Yesterday's top three rating stories and press releases....
TOP THREE STORIES
A witness at the Scott Watson murder trial in Wellington has said he is now unsure of the evidence he gave yesterday after being cross examined today.Yesterday a teenage couple who shared a water taxi with Ben Smart and Olivia Hope said they also sat next to a man with whom Ben and Olivia boarded a boat. The couple said they could not describe either the man or his boat, but the male witness said he thought the boat was a ketch and that it was moored alone.
The liquor debate began this morning with Issue 2 whether or not there should by an Photo ID card for young people - arguably the critical provision in the bill as if photo ID is approved then considerable support will come in to support lowering the drinking age. Voting has now commenced and looks to be painfully slow. Shortly after midday a personal vote division was called for on option A - the least restrictive and which does not provide for a youth ID.
MPs have voted to introduce a new minimum drinking age of 18 by the narrowest of margins. The debate on 'Issue One' in the Sale of Liquor Amendment (no2) act, was taken second so that members would be aware of the ID requirements the legislation would be working under. (See earlier coverage). There were impassioned debates on the options before them.
TOP THREE PRESS RELEASES
Labour state services spokesperson Trevor Mallard said Prime Minister Jenny Shipley should investigate a serious complaint against the behaviour of Transport Minister Maurice Williamson while he was on recent Government business overseas. A Hamilton businessman wrote a letter to Labour outlining Mr Williamson's behaviour in London following an emergency at Heathrow Airport.
Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald says he has obtained documents which show WINZ spent $600 a head for ten staff to have lunch with five overseas celebrities. Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Al 'Chainsaw' Dunlap, Rene Rivkin and Kevin Trudeau spoke to an audience of business leaders and government agencies, including WINZ, at the "1999 World Masters of Business Event" held at the Logan Campbell Centre on Saturday 22 May.
As Student Associations around the country gear up for a public awareness campaign on burgeoning student debt today the APSU Student Union and New Zealand University Students Association have released the long awaited Student Debt Casebook. "This research shows that debt has impacted on peoples long term life decisions," said Co-president of NZUSA Karen Skinner. " People see it as a hindrance to obtaining mortgages, saving for retirement, doing further study and even getting involved in relationships."