Newstalk ZB Headlines - 9am and 10am
International Forces At The Ready? - A local defence expert believes the international community can step in quickly if the situation worsens in East Timor. Strategic studies head, David Dickens, says there is already planing in place with Australia and New Zealand and a number of other countries to cover all realistic contingencies in East Timor. He says it will be relatively easy to get large numbers of people into East Timor if they were needed. Five people are thought to have been killed in a rampage by the pro-Indonesian militia, the day after counting began after the independence referendum. The UN Security Council has held an emergency meeting to discuss the trouble inside the UN headquarters in Dili. Eye witnesses say one of the victims was shot and then hacked to death by militia members.
Former National President To Be Summoned To Beehive - The chair of the Lotteries Commission can expect a summons to the Beehive when he gets back in the country. Opposition parties have set their sites on the chairman of the Lotteries Commission board after chief executive David Bale resigned following criticism of his $410,000 salary. The chair, Geoff Thompson, a former National Party president, approved the salary despite being advised by the State Services Commission that it was excessive. Minister Maurice Williamson says he and the Prime Minister will be putting some questions to Mr Thompson on his return from a conference in Norway.
Mental Patients Right To Privacy - Waitemata Health is defending the right of mental health patients not to disclose their illness history. It follows the death of two men in west Auckland in an apparent murder/suicide homicide this week. A mental health patient was found dead in his car on Monday, and his flatmate had been attacked with an axe. Mental Health Services director, Dr Wayne Miles says clinical staff cannot force patients to tell people they have a mental illness.
Newstalk ZB Headlines 10am
Hospital Emergency Department Over-run - Tauranga Hospital says if things get any busier in the emergency department over the next 24 hours it will have to put contingency plans into place. More than 500 nurses walked off the job on strike until tomorrow morning forcing the closure of four wards. A hospital spokesperson says it had 68 people through its emergency department over night which was more than expected. They are coping for now but that situation could change.
Another industrial dispute means almost certain disruption for some air passengers. Air New Zealand has reached its maximum booking capacity after taking on passengers affected by Ansett’s pilot troubles. Ansett has been forced to cancel the majority of its flights over the past four days after its pilots called in sick. Air New Zealand says the majority of its domestic flights are now full and its ability to take a large number of passengers tomorrow, its busiest day, will be greatly reduced.
A special meeting to discuss the situation in East Timor may be held in Auckland in the lead up to the APEC summit. The Canadian foreign minister says the discussions could be held during the ministerial meetings held prior to the summit meetings September 12 and 13. He says his officials have contacted New Zealand, the United States and Australia as a first step to organising the meeting. He is denying suggestions however, that he is ignoring other key players in the region.
Police are reassuring protesters that they have nothing to fear during APEC. Protesters have been told police will be using the same tactics as they did during the CHOGM summit in Auckland during 1995. But the protesters are not happy. They say police were too heavy handed during CHOGM. APEC operations commander, Peter Marshall says if protesters act within the law they will have nothing to fear. He says there will be an obvious police presence but they will be reasonable, if people look to reactions overseas to protest action, then New Zealanders should be “pretty proud” of how police conduct themselves during these types of operations.
Huge Electorate of Unenrolled Voters - Up to 400,000 voters have still to enrol to vote in this year’s general election. Over one third of unenrolled people do not even have a vague idea of when this year’s general election is scheduled. Registrar of Electors officer says this is disappointing considering the huge media campaign, with letters being sent, forms sent, door knocking.