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Boat People Bill Introduced - The government went into urgency yesterday evening to introduce an Immigration Amendment Bill designed to thwart 102 Chinese Nationals fleeing from the Solomon Islands in a boat apparently en-route to NZ. The legislation brings forward the implementation date for amendments already passed by Parliament which fast-track refugee applications. Labour opposed the bill due to a lack of information about the reasons for urgency. The Alliance also opposed the bill for the same reasons. See.. Speech: 2nd Reading of Immigration Amendment Bill and "Boat people" Bill To Be Introduced Tonight in the Parliament wire. The house will return to the bill at 9am this morning.

Solomon Islands - Growing violence in the Solomon Islands has led to New Zealand's High Commissioner there to re-iterate a warning to Kiwis not to travel to the area unless it's essential. There has been escalating tension between the indigenous people of the main island of Guadalcanal who resent the presence of settlers from Malaita Island. This morning a State of Emergency was declared on the island.

The House - Yesterday's session began with the news that the latest party takes the MP, but not the money. Following Question Time (see headlines wire), the House will return to the Order paper, Scoop takes a look at that and the position the Government has found itself in recent times in What Makes A Government Stumble? in the headlines wire.

Doing Deals? - Tu Wylie says National and Mauri Pacific are stitching together a conspiracy in the Maori Affairs Select Committee to arrange for a new Chair.

Overseas Debt Grows, But Stable - At 31 March 1999, New Zealand's total overseas debt was $101.9 billion, an increase of $2.4 billion since 31 March 1998, said Government Statistician Len Cook. This 2.4 per cent rise reflects relative stability after the 25 per cent rise between 31 March 1997 and 31 March 1998. Changes in the value of the New Zealand dollar contributed an estimated $1.8 billion to the rise in New Zealand's total overseas debt at 31 March 1999. See Small increase in Overseas Debt in the business wire. In the parliament wire, Labour says the figures are simply too red, while in the same wire the Government says debt is not necessarily a bad thing.
Welcome To The Hot Seat - The Health Minister yesterday welcomed the appointment of Sally Wilkinson as Interim Chief Executive of the Health Funding Authority. See the parliament wire.

Crime Bill Returns - The Select Committee report on Home Invasion amendments has been tabled. What was a four clause bill gets 15 pages of commentary that shows the division amongst political parties over the issue. A lively debate is expected.

Kosovo Graves Nato peacekeepers say they are uncovering new evidence of mass murders in Kosovo as they enter the province and Serb forces withdraw.

Once Were Warriors - Don McKinnon gives a wide ranging to the to the RSA Conference, where he defends the Government's treatment of veterans and mulls over diplomacy and guns.

IMAGE: New Anzac Memorial Planned - New Zealand and Australia's shared benefits of peace and burdens of war are commemorated in a Canberra memorial design unveiled yesterday by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley. Kingsley Baird and the Wellington-based Studio of Pacific Architecture have won the international competition to design the memorial from more than 100 submissions. Their design incorporates the input of several other contributors. See.. IMAGE: Memorial Will Symbolise ANZAC Sharing in the Parliament wire.


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