Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today, the $1.7bn stealth tax grab, CTV families appalled at appeal by building designer, shocking suicide figures for elderly men, and a Te Reo makeover for a much-loved Beethoven composition. Hosted by Juliette Sivertsen.

Wage and salary earners paid out $1.7billion in what's been called "stealth" tax last year.

According to advice to the Tax Working Group, it was after inflation increases pushed workers and their pay packets into higher tax brackets.

Officials have warned the public could see the money as having come through a stealth tax and Government may want to change it as a "value judgment".


The extra tax was scooped up after the former government left tax brackets largely unchanged during its time in office, with the highest tax bracket fixed to kick in at $70,000.

Since 2008, inflation combined with pay rises has doubled the number of workers paying the full 33 per cent tax rate on earnings over $70,000.

Those in the highest tax bracket increased in 10 years from 335,000 people to 665,000 people.

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Jacinda Ardern says she wants to turn the rhetoric about partnership with Maori, into practical change.

A year ago Jacinda Ardern told Māori to hold her to account, and today she gave iwi leaders the chance to do just that.

The Prime Minister met leaders and the Iwi Chairs Forum in the Bay of Plenty today.

The meeting is the bedrock of annual Waitangi Day commemorations and has traditionally taken place behind closed doors.

The doors were opened to media today however, to allow the public to witness the hot button issues identified by iwi chairs and how they were presented to Ardern.


The gathering began with Ardern renewing her pledge to Māori, stating her Government placed wellbeing central to its policies and this was a reflection of a Māori world view.

She says the relationships being forged get stronger every time the Government and iwi meet.

Ngāi Takoto chairman Wallace Rivers says the meeting was productive, and it's clear they're on the same page.

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There's disappointment from the families of people who died in the collapse of Christchurch's CTV building.

Alan Reay, the man whose firm designed the building, is appealing a court ruling that disciplinary proceedings against him shouldn't have been dropped.

A judicial hearing at the High Court in Wellington, which was sought by the Attorney-General, concluded that Engineering New Zealand, formerly the Institution of Professional Engineers (Ipenz), should have pursued proceedings against Reay, who resigned his membership of the institution in 2014.

Justice David Collins said Ipenz made an error of law when it decided it had no option other than to dismiss the disciplinary proceedings.

The decision means Ipenz could continue with disciplinary proceedings against Reay.

But Reay's lawyer Willie Palmer today confirmed to the Herald that he has filed an appeal against Justice Collins' judgement.

One hundred and fifteen people died when the building collapsed in the February 2011 earthquake.

Spokesman for CTV families, Professor Maan Alkaisi says they want justice.

Former building minister and Nelson MP Nick Smith says he's deeply disappointed by the appeal.

Smith has today written to Attorney-General David Parker, "with the full support of the CTV families", encouraging the Government to seek urgency on the appeal.

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Two British men have been arrested by police investigating a series of alleged roofing scams in Auckland.

The men, aged 30 and 27, were arrested last night and face fraud charges. .

One man was arrested near Marton, in the Rangitikei District, and the other was later arrested in Whanganui.

Detective Senior Sergeant Bridget Doell says the arrests are a reminder to members of the public to be cautious about suspicious approaches by people offering to do maintenance work on their homes.

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A gang of teens has been arrested and charged following a number of serious assaults in the Rodney area in Auckland.

And they may have targeted more people in the community.

Four teens aged 14-19 will appear in the North Shore District Court on Tuesday.

A fifth teen has now been arrested - a 15-year-old boy is facing a grievous assault charge.

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In one of the first cases of its kind, an Auckland honey producer is being prosecuted over allegedly adding synthetic chemicals to its mānuka products.

Evergreen Life Ltd was forced to recall 18 mānuka honey products in 2016 following suggestions it had used artificial chemicals DHA and MGO during the processing of the honey.

Now the company and its manager are being prosecuted by the Ministry for Primary Industries on 71 charges on the alleged use of the synthetic versions.

The most serious of the charges carries maximum penalties of five years' imprisonment or a $500,000 fine in the case of a body corporate.

The chemical DHA is contained naturally in the flowers of the native mānuka plant, which converts in the honey to MGO, giving the honey its highly-prized anti-bacterial properties.

The case has been remanded to February 14 at the North Shore District Court.

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An advocacy group's called out New Zealand's slow progress in increasing the number of women on company boards, saying it's embarrassing.

Figures released by the NZX show the percentage of women directors on listed company boards increased from 19.7 per cent to 22 per cent in 2018 - just four more women than in 2017.

Most of the change was at the top end of town, with the percentage of female directors on the top 50 companies increasing from 27.2 per cent to 27.3 per cent - or three more women.

Global Women says there are still 27 New Zealand listed companies with no women on their boards.

Chief executive Miranda Burdon described the situation as embarrassing for New Zealand.

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There's new data suggesting New Zealand's immigration boom wasn't as big as reported at the time.

A major revision by Stats NZ shows there are less people in New Zealand than we thought, and that has major implications for the economic outlook.

Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod say that means we'll need to build fewer houses to meet the current shortage.

Net migration peaked at 64,000 in mid-2016, not 72,500 in 2017, according to revised figures.

It is now tracking at 43,000 - about 20,000 fewer migrants a year than previously thought.

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Pharmac restrictions on a contraceptive pill come into force today.

A nationwide Levelen shortage, caused by the supplier, will affect thousands of women.

Users will still get a normal prescription, but will receive only one month's supply from the pharmacy, instead of the usual three or six months' supply.

They'll then have to return to the same pharmacy the following month.

Family Planning national medical advisor Beth Messenger says this is a very serious issue.

She suggests it could be a good opportunity to look into other longer term contraceptive options.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
New research shows elderly Kiwi men are committing suicide at high rates, but there's no targeted screening or treatment for them.

Psychiatrist Dr Gary Cheung has led a University of Auckland study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

He says the Ministry of Health needs to find a new face for a campaign aimed at encouraging pensioners to seek help for depression, similar to the John Kirwan ads.

Ministry of Health figures from 2008-2017 show that for men, suicide rates spike around ages 15-25 and then slowly decline to age 65, when they start climbing again, peaking at 32 per 100,000 in men aged 85 and over.

In women, the suicide rate peaked at 11 per 100,000 in ages 15-20.

Cheung says a "one-size-fits-all" approach to suicide prevention would not work.

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. You can also call the Depression Helpline on 0800 111 757
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One of Beethoven's most recognisable compositions in the world Ode to Joy is set to performed and sung in te reo Māori.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is to be part of a unique international project celebrating Beethoven's 250th birthday next year which will include school and youth choirs performing Ode to Joy in te reo.

The NZSO will join acclaimed orchestras in Brazil, Britain, the United States, Australia, Austria and South Africa in performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Ode to Joy segment sung in local languages of each country.

The NZSO's performances of the Ninth Symphony will also incorporate new works by New Zealand artists reflecting the cultures of New Zealand.

The orchestra's worked with leading American conductor Marin Alsop for the past 12 months to be part of the project, with the New Zealand concerts to be known as Kia Kotahi: He Toirangi Ā-Ao Kia Harikoa.

Maestro Alsop says Ode to Joy is about standing up and being counted in this world, and about believing in our power as human beings.

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That's the Front Page for today, Friday, February 1, 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.