Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today, a new round of KiwiBuild homes are announced, David Bain says he's shocked to the core on learning about his groomsman's second murder, a2 Milk's profits soar, and why Shane Jones has refused to be on Air NZ's future safety video. Hosted by Juliette Sivertsen.

The Government's announced a new builder for KiwiBuild and another 100 homes in West Auckland and Christchurch.

Home builder and developer Mike Greer has been given the contract to build 104 homes, including the first in Canterbury, which are also the cheapest KiwiBuilds announced so far.

That will include 11 two-bedroom standalone homes in Kaiapoi, for $360,000 each.


Other homes will be built in Huapai, Whenuapai, Pukekohe, Kaiapoi, Rolleston, Pegasus, Woodend, Rangiora, Halswell, Marshland and Spreydon.

They'll be completed between now and mid-2020 and will be a mix of two and three-bedroom, standalone and terraced homes, ranging from $360,000 to $650,000.

Mike Greer announced the project with Housing Minister Phil Twyford in West Auckland's Huapai, this morning.

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First home buyers are increasingly buying more of the houses that are up for sale, but are often paying a small fortune to do so.

Twenty-three per cent of all homes sold in New Zealand last year went to a first-time buyer - a level not seen since the Global Financial Crisis in 2007, according to a new report by analysts CoreLogic.

In Auckland, 25 per cent of all homes were snapped up by first-time buyers.

Auckland buyers had to fork out an average price $856,467 for their homes, which is only 18 per cent less than the city-wide average house value at January of $1.045million.

And those in Queenstown had to dig even deeper.


They paid an average of almost $87,000 more than their Auckland counterparts.

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Speculation about the Government's decision to block Huawei from Spark's 5G network, has prompted some clarification from our spy agency.

GCSB director-general Andrew Hampton has appeared before the intelligence and security select committee.

He says there was no pressure from our Five Eyes intelligence partners over its decision to block Huawei's involvement in the network.

He says it's completely false to suggest any decision was at the behest of the US.

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David Bain was "shocked to the core" to hear his groomsman had committed a second murder.

Paul Wilson, 55, also known as Paul Tainui, has pleaded guilty to raping and murdering Christchurch 27-year-old Nicole Tuxford in Merivale last year.

He raped and murdered 21-year-old West Coast woman, Kimberly Schroder, in 1994.

Wilson met Bain in jail and was groomsman at Bain's 2014 wedding.

Joe Karam, long-time advocate for Bain, says Bain is distressed Wilson inflicted such terrible disaster on the victim and her family.

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A bloody death in Dunedin this week has now been declared a homicide.

Dunedin police are appealing for vehicle sightings after a body was discovered in a rural area north of the city around 8pm on Monday.

Officers and forensic experts continued to examine the crime scene, described by neighbours who had been inside before police arrived as blood drenched and with drag marks on the floor, at a home in Lock St, St Clair today.

Police confirmed for the first time today they are treating the investigation as a homicide.

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The fruit fly discovered in Otara is the first of its species found in New Zealand.

A single Tongan facialis fruit fly was found in the Auckland suburb on Monday, just days after a Queensland fruit fly was found in Devonport.

However it's thought this fruit fly poses less of a threat than its Queensland counterpart, and is unlikely to survive in colder temperatures.

Biosecurity spokeswoman Catherine Duthie says facialis flies have been intercepted at airports in the past, but never caught in a trap until now.

Biosecurity staff are placing more traps in Otara and visiting people in the area of the find.

So far, growers are happy with the management of the fruit fly breach.

Fruit Fly Council chairman Stu Hutchings says he'd be more worried if it was two flies of the same species.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
Troubled Fletcher Building has returned a profit in its interim results.

The company's announced a $89 million profit for the second half to December, compared with a loss of $237m in the first half of 2018.

Last year's loss in EBIT before significant items was $322m, and now has turned around to a profit of $285m.

It's told shareholders they will get a dividend of 8 cents a share to be paid out in early April.

Fletcher Building chief executive Ross Taylor says it's good to see the New Zealand market remaining solid.

Just on $54.9m is being withheld from Fletcher Construction for being late finishing two Auckland projects: the New Zealand International Convention centre and the 39-level waterfront Commercial Bay tower.

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Other financial results out today include a2 Milk.

It's recorded a 55 per cent lift in its net profit to a record $152.7m in the six months to December, taking the company's market value to $10.24 billion.

a2 Milk said its profit leap was driven by continued strong sales growth in all key product segments - infant formula, liquid milk and milk powders.

Sales of infant formula totalled $495.5m for the half - an increase of 45.3 per cent on the prior year, driven by share gains in China and Australia.

The company also saw growth in its liquid milk business of 20.2 per cent to $83.4m, particularly in its key markets of Australia and the United States.

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Spark's new sporting app is launching next month.

The app will offer viewing access to motorsport, rugby, men's and women's hockey, football and basketball.

It'll come at a cost of $20 per month.

But, there's a single glaring exception.

Spark Sport head Jeff Latch says the Rugby World Cup will be an add-on.

But he says he's confident the new app will be a success.

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After enjoying a string of price reductions over the last year, Sky subscribers are set for a price hike on April 1.

Outgoing chief executive John Fellet told the Herald the company had held prices for the last three years but that it had now made the tough decision to lift prices.

Fellet said subscribers should expect an increase of an average of 1.9 per cent, which he noted was well below the consumer price index over the last three years.

While Sky retains over 750,000 customers, it did shed a further 28,000 in the latest rundown.

And company's interim report today projected that it would lose a further 98,000 through to 2023.

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If you're on Facebook you might have noticed some of your friends adding frames to their profile pictures - for Gumboot Up NZ.

After naming mental health advocate Mike King the Kiwibank 2019 New Zealander of the Year, the bank has started a Facebook campaign to raise money for his charity, I Am Hope.

The charity aims to help young Kiwis get free counselling.

The bank came up with the idea of donating a dollar to the "Gumboot Up NZ Fund" for every Kiwi who added a frame it designed around their Facebook profile picture.

They had hoped to reach 20,000 people, but have now surpassed 21,000.

And that means they've now had to put a limit on how much they'll donate to charity.

Kiwibank's Brand Manager Kim Waghorn says they are now committing up to $50,000 towards the cause.

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Shane Jones won't be taking up the offer of a starring role in an Air New Zealand safety video.

The Regional Economic Development Minister was vocal in his criticism of the airline's cringeworthy rap video that has now been pulled.

At an event at Parliament last night, CEO Christopher Luxon said they're reviving their first video for its 10-year anniversary - the one with the flight crew fully naked, but wearing body paint.

He jokingly asked whether Jones would be interested, but it seems he's not.

"I have started to resume my athletic duties in the gymnasium, but I would say until I lose 15kg, I wouldn't dare expose what my wife, from time-to-time sees, in public."

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That's the Front Page for today, Wednesday, February 20, 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.