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.


December 1, 2022 14 min

Aotearoa has its first convicted saboteur. 

62-year-old Graham Philip was sentenced to just over three years in jail for an attack on the National Grid in November last year.

Since laws were introduced during the Second World War, it is the first time anyone has been charged with sabotage in this country.

So what is sabotage in law, what did Philip actually do, and are there any concerns about others following the same path? 


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It's December, which means the festive shopping season has just officially kicked off.

Many people may want to treat themselves and their loved ones, but with a recession due next year, there is some hesitancy around potential overspending – and official warnings to spend less this year.

So how much should we be spending this year, and how should you best manage your money this time of year?

Today, guest host Chelsea Daniels ch...

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Six months ago, few people in New Zealand had a clue who Simon Henry was.

He was just an anonymous millionaire running his successful business.

But then, all of a sudden, his comments referring to My Food Bag founder Nadia Lim catapulted him into the public consciousness for all the wrong reasons.  

NZ Herald investigative journalist Carolyne Meng-yee has been trying to secure an interview with Henry ever since those comments were ...

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Almost every week another story emerges about an employer behaving badly and having to make a significant payout to an employee.  
Most of the stories come from the dispute decisions released by the Employment Relations Authority and they provide a glimpse at what happens when things go wrong in the workplace.  
So are New Zealand employers particularly badly behaved? Is the employment relations authority doing enough to hold emplo...

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It’s been four decades since the Equal Pay Act was first released, but women still do not earn as much as men.
The average gap is so significant that women are ostensibly working for free from today when compared to their male counterparts.  
This divide is even more pronounced when you look at the pay of Aotearoa’s Māori and Pasifika. 
So why does this problem persist? How much progress has actually been made in recent years? And ...

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The endless discussion about a second Auckland Harbour Crossing is back.  

The Government is consulting Aucklanders on if they want a bridge or tunnel across the Waitemata Harbour to go alongside the existing bridge. 

It comes after years of back and forth on ideas for crossings, while those using the existing Harbour Bridge contend with an aging infrastructure prone to closures. 

So why does it take so long to get these major proj...

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Ram raids, gang wars, random attacks, school lockdowns, domestic violence – the news cycle has been endless, and it has rarely painted Government crime policies in good light. 

The National Party has put it top of the agenda ahead of the 2023 election, promising to punish youth offenders and hitting out at Labour’s crime policies as ‘kumbaya’. 

The man in charge of that for the Government is Police Minister Chris Hipkins, who was a...

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The last few weeks have not been good to the superstars of the tech industry. 

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has dominated headlines for weeks after finally completing his purchase of social media giant Twitter, and subsequently overseeing a mass departure of staff and the breakdown of the platform he bought.

Speaking of collapse, the dramatic fall of FTX and founder Sam Bankman-Fried has again raised questions about the sust...

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Covid is on the rise in New Zealand once again. Reports around the country point to an uptick of cases, sparking concern that we could be facing yet another wave of infections. 
It arrives at a time when we have no Government-mandated rules left to protect us and many New Zealanders have moved on with their lives.  
So is there anything we can do to stem the tide? Should private companies still impose Covid rules? And will small to...

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It’s been nearly one year since Christopher Luxon took over the reins at the National Party.

Since Luxon took over, the party has become more stable and steadily risen in the polls. But his tenure hasn’t been without its mishaps.

He has dealt with MP controversies, made his own public gaffes, and there are still serious questions about National’s policies in the lead-up to next year's election. 

Today, Damien is joined Newstalk...

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As Europe heads into the cold winter months, there still no indication of the war between Russia and Ukraine coming to an end.

The Ukrainian army has made major advances and taken back much of their country. Meanwhile, Russian casualties are piling up and the Putin’s forces are now responding with a barrage of missile attacks, a strategy that inadvertently led to the deaths of two people in Poland. 

So what does this mean for the E...

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Drownings are making headlines, again.

It’s an ominous warning for our summer months, the time when New Zealanders head to the waves to seek relief from the scorching sun. 
Water safety remains a massive problem in Aotearoa. Dozens lose their lives to drowning every year. 
So why is this problem so difficult to address? Who is most at risk of drowning? And what can we do to stay safe while enjoying a summer swim?   
Today, Water Sa...

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The Black Ferns have solidified their place as Aotearoa’s most successful national sports team, claiming a record sixth World Cup title.

Despite the persistent narrative that audiences aren’t interested in Women’s sport, stadiums were filled during the tournament and viewers tuned in in record numbers to watch the final live. 

So is the women’s game finally getting the respect it deserves? Or is there more work to be done to ensure...

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The 2022 Men's Football World Cup in Qatar has been drenched in scandal from the moment it was announced. 

That controversy has only grown as the small nation has prepared to host the 31 other countries that will be participating in the tournament.

Human rights abuses have been widely reported in the building of stadiums. With estimates suggesting thousands of migrant workers have died in build-up to the tournament.

Now there a...

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The way we talk about mental health in Aotearoa is changing for the better. But we often don’t realise that those we deal with every day, even some of the people close to us, are facing intense personal struggles. 
NZ Herald health reporter Emma Russell has quietly fought to manage her bipolar disorder over the last few years. An exceptional reporter, few of her colleagues knew of Emma’s struggles. 
Today, Emma Russell, joins Damie...

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Americans have headed to the polls to make their voices heard in their mid-term elections.

Most anticipated a red wave to sweep over the nation, with the Republicans expected to take both the house and the senate after waging a campaign centred on spreading the false narrative that the 2020 election was rigged. 
But things haven’t played out like that. The race instead has been far closer, with President Joe Biden calling it a good...

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The residents of Hamilton West will soon be heading to the polls. 

A by-election was sparked last month after Dr Gaurav Sharma resigned from Parliament, after weeks of allegations against his former party, Labour. 

Labour is now looking to hold the seat, while National is eyeing up another gain – yet neither party seems to be talking up their chances of success. 

So who are the main candidates running, and is it going to be closer ...

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New Zealand’s major banks have posted billions of dollars in profits.

This has led to criticism from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who said it was wrong for banks to be making massive profits at a time when New Zealanders are struggling to make ends meet.

Stable banks have long been seen as integral to the economy, but do the current profits go too far? 

And if so, what can we do to address this issue, in a way that doesn’t harm e...

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Frustrations are growing in Rotorua about the state of emergency housing.  

On the city’s famous motel strip, Fenton Street, the tourists have been replaced by emergency housing residents, with so many motels filled up that the street has now been nicknamed ‘MSD MIle’. 

Residents and local politicians are demanding change, with even those stuck in these motels keen to move on.  

So is anything being done to alleviate a problem that...

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Netflix’s royal family drama The Crown returns this week, and is facing more controversy than ever. The series has been attacked by the British press and actors such as Dame Judi Dench over how it blurs the line between fact and fiction.  

It’s just the latest Netflix product “based on true events” to face this type of criticism – with Dahmer, The Watcher and The Stranger all facing similar backlash in recent months.  

So how impor...

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