At Parliament's opening this morning the Governor General outlined the new Labour/Alliance coalition government's plans for the next three years...meanwhile in Russia...
Here We Go Again!
SPEECH FROM THE THRONE: You Have Been Warned!
- Universities, employers, disloyal MPs, people of New Zealand... If there are any doubts still lingering over whether this new government is planning to shake things up, then this speech appears intended to dispel them. See... FULL TEXT: Speech From The Throne  in the Headlines wire. However National MP Annabel Young says the new government is making promises that it won’t be able to keep. See... Govt promises exceed available money  in the Parliament wire. The leader of the NZ republican Movement says The speech from the throne is absurd  in the Politics wire.
Busy, Bruising Parliament Set To Begin
- The first parliament with a new government for nine years opens today and the rest of the week promises to be both busy and bruising. Jonathan Hill writes. See... The Week Ahead In Parliament - New Govt Takes Over  in the Headlines wire.
After The Russian Elections: The Next Russian Elections Loom Large
- If democracy can be likened to a flower then in Russia the flower is wilting. Shortly it will probably be plucked and thrown into the compost heap. See... Scoop Editorial: Time To Get Uncomfortable  in the Headlines wire.
Russian Election Result Better Than Expected
- At 11am GMT with 82% of the vote counted a strong swing back towards the more moderate parties in the more developed West of Russia is strongly evident. What had been a 4% lead by the right/reformist parties supportive of Russian PM Vladimir Putin, has pared right back leaving the right leaning, pro-war, parties now 5% behind the combined vote of the three more moderate, left leaning (And most importantly - less hawkish) parties. The broad right now has 38.3% of the vote compared to the broad left's 43.1%. The Fatherland grouping of Yevgeny Primakov has performed particularly well as the count has progressed. Fatherland was recently polling 12.8% up from 7.61% in early results. See also MMP Russian Style - A Right Wing Landslide  in the Headlines wire. See Scoop World for full coverage.
US Timber Loggers Sue Environmental Groups
- Timber loggers in the US state of Minnesota are claiming $600,000 in damages against the US Forest Service and two environmental groups saying ‘deep ecology’ is a religion. John Howard reports. See... US Timber Loggers Sue Environmental Groups  in the Headlines wire.
Anderton On Economic Outlook
- The blow-out in the current account recorded today shows the total failure of the National party's economic management, Alliance leader and deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton says. See... Treasury briefing makes economic development Vital  . He also says the account deficit shows the clear need for industry development. See... Account crisis emphasises need for industry devpt.  Both in the Parliament wire.
DoC Concerned about Bay of Islands Dolphin Deaths
- The Department of Conservation is asking people in the Bay of Islands to keep their eyes open for any dead dolphins in the area following the discovery of four marine mammals near Cape Brett in the last week. See... DoC Concerned about Bay of Islands Dolphin Deaths  in the General wire.
National Government Liberalised Foreign Investment Rules In Its Last Days
– The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) has only recently learned that one of the last acts of the National government, done without fanfare, was to liberalise the rules governing foreign investment, specifically those involving the level at which foreign investors require approval from the rubber stamp Overseas Investment Commission (OIC). See... Nats Liberalised Foreign Investment In Last Days  in the Politics wire.
Current Account Deficit Hits $6.6 Billion For Year - Cullen Not Surprised
- The September 1999 quarter current account deficit was $2,646 million, said Government Statistician Len Cook. See... Current Account Deficit Hits $6.6 Billion For Year  in the Business wire. Finance Minister Michael Cullen says the September balance of payments result is disappointing but not surprising. See... Account Deficit: No Surprises or Quick Fixes  in the Parliament wire. See the Deutsche Bank analysis… Deutsche Bank: NZ Current Account - Sept Q  in the Business wire.
Resignation of Victoria’s Controversial VC ‘a Good Start’ – Students’ Association
- Controversial Vice Chancellor of Victoria University, Michael Irving, has resigned after only 20 months in the job. Irving was unpopular with both staff and students and his departure is no real surprise. President of the Victoria University Students’ Association Chris Hipkins says Irvings resignation will not solve all the problems facing the university, though it is a good start. See... Irving's Resignation Leaves Unresolved Problems  in the Education wire.
Rural Property Sales Rise
- The national sales volume for the rural property sector rose while national median price fell over both a year to year and month to month basis, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand’s latest monthly survey. For a region by region analysis see… Rural Property Sales Rise  in the Business wire.
Kiwis Undecided on GE Foods – HortResearch; Govt Announces Inquiry
– On the day the government announced a moratorium on commercial planting of genetically engineered crops and a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the technology, HortResearch have released preliminary results from a three year study into the public’s perceptions of GE food. See... Attitudes to GE food under scrutiny - HortResearch  in the wire.
Alliance Welcomes Minimum Wage Increase
- The $22 a week increase in the minimum wage announced is being welcomed by the Alliance. See... Alliance Welcomes Minimum Wage Increase  in the Parliament wire. The increase in the minimum wage will bring some relief for those New Zealanders who work ‘very hard for what remains a very basic income’, the PSA says. See... Min wage rise brings overdue relief for workers  in the Politics wire. Meanwhile ACT Leader Richard Prebble says the experience around the world is that minimum wages and youth rates cost jobs. See... Minimum wages cost jobs - Prebble  in the Headlines wire.
Rivers Revested In Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board
- Title to the beds of several rivers and streams flowing into Lake Taupo has now transferred from the Crown to Ngati Tuwharetoa through the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board. See... Rivers Revested In Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board  in the General wire.
'Beech branch' extended to dissident scientists
- Pro-logging scientists critical of the new Government's decision to protect West Coast beech forests previously threatened by Timberlands logging proposals have been encouraged by conservationists to work with the government to achieve effective conservation… See... 'Beech branch' extended to dissident scientists  in the General wire. ACT's conservation and agriculture spokesman Gerry Eckhoff says the Forest and Bird Society and the Government are displaying frightening signs of closed minds. See... Closed minds over beech forests - Eckhoff  in the Parliament wire.
Santa forgot emergency unemployment benefit - NZUSA
- The New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA) are pleased that the new Government has upheld it’s commitment to tertiary education by abolishing interest on student loans for full time, full year students and low income earners early next year but say the government appears to have forgotten promises to re-introduce the emergency unemployment benefit for students over the summer. See... Santa forgot emergency unemployment benefit  in the Education wire.
Opposition argument on student loans predictable
- “The Opposition's statement suggesting that student debt will skyrocket due to the new government's changes to the loans system is predictable and emotive rhetoric,” said Jarrod Gilbert - the new President of the University of Canterbury Students' Association. See... Opposition argument on student loans predictable  in the Education wire.
New Chancellor for Victoria University
- The Hon. Russell Marshall was elected the new Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington at today's University Council meeting. He succeeds Douglas White QC, who will retire after twenty years as a member of the Council. See... New Chancellor for Victoria University  in the Education wire.