Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today it's shifting goalposts for the troubled KiwiBuild scheme, a heatwave at the same time as climate change denial, a damning report into our insurance sector, and New Zealand social media influencers could be the next to see a crackdown. Hosted by Frances Cook.

The Government is reassessing its targets for the troubled KiwiBuild scheme.

It now looks like they could not only miss targets for this year, but the next 10.

It all started last week when Housing Minister Phil Twyford admitted the Government would fall well short of its first-year KiwiBuild target of 1000 homes by July this year.

Advertisement

He said only 300 would be built by that time.

Cabinet met today for the first time this year, with Finance Minister Grant Robertson saying the issues surrounding KiwiBuild will be discussed.

As well as targeting 1000 KiwiBuild homes by July 2019, Twyford had previously committed to building 10,000 in 2020/21 and 12,000 every year after that until 2028.

For more on this story, click here

Addressing media at the post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would not re-commit to those previous KiwiBuild goals.

Ardern says the overall target of 100,000 homes in 10 years will still be met, but she is waiting on more information from Twyford before she can talk about the interim goals, including the target for this July.

The Prime Minister pointed out that we are six months into a 10-year programme, and says the only target that matters is the 10-year target.

KiwiBuild is one of the cornerstone policies of the Government, with big promises made during the election about the $2 billion scheme.

Advertisement

For more on this story, click here

The targets are one issue, but legal action from the former KiwiBuild boss are another.

Stephen Barclay has resigned, with Ministry of Housing and Urban Development chief executive Andrew Crisp saying it came after an employment investigation that revealed complaints from employees, contractors and stakeholders regarding his "leadership behaviour".

Well now Barclay is speaking out, and making some fairly serious allegations of his own.

He says the complaints against him were shocking and came "completely out of the blue".

He says the complaints arose two weeks after KiwiBuild's move from MBIE to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

Barclay says the investigation was led by Crisp, and every complainant was known to Crisp, which he says makes him suspicious.

Barclay says he suspects Andrew Crisp wanted the KiwiBuild unit to be part of his Ministry ... whereas Barclay saw their work as a stand-alone business.

For more on this story, click here
Temperatures across New Zealand have skyrocketed since Sunday but it's only the start of the heatwave forecast to blast the country.

Napier and Blenheim took out the title for the hottest spots yesterday with the temperature reaching 35C, according to MetService.

And MetService expects it to continue throughout this week.

Overnight lows last night didn't drop much below 20C across the country. Auckland only got as low as 19.9C, while the top spot was Kaitaia on 21.7C.

It's not quite a heatwave yet, but it's probably only a matter of time.

MetService meteorologist, Andrew James says the World Meteorological Organisation defines a "heatwave" as five consecutive days where the temperature is at least five degrees above average.

He says it's going to remain hot this week.

For more on this story, click here

As New Zealanders try to beat the heat, staff at ice cream parlours and swimming pools are being rushed off their feet.

With Napier one of the hottest places in the country yesterday, Lick this Premium Icecream parlour owner Steve Manning says his workers have been flat out.

The Marine Parade business rolled around 1000 icecreams yesterday, between five staff.

A spokeswoman from Ocean Spa in Napier said their pool facilities were also nearing capacity.

It's not all fun and games though, as farmers are getting worried.

In Blenheim, it could affect grape quality.

Marlborough Federated Farmers president Phillip Neal says, several rivers in the region are critically close to minimum flow levels and may need to be closed to irrigators.

For more on this story, click here

So what is all of this heat doing to your body?

That all depends on your own physiology, what kind of heat you're dealing with, and of course, what you're doing to help yourself.

The problem is when temperatures rise, we cool down by sweating, and evaporating that sweat from our skin.

But when it's so humid, that sweat doesn't go anywhere, and it's hard to cool down - which is why being in a rainforest is much more stressful on our physiology than a desert.

The best ways to help ourselves is drinking lots of water, getting somewhere with air conditioning if you can, and a good science-backed tip for a better sleep is taking a cool shower about 30 minutes before bed.

For more on this story, click here
The West Coast Regional Council is causing controversy with climate change denial.

The organisation says it wants definitive proof of climate change - before it will commit to reducing carbon emissions.

The Council has submitted against the Zero Carbon Bill until the Government provides that evidence.

Chairman, Andrew Robb, says the Bill will have a huge economic impact on the region - which depends largely on mining and farming.

He says man-made climate change has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

It's the only regional council to reject the Zero Carbon Bill.

The Climate Change Minister is says he's not surprised by the demand for proof.

James Shaw says the science is not up for debate - but he appreciates the evidence is complex.

Shaw says the issue is people feel their livelihood is at risk, and that obviously causes resistance.

Shaw says the bill would help the Council with exactly this issue of sifting through the science.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
A damning report has been released on the culture and conduct of the New Zealand insurance industry.

Life insurers are getting a shot across the bows from the Financial Markets Authority and the Reserve Bank after a joint review showed problems, including that sales incentives are being put ahead of customers.

In one example, an insurer's product had been sold to foreign customers who were ineligible for the insurance cover - as cover is only provided to New Zealand residents - and therefore they would never be able to make a claim.

In another, an insurer sent mail-outs containing information that – for some customers – it knew to be incorrect.

The review found that although there isn't widespread misconduct, some examples might warrant legal action.

For more on this story, click here
The last of the unruly British tourists has absconded while on bail, and is wanted by police.

The 26-year-old man has name suppression while he face charges of fraud and assault with a weapon.

He was due to appear today in the Auckland District Court to amend his bail address after being released from custody last Friday.

However, the man failed to appear this morning and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

As part of his bail he was required to present himself at the Auckland central police station every day, not apply for any travel documents, not contact two other alleged offenders, and not engage in any work.

The assault and driving charges stemmed from an incident at Takapuna Beach earlier this month.

A woman alleges a car veered towards her and the British driver tried to take her cellphone while she tried to take a picture of the car's licence plate.

For more on this story, click here
The Ministry of Health is investigating a sugar tax, even though the Government says they won't bring one in this term.

The Ministry has put together a document of potential interventions to help tackle obesity.

Among the ideas are taxes or levies for sugar-sweetened beverages.

It also puts forward ideas to reduce portion sizes from food manufacturers, restrict access to processed foods around schools and workplaces, look into advertising practices, and possible mandatory health ratings.

For more on this story, click here
Timely then, that a global commission led by a prominent Kiwi health researcher wants leaders to take a hard line against "Big Food", in order to tackle obesity.

A just published report from the Lancet Commission on Obesity, co-chaired by the University of Auckland's Professor Boyd Swinburn, linked Big Food to obesity, as well as undernutrition, and climate change

Malnutrition in all its forms, including undernutrition and obesity, is by far the biggest cause of ill-health and premature death globally.

The commission found that policy responses have been unacceptably slow due to reluctance of policy makers to implement effective policies .. powerful opposition by vested commercial interests ... and a lack of demand for change from the public.

The commission wants a new global framework to restrict the influence of the food industry, similar to what is already used for tobacco control, and tackling climate change.

For more on this story, click here
Thousands of resident doctors walked off the job today, for the second time this month.

Junior doctors around the country are striking for 48 hours, starting from 8am this morning - in an ongoing fight for safer hours.

For more on this story, click here
The failed Fyre festival could lead to changes for social media influencers here in New Zealand.

The luxury music festival that never was is the subject of new documentaries on Netflix and Hulu, and has been followed by a crackdown on social media influencers by authorities in the US and the UK.

Now a warning that Instagram and Twitter stars in New Zealand also need to watch their step - and that fines of up to $200,000 could be in the offing if they don't.

The issue comes down to whether influencers disclose that they were paid to post about a product, either with cash or freebies.

Previously it was thought the worst that could happen was a telling-off from the Advertising Standards Authority.

However, Matthews Law principal Andy Matthews says it could be misleading by omission under the Fair Trading Act, which comes with a $200,000 fine per offence.

Lawyer Elsie Stone points out that international regulators are stepping up their policing, and the Commerce Commission will be taking note.

A spokeswoman for the commission says they have issued guidelines for online reviews and social media influencers.

She says online retail is one of the key priority areas for them this financial year.

For more on this story, click here

That's the Front Page for today, Tuesday January 29, 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.