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National Radio Midday Bulletin

Arts Boost - Symphony Orchestra Reaction - Dollar Fall - Interest Rates Move - Safety Audit - St Stephen’s Violence - Orange Roughy Fishing - Ritalin Drug - Costs Of Cars - Attack On Man - Phonex Palm Danger - Earthquakes

ARTS BOOST: The Government is pouring $80 million into the Arts sector far more than the $25 million for three years initially promised in the budget. Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs, and Minister for Arts & Culture Helen Clark announced the funding.

SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA REACTION: Ian Fraser, the spokesperson for the New Zealand Symphony orchestra, says the three million given to the company was badly needed as the orchestra was nearly broke.

DOLLAR FALL: The unexpected fall in the dollar over the last 24 hours has made investors question whether the Reserve Bank’s increase in interest rates was a wise decision.

INTEREST RATES MOVE: The Government is coming under pressure from its political opponents over the move to raise interest rates. Both National and ACT have said planned new ACC and industrial relations laws are behind the lack in business confidence which has led to interest rate rise and subsequent fall in the dollar.

SAFETY AUDIT: The Waterfront workers union is calling for an audit of safety procedures into the Lyttleton Port after a worker was killed in an accident this morning.

ST STEPHEN’S VIOLENCE: Police investigating the violence at Maori boarding school St Stephen’s say the violence and bullying problem there is more serious than in other schools.

ORANGE ROUGHY FISHING: The Royal Forest and Bird society is calling for a moratorium on Orange Roughy fishing quota saying current catches are dwindling.

RITALIN DRUG: Pharmac says it hopes to subsidize a slow release of version Ritalin to ensure that parents or children do not give the proscribed drug to illegal dealers. The company says children are also stigmatised by the drug given to them by teachers at lunch-times.

COSTS OF CARS: The Automobile Association says the costs of using cars has risen for the consumer recently because of rising petrol prices.

ATTACK ON MAN: The police are investigating an attack on a man near Horowhenua which has left him critically ill in hospital. The police want to speak to three men in the area at the time of the attack.

PHONEX PALM DANGER: Doctors schools and local bodies have been warned against the dangers of the ornamental Phoenix palm tree whose sharp fronds cause continual infection problems.

EARTHQUAKES: The seismic activity in central New Zealand over the last few weeks is considered normal by a seismologist.

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