Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today it's a request for trust in our relationship with China, new gun laws take their first big step towards becoming reality, and a spate of deaths on the roads sparks a conversation on what we need to do differently. Hosted by Frances Cook.

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

Jacinda Ardern has finished her whirlwind visit to Beijing with a clear message from the Chinese President: our two countries must trust each other.

In his opening remarks to Jacinda Ardern, Xi Jinping spoke about taking an already very good relationship to new heights but also said there also needed to be trust.


"During the past 47 years of diplomatic ties, China - New Zealand relations have made historic strides and have become one of the closest between China and western developed countries," Xi said.

"Now [the] bilateral relationship faces new opportunities of development, our two sides must trust each other, pursue mutual benefit and strive to open up new grounds in our bilateral relations."

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Ardern said she didn't take Xi's comments about trust in any pointed way.

She says the differences between the two countries shouldn't - and won't - define the relationship.

On the issue of Huawei being stopped from taking part in our 5G upgrade by the GCSB, Ardern says she raised it proactively with Xi.

She says she outlined the clear process in New Zealand's legislation which dictated how such decisions were made and she set out where the process was at.

Ardern also raised the issues of human rights, reference to the mass detention of Uighur Muslims.

Negotiations on an upgraded free trade agreement were then discussed.


The Prime Minister says the language used was around hastening the work, and speeding up negotiations.

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The Huawei issue may have been talked about, but it's still hanging in the air as an unresolved problem.

Huawei is now stepping up to the plate, saying it would be willing to have its staff banned from Spark's 5G mobile network, or have only a small number of GSCB-vetted engineers tend to it, if that's what it takes to regain the GCSB's favour.

Huawei's NZ deputy chief executive Andrew Bowater told the Herald a UK government report released over the weekend focused on poorly-written software, which was uncomfortable.

He maintains you'll find "clunky code" somewhere in any company's product if you put it under that sort of microscopic security.

He says the key thing was that the UK watchdog did not find any "backdoors" or other malicious spook code.

Bowater would like to see a public and collaborative process similar to the UK-based Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre, which produced the report that created so much buzz over the weekend.

He says it's embarrassing to get some of his company's dirty laundry aired in public, but his company is willing to undergo that degree of public scrutiny - and the issues identified by the Evaluation Centre are all engineering issues that can be addressed.

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Legislation to reform gun laws had its first reading in Parliament today.

A select committee will then have one week to swiftly consider the Bill and public feedback.

It will likely come into force on April 12th - four weeks after the Christchurch attack.

It comes as Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters says the Government's gun buyback programme could cost $100 million more than had previously been expected.

When announcing the changes to New Zealand's gun laws last month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the cost of the buyback scheme would be between $100 million and $200 million.

But this morning, Peters told RNZ that the full cost could be much higher than that, potentially up to $300 million.

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People with military-style semi-automatic (MSSA) weapons and assault rifles have until the end of September to hand them over to police or face five years' jail.

The Mongrel Mob said at the weekend that it would not hand over its semi-automatics.

But when asked about it, Nash pointed to the new penalty of five years' jail for possession, saying: "My advice to the gangs is, 'Hand your weapons back.'"

Nash says many gun owners are already handing them back.

Other new offences for using military-style semi-automatics or shotguns with more than five rounds include:

• Up to 10 years' jail for resisting arrest

• Up to seven years' jail for use in a public place; presenting them at another person; carrying them with criminal intent; possession while committing an offence that has a maximum penalty of three years or more

• Up to five years' jail for importing, possessing, or supplying or selling, or using a banned part to convert a firearm into an MSSA.

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The changes did have some resistance, with ACT leader David Seymour saying measures are being pushed through too quickly.

But he was so busy objecting to media about the speed of the Government's gun law reform that he missed being in the House to block the process being streamlined.

Seymour had planned to block any such attempt, which would have forced the Government to use urgency, but Seymour was not in the House when a motion for an expedited process was moved.

He was outside the House at the time, telling media that the Government was too concerned with "being seen to do the right thing on the global stage".

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Nine people were killed in three crashes on the roads yesterday.

NZ Transport Agency director of safety and environment Harry Wilson says with the Easter holiday period approaching, everyone needs to remember plan ahead, take regular breaks, and stay safe on our roads.

Five members of a family were killed in one of the crashes and police say not all passengers in that vehicle were wearing seatbelts.

Police Assistant Commissioner for Prevention & Road Policing Sandra Venables says there's only so much police can do to keep people safe.

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It's sparked a conversation about whether we need to make broader, societal changes to avoid tragedy, and whether technical changes to cars is part of that.

Intelligent Transport Systems chair David Vinsen says car manufacturers are considering ways to make sure safety is the top priority.

On NewstalkZB's Kerre McIvor Mornings, he said new technology means cars are taking on more of the driving decisions, including things like setting following distances.

Vinsen says changes are already afoot overseas, and as the cars get imported here, we'll notice changes in the next few years.

He says in the future cars will probably be electric, may be driverless or driven by someone else, and will be part of a wider range of transport options.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB.

In the short term, to get through Easter Northland police are thinking outside of the box.

Unmarked police cars combined with checkpoints and officers outside dairies and bakeries are all part of a new operation this week.

They're focusing on those not wearing seatbelts or using cellphones while driving.

However, if you're stopped at a checkpoint, and are complying with all the road rules, you'll get a treat like an Easter egg, lollipop, or pen.

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That's the Front Page for today, Tuesday, April 2, 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.