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New Zealand Herald

Waipareira Trust - Aids Compensation - Welsh Links - Buckyballs Here - Collision Death - Rodney District Council - Waipareira Trust - Gridiron Player - Susan Burdett Trial - Pakatoa Island - Question Time - Lottery Money Stolen - Youth Court Investigates - Arts Funding Crisis - Editorial: Whistle Blowing Legislation

WAIPAREIRA TRUST: Political foes Richard Prebble and John Tamihere traded verbal punches in Parliament yesterday amid claims of racism and misuse of public money. Two other MPs were thrown out of the House during the uproar, which followed the Act leader's attack on Mr Tamihere over allegations of misuse of public money by the Waipareira Trust.

AIDS COMPENSATION: Dennis Hedley wants compensation because someone died of Aids in his North Shore house two years before he bought it. Mr Hedley claims that after he purchased his Milford property, he discovered it had previously been occupied by a male homosexual couple, one of whom had contracted Aids and died.

WELSH LINKS: In Whangarei Shane Howarth's step-family does not have the Welsh connection he desperately needs to save his international rugby career. The former All Black's future with Wales may be over as he struggles to provide proof he has the ancestry needed to play for them.

BUCKYBALLS HERE: Gases from outer space, trapped in rare carbon molecules nicknamed "buckyballs," have been found in New Zealand, say US researchers. The extraterrestrial gases were brought here by the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs 64 million years ago.

COLLISION DEATH: Rosina Hamiora was enjoying a family barbecue to celebrate her grandson's 12th birthday when she received a telephone call from a friend urging her to come to the RSA to play darts. The 48-year-old got into her car and had driven just a couple of hundred metres when she was involved in a collision with a group of teenage joyriders driving an allegedly stolen car.

RODNEY DISTRICT COUNCIL: From the outside it's the banality of what has been going on in the Rodney District Council that lingers in the mind. We have Councillor Ross Meurant, miffed at being ejected from a council meeting, hot-footing it to the police to complain that chief executive Brian Sharplin had assaulted him.

GRIDIRON PLAYER: Just up the road from the Papakura Marae there is a commotion on the corner section where Bella Dixon lives. Her son, big David Dixon, is back home on holiday from the United States, where the 1986 Pukekohe High School 1st XV captain plays gridiron for the Minnesota Vikings on a multimillion-dollar contract in the National Football League.

SUSAN BURDETT TRIAL: Teina Pora and Malcolm Rewa knew each other, a witness told the Susan Burdett murder trial in the High Court at Auckland yesterday. Rewa, whose semen was found in the dead woman's battered body, was previously convicted of her rape, but a jury could not agree on a murder charge.

PAKATOA ISLAND: Top Northland surfer Jamie Langridge, who collapsed and died at a Pakatoa Island dance party this month, had enough Ecstasy in his system to kill him. His was the second Ecstasy related death connected to the dance party scene. Ngaire O'Neill died in October 1998 after taking the so-called love drug at a Karangahape Rd club.

QUESTION TIME: When the lightest moment in parliamentary question time is provided by a question on police brutality, you know it has been bad. Yesterday was the most bruising day of this relatively well-behaved Parliament.

LOTTERY MONEY STOLEN: The interim name suppression of a man convicted and sentenced for stealing $56,000 in lottery money was extended last night for a further day. On Wednesday, an Auckland District Court judge sentenced the man to a suspended 13-month jail term and nine months' periodic detention and ordered him to pay back $20,000.

YOUTH COURT INVESTIGATES: Former Principal Youth Court Judge Mick Brown has been called in to investigate how the Government's social services department places at-risk children with caregivers. He will also do a separate study on how Child, Youth and Family Services responds to reports of child abuse or neglect.

ARTS FUNDING CRISIS: In Wellington two of the country's premier cultural institutions - the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Te Papa - are in deep financial trouble. The orchestra is holding urgent talks with the Government over a money crisis that could temporarily close it.

EDITORIAL: WHISTLE BLOWING LEGISLATION: Who could I have gone to that I hadn't already gone to? I felt that I had gone to about half a dozen people and everyone that I could think of." Such was the frustration of Neil Pugmire, the nurse who revealed the release of a dangerous patient from a psychiatric hospital's secure unit. For nine months, Mr Pugmire had tried to warn of the danger to public safety through the correct channels.

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