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What’s on RNZ News at midday – Dec 16

Ultra-fast mobile telecommunications networks are coming sooner than expected after the Government's decision to make unused radio spectrum available for a short term; and police have formally released the names of four more victims who died in the Whakaari / White Island eruption.

1.The Police Commissioner Mike Bush says dive crews will return to the water tomorrow in an effort to locate the two remaining bodies from Whakaari. An attempt was made yesterday but it wasn’t successful.   

2.Police have formally released the names of four more victims who died in the Whakaari / White Island eruption. They are Australians Jessica Richards, 20, Jason David Griffiths, 33, Martin Berend Hollander, 48, and Kristine Elizabeth Langford, 45.

3.The Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has flown to Wellington to convey her country’s thanks to New Zealand for it’s response to Whakaari / White Island tragedy and to express her sincere condolences.          

4.The former private secretary to the Maori King has pleaded guilty to six charges of fraud. 56-year-old Te Rangihiroa Whakaruru, pleaded guilty to five charges of obtaining by deception and one charge of supplying false or misleading information. The charges arose from his time working as private secretary for Kiingi Te Arikinui Tūheitia, Whakaruru will be sentenced in April. 

5.Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has agreed to release the names of donors who gave $40,000 for her re-election campaign. The money was raised through an auction of items donated by Dalziel’s husband Rob Davidson.     

6.An investigation has been launched into the apparent use of a white supremacist hand signal by US Army and Navy cadets. It happened before a football game between the two forces attended by President Donald Trump.

7.The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has described the outcome of the Madrid Climate Summit as a "lost opportunity". The COP 25 Conference has fallen well short of the firm's proposal on greenhouse gas reductions that many nations had hoped for.        

8.The global pastoral sector has been told it must start to reduce the number of farm animals by a set date in order to fight global warming. An international group of academics from several universities including Harvard has made the call in a letter to the British Medical Journal, The Lancet.        

9.A North Island holiday park has been given a record fine for exploiting three migrant workers who described their working situation as a prison. Golden Springs Holiday Park in Reporoa, Eastern Waikato has been banned from employing anyone and ordered to pay more than $680,000 in penalties and unpaid wages.

10.The bus company at the center of Auckland's industrial dispute brought in 28 drivers from the Philippines this year. Immigration New Zealand says NZ Buse’s parent company employed 16 Filipinos in Auckland and 12 in Wellington. 

11. The number of Asians in the Auckland region seeking mental health support has soared in the past five years, that has promoted calls for a national strategy to help them.

12.A nutrition expert wants food to carry stop sign ratings to help families make healthier food choices and curb the climbing obesity rate. Auckland researchers have been comparing the voluntary health star rating system used in Australasia with the mandatory health warning system used in Chile

13.China has cancelled a screening of an Arsenal football match after the team's star midfielder criticised the treatment of Uighur Muslims, amid reports Beijing is increasing secrecy around its controversial internment camps.

14. Eight of the 10 people shortlisted for the 2020 New Zealander of the Year Award are women. Three finalists will be announced in late January and the winner will be announced in February.

15.Ultra-fast mobile telecommunications networks are coming sooner than expected after the government's decision to make unused radio spectrum available for a short term.Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi said spare capacity in the 3.5GHz band would be offered to mobile network operators and Māori by the middle of next year.

16.Tauranga's leaky courthouse is to be replaced with a new $100 million facility designed to be "more humane" and "family-friendly" and could see judges dropped down from their raised platforms.Justice Minister Andrew Little this morning announced the project to be funded out of the $12 billion the government has promised to borrow to invest in infrastructure.

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