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17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

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As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

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No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

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Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

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Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

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Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

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Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The RCEP Trade Deal And Other Entanglements
So China and the US both have competing trade deals on offer, each of which pointedly exclude the other superpower. That fact alone should signal that these deals are not primarily about mere trade access. More>>

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OIA Data: Massive Extent Of Water Crime In Canterbury Revealed
Information sourced by Forest & Bird details the massive scale of water-crime in Canterbury, with hundreds of instances where irrigators were engaged in brazen and often repeat offending, and the lack of credible enforcement action from ECan, despite officers having caught many offenders red-handed. More>>

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Children's Commissioner: Move To Child-Centred Culture Must Begin Now
Moving to a more child-centred culture within Child, Youth and Family can and must start now if we want to see better outcomes for children currently in care and build a strong platform for the reforms to come, says Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Teina Pora Payout
Back in the late 1990s, the Cabinet guidelines set $100,000 a year as the appropriate level of compensation when the state jails an innocent person. In the Pora payout, this amount has not been inflation adjusted to reflect what $100,000 back then would be worth today. More>>

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Robert Martin: NZ Disabilities Rights Pioneer Elected To UN Committee
Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner today congratulates Robert Martin as the first person with a learning disability to be elected to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Latest Allegations Against Helen Clark
According to former PM and UNDP leader current Helen Clark, the allegations leveled at her this week in a Foreign Policy magazine article by the prize-winning UN journalist Colum Lynch have been ‘totally fabricated’. Hmmm. That would be very, very surprising. More>>

Letter From The Editor: The State Of Scoop
Gordon Campbell: The PledgeMe campaign currently being run by the Scoop Foundation does provide a useful opportunity to update you on what gets done with your money. Further down the track, other documents will set out what we plan to do, resources permitting. For now, lets stick with the practical nuts and bolts. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of The Far Right (And Battle Bots)
In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach [pictued] warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a welfare bureaucracy that systematically denies assistance to those in most need. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Paltry Refugee Response (And A Brazen US TPP Rewrite)
The miserly nature of New Zealand’s response to the global refugee crisis continues apace. Yesterday’s announcement of an increase in our intake of UNHCR refugees from 750 to 1,000 refugees will only kick in from 2018, after the recent special intake of 650 Syrian refugees over two years… More>>

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Post PM's Fiji Visit: Writers Condemn Continuing Ban Of Barbara Dreaver
PEN NZ condemns the continuing ban by the Fijian government of Television New Zealand Pacific Affairs correspondent Barbara Dreaver. PEN views the continuation of this ban as an indication of the ongoing erosion of freedom of expression in the Pacific. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The New Defence White Paper
Once again, government spending on Defence is increasing by leaps and bounds, without any rational cost/benefit analysis. Yep, even Prime Minister John Key admitted this week that “the country can be confident it does not face a military threat in the foreseeable future” – but alas, there’s no peace dividend in that equation... More>>

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Electricity Market: Regulatory Curbs Limit Excessive Lines Profits
The Commerce Commission is hailing the success of revenue limits in curbing excessive profits at electricity lines companies, although Auckland's Vector and Wellington Electricity were among five distribution firms showing a material deterioration in network reliability. More>>

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