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TV1 6pm News Bulletin (First Segment)

St Stephen’s Bullying - Shipley Apologises - Interest Rates Rise - McKinnon In Zimbabwe

ST STEPHEN’S BULLYING: Minister of Education Trevor Mallard has said he may shut down St Stephens Maori College after more violence saw a 14 year-old boy beaten with an iron bar. Maori Affiars Minister Dover Samuels has described the situation in the school plagued with on-going bullying as “totally unacceptable”. Meanwhile the school’s Principal has defended the school saying Pakeha education system had failed Maori.

SHIPLEY APOLOGISES: Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley apologised today in Parliament for her comments yesterday on Pacific Islanders and Maori “climbing into people’s rooms at night.” The comments came in a heated debate over Labour’s allocation of radio frequencies to Maori. Maori and Polynesian groups are not amused and nor is Race Relations Councilliator Rajen Prasad.

INTEREST RATES RISE: The Reserve Bank notched up it’s base lending rate by 0.5 per cent today too head off inflation. Household mortgage rates should mirror the rise as banks pass on the extra cost of money onto the consumer. The NZ rise followed a similar move in the United States by the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile the Kiwi dollar slumped to a 15 year low. Exporters are happy with the low dollar , but Manufacterers and the Deputy Prime Minister are worried that the hike in interest rates could cause and unnecessary recession.

MCKINNON IN ZIMBABWE: Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon finally met Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe today to discuss appointing Commonwealth observers into the country's upcoming general elections. While having to wait and being snubbed by Mr Mugabe on the diplomatic front, Mr McKinnon was successful in getting Mugabe to accept the observers. The late meeting, one hour before McKinnon was to leave the country, caused him to miss his flight.

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