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What’s on RNZ News at midday – Dec 13

The Government’s homelessness program ‘ Housing First’ has expanded to the top of the South Island; and the recovery team on Whakaari/White Island has transported six bodies to HMNZS Wellington.

1.The recovery team on Whakaari/White Island has transported six bodies to HMNZS Wellington. The high-risk mission to recover the bodies left behind after Monday's deadly eruption started at 8am.

2.The families of the eight missing waited through the morning at Te Manuka Tutahi Marae in Whakatane for updates on the recovery operation. Earlier they attended the blessing at sea while people from the Whakatane community performed a karakia on the mainland.   

3.The Ministry of Health says 17 survivors of the eruption are being cared for around the country, at hospitals in Middlemore, Hutt Valley, Waikato and Christchurch. 13 of them are critically ill, 11 other patients have been transferred to Australia.   

4.Meanwhile, GNS Science says volcanic on Whakaari is still high but is reducing. The duty volcanologist Craig Miller says the level of tremors dropped overnight, but overall the activity remains high compared to before Monday’s deadly eruption.         

5.An early exit poll predicts PM Boris Johnson's Conservative Party will a majority of 86 seats in parliament. The exit poll showed the Conservatives would win a landslide of 368 seats, more than enough for a very comfortable majority in the 650-seat parliament.

6.A large scrub fire on the Karikari Peninsula in Northland has doubled in size since yesterday. Firefighters are still trying to get it under control.      

7.The Health Ministry’s Chief Medical Officer Andrew Simpson says its committed to implementing specialist mesh services after learning of patients harrowing experiences. Hundreds of people, many left in debilitating pain caused by mesh implants shared their stories in a restorative justice process that included the Accident Compensation Corporation, health authorities and doctors.            

8.Three of Otago institutions are teaming up to improve the future of the country’s rural health care. The University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and Central Otago Health Services        have signed a memorandum of understanding on rural health care practice, service, education and research.

9.The Transport Agency aims to have the highway along the West Coast, South from Hokitika open in time for Christmas. This includes the section currently still closed from Mt Hercules, South of Hare Hare.

10.House prices are on the rise again with record increases in 10 regions, but with fewer sales overall.The Real Estate Institute's house price index - which measures the changing value of property in the market - rose 5.6 percent in the year to November.

11.The Government’s homelessness program ‘ Housing First’ has expanded to the top of the South Island. 50 accommodation units are to be developed across Nelson and Tasman  over the next two years, catering for both individuals and families.

12. The new head of Te Papa Courtney Johnston has no plans to overhaul staff at the museum which has had three major shakeups under the last three chief executives. 

13.US President Donald Trump reprised his ridicule of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg on Thursday (local time) after the Swedish climate activist was named Time's Person of the Year for 2019."So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old-fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!" Trump, 73, wrote on Twitter, commenting on another person's tweet congratulating Thunberg.

14. Workers at a scrap metal firm in Britain who found around $40,000 in an old safe have decided to donate the money to charity.

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