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National MPs Scrap Over Degrees of Murder - High powered opposition to a Private Member’s Bill to introduce three degrees of murder. After discussions with the Crown Law Office, former Justice Minister, Sir Douglas Graham has distributed a paper to all MPs pointing out what he says are flawed legislation proposed by one of his own backbenchers. Brian Neeson wants first degree murder for the most brutal killings to carry an automatic 25 year sentence. Sir Douglas says this would create all sorts of anomalies with one jury in one part of the country saying this is first degree, and another jury somewhere else say it isn’t. He says more appeals, more delays, and more hung juries would result. But he does agree that the current system with a life sentence with no parole for ten years is not flexible enough. He says the simple thing to do is change the law to a maximum of life.

Police Forensic Experts Look For Clues - Christchurch police are investigating a homicide at a boarding house in the city. The body was found shortly after 5am today. Police say the body has not yet been identified and it is too early to say how he died. More information is expected to be released later this morning.

Motive Sought in Tauranga Killing - Tauranga police are still trying to piece together a motive for the killing of a 32 year old woman on Tuesday. Her partly clad body was found near the farmlet where she lived. She had been shot three times in the head.

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Commerce Commission: Retail Fuel "Not As Competitive As It Could Be"

The Commission has outlined some options it considers could improve competition. There are two broad sets of options it thinks may have the potential to help create a competitive wholesale market. These are:

• Greater contractual freedom to make it easier for resellers to switch between suppliers; and
• Enabling wider participation in the majors’ joint infrastructure, notably the shared terminals and supporting logistics involved in their borrow-and-loan system.
Further options, including improving the transparency of premium petrol prices, are discussed in the draft report. More>>

 

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

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School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

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IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

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Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>

Welfare: Ongoing Drug-Test Sanctions Contradicts Govt’s Rhetoric

Reports that two-thirds of beneficiaries who fail drug tests are still having their benefit sanctioned contradicts the Government’s so-called health approach to drugs. More>>

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Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>

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Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>

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