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TV3 News

Mark Todd – People Smuggling – Oil And Gas Find – Beggs Inquest – Lisa Blakie – Greymouth Emergency - WINZ

MARK TODD: A few words from the horses mouth. Mark Todd speaks to TV3. At his house Mark Todd says that he can’t talk about allegations publicly on the advice of his lawyer. He is polite and says he may say something tomorrow. Drugs claims could prove dangerous for the Olympic hopeful. However drug testers say they would need more than unsubstantiated allegations in a Sunday newspaper to require Todd to be tested. Olympic equestrians haven’t been a target of drug testers much in the fast. There is more concern about their horses. Todd says it is not the best time to talk. Meanwhile author Jilly Cooper says the allegations sound like something she would make up.

PEOPLE SMUGGLING: A truck with 58 dead illegal immigrants is found in Great Britain. The dead apparently suffocated in a sealed container – two people survived. The truck has been traced to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Police believe the immigrants were originally on a cargo ship. Authorities blame Chinese gangs. Home Secretary Jack Straw says that it is an evil trade.

OIL AND GAS FIND: Fletcher Energy has found its oil and gas find off Taranaki is bigger than expected. Promise to be the largest discovery for 30 years. Estimates of the gas find say it may be worth as much as $3 billion. Fletcher Energy says it plans to bring the field into operation quickly – money in the ground - to replace the Maui gas field. A third appraisal well may be drilled first.

BEGGS INQUEST: A doctor gives evidence on the two deaths. The doctor says that the drugs he needed were the ones he had. But he wasn’t taking them. The Beggs family say a major failing was that the flatmate was not told. The doctor defended his decision not to disclose the mental health condition of his patient because his patient asked him to. As adamant that not even his family be told.

LISA BLAKIE: Police investigating the murder of Lisa Blakie have begun a search of the Devil’s Henchmen HQ in Christchurch. The police say they have been told that Blakie was in the gang HQ in the days before she died. TV3 understands there are two factions in the Henchmen – one of older gang members – another of younger members with connections in Blakie’s home-town Timaru.

GREYMOUTH EMERGENCY: Emergency Services in Greymouth spent much of the day trying to prevent an explosion after a petrol tanker is ruptured without the driver noticing – a massive spill ensued. Elsewhere a factory has a chlorine fire.

WINZ: WINZ CEO Christine Rankin has been asked to consult more before making big decisions. Regional Commissioners are to be given more powers. The government says the ball is now in Rankin’s court. Minister Steve Maharey said that WINZ had a McDonald’s culture – with all major decisions made at head office. ACT’s Muriel Newman says the changes are cosmetic. The government will be reviewing Rankin’s performance every three months.

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