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National Radio Midday Bulletin

WINZ Head Grilling - Tamihere Trust - Interest Rate Rise - Gavin Dash Disappearance - Appeal Lost - Defection Legislation - Mozambique’s Debt - China & Taiwan - Rotorua Chiefs - Rat Problem - Cricket:

WINZ HEAD GRILLING: The Chief Executive of Work And Income New Zealand Christine Rankin has got a grilling from MPs in a Parliamentary select committee today and has admitted it has been a tough year for the organisation. Ms Rankin has also owned up to problems with student allowances and has admitted the scandal over WINZ chartering a private jet to a conference has caused it a public relations problem.

TAMIHERE's TRUST: The new chief of Auckland Based Waipareira Trust says he is happy to open the books of the Trust after ACT leader Richard Prebble tabled a report allegding a misuse of funds by former Trust head John Tamihere yesterday.

INTEREST RATE RISE: The Reserve Bank has increased it’s key base lending rate by half a percent to 5.75 per cent, an increase of 1.25 per cent since November. The Bank has made the rise because of projected economic growth and a weak New Zealand dollar.

GAVIN DASH DISAPPEARANCE: Police investigating the disappearance of missing Law student Gavin Dash now believe he was a victim of foul play. They are currently investigating the disappearance of a carpet from the student’s flat.

APPEAL LOST: The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a former Labour Cabinet Minister after he was convicted of fraud involving claims he made for tax rebates in his private travel.

DEFECTION LEGISLATION: Hearings have begun on legislation designed to ensure MPs defecting to other parties would have to leave Parliament.

MOZAMBIQUE’S DEBT: Leaders from the Southern African development community have called for Mozambique to be relieved of all of its foreign debts after a meeting this week. The region’s infrastructure has been severely damaged by widespread flooding.

CHINA & TAIWAN: The Chinese authorities have made increasingly urgent appeals to Taiwan not to seek independence as elections for the island state draw near.

RAT PROBLEM: Pest companies in Auckland are gearing up for a busy week after hot weather caused a build up in the number of rats in the up-market areas of Remuera and Parnell.

ROTORUA CHIEFS: A small Rotorua rugby league club calling itself “the Chiefs” is in trouble with officials at the national Rugby Union who are worried that the smaller club will be confused with the Waikato Chiefs.

CRICKET: New Zealand have lost an early wicket on the final day of the test match in Eden Park.

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