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Defence, To Cut Or Not To Cut - A Parliamentary select committee report is calling for a smaller but better equipped defence force with the Army taking priority over the Navy and Airforce. Labour has embraced the recommendations saying they form the basis of its defence policy if it wins the election. Defence spokesperson Geoff Braybrook says the Government cannot afford its current plan. He says New Zealand is the size of Italy with a population of Rome. To build up an army, navy and Airforce to the size Max Bradford wants will cost a fortune, Mr Braybrook says. But Victoria University staff at centerforce strategic studies disagree, saying cutting back on defence will hurt relations with Australia and other allies.

Double Homicide in West Auckland - Forensic experts are testing a knife for clues at the scene of a double homicide at west Auckland near Henderson. Police believe the weapon is connected to the death of a 25 year old man and his 19 year old flatmate. Police are however reluctant to speculate how the pair died until a post mortem examination is completed this afternoon. Police are continuing door to door inquiries.

Youth Justice Centre For Manukau - South Auckland residents are assured that they will be able to have their say about a new Youth Justice facility planned for Roscommon Road in Wiri. The 40 bed facility will house youngsters who have been arrested, at times, on quite serious charges. A CYPFA spokesperson says the agency has gone to some lengths to find a suitable site and is sending information packs to everyone in the area. It plans community meetings to discuss what the agency plans for the site.

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