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TODAY’S TOP SCOOPS
Govt Announces Massive Petrol Tax Funded Roading Programme - Transport Package FULL COVERAGE Of Reaction - COLUMNS: Hard News & Cracker With Attitude Are There! - Martin LeFevre: Finding Balance - Naked In Nuhaka: 2003 - Cartoon: Merry Christmas From GWB - An Open Letter to US Military Spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty - STORY OF THE WEEK: Trans-Tasman Medicines Takeover - Mingus Casey: Who Is Ahmed Zaoui?

OTHER NEWS (Just Politics)
GG’s Dreaming Of A White Christmas - Prebble Seeks Recourse From High - Beehive News Wrap-Up For The Week - Brash Says Govt Must Give Something To Over-Taxed Kiwis - Govt Policies Inhibit R&D Projects - Labour must improve R&D environment - Thirty Schools Set To Close - Tourism Continues To Drive Up Economy

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...TODAY'S PHOTO STORY...


Photo-Essay: Out Of Africa, Nigeria (Part Of Scoop's CHOGM Coverage)

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TODAY’S TOP SCOOPS

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LEAD STORY:

Govt Announces Massive Petrol Tax Funded Roading Programme

- The government today announced a $297 million annual investment in new transport initiatives. Prime Minister Helen Clark said the package represents a significant investment in land transport for Auckland and will provide additional funding for regions throughout New Zealand. See... Investing for growth - a transport package for NZ [1] MORE:- Chris Carter - Governing organisation for Auckland transport [2] - Judith Tizard - New package a huge step forward for Auckland [3] - Paul Swain - Package for transport, growth and development [4] FULL PRESS KIT: - Investing for growth - Package at a glance [5] - Transport Package - Questions and Answers [6] - Transport Fact Sheet 3 - Existing Funding System [7] - Transport Fact Sheets One & Two [8] - Fact Sheet On Auckland Transport Governance [9]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00317.htm
[2] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00320.htm
[3] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00319.htm
[4] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00318.htm
[5] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00321.htm
[6] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00325.htm
[7] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00324.htm
[8] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00323.htm
[9] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00322.htm


Transport Package FULL COVERAGE Of Reaction

- United Future - UF cracks petrol excise diversion dam! [1] - United Future - Dunne, Baldock: Transit borrowing common sense [2] - Greens - Greens warn against Auckland road frenzy [3] - Road Transport Forum - Transport Package a step in the right direction [4] - EMA - Package will jump start Auckland transport [5] - Waitakere - Waitakere optimistic about transport delivery [6] - Auckland Chamber - Prime Minister Deals To ''P'' Issue In Auckland [7] - ARC - ARC Welcomes Government’s Transport Plans [8]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00316.htm
[2] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00315.htm
[3] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00314.htm
[4] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/BU0312/S00132.htm
[5] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/AK0312/S00091.htm
[6] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/AK0312/S00090.htm
[7] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/AK0312/S00088.htm
[8] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/AK0312/S00087.htm


NEW ZEALAND LEAD STORY:

The Wages Of Coalition - Families Commission Act Passed - United Future leader, Peter Dunne, today challenged all Opposition parties to confirm they would abolish the Families Commission should they ever come to power. See... Dunne lays down Families Commission challenge [1] MORE:- United Future -Baldock: Making families more resilient [2] - United Future -Dunne salutes johnny-come-lately 'family' parties [3] - Govt. - High level of interest in Families Commission [4] - Progressives - Families Commission bill - 3rd reading speech [5] - National - What's the real cost of the Family Commission? [6] - Peter Dunne - Dunne: junior Nat MP undermining Don Brash [7]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00310.htm
[2] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00309.htm
[3] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00308.htm
[4] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00306.htm
[5] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00305.htm
[6] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00288.htm
[7] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00300.htm


NZ NEWS HEADLINES:

Myers Media Scholarship Winners Announced [1] <>New Law Protects Car Buyers From Monday [2] Export and Import Prices Fall [3] Trend in Guest Nights Remains Flat [4] Project Aqua – New Zealand’s Cheapest Power Option [5]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/BU0312/S00135.htm
[2] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/BU0312/S00133.htm
[3] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/BU0312/S00131.htm
[4] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/BU0312/S00129.htm
[5] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/BU0312/S00128.htm


INTERNATIONAL LEAD STORY:

Stateside: The Rise Of The Greens St Francis's City - The San Francisco election results put the two folks supported by the outgoing mayor into office. Kamala Harris won 56 percent of the vote against incumbent Terence Hallinan, who was seeking his third term as District Attorney. See... Stateside With Rosalea: Da Results [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00106.htm


COLUMNS:


Hard News & Cracker With Attitude Are There!

- I guess if I was Steve Williams' lawyer I'd have my client say "the P made me do it" too. It certainly makes for good headlines. But what's his excuse for the other 88 convictions?... See... Public Address 12/12/03 - Bad Things And Good [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00117.htm


Martin LeFevre: Finding Balance

- Perhaps all creative work is an attempt to balance different aspects of one's own nature. For me, that means balancing the contemplative, philosophical, and political dimensions. See... Meditations (Spiritual): Finding Balance [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00115.htm


Naked In Nuhaka: 2003

- So i thought i'd do one of those year in review columns, where you look back at another year gone by, and pick out some of the trends -- signals of change, if you like -- that mark the transition of Aotearoa New Zealand's place in the world to a "New Space"; a 21st Century space. Looking back at the year gone by, one thing seems emergent: Change is Good. See... Naked in Nuhaka: Year in Review [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00114.htm


Cartoon: Merry Christmas From GWB

- Cartoon by John Chuckman See... Chuckman Cartoon: Whitehouse Christmas Card [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00113.htm


An Open Letter to US Military Spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty

- Dear Bryan, We have never met. Still, I hope you do not mind that I have dispensed with your formal title. See... On Killing Children: Open Letter to US Military [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00112.htm


STORY OF THE WEEK: Trans-Tasman Medicines Takeover

- This week the Government signed a complementary medicines treaty with Australia in circumstanes that drove the Health Select Committee close to apoplexy See... Story Of The Week: Trans-Tasman Medicines Takeover [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00116.htm


Mingus Casey: Who Is Ahmed Zaoui?

- Ahmed Zaoui is an Algerian national, who is currently in prison in New Zealand, after arriving on a false passport. At the immigration desk, he openly told New Zealand officials who he was, and was promptly arrested. See... Mingus Casey: Is Ahmed Zaoui A Terrorist? [1] and Factsheet – Ahmed Zaoui [2]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00108.htm
[2] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0312/S00096.htm

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OTHER NEWS (JUST POLITICS)

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GG’s Dreaming Of A White Christmas

- The Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright and Mr Peter Cartwright will make a second attempt at travelling to Antarctica next week. See... Governor-Gen on second attempt to visit Antarctica [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00342.htm


Prebble Seeks Recourse From High

Court - ACT Leader Richard Prebble said today he is applying for leave from the Court of Appeal for a special urgent hearing of the Court to squash the High Court ruling preventing him from invoking the Electoral Integrity Act in the case of former ACT ... See... Prebble: Urgent Hearing Sought [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00340.htm


Beehive News Wrap-Up For The Week

- A $3 billion package of measures to address decades of under-funding of transport infrastructure and streamline decision-making has been announced. Transport Minister Paul Swain says it strikes a balance between the need for a "catch-up" ... See... Beehive Bulletin - 12 December 2003 [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00338.htm


Brash Says Govt Must Give Something To Over-Taxed Kiwis

- "It's now clear New Zealand taxpayers are the victims of a tax-mad Government that's prepared to reward its sympathisers while crucifying its enemies," says National Party Leader Don Brash. See... Labour must give something back to overtaxed Kiwis [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00337.htm


Govt Policies Inhibit R&D Projects

- Labour's policies are making it difficult to get innovative Research and Development projects up and running, says National's Science spokesman Dr Paul Hutchison. See... Labour must improve R&D environment [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00336.htm


Thirty Schools Set To Close

- "Thirty schools across the country will be closing their doors for good as the school year comes to an end, bringing an end to decades of successful education provision," says National Party Education spokesman Bill English. See... End of the line for 30 schools [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00329.htm


Tourism Continues To Drive Up Economy

- Tourism continues to be a steady driver of economic growth across New Zealand. According to the latest Statistics New Zealand Accommodation Survey, October guest nights show an increase of one percent in comparison to the record figures of 2002, and a seven ... See... Tourism driving steady growth across New Zealand [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00327.htm


Is Radio NZ Biased?

- Radio New Zealand is in breach of its obligations under the Radio New Zealand Act's Section 7 1(f) to provide `comprehensive, independent, impartial and balanced national news services and current affairs'. See... Research Indicates National Radio Bias [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00326.htm


Week’s Select Committee

Report - Fourteen committee meetings were held this week, 13 in the parliamentary complex and one in Christchurch. There was one site visit. See... Select Committee Business For The Week [1]


[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00330.htm


PM Opens An Art Gallery

- Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark today opened the new John Money wing at the Eastern Southland Gallery, saying it will be a valuable addition to Southland's cultural infrastructure. See... PM opens new wing at Eastern Southland Gallery [1]

[1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0312/S00341.htm

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