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New Zealand Herald

Health Apology - Old Stock Rises - Bus Death - Mental Health Report- Quiet Killer - Cervical Inquiry - Contaminated Blood - Tvnz Board - Marathon Sitting - Waitara Racism - Rankin Objections - Australian Fashion

HEALTH APOLOGY: Waitemata Health has made an "unreserved apology" to the families of murder victim Malcolm Beggs and his killer, Lachlan Jones, admitting it failed in its mental health treatment of Jones. The healthcare provider yesterday made public the damning findings of a review of its care of Jones, aged 19, who killed Mr Beggs then apparently committed suicide last August.

OLD STOCK RISES: Hard-up smokers facing higher-priced cigarettes should beware - some retailers are cashing in on the tax rise. Within hours of the Government revealing on Tuesday its tax rise of at least $1 for a packet of 20 cigarettes, some shops and dairies had already put up their prices - on old stock for which they had not paid the higher tax.

BUS DEATH: A mother arrived to pick up her son from a bus stop yesterday afternoon just minutes after he had been thrown under the wheels of a bus and killed. It is believed the Browns Bay 12-year-old was fatally injured when his schoolbag caught in the door of a Stagecoach bus and he was dragged a short way before being run over.

MENTAL HEALTH REPORT: A report on the mental-health treatment of Lachlan Jones makes 54 wide-ranging recommendations but has left Brian and Yvonne Beggs of West Auckland still asking: "Why did our son die?" Jones killed 25-year-old Malcolm Beggs, his landlord, and was later also found dead at their Henderson house two weeks after discharging himself against medical advice from Waitemata Health's Te Atarau acute psychiatric unit last August.

QUIET KILLER: Katie Connolly never heard her quiet killer coming. The bright 16-year-old had her head down, deep in thought, as she walked across the rail station's platform and on to its pedestrian crossing.

CERVICAL INQUIRY: A young woman whose mother died of cervical cancer after several smear slides were misread has told an inquiry of her anguish over "terrible errors" which might have contributed to her death. The woman, whose identity was suppressed, told of her struggle to cope upon learning her mother might die and how it pushed her into taking an overdose of morphine.

CONTAMINATED BLOOD: ROTORUA - Faulty sterilisation equipment may be the cause of a contaminated blood scare at Rotorua Hospital. Meanwhile, all but one of the 34 patients from Rotorua, Tokoroa and Taupo who were treated with contaminated equipment have had blood tests and initial results are expected by tomorrow.

TVNZ BOARD: The newest addition to the board of TVNZ was once banned from the state broadcaster's Auckland headquarters. But times have changed for Paul Smith, a journalist who has been one of TVNZ's severest critics during the past 12 years through a weekly column in the National Business Review.

MARATHON SITTING: Depending on your view, it was either the first flicker of the new day or the fag end of the old one when Speaker Jonathan Hunt ended the torture yesterday. "This House stands adjourned until 2 pm tomorrow ... ah, today."

WAITARA RACISM: The Race Relations Conciliator believes institutional racism may exist in Waitara and has called for urgent talks to resolve tensions. Dr Rajen Prasad said last night that he had been told of specific incidents of racism in the "fractured" Taranaki township and the problems were wider than just between the police and Maori.

RANKIN OBJECTIONS: Work and Income New Zealand's chief executive, Christine Rankin, objected to at least 14 parts of a draft report into her department. State Services Minister Trevor Mallard released both the objections and the report yesterday.

AUSTRALIAN FASHION: SYDNEY - After nearly a week of gloss, glamour, gossip and designer clothing, today is the last day of runway shows at the Mercedes Australian Fashion Week. Yet again New Zealand designers have made a great impact at the most important fashion trade fair in this part of the world. Most of the 10 designers from this country have now shown their collections. All of them hoped to attract international attention and to sell to Europe, North America and Asia.

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