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Council Police - A push by some of the country’s mayors to have their own police force. The idea has been promoted for some years by Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey and it surfaced at this week’s local body conference in Auckland. Mr Harvey says Auckland and Wellington’s mayors are among those who believe local councils will deliver more effective and efficient community policing than the current centralised force.

Oil companies are keeping a close eye on competitors BP and Shell who have knocked up their prices by 3 cents a litre overnight. Other petrol retailers are evaluating what happens this morning and will make a decision on pricing at midday. Challenge also says it will probably raise its prices. Mobil says it will monitor exactly what Shell and BP do. The prices of Super around the country are now: Dunedin 91 cents, Christchurch around 90 cents, Wellington and Auckland at around 87.9 cents.

A key meeting of politicians in Northern Ireland broke up after just 15 minutes with their opposition to Government plans unchanged. A Protestant leader of the Ulster Unionist Party told reporters after the meeting that the British Government’s plan for Northern Ireland is fatally flawed. It raises questions on whether the UUP will take part in tonight’s opening session on an historic new all party assembly to run Northern Ireland.

MPs may have to start wearing headphones if Cabinet Minister Tuariki Delamere gets his way. A row erupted in Parliament yesterday after several MPs delivered speeches and points of order in Maori without offering translations. This is permitted under Parliamentary rules but caused widespread confusion. Mr Delamere says the only solution is to do what the United Nations does and offer simultaneous translation at all times when Parliament is sitting.

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