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Kiwinews ezine Is In

Hi all and welcome to another Letter From Home.

GIVING BIRTH IN NEW ZEALAND

In the Coroner's Court in Christchurch last week a Japanese woman said, at the inquest into the death of her daughter during her birth, that she had come to New Zealand solely to give birth to the child so that she could obtain citizenship for the child. This admission has brought to the surface the extent to which this is happening.

Statistics New Zealand have estimated the number of non-resident births at around 1300 a year - just under 4 a day.The costs of these births are funded by the taxpaper with no contribution paid by the non-resident - up to 1999 a contribution was sought but a ruling was then given that it is the baby who is the patient, and, as a new citizen, he or she is entitled to free ante and post natal care. Surely the "users" of the services are the parents who decide to come here to give birth and they should be charged a commercial rate for the services they access and they should be made to pay upfront.

Whether or not any child born here to non-residents should gain citizenship is open for debate - the parents of a NZ citizen, in this case the baby, would not gain any advantage in getting residency through the birth.

At a time when the Health Service is under stress and needs increasing funding year on year, loopholes such as these must be closed to help the local taxpayer. A blanket rule that all non-residents pay for any services needed whilst in transit in this country should be enforced.

MYSTERY ILLNESS IN DUNEDIN

The three deaths in Dunedin, within a short time period, from unexplained causes has perplexed the Medical community and they are no closer in coming to a conclusion. All appeared to die from a pulmonary haemorrhage - bleeding in the lungs. While the three lived within a few kilometres from each other, they were unknown to each other.

The Health Ministry issued a national alert last Thursday but to date no further cases have been reported. While extensive tests have been carried out, most known infectious diseaes have been ruled out and the cause could simply be a series of unrelated coincidences.

FLATULENCE TAX

Levying farmers directly for gaseous emissions of their stock - dubbed the "fart tax" -looks likely to be dropped and the Government will seek another way to find the $8 million the leby would bring in. Farmers have organised mass meetings and have made plain their opposition which the Government has taken on board. They now must find a way to retreat without losing face.

THE HARLEY DAVIDSON PARTY

Thousands are expected to attend celebrations in Milwaukee to mark the 100 years since William Harley and Arthur Davidson produced their first motorcycle. Crowds are expected to top 250,000 and 400 Kiwis will be amongst them. The Kiwis, on 140 bikes, were hosted by our Ambassador John Wood prior to the start of their trip to Milwaukee. On the way, the NZer's will promote our country and hold press and TV interviews.

If you are in the area it could be quite a sight and a great party.

ARE OUR LAKES DYING

In our newsletter of 14 July, we highlighted the deteriorating quality of the waters of Lake Taupo due to the drain-off of phostphates from farming and sewerage from septic tanks leaching into rivers feeding the lakes.

It now transpires that other lakes are similarly affected, particularly Lake Rotoiti which is considered to be dying. Scientists describe the lake as a "real mess" and say that it is in danger of collapse unless the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous elements from sources such as septic tanks, animal wastes and fertiliser entering the waterways are immediately reduced.

The blue-green algae produced by the runoff feed on them and when the algae dies and sinks to the bottom of the lake, they use up oxygen to decay, and this then triggers a chemical reactions producing even more phosphorous which then leads to more algal growth. So unless the initial sorce is stopped it's a self-perpetuating problem.

FATHERS DAY

Just a reminder to our many overseas subscribers that this Sunday, 7th September, is Fathers Day in New Zealand. For gift ideas check out shopping sites in our "New Zealand Sites" category - if you hurry anything you select should be able to be delivered on time.

If you are in NZ, maybe a Lotto ticket could the answer. This weeks top prize is expected to be around $15 million - the largest prize ever offered and eclipsing the last record of $11.4 million of last November.

Well thats it for another week and remember, wherever you are, it's great to be a Kiwi.

PS. Don't forget to visit the main site by clicking directly below -lots of stories and articles on interest, plus some good jokes and cartoons. http://www.kiwinews.co.nz


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