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New Zealand Herald

Flour Miller Leaves - Labour Super Fund Rocked – Rugby Nationality Sidestep - Kiwi Soldiers In Timor - Sweat Shop Tales - Teachers Resent Labels - Queen Controversy - AG’s Independence - No Crowds At Cricket - No Crowds At Cricket- Editorial: Pope’s Pardon

VETTORI’S RECORD - After performing all manner of record-breaking feats with the ball, Daniel Vettori may need to produce something special with the bat at Eden Park today if New Zealand are to win their cricket test against Australia. The New Zealand left-armer gave his side an outside chance of a win yesterday, after taking seven for 87 in Australia's second innings.

CORRUPTED IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS: An organised crime syndicate trading in human cargo corrupted "soft touch" New Zealand officials to help run their multimillion-dollar operation, investigators say. The Auckland-based group - busted open in a series of early morning raids yesterday - has spent five years smuggling more than 1000 people into New Zealand, according to police.

SEX & DRUGS IN PROBATION: Sex and drugs allegations have rocked the probation service, with two officers suspended and a third sacked. Two female probation officers allegedly involved in a drugs-for-favours scandal have been suspended, and a male officer was sacked after separate sex accusations.

FLOUR MILLER LEAVES: Goodman Fielder, Australasia's largest flour miller, is considering closing its four New Zealand mills and importing all its flour from Australia. Nearly 200 jobs in Auckland, Mt Maunganui, Palmerston North and Christchurch are at risk.

LABOUR SUPER FUND ROCKED: Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton yesterday appeared to rock Labour's plans for a mammoth superannuation fund, saying it was just one option for solving the looming pension crisis. He later threw his weight behind the scheme, acknowledging that some pre-funding of baby boomers' pensions was Government policy.

RUGBY NATIONALITY SIDESTEP: International rugby authorities have started to sidestep as questions escalate about whether New Zealand flanker Brett Sinkinson's ancestry allows him to play for his adopted country, Wales. While Welsh rugby officials have launched their own inquiry after newspaper allegations about Sinkinson's background, the International Rugby Board was much more reticent about their involvement.

KIWI SOLDIERS IN TIMOR: New Zealand and Australian troops could be stationed in East Timor for at least two more years, according to the former commander of the Interfet peacekeeping force, Major-General Peter Cosgrove. Now commander of Australia's land forces and based in Sydney, the general is on a short visit to New Zealand for consultations and to assess lessons from the Timor operation.

SWEAT SHOP TALES: Four women shipped from Thailand to an Auckland clothes factory claim they worked 70 hours a week for less than the minimum wage, gave up their passports and were called "dog-breath" when they complained. The women told an Employment Tribunal in Auckland yesterday that they sewed garments for 12 hours a day, six days a week in a Glen Eden factory belonging to Wiliwan Sivoravong - and netted $575 each a month.

TEACHERS RESENT LABELS: Some teachers resent being appointed the "moral custodians of the nation" and say their ability to build character in children depends on what happens at home. Those who have contacted the Herald to comment on its series about values in schools are unhappy at comment from education experts that they must take a greater role in fostering character development.

QUEEN CONTROVERSY: Auckland City's midnight swoop on the Queen has divided the country. Calls and letters flooded into the Herald after we revealed that Auckland Mayor Christine Fletcher and five councillors had removed portraits of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh from the council's debating chamber

AG’S INDEPENDENCE: The Auditor-General, David Macdonald, will try to stop Parliament granting itself the power to direct his work priorities as it "could be seen to compromise my independence." Ironically, the measure is part of a bill aimed at formalising the Auditor-General's already de facto role as an independent officer of Parliament.

NO CROWDS AT CRICKET: From his job at the freight depot of an Adelaide bus service, he lives and breathes cricket, saving up his pay for the next trip overseas to watch his cricketing heroes play on a foreign field. Before he left Australia, he was concerned about the size of New Zealand test match crowds and whether he could get a good seat. But at Eden Park yesterday, for day three of the first test between Australia and New Zealand, he had a prime spot, because there were fewer people there than on Bondi Beach in mid-winter.

EDITORIAL: POPE’S PARDON: Contrition is one of the sacred rites of Roman Catholicism, so it is surprising that Pope John Paul's prayer on Sunday for forgiveness of events spanning a millennium should be the first time a leader of the Church has sought such a historic pardon. Yet reports from the Vatican suggest that the Church, holding a "day of forgiveness" to mark its Holy Year 2000, was making an unprecedented gesture.

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