The Front Page

The Front Page

Keeping up to date with the news just became a little easier. Available every weekday at 5am, tune in as Damien Venuto chats with the journalists and newsmakers, going behind the headlines to break down what you need to know on the biggest stories of the day.

Episodes

May 22, 2022 13 min

Our closest neighbour has a new Prime Minister. Labor leader Anthony Albanese is set to be the 31st Prime Minister of Australia, defeating Liberal Party leader Scott Morrison and ending a decade of conservative rule. 

While questions remain over the makeup of Parliament and his government, Albanese will likely need to work alongside a mob of climate-focused MPs that have shaken up the Australian political landscape.  

Today, Austra...

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On Thursday, Finance Minister Grant Robertson unveiled his fifth budget – the country’s biggest ever with a six billion dollar price tag.  

And While Budget Day lets the party in power set out their agenda for the next year – and gives the Opposition a chance to cry foul about how they’re getting it wrong – beneath all the pantomime and catchphrases is a detailed examination of the biggest issues in the country right now. 

So where...

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Could you imagine the risk of Covid-19 regional lockdowns and work from home orders still coming into effect in 2027? 

That’s one scenario envisioned by the International Science Council in their major new report examining how endemic the pandemic could become.  

And while not all the options are as pessimistic – the report does have worrying warnings. 

Today, New Zealand Herald Science Reporter Jamie Morton joins guest host Chelse...

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The Government has this week unveiled its Emissions Reduction Plan. Billions of dollars have been earmarked as part of an effort to reduce global warming and avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. 

Who are the winners and losers from this plan, and is Aotearoa on track for the future that this plan lays out? 

Today, NZ Herald Senior Political Reporter and On The Tiles podcast host Thomas Coughlan joins guest host Chelsea...

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A NZ journalist believes the Ukrainian people will never accept a settlement that sees territory handed over to Russia, as a result of the atrocities the invading forces have inflicted on the people.

Tom Mutch has been in Ukraine since before Russia invaded at the end of February, and is currently reporting out of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk Oblast near where much of the fighting is happening on the Ukraine-Russia border.

Tom spoke ...

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As the Government prepares to unveil the 2022 budget, several stories in recent weeks have drawn attention to several controversial spending decisions - from $21 million on consultants and contractors as part of its Three Waters plan, to $10,000 on two large propss as part of its Road to Zero campaign.

So is this spending justified, or is it emblematic of a Government that’s a bit too loose with the purse strings?

Today, Newstalk Z...

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In June 1993, Peter Ellis was convicted of 16 charges involving the sexual abuse of seven children. 

But, despite his death in 2019, the case has not settled, as his supporters and legal team have successfully applied to hear the case again. 
 
Now, one of the survivors has spoken out for the first time, and is sharing her version of what happened to her all those years ago.   

Today, freelance journalist Jo Malcolm joins Damien to d...

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Back in January 2012, one of the most interesting legal cases in New Zealand’s history began when police raided a Coatesville mansion belonging to a German migrant by the name of Kim Dotcom.  

A decade later, the Dotcom saga and charges related to his file hosting service MegaUpload are still going through courts, with news this week that two of his co-accused have cut a deal. Why is this case dragging on, and how much longer can i...

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The nation’s health system is failing women, often making them feel like their illness is a figment of their imagination. 

Women are sometimes suffering for years longer than they should be, and this oversight ends up costing the healthcare system millions of extra dollars.     

So how did we get to this point? And more importantly, how do we improve women’s healthcare? 

Today, NZ Herald health reporter Emma Russell joins Damien to...

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Westpac Bank last week forecast that New Zealand house prices would drop by 15 per cent over the next two years – striking the gloomiest note we’ve heard so far from any of New Zealand’s banks.

This comes after years of sharp increases, but there’s still some doubt as to whether this will be enough to help those desperate to get onto the property ladder.  

So just how broken is New Zealand’s housing market? And what does this mean ...

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An Auckland woman had Covid-19 for more than a month. Her harrowing story is one that runs the full gamut of symptoms, and possibly two variants. 

What does a case like this mean for New Zealand as our immunity wanes in the coming winter months?    

Today, NZ Herald reporter Kirsty Wynn joins Damien to discuss what we can learn from a fully vaccinated woman’s struggle against this deadly virus. 

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National Party MP Simon Bridges delivered his valedictory speech this week, drawing the curtain on a colourful political career that spanned 14 years, and more than a few scandals.

So what legacy does the former Opposition leader leave? And what does this mean for a National Party that has long struggled with diversity?   

Today, NZ Herald senior political reporter Thomas Coughlan joins Damien to talk about the tenure of this charm...

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Gangs. Patches. And 501 deportees. These issues cause fierce debate across Aotearoa. But how much of what we hear is true? And what should the police and Government be doing to address these problems? 

To help answer these questions, Damien speaks to NZ Herald investigative reporter Jared Savage, who this week reported on Operation Cobalt, the Government’s latest move to take on gangs.

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Vaping brands arrived in New Zealand under the auspices of helping Kiwis quit smoking. They've also contributed to hooking an entirely new generation on nicotine, as vape stores have became ubiquitous.

Although vaping is believed to be less damaging then smoking, it still has repercussions for health, some of which are still being discovered. 

As New Zealand moves closer to its goals of a smokefree nation, are we trading the de...

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Unemployment is forecast to hit another record low this week. It's good news for workers, but it’s also putting enormous strain on businesses desperate to fill gaps.

So what happens when we don’t have enough people to build our houses? And what does this mean for the workers desperately trying to meet deadlines without enough helping hands?

New Zealand Herald property editor Anne Gibson joins Damien to talk about the labour cru...

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Today is the first day in two years that tourists from around the world are allowed into Aotearoa.

It's the  moment the beleaguered tourism industry had been hoping for, but the recovery of a $42 billion industry is going to take more than a few weeks. 

New Zealand Herald travel editor Stephanie Holmes tells Damien that estimates suggest it will be three years before the industry is back to pre-pandemic levels. 

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This week, lobby organisation Grounded Kiwis won their case against the Government and the MIQ lottery system. This came as vindication for many New Zealanders who were trapped abroad during the height of the Delta outbreak.  

What does this decision mean for MIQ as a whole, and is there a chance of compensation for those affected?

Today, Open Justice journalist Hazel Osbourne joins Damien to discuss the what went down in the courtr...

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There have been multiple, high-profile ram raids in New Zealand in the past two weeks. The perpetrators are becoming increasingly brazen, targeting major malls and department stores.

What’s worse is that many of those committing these crimes tend to be mere teenagers. So why has this problem become so widespread? And how much worse could it become?

Today, New Zealand Herald senior writer Jane Phare joins Damien to discuss what she ...

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this month left New Zealand for the first time in two years, for a business-focused trip to Singapore and Japan.

This trip was meant to be an announcement to the world that Aotearoa is open and ready for business. But between the high-level talks and the dancing kiwifruit, what did the Prime Minister actually achieve?  
 
Today, Newstalk ZB chief political reporter Jason Walls joins Damien to discuss wha...

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In his quarterly forecast released last week, Westpac economist Satish Ranchhod said the quarterly inflation figure was set to be "another monster".

The figure of 6.9 per cent that was eventually reported on Thursday is the highest the country has seen in 30 years.

Today, the NZ Herald's business editor-at-large and Money Talks host Liam Dann joins Damien to discuss how this has become one of the biggest political talki...

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