Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today, evacuations take place in Tasman as a new wildfire ignites, police fear further targeted gun violence, the whānau of the three men killed in a horror accident near Whakatāne prepare the tangi, and Hugh Jackman makes a surprise visit in Auckland. Hosted by Juliette Sivertsen.

A new fire has erupted in Tasman, on the same day the region has lifted its state of emergency.

The blaze near Moutere Highway - just east of Redwood Valley - doubled in size within an hour, to 6 to 7ha.

Police were assisting with the evacuation of houses on the Redwood Valley side of the highway.

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People on property between Old Coach Rd and Maisey Rd have been told to leave immediately.

Police are following up with evacuation patrols.

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This morning, mayor Richard Kempthorne confirmed a decision had been made to allow the state of emergency to expire.

He said there had been a huge effort from all agencies involved, to ensure the threat to people, animals and property is alleviated.

Civil Defence controller Roger Ball said he was confident that the situation had been contained and was under control based on the efforts of Fire and Emergency NZ personnel.

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Grave concerns for the safety of police after a man deliberately shot at officers yesterday.

The gunman remains in Christchurch Hospital in a serious, but stable, condition.

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Police say the man fired at officers in Richmond, after his car hit road spikes during a pursuit about 7.30 last night.

Superintendent John Price told media this afternoon that the shooting was still being investigated.

He says the man was wanted after firing at two police cars during an early morning pursuit on Saturday.

Police Association President Chris Cahill says tensions are coming to a head, and there are more firearms cases than ever.

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The families of the trio killed in an horrific crash near Whakatāne yesterday are in utter disbelief.

Four trucks were involved in the crash on State Highway 2 at Pikowai, near Matata, yesterday afternoon.

The three people who died in the crash and two others who were injured were all working for contracting firm Higgins.

The men who were killed were Haki Hiha, David Eparaima and Soul Raroa.

And now, their whānau are preparing to bury their loved ones, all in utter disbelief the men's lives have been cut short.

Eparaima and Hiha were relatives from the same pā at Whakarewarewa.

Their Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao families are today preparing Te Pakira Marae for the tangi of both men.

Known among his friends as "Soul Man", Raroa will have his tangi at his Western Heights home he shared with his long-time partner of more than 30 years.

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A slap in the face from the Labour Party for Auckland independent mayoral candidate John Tamihere.

Labour's revoked Tamihere's long standing membership - it seems because he asked the party whether it was again endorsing Phil Goff.

Goff hasn't declared he'll be running yet - and the last time he ran as an independent.

The former Cabinet Minister says not renewing his membership's upsetting.

Tamihere says he is considering a legal challenge to the decision because he had been given no just cause for it.

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The Government has announced a $1.27 million funding package for gifted children.

The funding will be used in part for "one-day schools", where gifted learners get together one day a week for classes aimed at challenging them.

The restoration of funding for gifted children's education was agreed in the coalition deal between Labour and New Zealand First.

Associate Education Minister and New Zealand First MP Tracey Martin made the announcement at MindPlus East, a one-day school for gifted learners hosted at Riverina School in Pakuranga, Auckland.

The package also includes expanded online learning modules, new awards for school-aged learners, a programme of events, experiences and opportunities for gifted learners and better guidance for teachers.

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New Zealand universities have tumbled out of the top ranks in the latest world rankings by subject.

London based consultancy QS has downgraded 74 of the 166 New Zealand university departments it ranks.

Auckland University has dropped out of the top 20 in all subjects for the first time, with falls in archaeology and education.

And Otago University's sports department is now the only New Zealand university department in the top 20 in its field.

New Zealand's overall subject-based ranking has slipped from 14th to 18th place.

QS research director Ben Sowter said NZ universities slipped behind on "employability" - a ranking based on a survey of 42,000 employers worldwide on how they regard graduates from each university department.

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Contractors left out of pocket by Mainzeal's demise are still expecting to see nothing from the company.

The construction company collapsed in 2013, leaving creditors millions in debt.

The board of directors, including former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley, have been ordered by the High Court to pay $36 million for letting it run for so long.

Hutt Gas and Plumbing lost $320,000 after Mainzeal's 2013 collapse and had to lay off three staff.

General manager Colleen Upton says she's expecting the directors will appeal.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
New Zealand's recorded its highest January deficit on record, more than double what was expected.

The January trade deficit was a seasonally adjusted $791 million, as exports fell nearly eight percent on the year to $4.65 billion.

Imports lifted 0.4 per cent to $5.44b.

Statistics NZ said the increase in imports was spread across a range of commodities, with petroleum and products leading the rise, up 13 per cent on the year.

The lift in exports, meanwhile, was led by milk powder, butter, and cheese – up $167m to $1.5b.

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Hugh Jackman's bringing his global singing tour to New Zealand.

And he's made a surprise visit at AUT in Auckland today - where he announced his tour, singing one of his hit songs from The Greatest Showman, alongside a student choir.

The star announced he will be performing songs from musicals across his career, in two shows at Auckland's Spark Arena in September.

Earlier, Jackman posted a video of himself on Auckland's Federal St saying, "Good morning, super super excited to be here in Auckland, New Zealand. Getting ready to announce a tour."

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That's the Front Page for today, Wednesday 27 February, 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.