Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today it's a worldwide backlash against social media companies, torrential rain causes problems in the South Island, apologies and compensation after female inmates inappropriately searched, and a classic New Zealand album gets the recognition it deserves. Hosted by Frances Cook.

You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple podcasts here, iHeartRadio here, and Stitcher here.

Political and business leaders worldwide are turning against social media giants, in the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks.

Representatives from Facebook, YouTube-owner Google and Twitter are meeting with the Australian Prime Minister this afternoon, where it's expected they will be threatened with new restrictions and "significant" penalties.


Ahead of the meeting, Scott Morrison said we need to prevent social media platforms being "weaponised".

He says if the companies don't show they're willing to make immediate changes to stop their platforms being used for material like the Christchurch shootings, the Australian government "will take action".

Proposed laws across the Tasman would make it a criminal offence to fail to remove the offending footage as soon as possible after it was reported.

More details are expected soon, although it's not clear if Australia or New Zealand will follow the lead of Germany, which designated social media platforms as publishers and threatened them with fines of up to €50 million ($80m) if they failed to act on hate speech.

Morrison has already said he wants to put a multi-country social media crackdown on the agenda for June's G20 meeting.

Here, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she wants to meet with executives from Facebook, and she wants social media companies to do more - but details of the meeting or an action plan are still pending.

Our Attorney-General David Parker raised social-media problems at a Five Eyes meeting last August - but yesterday refused to answer questions about it.

So could social media be regulated in New Zealand?


A media expert is suggesting we need an independent public regulator, like the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Better Public Media Trust chair, Peter Thompson, says an independent regulator could develop a social media code of practice.

He says it could also have the power to impose fines and take down content if needed.

Thompson says it could oversee and if necessary, change, the social media algorithms used for online content.

For more on this story, click here
Meanwhile New Zealand's biggest advertisers are stepping up their boycott of Facebook advertising, writing a joint letter calling on the international advertising community to join the action.

In an open letter sent to the Herald, the Association of New Zealand Advertisers (ANZA) chief executive Lindsay Mouat and the Commercial Communications Council chief executive Paul Head call for immediate changes or the complete suspension of the live-streaming platform.

If these changes are not made, the executives want international advertisers to suspend the use of the platform altogether until Facebook ensures the spread of such harmful content can never happen again.

For more on this story, click here
Legal action against the tech giants has already started in Europe.

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) says it is suing Facebook and YouTube for allowing the Christchurch gunman to livestream the mosque killings.

They're suing on the grounds the video encouraged terrorism, and harmed the dignity of human beings.

In France, broadcasting messages with violent content abetting terrorism can be punished by three years' imprisonment and a €75,000 fine ($122,800).

Facebook has responded, saying it quickly removed the live video that showed the killing of 50 people on March 15.

For more on this story, click here
It seems the Prime Minister and the Minister of Police are in favour of a nationwide gun register – something the Government may be considering in the next tranche of gun law reforms.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Breakfast this morning threw her weight behind a mandatory gun registry, following the terror attack in Christchurch where the gunman used a semi-automatic weapon.

She says on the face of it, it makes sense, although she's leaning heavily on the police for advice.

Speaking to reporters at post-Cabinet press conference yesterday, Ardern revealed that Police had recommended extra work be done around issues of licensing and the question of a gun register.

She said the Police would be looking at how such a register had worked overseas and if it had made a long-term difference.

At the moment, it is unknown how many firearms there are in New Zealand but it is estimated to range between 1.2 million and 1.5 million.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said on Q&A last night he was also in favour of such a register.

For more on this story, click here
Torrential rain for parts of New Zealand has led to slips, with roads and schools closed.

The Westland District Mayor Bruce Smith has "great concerns" of flooding as rivers are reaching the same level as during the April 2016 floods that caused $30 million damage.

Torrential downpours on the West Coast have already led to slips and road and school closures, with some sites copping nearly half a metre of rain since Sunday.

A strong and moist northwest flow is behind the "exceptional" amount of rain, especially around Milford Sound and Westland, ahead of an active front over the Tasman Sea.

Mayor Bruce Smith says on the south of the Waiho there are significant dairy farms, the airport and a lot of tourism activities, so if the banks burst they'll have to go into evacuation mode.

If things do go bad this evening, we'll keep the updates coming on nzherald.co.nz or on air at Newstalk ZB.

For more on this story, click here
Improper, invasive internal searches were carried out on at least 15 female inmates at Auckland Women's Prison, leading to apologies from the Department of Corrections and $375,000 in compensation.

The actual number could be as high as 34 inmates, with Corrections offering a freephone number in case the number of those subjected to apparently unlawful searches was higher.

Corrections National Commissioner Rachel Leota said today an investigation revealed the internal searching was systemic at the prison and went on for over 10 years in a breach of policy.

She says she deeply regrets it was ever able to occur, and over such a long period of time.

So far, 18 women have been contacted, of whom 15 have been paid compensation, received an apology and been offered counselling. Of the 18, two women said they had not been subject to a search. Discussions with another woman over compensation is under way.

Leota says the prisoners were searched because they were believed to be carrying contraband internally.

For more on this story, click here
Serial rapist Malcolm Rewa has been sentenced to life imprisonment for one of New Zealand's most infamous killings - the 1992 murder of Susan Burdett.

The case - which has spanned 27 years, five trials and saw innocent man Teina Pora locked away for two decades - eventually saw Rewa unanimously found guilty at his third trial last month.

Today, the 66-year-old was sentenced by Justice Geoffrey Venning in the High Court at Auckland.

After the judge ensured Rewa will never be set free, members of the public gallery began clapping.

Justice Venning says Rewa remains a manipulative and controlling person who is a danger to the community.

He says the evidence against Rewa was overwhelming, but he's never shown any remorse.

Rewa is appealing the verdict.

For more on this story, click here
Alarming figures show every month dozens of cancer sufferers around the country are waiting more than two months to start potentially life-saving treatment.

Counties Manukau DHB has one of the worst track records in New Zealand with some patients waiting up to 12 weeks for urgent cancer treatment.

Records show the DHB has been slipping well below the Government's "faster cancer treatment" target since August last year.

The national target expects 90 per cent of patients with a high suspicion of cancer at each DHB to be receiving their first bout of cancer treatment within 62 days.

An oncologist told the Herald the length of time patients are having to wait is a serious concern and reinforces the need for a national standardised system.

The Cancer Society's Dr Chris Jackson says the current approach to cancer care in New Zealand isn't working.

He says to improve treatment times, New Zealand needs to adopt a top-down approach.

Counties Manukau DHB spokesperson Brad Healey says there were three main reasons for the wait times, including workforce shortages, lack of resources and the administration process.

For more on this story, click here
New Zealand's environment watchdog says the Government should crack down harder on carbon dioxide than methane and other biological emissions from farms.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton has released a report recommending separate trading systems for fossil and biological emissions to help tackle climate change.

The report marks a departure from widespread calls to drag agriculture into an expanded "all gases, all sectors" version of the current Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Biological emissions from farms – including nitrous oxide, and methane belched from livestock – make up about half of New Zealand's total greenhouse gas emissions.

But Upton denies that his alternative approach would be letting farmers off the hook.

He says while biological emissions would need to be reduced, that would not be to zero because of their shorter lifetime in the atmosphere.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says it's a thought-provoking document.

But he's rejecting the recommendation to make the fundamental shift to focus on those who burn fossil fuels, as opposed to farmers producing methane emissions.

Shaw says he knows farmers will welcome the recommendations, but others such as the forestry industry will have a different opinion.

Shaw says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report shows there is a narrowing window of opportunity to stay within 1.5C of global warming.

Because the window is so narrow, he says planting trees to offset emissions is a necessity; at least in the coming decades.

For more on this story, click here
The cultural fusion of Moana and the Moa Hunter's debut album Tahi has won the Independent Music NZ (IMNZ) Classic Record award.

The award aims to acknowledge local albums which have had lasting impact and that continue to inspire.

Tahi came out in 1993 and was hailed for its blend of traditional Māori instrumentation and vocals with hip-hop and soul grooves.

It hit the Top 20, peaking at 16.

But it was the song Black Pearl off the album that was the band's biggest hit, rocketing to No. 2 in the charts and earning the group its first Gold record.

Moana Maniapoto will accept the award at the Taite Music Prize 2019 ceremony next month in Auckland.

For more on this story, click here

That's the Front Page for today, Tuesday, March 26, 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.