $5 for a 7km journey from Sandringham to the CBD - about four times the usual fare.

Another travelling from Stonefields to Grey Lynn was quoted $110 for a trip that usually costs $26.

For more on this story, click here
In Wellington, there was some more positive news for commuters.

Proposed industrial action by Wellington City NZ Bus drivers on Monday has been called off, with Tramways Union and the bus operator finding common ground.

Union spokesman Kevin O'Sullivan says the proposed agreement will be taken to members to ratify.

Meanwhile, further negotiations are scheduled with Tranzurban next month.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB.
Oceania Healthcare's first-half net profit has plummeted 97 per cent

It reflects the demolition of a care facility in Tauranga, other property related costs and the impact of the pay equity deal for aged care workers on wages.

Net profit for the six months ending November 30th fell to $1.3million from $44.5million in the same six months a year earlier.

The year-earlier result included a $3.1million gain in the value of its investment properties, compared with a gain of just $1.6million in the latest six months.

Employee benefits rose 8.9% to $59.3million in the latest period.

The company will pay a non-imputed first-half dividend of 2.1 cents per share, which is unchanged from last year.

For more on this story, click here
Christchurch's red zone is being used to help children recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Programs in the space are helping Christchurch children get out into fresh air.

The programmes aim to support teachers and students dealing with PTSD.

Avon Otakaro Network spokesperson, Evan Smith says the types of issues schools are seeing now, are different to those seen after the quake.

He says the red zone can now give a sense of peace, which is the complete opposite of what it was doing even two or three years ago.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
Virtual reality is giving children at Starship Hospital a new lease on life

The VR system has been rolled out to allow sick kids the chance to see New Zealand from the hospital ward.

Starship Foundation Chief Executive Aisha Daji Punga says they're exploring ways to make the initiative even bigger and better.

Aisha Daji Punga says it's already bringing kids lots of joy.

She says they know clinically, that psychological wellness improves recovery time, so it's about lifting spirits and getting children home as soon as they can.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has been spotted in Auckland - but wait for it - on a Lime e-scooter.

The expletive-prone chef posted an Instagram video of himself on the scooter at the Viaduct.

Ramsay's also shared a snap of a meal at restaurant Cassia.

He's praised chef Sid Sahrawat for his tuna, ginger, cucumber and yuzu dish, labelling it "delicious".

For more on this story, click here

That's the Front Page for today, Friday, January 25, 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.