F16s – Air Force Reaction – Taranaki Oil Find – Kit Richards – Building Slump – Whangarei Smash – Doomsday Cult – St Stephens – Oyster Industry
F16S: The government may go beyond its decision to cut the F16 deal and abandon the combat air strike force altogether. The PM appears to favour the idea of reducing the air force to a transport and surveillance role.
AIR FORCE REACTION: Air Marshall Carey Adamson says there will be disappointment in the Air Force about the decision to stop the F16 deal, but stresses that it does now mean the end of an air strike force.
TARANAKI OIL FIND: A senior government official says a new find of oil in Taranaki could make New Zealand self sufficient in oil. The discovery near Hawera may be of up to 100 million barrels of oil.
KIT RICHARDS: The Labour MP from the West Coast is offside with the government over the role of the former employee of Timberlands Kit Richards who has been employed as a consultant. Damien O’Conner has written a letter to a West Coast paper on the issue.
BUILDING SLUMP: There are warnings that a prolonged slowdown lies ahead for the building industry. January and February’s building consents were far lower. By the end of the year the workload is expected to fall by 15% to 20%.
WHANGAREI SMASH: Three people have died in a crash on SH1 south of Whangarei when the van they were in hit a tree.
DOOMSDAY CULT: The charred bodies of hundreds of dead from a doomsday cult in Uganda have been dumped in a mass grave. Up to 500 people may have died in the burning church.
ST STEPHENS: The secondary school principals association says bullying in boarding schools can not be tolerated. The comments come in the wake of St Stephens suspending several students for beating youngsters in an initiation ceremony.
OYSTER INDUSTRY: The bluff oyster industry is waiting to see how far the disease bonamia has spread before they close oyster beds.