New Zealand Herald
Brother Beaten - KGB Spies – Heartland - Waipareira Trust - Drug Tests - Pilot Charged - One Tree Hill - Drowned Girl - Intelligence Services - Kelly On Committee - State House Tenants - Logging Challenge – Powerlines - Transport Auckland - Editorial - Britomart
BROTHER BEATEN:Ikamatua is the kind of place where you can walk into the local pub and everyone knows your name. Auckland is the kind of place where you can walk out of a bar and be beaten and left for dead. The contrasts of small-town and big-city New Zealand have hit home for West Coast man Darryl Byrne, who has made his first visit to Auckland to be by the hospital bedside of older brother Stephen.
KGB SPIES: Top secret KGB files are believed to show the Soviet Union used New Zealand as an easy, English-speaking training ground for spies during the Cold War. The files are the subject of a book by espionage historian Christopher Andrew, of Cambridge University, which may name New Zealanders involved in the Soviet operations.
HEARTLAND: The Government is setting up a "Heart of the Nation" panel of cultural high priests to come up with a plan to support arts and culture - and make them more able to boost the economy. The H.O.T. Nation campaign is New Zealand's equivalent of the "Cool Britannia" scheme conceived for Britain by Tony Blair's Government.
WAIPAREIRA TRUST: High-profile MP John Tamihere yesterday released confidential information about beneficiaries as part of his campaign to clear the Waipareira Trust. The names of dozens of people involved in Work and Income NZ programmes run by the trust were given in documents Mr Tamihere tabled in Parliament.
DRUG TESTS: Supporters of Trent Bray have set up a fund to help the Olympic swimmer clear his name over a positive drug test. Colleagues at the Mt Albert Grammar School swimming academy launched the fund yesterday to support him in covering almost $50,000 in legal and other fees spent fighting the positive test for the banned steroid nandrolone.
PILOT CHARGED: Manslaughter charges have been laid against the captain of an Ansett plane that crashed near Palmerston North five years ago. Gary Southeran is due to appear in the Palmerston North District Court on April 10.
ONE TREE HILL:Preparations are under way to remove One Tree Hill's historic pine, which has less than three years to live. One or more totara or pohutukawa trees are prime candidates to be planted once the 125-year-old Monterey pine goes
DROWNED GIRL: In New Plymouth the father of a drowned girl could see his daughter and a nephew being dragged out to sea but was powerless to do anything about it. Darrell Chapman's statement to the police after the drowning of the two children was read out in the New Plymouth Coroner's Court yesterday.
INTELLIGENCE SERVICES: Labour deputy leader Michael Cullen last night accused former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley of revealing in Parliament state secrets collected by intelligence services. Mrs Shipley cited two instances of intelligence services proving useful during a debate on an amendment to a bill. The amendment would have quashed the intelligence services' powers to gather and use information.
KELLY ON COMMITTEE: National MPs want Labour's Graham Kelly sacked as chairman of the select committee rewriting industrial law after he advised trade unions to make their submissions when they were more likely to be reported by journalists. Mr Kelly has also admitted privately telling union delegates not to be provocative and not to refer to employers and Opposition MPs as "pigs" or "dogs" while making submissions on the contentious Employment Relations Bill. His advice came to light in
STATE HOUSE TENANTS: Not all state tenants will qualify for rents set at 25 per cent of household income, raising claims that Labour has broken the spirit of an election promise. Housing Minister Mark Gosche has confirmed that only "low-income" households will qualify for the cheapest rents, although the Government has not yet defined what constitutes a low income.
STUDENT PROTESTS: Waikato University students occupied their campus registry building last night and Auckland University students are threatening to do the same today as part of a nationwide campaign for free education. Students at Auckland burned effigies of Work and Income NZ chief Christine Rankin and university vice-chancellor Dr John Hood yesterday before setting up outside the registry. But with police already outside and inside the building, the
LOGGING CHALLENGE: West Coast sawmillers have failed in their legal challenge to the Government's decision to end beech logging. Justice Hammond has decided the Government did not act unlawfully when it instructed state-owned enterprise Timberlands to cancel its contracts to supply beech logs to the sawmillers.
POWERLINES: Aviation authorities say there have been delays in marking powerlines and introducing rules to help prevent air crashes involving lines and other wires. But in the wake of Tuesday's helicopter crash, which killed five people, the Civil Aviation Authority says there has been concentration on pilot awareness and education about wire danger.
TRANSPORT AUCKLAND: Motorists have come out from behind the wheel to vent their rage at Auckland's inadequate transport system. Hundreds have responded to the Herald's Getting Auckland Moving campaign with outpourings of despair and anger; many have offered innovative suggestions and solutions as well.
EDITORIAL - BRITOMART: What is there about Britomart that causes successive Auckland City Councils to take leave of their senses? No sooner had the present council canned its predecessor's monstrous proposal than it was contemplating a scaled-down scheme that somehow carried a higher cost to ratepayers. Now the council is thinking of leaving the rail terminus where it is and inviting commuters to change to lighter vehicles - trams or guided buses - for the hop to Queen St. It should think again. On no account should the rail terminus be left where it is. The whole Britomart saga began with the simple objective of bringing the railway to the bottom of Queen St, where the station should have been built in the first place. Until trains can deliver people to within a reasonable walk of their workplaces, their patronage will be severely limited. That principle has long been accepted by all sides of the argument and it is staggering that some members of the city council can lose sight of it.