FIJI COUP - Ends In Sight? - Live Cross - NZ Reaction - Arson - OTHER NEWS - Team NZ Contracts - West Coast Settlement - Massey University - Birth of An Island
FIJI COUP - ENDS?: An end appears to be in sight for Fiji's coup attempt. A few minutes ago George Speight said the plan was acceptable. An interim government will be appointed and new elections are to be held in three years. A delegation arrived from the Great Council of Chiefs at the Parliamentary Compound. Soon later the leaders claimed victory. The result follows 24 hours of drama. Don McKinnon leaves after viewing the sight of a blaze last night. Don McKinnon says Speight doesn't look like a terrorist but that he is a man with a gun. McKinnon says that there presence in the compound was moving to the hostages who were brought to tears. The President must now set up a new government. If the international community are not happy then Fiji may face sporting as well as diplomatic sanctions.
FIJI COUP - LIVE: Steve Christianson Live - There remains a lot of fear in the Indian community. Even last night there was a report of an attack. In some spots groups are forming security groups to protect themselves. We don't know yet what the fate of the hostages will be. Clearly the families of the hostages are on tenterhooks.
FIJI COUP - ARSON: The offices of the Fiji Hardwood Corporation are torched at 2.30am this morning. George Speight formerly worked for the Corporation. The building contained documents believed to have implicated Speight in corruption. Speight however remains popular.
FIJI COUP - NZ REACTION: Phil Goff says NZ could not regard Fiji as friends and colleagues if the plan as outlined is implemented. Young men with guns drunk are a recipe for disaster, says Goff. And that is the reason not to travel says Goff.
TEAM NZ: An unnamed group of NZ businessmen are providing money for contracts to keep the Team NZ crew in place. Negotiations will start next week. A loan has been provided to cover the contracts from a group of "friends". The government has also provided $2 million. Sir Peter Blake will remain involved says Tom Schnakenberg. No deadline has been set on the contract offers. Key members will be earning a lot more than they were last time round.
WEST COAST SETTLEMENT: The $120 million offer to the West Coast is reluctantly accepted by the Buller Council - unanimously. Some of the money will be given to the council's immediately. Other money $92 million will be invested and the income will be used to fund economic development. Two more councils will consider the deal tomorrow.
MASSEY UNIVERSITY: Proposal to axe 116 jobs at Massey University - 104 in Palmerston North - there really isn't a lot the university can do about a falling birth rate in Palmerston North. The Students Association is blaming the expansion of Massey into Albany and Wellington.
AN ISLAND: The volcano island Kavachi is shown being born
near the Solomon Islands. Two NZ scientists were on an
expedition to look for underwater volcanoes and were
surprised to see the eruption.