Live updates, June 11: Rose Byrne to play Jacinda Ardern in new film

4 days ago 14

Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for June 11, bringing you the latest news updated throughout the day. Get in touch at stewart@thespinoff.co.nz

8.20am: Rose Byrne to play Jacinda Ardern in new film

Australian actress Rose Byrne is reportedly lined up to play our prime minister in a film about the March 15 terror attacks.

According to international reports, the film – titled They Are Us – will take place in the aftermath of the 2019 mass shooting. It will be written and directed by Andrew Niccol, the New Zealander who previously helmed the infamously bad Justin Timberlake film In Time.

“They Are Us is not so much about the attack but the response to the attack,” said Niccol. “How an unprecedented act of hate was overcome by an outpouring of love and support. The film addresses our common humanity which is why I think it will speak to people around the world. It is an example of how we should respond when there’s an attack on our fellow human beings.”

Niccol’s script was developed in consultation with several members of the mosques affected by the tragedy.

It’s not the first time someone has played Ardern – although it will be the first serious screen depiction. However, casting an Australian in the role is certainly a bold move accent-wise. As Madeleine Chapman wrote for The Spinoff back in 2018: “Our accent is hard.”

It’s not yet known when They Are Us will hit the screens but considering talks are under way now, we can probably expect a release late next year.

7.30am: Top stories from The Bulletin

Nurses and DHBs are back to the negotiating table after this week’s strike saw 30,000 health workers off the job for eight hours. Glenda Alexander from the NZ Nurses Organisation told RNZ that it was not just about pay, and improving work conditions was just as important. “They’re kind of interwoven [pay and conditions]. If we don’t pay people what they’re worth, what the job is worth, they’re not going to stay and we’re not going to get new people into the nursing workforce,” said Alexander.

The DHBs say they are “keen to close gaps” in the areas that nurses think are lacking. Spokesperson Jim Green said previous negotiations had addressed “many of [nurses] requirements” and DHBs were looking at would could be done next. “We’ve made offers around all those areas – we’ve made a pay rise increase of up to 8 to 12% and of course there’s the pay equity settlement that will be coming in on top of that as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, there are reports this morning of empty beds at Christchurch Hospital because of a lack of nurses. Unnamed sources at the hospital said that resources were stretched and the workforce was at breaking point. 19 beds were sitting empty across the hospital last week, according to RNZ. “There’s only so much you can keep asking people to step up and do more with less and that’s usually less of us to do more for the number of patients that we have through the door on any given day,” said one unnamed nurse.

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