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Waitangi x 3 - Yahoo - Car On Runway - Health Policy - Drugs Billionaire - Drug Kingpin - Big Day Out - Plane Crash - Indonesian Riots - Broadcasting - Waitangi: Editorial

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WAITANGI: Helen Clark will celebrate Waitangi Day on a small marae at the end of a winding dirt road on the Banks Peninsula where South Island chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. The historic Onuku Marae, 5km southwest of Akaroa, also witnessed a 1998 apology from the then Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley, to Ngai Tahu, sealing the tribe's treaty settlement with the Crown. It was on this day that protocol was changed, and a woman was permitted to formally speak, as Mrs Shipley was allowed to deliver the Crown's apology.

WAITANGI: Prime Minister Helen Clark has turned her back on Waitangi, opting instead for Ngai Tahu's Waitangi Day commemoration at Onuku Marae on Banks Peninsula. She will also attend a range of arts, cultural and sports events around the country over the weekend, a mix she sees as "defining the nation New Zealand is becoming" in the new millennium.

WAITANGI: Has Helen Clark taken the first bold step in dispelling the myth of Waitangi Day at Waitangi? The Prime Minister's decision to avoid the inevitable challenge from Titewhai Harawira at the lower marae and the near-certainty of protests on the Treaty Grounds is a chance to retrieve some dignity from her dilemma. See also EDITORIAL

YAHOO: New evidence that the Internet is taking over the world arrived yesterday. The value of search engine Yahoo soared on the Japanese stock exchange - with the price for just one share briefly rising above $NZ1.8 million. The latest indication of the worldwide fever for cyberspace stocks drove the shares to what may have been a world record high.

CAR ON RUNWAY: Air traffic controllers have no way of knowing if a car or pedestrian has strayed on to Auckland Airport's main runway at night, it emerged yesterday. As airport security continued its investigation into how a lost motorist eluded security measures and drove on to the runway on Tuesday night, a senior source said the pilot of the packed 767 airliner would probably not have spotted the car unless its lights had been on.

HEALTH POLICY: The Government should concentrate on fighting the 15 diseases which kill the most people each year, says the Ministry of Health. But it warns that this "difficult shift in thinking" could mean cutbacks in some existing health services.

DRUGS BILLIONAIRE: Lawyers acting for the Herald have won the right to see submissions in the case of the drug- smuggling American billionaire. Yesterday morning, Justice Williams dismissed an appeal by the man's lawyer, Marie Dyhrberg, seeking to prevent the Herald from seeing her original submissions on the man's case. Justice Williams applied two conditions to his ruling - that the submissions be used by the Herald only for preparing its application to overturn the name suppression, and that any notes on the submissions made by Judge David Harvey be deleted because they are private. MORE AT THE NZ HERALD

DRUGS TRIAL: An alleged drugs kingpin, who is fighting police moves to seize $1.5 million worth of personal assets, claims he made his money through angora goat farming and not underworld operations. West Aucklander Peter William Cleven, who police claim is the leader of one of the country's largest drug networks, is due to appear in the High Court at Auckland today for a bail hearing after a week in jail following a police raid.

BIG DAY OUT:Tempers flared yesterday as music fans queued for Big Day Out tickets in the heat of an Auckland summer's day. Fans began gathering at dawn outside two downtown music stores for the last 2000 tickets to today's day-long festival at the Ericsson Stadium.

PLANE CRASH: A Tauranga man who lost his wife and daughter in a plane crash last year wants to know why the 81-year-old pilot was allowed to fly. A Civil Aviation Authority investigation found that Neville McDonald, of Marlborough, had enough quinine in his system to cause sudden blindness when he flew the Piper Cherokee carrying Heather Williams, aged 48, and Hayley Williams, 23.

INDONESIAN RIOTS: Jackie Henshall knew her teenage daughter was scared when, trapped in riots on the Indonesian island of Lombok, she kept saying on the phone, "Mum, I love you lots." The Greenlane woman said last night that it was rare for a 13-year-old to say something like that.

BROADCASTING: Government plans to introduce local content quotas for radio and television could breach international obligations and bring demands for compensation. The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has also told Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs that Australian programmes would have to be allowed under any quota.

EDITORIAL - WAITANGI: Throughout the past decade, politicians have found the treaty grounds an almost irresistible lure on Waitangi Day. They continued to flock there even after an array of indignities, which included the Governor-General, being spat upon and the national flag being trampled. Most recently, in 1998, Helen Clark, then Leader of the Opposition, was reduced to tears when Titewhai Harawira challenged her right to speak on the Waitangi marae. Now, as Prime Minister, Ms Clark has decided that enough is enough. Rather than subject herself again to the "underlying mood of tension and uneasiness" at Waitangi, she has accepted an invitation to the formal commemoration by Ngai Tahu on Banks Peninsula. The decision is a victory for both fortitude and common sense.

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