Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today it's the euthanasia debate ramping up around the country, the Prime Minister is in China to try to defrost the relationship, big changes to employment law from today, and it's April Fools - did you get caught out? . Hosted by Frances Cook.

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

A series of public debates start tonight to discuss moves to legalise euthanasia, as new figures show a huge majority of people are against the idea.

More than 90 per cent of Kiwis who made submissions on the euthanasia bill said no to assisted dying.


The Care Alliance analysed virtually all of the more than 38,000 submissions made to Parliament's justice select committee on Act leader David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill.

It found that 90.2 per cent opposed the bill, 8.1 per cent were in favour and 1.7 per cent were neutral or unclear.

Importantly, most submissions were unique, and not form or postcard submissions. Twelve per cent were longer than a page, and 90.5 per cent did not use religious arguments.

The Care Alliance's members include the Catholic bishops' bioethics centre, the Salvation Army, Lutherans for Life, Hospice NZ and the Christian Medical Fellowship.

But backers of the controversial bill say scientific surveys are a better guide on public opinion and have consistently found majority support for euthanasia or assisted dying.

ACT leader David Seymour says the public submissions don't reflect public opinion in the way a scientific survey does.

He says nobody would take an opinion survey seriously if the respondents were self-selected.

"What we have here is fewer than 1 per cent of New Zealanders who have made submissions. The overwhelming majority of them are less than a paragraph and they have done it in response to concerted campaigns by certain organisations."


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The Prime Minister has flown over 10,000km to Beijing for lunch with the Chinese premier and a meeting with the President.

The trip was cut down from three days, to one, after the Christchurch mosque attacks on March 15.

So what's on the agenda?

Soothing ruffled feathers will be important, after New Zealand's decision to join other nations late last year in accusing Chinese government agencies of coordinated cyber attacks.

There was also the decision by the Government Communications Security Bureau, or GCSB, not to allow equipment from Chinese telecommunications provider Huawei to be included in the country's 5G internet infrastructure.

The Prime Minister says she'll set the record straight on that one.

Ardern says she'll make clear the decision to block Huawei's involvement in Spark's 5G network was dictated by our legislation - not by Five Eyes partners.

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There's one thing people have been hoping for, however, that's looking unlikely.

The Prime Minister appears to be dampening expectations that she'll use her China visit to voice louder opposition to its detention of Uighur Muslims.

"I've raised the issue of the Uighur before and I expect I will do so again," she said. " My expectation is that we will be consistent."

Human Rights Watch has written an open letter, saying that her response to the Christchurch attacks was "extraordinary".

It asked her to press China further on the sustained assault against Uighur Muslims.

They say the Chinese Government promotes views that associate Islam with violence, terrorism and extremism.

The Human Rights Watch letter comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo renewed a call for China to end the detention of - quote - "hundreds of thousands" of Uighurs, calling it "abhorrent."

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A range of law changes are coming into force today.

This includes a 15 percent R&D tax credit, increasing the minimum wage to $17.70 an hour, and increasing rates of Superannuation and Veterans Pension by 2.6 per cent.

There's also greater support for domestic violence victims, with the right to 10 days' domestic violence leave, and flexible working conditions.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says this suite of changes shows the Government is delivering on its plan to grow the economy, and share the benefits of prosperity fairly.

He's confident the minimum wage boost won't hurt small businesses.

Critics say it will result in job losses.

But Robertson says that claim is made every time there's an increase - and it doesn't happen.

Research from the Restaurant Association shows just 40 per cent of hospitality employers believe they are able to absorb costs when minimum wage levels increase, and 69 per cent of employers intend to increase prices on their menu to offset rising labour costs.

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The changes to how victims of domestic violence are treated has sparked a warning that employers need to tread with care.

From today those dealing with domestic violent will be entitled to 10 days leave, and up to two months of varied work arrangements including hours and duties.

Employers and manufacturers association chief executive Brett O'Reilly says it can be a minefield working out how each business should tackle this.

Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive John Milford says employers need to understand it's about more than just money.

Green MP Jan Logie is behind the new legislation change.

She says if we want to stop people being trapped in the cycle of domestic violence, we have to put in employment changes.

Logie admits businesses may have slightly higher costs and need to devote resources to how they will deal with it.

But she says overall, it will be better for businesses. She says Australian unions have bargained for a similar change, and found it meant they kept good staff, and that staff were more productive.

Logie says employers who need help should go to business.govt.nz, or call the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, to access free advice and toolkits.

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It's April first today, and of course some companies just can't resist.

There was a "breaking news" announcement by the All Blacks on its Facebook page that Aquaman's, Jason Momoa, and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson would star in its new squad.

Countdown announced a new Onion dip flavoured ice cream developed by its "flavour experts", including "a delicious mix of creamy vanilla ice cream, reduced cream and caramelised onion chunks".

The Chiefs announced their chief executive Michael Collins as an injury replacement.

In Napier, the city council announced all dogs would have to wear canine nappies in public places from July 1.

The nappies, based on a Parisian design, are branded with the Napier City Council logo. Owners must use the Council-branded nappies, as these are the only canine nappies that are fully biodegradable. Nappies will be available for purchase from Napier supermarkets from early June. They are likely to cost around $2.50 each and will come in packs of 10," the council said.

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That's the Front Page for today, Monday, April 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 Spotify 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.