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The Independent, 9/8/00

The Independent, 9/8/00

Front page:

- Former Lange Govt Revenue Minister and practicing barrister Trevor de Cleene has issued proceedings against Chief Justice Sian Elias following the second rejection of his application to become a Queen's Counsel. de Cleene is challenging the secrecy of the process, saying successful applicants are those who "toady to the judges and to the legal society establishment";

- whiteware manufacturer Fisher & Paykel last year lost a cumulative $10.5 million on foreign exchange forward cover and foreign currency options after punting that the $Kiwi would rise this year, and took cover at above US50 cents two years ahead and cover against the $Aussie above current levels;

- falling house and apartment construction was the major contributor to an 18.7% drop in June quarter building activity, compared with the previous quarter;

- Developers of currently unoccupied Auckland apartment block Metro City Apartments appear to have extracted more than $930,000 in fees, while creditors owed almost $12 million remain unpaid;

Elsewhere in the paper:

- two of Niuean Premier Sani Lakatani's brothers have bailed him out of bankruptcy proceedings in Auckland with a $30,000 take-it-or-leave it settlement;

- Auckland police are investigating possible dirty tricks campaign, perhaps by a competitor, against North Shore chemical manufacturers Chemcolour. Pamphlets purporting to be from Greenpeace urging opposition
to the company's air discharge resource consent application. Greenpeace says it's never taken an interest in the issue;

- Employers Federation is urging businesses to bring forward any plans to make employees contractors or to close their businesses before the Employment Relations Bill becomes law;

- Former employee of Auckland Regional Staff Friendly Society, which collapsed in April, arrested on charges involving $270,000 fraud and falsification of accounts between 1997 and 1999;

- Serious Fraud Office continues to argue that difficulty in proving criminal intent rules out pursuit of the winebox "Magnum" transaction;

- Finance Minister Michael Cullen shutting down UK super funds loophole which allowed NZ investors to receive capital gains untaxed, despite the foreign investment fund regime, which taxes both realised and unrealised capital gains;

- former Chaudhry government Minister accuses new Fijian interim administration of financial abuse: 20 Cabinet Ministers and 12 assistant ministers is largest executive ever and PM Quarase has just bought himself a new Land Cruiser while public servants take a 12.5% pay cut (plus major David Robie feature on new Fijian government);

- both supporters and critics of the NZ/Singapore free trade deal want more detail of its contents as negotiations near finality. Alliance leader Jim Anderton says his party won't declare its position till it's seen the text;

- judge allows The Independent copies of two previously secret judgements relating to law firm Russell McVeagh's objection to Auckland District Law Society investigation into 1980's bloodstock special partnership tax dodges;

- signs that a stand-alone Food Ministry may be established in response to lobbying from the Alliance;

- Timberlands chairman Warren Young doubled his fees last year due to heavy workload associated with trying to save the sustainable beech and rimu logging plan;

- Auckland-based lifestyle mags publisher DMG World Media set for major offshore expansion in Canada, UK, and South America;

- lead Minister in South Island Landless Native (SILNA) forests decisions to be decided next week.

ends


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