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New Zealand Herald

Howzat For Skill - America’s Cup - Campion Attack - Turia Attacks Agencies - Medical Moratorium - Ferry Solution - Traffic Ques - Men Beaten- Wine Beer - Rodney Cancer - Bray’s Steroids - Teacher Sex - Editorial: Auckland’s Transport

HOWZAT FOR SKILL: In Wellington Chris Cairns was yesterday compared to one of the world's best all-rounders, Ian Botham, after throwing New Zealand a tenuous lifeline in the second test against Australia. In all sorts of trouble as they head into the fourth day with a lead of just 68 and only five wickets in hand, New Zealand's slight hopes of saving the match are largely resting on the shoulders of Cairns, who hit a century in the first innings and is unbeaten on 61 overnight.

AMERICA’S CUP: The next America's Cup reaches a crunch point this week, with star sailors and their financial backers in delicate negotiations to confirm their part in the 2003 defence. Underpinning the urgency is the fact that Team New Zealand members receive their last pay this week, with contracts ending on Friday. Young skipper Dean Barker is one who is uncertain about his future.

CAMPION ATTACK: On the eve of the 72nd Academy Awards, celebrated New Zealand film director Jane Campion is under attack, with calls for her to be stripped of her Oscar for The Piano screenplay. An Australian newspaper has accused Sydney-based Campion of basing the screenplay on Jane Mander's novel The Story of a New Zealand River.

TURIA ATTACKS AGENCIES: Associate Social Services Minister Tariana Turia has launched a blistering attack on one of her own Government agencies, accusing the Child, Youth and Family Services of "downright prejudice." She said the service's "absolute mistrust" of Maori families and iwi networks was the reason it often did not find foster placings for Maori children within their whanau, hapu or iwi.

MEDICAL MORATORIUM: Medical experiments will not be affected by a moratorium on genetic engineering expected to be finalised this week. A cabinet committee will meet on Wednesday to settle the terms of reference for the royal commission into genetic modification and the ban on trials that will apply during the 12-month, $4 million inquiry.

FERRY SOLUTION: Long-suffering West Auckland commuters fed up with traffic jams may be able to cruise into downtown Auckland on a ferry later this year. Pacific Ferries, which runs the red and white boats from the city to Waiheke Island, confirmed last night that it was looking at establishing a ferry service from Waitakere City.

TRAFFIC QUES: Inspector Alex Robinson clocks up 110km and up to two hours and 45 minutes getting to and from the Auckland Central police station each day. The tally in frustration battling Southern Motorway queues can go off the scale.

MEN BEATEN: Two men have been viciously beaten - one almost to death - in separate attacks in the heart of Auckland's downtown red-light district. Police are investigating whether the two unprovoked attacks in the Fort St area within a few days of each other were carried out by the same men.

WINE BEER: New Zealand horticulturists in Nelson have grown a hop that makes beer taste like wine. The rare and highly aromatic Nelson Sauvin hop is the key ingredient in a limited-release beer, AroMac, to be launched on May 1 by McCashin's Breweries to attract drinkers looking for a similar taste experience to Sauvignon Blanc wine.

RODNEY CANCER: A brush with cancer has not deterred the Deputy Mayor of Rodney District, Arnold Gosling, from trying to save the council from the Government's axe. Mr Gosling said yesterday he felt well enough to head a caretaker council, although he was halfway through chemotherapy treatment after surgery for bowel cancer.

BRAY’S STEROIDS: Olympic swimmer Trent Bray wept as he told of his battle to clear his name, tarnished after a positive test for a banned steroid. On TVNZ's 60 Minutes last night, he choked on his words as he talked about the effect on his family of allegations that he took nandrolone.

TEACHER SEX: A high school teacher who admitted to sleeping with a student has been allowed to keep her job. Janine Rayner's future at James Cook High School in Manurewa has been secured just a month after she confessed publicly to having sex with a Wesley College fifth-form boy when she was a teacher there two years earlier.

EDITORIAL: AUCKLAND’S TRANSPORT A courier company is offering its drivers one-on-one counselling to keep their frustration levels in check as they sit in queues all day. Has there been a more telling comment on the sheer awfulness of Auckland's transport system? Fortunately for all those motorists who empathised with the couriers' plight, the Weekend Herald also reported a Government initiative that suggests ever-worsening snarl-ups need not be the road ahead. The Minister of Transport's circuit-breaker is the freeing up of access to the roading budget so that public transport schemes are no longer disadvantaged when pitted against road-building.

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