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TODAY'S SCOOPS

Relatively Subdued Question Time - The absence of the PM from the House today gave Deputy PM Wyatt Creech an opportunity to rebuff the opposition in a remarkably jocular manner in question time today. At one point his laugh got seriously out of control. The session was in marked contrast to the past three question sessions where the PM has had the opposition practically foaming in its desire to trip her up. Questions of the day today dealt with IRD Malfeasance - The Hops Board -TVNZ Vs the PM - Race Relations - Paremoremo Prison (see…Questions Of The Day (1-6)) and ACC And Health - TVNZ And Sky Sale- Maori River Ownership - MV Registration Fees - National Library (See…Questions Of The Day (7-12))

General Debate - The Prime Minister remained the centre of conversation in the General Debate today. See the headlines wire. The House has been running through members' night at a fast pace, full coverage will be published later.

East Timor Concerns - In the general wire, The Scoop has the UN On the Attack In East Timor. In the Parliament wire, Don McKinnon says he is concerned, meanwhile NZ assistance for the Indonesian Human Right Commission is announced in the same wire.

Aussie Trade Minister Resigns - Just hours leaving Auckland after the APEC trade ministers meeting, the Australian Trade Minister Tim Fischer has resigned citing political and personal reason. In the Parliament wire Jenny Shipley praises him for his role in world trade.

A Golden Bugger - In the business wire, Saatchi says they have won a Golden "Bugger" for Toyota at Cannes


It's Not Easy Being Green - The Green Party, who look to be running into opposition to getting an accommodation in the Coromandel with Labour and the Alliance, have now also been told that the Cannabis Party won't stand aside for them in the general election as a whole either. The Scoop looks at the subject in the headlines wire. Rod Donald's speech to the ALCP conference is in the Parliament wire.

The House - After winning a confidence vote associated with the budget legislation, the Government turned to the Home Invasion legislation. See The House: Last Night And Today in the headlines wire.

What Will You Be Eating In The Future - John Luxton wonders what we'll be eating beyond 2000 and says it is food for thought. See the Parliament wire.

A Taxing Question - Treasurer Bill English played down talk of tax cuts in a select committee hearing today. Labour says go ahead with an announcement and "make my day" and ACT says the Government Must Stop Dithering Over Tax Cuts. All in the Parliament wire.

Labour's Cabinet? - National's Tony Ryall says he knows who will be in a Labour/Alliance Cabinet and the news is "Sorry Phillida And Laila! Helen's Not Impressed". See the Parliament wire.

Talking Of Tax - The people who collect the much discussed taxes are being treated in a heavy handed manner themselves. Mark Peck says the IRD turns on employees.

Intellectual Capital - In the business wire, there is a Release from the NZ Intellectual Capital Foundation on education and technology

Australia's Queen Is A Foreigner - A referendum on whether Australia is to ditch the Queen is not due until later this year, but already the High Court of Australia has found, in a controversial decision earlier this month, that the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland is a foreign power. Simon Orme reports from Sydney - see… Australia's Queen Is A Foreigner in the Headlines wire.

PM Angry At "Shameful Abuse Of Parliament" - the PM remained on the warpath last night following another prominent item on the Hawkesby Affair on TVNZ's One Network News - see.. TV1 6pm News (first segment) - for a full report. Yesterday evening the PM responded describing the Labour party's actions of late as a Shameful Abuse Of Parliament. TVNZ is also in for a blast in her release. "On a matter that TVNZ thought was so extraordinary that it abandoned its normal rule not to report alleged conversations in social situations, I would have expected the reporter to have come to my office saying TVNZ now planned to run a story it had been sitting on for three days, and to seek my explanation. She did not."

APEC: Just What Is Agreement? - The confusing nature of trade negotiations and the difficulty in deciding what exactly are the terms of success and failure were underlined on the opening day of the APEC Trade Ministers; meeting in Auckland yesterday. See.. A Confusing Day At APEC Ministers Meeting in the Headlines wire.

Confidence Hurdle Passed 61-58 - The Government last night passed a confidence vote in Parliament 61 to 58 with one abstention. The abstention was made by former Alliance MP Frank Grover now of the Christian Heritage party. The vote was part of the Budget legislation.

The House - The Scoop looks at "the Week Ahead in the House. Yesterday's session began with a personal explanation from the Prime Minister in which Mrs Shipley said she had 'No Intention To Mislead'. Following that the House turned to Question Time. Questions Of The Day (1-6) covered the Race Relations Office - ACC Reforms - ILO - Wellington Public Hospital - Unqualified Teacher, while Questions Of The Day (7-12)looked at Hospital Contracts - Fiscal Forecasts - Canterbury Landfill - Immigration Representations - Schier Case - Market Rents And Maori. See the headlines wire for full coverage. This afternoon was taken up with the Government's budgetary measures, that will lead to a confidence vote this evening. The Government will win this and then turn to Crimes Act Amendments.

Cheap Sell Off, Brings A Dividend - In the headlines wire, there is coverage of TVNZ Selling Sky at a discount.

E-Commerce Pilot - In the business wireNew Zealand Post announces the start of its Electronic Billing Pilot.

New Zealand: The Colonial Power - A United Nations committee is looking at New Zealand as a colonial power in the South Pacific. See the headlines wire.

Gearing Up Peter Dunne announces United New Zealand's election team in the Parliament wire.

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