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New Zealand Herald

TVNZ – Michael Campbell – Medical Misadventure – Rodney Council – Auckland’s Problems – Truth Defamation – Knights And Dames – Tainui – Pedophile On The Run – Incis – Valentines Day – Phil Pryke – Gauguin – South Auckland Health – Russ Thomas – Editorial: Brash vs Cullen

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TVNZ: Tension between the Government and TVNZ deepened last night, as the Prime Minister accused the company of running an aggressive public relations campaign, using its own presenters and journalists. In reply, an angry Paul Holmes threatened to quit the country "and take a whole lot of talented people with me."

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: The golfing world is Michael Campbell's oyster after another stunning victory yesterday, this time at the Australian Masters. New Zealand's newest million-dollar man is now hoping for a possible showdown with sporting superstar Tiger Woods in a fortnight at the $US5 million World Matchplay Championship, at La Costa, California.

MEDICAL MISADVENTURE: A Howick woman, once a singer and model, is paying with her own money and tears for a medical blunder that has ruined her life. Today she is in so much pain she cannot perform normal household tasks or care for her 10-year-old son.

RODNEY COUNCIL: The faction-riven Rodney District Council may wind up under the control of an independent commissioner. A six-day ministerial inquiry ended at Orewa on Saturday with the strong possibility that Local Government Minister Sandra Lee may suspend the mayor and council and appoint an independent authority. Mayor Doug Armstrong said that in view

AUCKLAND’S PROBLEMS: The Government's resolve to solve "Auckland problems" faces an early test over a collection of vintage planes, trains and automobiles. The Minister for Auckland Issues, Judith Tizard, plans to drive a bill through Parliament allowing the Museum of Transport, Technology and Social History (Motat) to obtain funding from all Auckland ratepayers.

TRUTH DEFAMATION: The owners of Truth say a record $675,000 defamation award to musician Ray Columbus will not threaten the paper's future. Columbus, whose hits included She's a Mod in 1964, sued the weekly tabloid over an article it printed in 1997.

KNIGHTS AND DAMES: The royal honours titles of "knight" and "dame" look likely to get the chop. But the Prime Minister is more cautious about getting rid of two other British colonial relics - the Union Jack on the flag and appeals to the Privy Council. Helen Clark say she has been mulling over the abolition of the titles "sir" and "dame" in honours lists for some weeks.

TAINUI: The financially battered Tainui tribe says an Australian businessman, Phil Pryke, was partly responsible for some of its bad investments. Mr Pryke was paid directors' fees for serving on the boards of four companies belonging to the Waikato-based tribe. He also billed it more than $600,000 for consultancy work he did for the companies.

PEDOPHILE ON THE RUN: Police fear that a suspected child molester thought to have fled in a stolen charter boat could be in danger if he ventures too far from land. The 40-year-old man left Auckland's Westhaven Marina in the 10.3m chartered sloop Kai Iwi on February 5, but failed to return the boat on February 8.

INCIS: Previously secret documents about the Incis project reveal allegations that deals done behind closed doors landed the doomed police computer in trouble early on. In transcripts of evidence to a parliamentary panel, obtained by the Herald, the Incis project director, Superintendent Tony Crewdson, alleges that changes to the contract were made improperly, but were approved by the then Commissioner of Police, Peter Doone.

VALENTINES DAY: Young men think St Valentine's Day is about sex - not romance. A survey shows that although most New Zealanders embrace the romantic ideals of Valentine's Day, a "surprising number" of men under 30 linked February 14 with sex.

PHIL PRYKE: For Phil Pryke, a bad year was grossing under $1 million. And during the latter half of his 25 years in New Zealand, many of those millions came out of taxpayers' pockets.

GAUGUIN: The air of intrigue surrounding an Auckland Gauguin exhibition thickened yesterday with claim and counterclaim over the artworks' authenticity. Critics say all six artworks attributed to Paul Gauguin are fake and that an 1892 drawing entitled Te Hura is on a tapa-cloth canvas made in the mid-20th century.

SOUTH AUCKLAND HEALTH: Health workers battling South Auckland's child health crisis went to the children at the weekend. About 10,000 children visit a McDonald's restaurant every week in South Auckland, a region where more children suffer illness and die than anywhere else in the country.

RUSS THOMAS: Russ Thomas, the former Rugby Union leader who died suddenly while on a business trip to Sydney on Friday, was one of the sport's last old-fashioned administrators. Thomas, aged 73, finished his long career in rugby administration with a senior post on the International Rugby Board and a leading role with the 1991 World Cup organising committee.

EDITORIAL – BRASH VS CULLEN: Inflation can rarely be tamed by a measure that does not suppress attempts to maintain high living standards. The cure, of course, is a reflection of the ailment - a nation trying to live beyond its means. As austerity, and the party-pooper responsible, are welcomed by few, the governor of the Reserve Bank inevitably finds himself under intense scrutiny. Now, however, there is a new joker in the pack arrayed against Don Brash. A change of Government has brought a Minister of Finance who apparently feels little trepidation about publicly criticising Dr Brash. Michael Cullen's first volley came after the Reserve Bank, in mid-January, raised interest rates just two hours before the Statistics Department reported that the consumers price index for the December quarter had risen by just 0.2 per cent. The bank - far from alone - had forecast a much bigger rise.


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