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New Zealand Herald

Choose Life - TVNZ Saga - Ellis & Armstrong - Caretaker Sacked - Tycoon Loser - Team NZ Sponsors - Anzac Day - Waiter Attack - Blakie Inquiry - Queen & Council - One Tree City - Rodney Council - Obstetrician Cleared - Editorial: Team NZ Dispute

CHOOSE LIFE: The Catholic Bishop of Auckland has pledged cash to help women "choose life" for their babies instead of abortion. Bishop Patrick Dunn has given a personal undertaking to give every possible help, including financial, to girls and women undecided about the future of their unborn child. He says he will reach into his own pocket if necessary.

TVNZ SAGA: TVNZ stars face pay cuts and tighter board scrutiny of their salary packages, the network's new chairman confirmed after a parliamentary grilling yesterday. The select committee hearing into TVNZ also witnessed chief executive Rick Ellis expressing personal regret for hiring newsreader John Hawkesby on a salary of $750,000.

ELLIS & ARMSTRONG: Welcome to the Armstrong and Ellis Show. Today's topic: "How we've stuffed up, but heads won't roll and I promise it won't happen again." It was billed as the best show in town and it was all local content when Television New Zealand bosses fronted up to a parliamentary select committee yesterday.

CARETAKER SACKED: A caretaker who lived and worked at an Auckland childcare centre has been sacked amid a police probe into rumours of sexual dealings with young boys. Police yesterday confirmed that a 58-year-old man would appear in the Auckland District Court this afternoon on two charges of indecently assaulting minors and two of inducing them to perform an indecent act.

TYCOON LOSER: An American tycoon who owns a remote New Zealand golf course has lost about $32 billion in bad stock and currency deals. This is almost as much as the New Zealand Government spends in a year.

TEAM NZ SPONSORS: Sponsors of the successful Team New Zealand America's Cup defenders fear they may be squeezed out by other companies trying to lure the syndicate's new management with more money. The "family of five" sponsors - Toyota, Lotto, Telecom, TV One and Steinlager - have rights of renewal for the 2003 regatta but there are "out" clauses relating to market conditions. Second-tier sponsors include WestpacTrust, Line 7, SGI and Fletcher Building.

ANZAC DAY: Ever since Loren Theobald was a child her father has bundled her up to go to the local Anzac Day dawn parade with her war veteran grandfather. This Anzac Day the 17-year-old Waimauku girl will see the dawn with the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, on the Gallipoli beach where her great-grandfather stood before he was fatally wounded.

WAITER ATTACK: It's after 5am on a Friday morning and Auckland waiter Stephen Byrne is still on the dancefloor at his favourite club, the Fu Bar. This is a venue where the 37-year-old is so well known that management orders a case of his favourite brew - Victoria Bitter - every couple of weeks to keep him happy.

BLAKIE INQUIRY: Detectives have swooped on a house in the Canterbury town of Darfield after finding the car sought in connection with the murder of Timaru woman Lisa Blakie. A specialist police search squad and a team of forensic experts yesterday examined the house and grounds in detail.

QUEEN & COUNCIL: The Queen is back at Auckland City but the "midnight raiders" who removed her portrait have got off without being censured. Councillors voted 8-5 last night to keep the portrait of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in the council chamber until they decide otherwise.

ONE TREE CITY: What a weird and wonderful world it is that allows you to switch granny's life support system off with a nod, but forces Auckland City to go through 18 months of hearings to get rid of the mortally wounded One Tree Hill pine.

RODNEY COUNCIL: The seven surviving members of the Rodney District Council have decided to appoint five new councillors instead of holding a byelection. They have called on residents to put their names forward for the five wards.

OBSTETRICIAN CLEARED: A medical tribunal has cleared Auckland obstetrician Dr Lynda Batcheler on allegations that she failed to provide adequate care to a woman whose baby was stillborn. The Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal found Dr Batcheler not guilty on a five-point charge of "conduct unbecoming" after a three-day hearing this month.

EDITORIAL: TEAM NZ DISPUTE: When heroes fall into dispute, nobody wins. The dispute between Sir Peter Blake's organisation and Russell Coutts' group, over the transfer of the assets of Team New Zealand, is all the more disturbing because there is reluctance to tell the public what is going on. The Herald has been trying to obtain answers to a series of reasonable questions for some time. So far the brick wall prevails but we mean to keep trying. As things stand, the public knows only that the parties had fundamentally different expectations about the rights to the successful yachts and the design secrets contained in them, along with the Team NZ brand and all the cachet it carries with the public.
Russell Coutts and his colleagues, who intend to

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