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What’s on RNZ News at midday – Dec 9

The Climate Change Minister James Shaw says he is hopeful the final hurdles can be cleared for fixing the final rules of Paris Agreement before it kicks in next year; and the former Auditor-General Martin Matthews is petitioning Parliament to reopen his case, claiming MPs held a gun to his head to force his resignation. 

1.The Government may call in Air Force helicopters to evacuate some of the hundreds of tourists trapped in Franz Josef. The road to the south of the town may not be open until Friday and the road north will take at least two weeks to clear.

2.Meanwhile, a national aviation operator with a base in Franz Josef says the community has opened its doors to the 970 stranded tourists. The inflight group which operates scenic flights and sky diving operation in Franz Josef has brought an extra aircraft from around the South Island to manage the demand for air tickets out.      

3.A West Coast marae has taken in a whanau of 15 that got stranded while holding a hui at Hunts Beach near Bruce Bay, about an hour drive from Franz Josef. A representative of Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio Rachael Fosse says the manuhiri are using the Marae facilities as they wait to find out when the road will open.      

4. A vital South Island road link is being restored both highways over the Rangitata River in South Canterbury have been out of action since Saturday when flood waters swamp them, that’s completely prevented road access between Timaru and Christchurch.  

5.The waters of swollen lakes that threaten to flood premises around the Queenstown Lakes District have peaked and no longer present a threat. Lake Wanaka and Lake Wakatipu have begun to recede this morning after slowly crawling towards businesses and homes in the district.    

6.The death toll from Samoa's measles epidemic has reached 70, with two deaths recorded in the past 24 hours. It's the 13th day the death toll has risen, and 61 of the dead are children aged four years or younger.

7.The former Auditor-General Martin Matthews is petitioning Parliament to reopen his case, claiming MPs held a gun to his head to force his resignation. Matthews resigned in 2017 hours before the expected release of a damning report by Sir Maarten Wevers into his handling of fraud committed by Joanne Harrison.

8.The Climate Change Minister James Shaw says he is hopeful the final hurdles can be cleared for fixing the final rules of Paris Agreement before it kicks in next year. Shaw has arrived in Madrid for the second week of the COP 25 conference. 

9.The Head of the Social Development Organization Lifewise is calling on all New Zealanders to stand up and support families in poverty. The 2019 Child Poverty Monitor report estimates 148,000 children are living in serious poverty more than Dunedin's entire population. 

10.A 36-year old man has appeared in court charged with murdering a woman in the West Coast . 41 year old  Barbara Ann Quinn who had been reported missing was found dead in a car in a rural area east of the town on Saturday.

11.About 200 Auckland bus drivers marched up Queen’s Street this morning to protest against their suspension in a heated industrial dispute.  No bus services operated by NZ Bus are running until the dispute is settled.

12.Questions about the future of the Ngapuhi Treaty Settlement remain following a weekend hui between Far North Hapu and ministers.

13. Two Hawkes Bay mayors are worried their areas have no representation on the regions newly appointed District Health Board. No candidates from Napier or Central Hawkes Bay were elected to the DHB in October.

14. Prisoner advocates say lack of communication between Social Welfare and Corrections officials leaves former inmates at risk of reoffending. Former inmates say they struggle with housing and income.

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