Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today, the Prime Minister responds to the comments from the Chinese ambassador to NZ, National ramps up pre-emptive attacks on a capital gains tax, a miniature horse has died after being stabbed 41 times, and the best places to view tonight's supermoon. Hosted by Juliette Sivertsen.

An acknowledgement from the Prime Minister today that there are issues with China.

The Chinese ambassador to New Zealand Madam Wu XI said in Wellington last night both countries needed to build a more resilient relationship and handle differences properly to avoid the rocks.

Madam Wu Xi alluded to news headlines about strained relations while speaking at a reception hosted by the New Zealand–China Council at Te Papa.


She says as our two countries differ in history, culture and social systems, it's only natural for us to have differences.

Jacinda Ardern says the relationship's healthy, while recognising differences.

She also revealed Trade Minister David Parker will be heading to China in April.

For more on this story, click here

But National says it will take more than a Trade Minister's visit to get our relationship with China back on track.

Trade spokesman Todd McClay says he hopes this will be a chance to smooth things over with China.

But he says a number of events in the past 16 months have put pressure on our relationship.

Last week on the Herald's Economy Hub, business editor at large Liam Dann spoke to Beijing-based businessman David Mahon, who said the relationship between the two countries has changed significantly.


Mahon says New Zealand is being seen as an American surrogate and we can't take sides.

For more on this story, click here

At last night's reception, neither the Chinese ambassador nor Ardern raised issues that have strained relations most, a preliminary decision in late November by New Zealand's foreign intelligence agency the GCSB to ban Huawei from Spark's 5G plans.

Today, Ardern says the GCSB will make its own decision on Huawei.

UK intelligence agencies have cleared the Chinese electronics company to provide equipment for Britain's 5G networks.

They've rejected US warnings about Huawei's alleged connection with Chinese spies.


Ardern says the GCSB will make its own decision, based on the situation here, not in the UK.

For more on this story, click here
Simon Bridges is celebrating the result of the second bad poll in a row for the National Party.

This as Labour appears to be entrenching its growing support.
A One News Colmar Brunton poll has Labour up two points to 45 - while National's dipped four points to 42.

It follows last week's Newshub Reid Research poll which saw Labour on 47.5 and National on 41.6.

In the preferred prime minister stakes, Simon Bridges and Judith Collins are nose to nose, both on 6 per cent.

But Collins says she isn't reading anything into it.


For more on this story, click here

The National Leader believes the polls are set to flip on their heads when the Taxation Working Group releases its report on Thursday. Simon Bridges says the group will advocate a capital gains tax.

He says that'll be a disaster, not just for people who've saved for a rainy day, but for Labour, too.

Bridges says such a tax would come at the detriment to middle New Zealand.

For more on this story click here
New Zealand's Miniature Horse Association is hoping the perpetrator of a vicious horse attack is brought to justice.

A miniature horse has died after being stabbed 41 times in its home paddock in the seaside community of Waitati, near Dunedin.


A vet operated for five hours on Star, but the 10-year-old miniature died from complications of the knife wounds.

One of the wounds had punctured his bowel.

New Zealand Miniature Horse Association president, Aaron Harrison, says it's disappointing someone would stoop to such behaviour.

Otago Equine Hospital veterinarian Peter Gillespie believes more than one assailant was responsible.

He says he's never seen anything like it in his career of nearly 40 years, saying this is the worst and most distressing thing he's ever seen.

For more on this story, click here
Malcolm Rewa has taken to the stand to testify in his own defence at his third murder trial.


The 65-year-old has been convicted of rapes, including Susan Burdett's but two juries in 1998 were unable to decide whether he was also responsible for her death.

Today was the seventh day of the retrial at the High Court at Auckland.

When his lawyer Paul Chambers asked him about his rape convictions, Rewa said he felt terrible shame and couldn't imagine any of his victims forgiving him.

He said he understood the hurt that he put on these women and that he had also struggled to forgive himself.

Chambers then asked if he raped and killed Susan Burdett.

Rewa says he didn't and he would admit it if he was guilty.


For more on this story, click here
Controversial online ticket website Viagogo can keep operating here - for now.

The High Court has knocked back a Commerce Commission bid to stop Viagogo making claims it says are misleading about ticket scarcity, pricing and a guarantee of validity, until a court case is held over its sale practices.

A judge has ruled the court does not have jurisdiction to consider an interim injunction against the company, because the commission hasn't formally served its case on Viagogo in Switzerland.

That will take about six months.

The Switzerland-based company has faced hundreds of complaints from Kiwis.

For more on this story, click here


And Viagogo's labelling the High Court decision "a significant legal victory."

A Viagogo spokesperson says it's pleased by the Court's ruling to deny the Commission's application for relief.

It says for over a decade, millions of customers have been successfully using Viagogo and it remains committed to providing a secure ticket platform in New Zealand and all over the world.

For more on this story, click here
Media company NZME has reported a net profit of $11.6 million dollars and says it will launch an online paywall in the second quarter of this year.

The company, which owns amongst others Newstalk ZB, the Herald and OneRoof, says its profit reflects a modest decline in revenue, and investment in growth businesses.

The company has not yet released full details of its paywall, including how much it will charge.


However, it has confirmed it will adopt the "freemium" model.

That's where day-to-day news and current affairs is provided free of charge while in-depth analysis and opinion is behind the paywall.

Chief executive Michael Boggs says audiences can start to see signs of the new paid subscription brand in the coming days.

For more on this story, click here
Auckland's $1b office tower has hit further snags.

Costs have risen and Fletcher Construction payments are being withheld at Precinct Properties' Commercial Bay office tower on Auckland's waterfront.

Precinct announced today that the Commercial Bay project costs have risen from $685m to $690m.


It also said the Christmas and New Year holiday period delays had seen a one month slippage in the construction programme, and $15.4m has been withheld from the builder, for late delivery.

The tower's offices were originally scheduled to open this July but won't now be finished until December.

Precinct chief executive Scott Pritchard has not ruled out further Commercial Bay delays but defended the extra costs.

He says the extra $5m of total project costs were opportunities to drive extra value, and were minor scope changes.

For more on this story, click here
Hopes a Canterbury mental health and wellbeing campaign will be able to keep going.

A new study from Canterbury University has found the "All Right?" campaign launched after the region's earthquakes, helped improve people's lives post-disaster.


It was created in 2013 to support people's mental health and wellbeing following the devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

Research on the impact of the campaign's social media activity was recently published in the journal Health Promotion International.

Campaign manager, Sue Turner, says their funding finishes in June and they're currently negotiating to extend that.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
Stargazers are being treated to a bumper season of so-called "supermoons" with the next spectacle due overhead tonight.

And contrary to popular belief, this super-sized full moon won't leave you temporarily crazed, nor should it mean you get a messy sleep tonight.

A supermoon is a full moon or a new moon that nearly coincides with what's called perigee - which is the closest the moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit - which results in a slightly larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as viewed from Earth.


Stardome astronomer Grant Christie says the Moon would appear at least 10 per cent larger than normal to the naked eye.

MetService meteorologist Tui McInnes says those on the east coasts of the upper South Island and the North Island were set to have the clearest skies at moonrise.

There are plenty of myths about full moons making people a go a bit mad.

But apparently there's next to no scientific evidence to suggest a bigger, brighter Moon can affect our mood, emotions or sleep.

Massey University sleep researcher Dr Karyn O'Keeffe says some believe that a full moon is responsible for their shorter or more disturbed sleep, as well as events such as sleepwalking.

But she says these accounts might be examples of chance, and self-fulfilling prophecies among those who believe in such a correlation.


For more on this story, click here

That's the Front Page for today, Tuesday, February 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.