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What’s on RNZ News at midday – Dec 20

The ACT Party leader David Seymour has used the last day of the gun buyback to slate the Government; and the National MP Anne Tolley won’t be seeking re-election in her seat in next year’s election opting to run on the party list only.

1.The Supreme Court has turned down Mark Lundy's bid for a third trial over the murders of his wife and daughter. Lundy was convicted of murdering his wife Christine and daughter Amber in 2002. At the retrial in 2015 he was again found guilty and his life sentence, with a 20-year non parole period, reinstated.

2.A memorial service is being held in Whakatane for one of the two people still missing since the eruption on Whakaari/White Island,40-year-old tour guide Hayden BryanMarshall-Inman. It is the first service held for any of the victims of the eruption. 
 
3.Auckland's Middlemore Hospital has postponed 220 elective surgeries as it continues to urgently treat patients injured in the Whakaari/White Island disaster. 

4.The ACT Party leader David Seymour has used the last day of the gun buyback to slate the Government. So far, more than 50,000 firearms have been handed in with owners having until midnight to hand in their now banned firearms. Seymour says that is not enough and the buyback has been a failure.   

5.Up to 100 litres of wastewater and raw sewage a second is pouring into the Wellington harbour after a wastewater pipe collapsed in the CBD. The pipe runs under Willis and Dixon Streets.

6.The holiday home website Bachcare has been fined $117,000 for editing or not even publishing online reviews posted by users after an investigation by the Commerce Commission. The company pleaded guilty to two charges under the Fair Trading Act.   
 
7.Temperature records have broken again in Australia as a searing heat wave crosses the country exacerbating bushfire conditions in large areas of the eastern states.      

8.The Republican leader of US Senate has warned the impeachment of President Donald Trump by the House of Representatives could damage American democracy.      

9.A former Christchurch mayoral candidate John Minto says the foreign donations made to the election campaign of Lianne Dalziel needs to be investigated.

10.The National MP Anne Tolley won’t be seeking re-election in her seat in next year’s election opting to run on the party list only. Tolley has represented East Coast since 2005 and has held several cabinet portfolios, including education and corrections. 
   
11.Christmas holiday road traffic is expected to start building from today and last through next week. The Transport Agency is asking people to plan ahead, avoiding busy areas during peak hours when they set out. 

12.NIWA is forecasting about of heavy rain to hit Auckland right on rush hour today. Meteorologist Chris Brandolino says the timing of the rain isn’t good. 

13.Road access from the north to the Westland tourist town of Franz Josef has been restored. The stretch of State Highway 6 between Harihari and Whataroa blocked for the past two weeks is now open again, although only in daylight hours.

14.The veteran cannabis campaign Dakta Green is appearing in the Wellington District Court today after being arrested last night in a raid on his central Wellington club.      

15.Drones are been flown too close to gannets at Auckland's Muriwai Beach, much to the alarm of bird watchers and conservationists. Permits are needed to fly the remote control aircraft over conservation land and in Auckland’s regional parks, but some users appear not to know the rules.  

16.The earliest fossilised trees dating back 386 million years have been found at an abandoned quarry in New York state. 

17.A US Government department has removed the Kingdom of Wakanda from a list of trade partners after it was pointed out that the country is fictional.  

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