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The Independent, 31 May 2000:

Front page:

- Labour aborts Alliance paid parental leave policy - PM Helen Clark telling businesspeople in previously unreported meetings that there is no hurry to introduce ppl and will not let Alliance policy to go forward. Seen as move to appease business;

- business confidence plumbs new depths in latest National Bank business opinion survey;

- Budget will contain new grants policy for r&d, not tax deductibility for expenditure on r&d, as previously signalled;

- Lars Svensson, Swedish monetary policy expert, to conduct monetary policy review between November 2000 and February 2001 for $US50,000 plus expenses;

Other pages:

- BNZ advises against further OCR increases, based on gaps between input and output prices

- RBNZ to lose $9 million funding over next four yearrs

- PR firm Communications Trump fronting up to Auckland District Court this morning to pursue what is believed to be unprecedented defamation action against a publication, Rural News, relating to a satirical column on CT's advice to King Salmon on its so-called "lumpy-headed" genetically modified salmon. CT was simultaneously adviser to King Salmon and a government and Monsanto-funded "educational" trust on gm issues, Genepool, at the time. CT also pursuing damages from Greens leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

- the tangled tale of the Niuean Government's so far fruitless attempt to set up a national airline, partly with NZ taxpayer funding

- Hauraki Gulf ferry wars hot up with small player Pacific Ferries threatening to take Fullers Group to the Commerce Commission claiming anti-competitive behaviour;

- Marine Resources director Pat Carey finally gets his 13 year attempt to sue the Crown for $20 million over allegedly derailing a gas franchise deal in 1987 back to court;

- NZ newspaper publishers have insulated themselves from the latest international newsprint price spike by securing 5 year contracts. Rick Neville, INL chief operating officer, pats himself on the back;

- Ernst & Young international survey finds that management are the most likely fraudster employees, a problem given that it is their task to detect fraud;

- Macquarie Bank to pay Morrison & Co $19.6 million to terminate its management contract for Infratil Australia;


Plus, for the business wire:

- Telecom has today announced a $38 million two-cable project to lay a new 200.5 km cable 1.5 to 2m under the seafloor of Cook Strait, lessening dependence on Transpower's Cook Strait cable and microwave, and vulnerability to loss of service if there's a huge Wellington earthquake. Project given to German firm Siemens. Second project will see new fibre-optic cable laid from Chch to Greymouth, which also improves capacity to by-pass Wellington and upgrade capacity in South Island. Both should meet demand in growth for next 25 years (!!!), they say.


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