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The Independent, 23/8/00

Front page:

* Retired NZ High Court judges are now being encouraged by Foreign Minister Phil Goff to sit on the Fijian Court of Appeal - a subtle shift from his position last month when the judges appeared unlikely to resume or take up their warrants. NZ judges would help to strengthen the rule of law in Fiji, Goff says;

* Auckland electricity lines company Vector has had its attempted Commerce Act case against Transpower thrown out in a decision that may have wide-ranging effects throughout the electricity sector. Vector had been challenging Transpower's cost allocation model, but Justice Hugh Williams described the claim as "riddled with inconsistencies and major infelicities of draftsmanship", which made it a "total writeoff";

* more of the Waltus Investments shambles;

* Biotech company Genesis is to float 5.75 million shares at $6 each to raise $34.5 million;

Elsewhere in the paper:

* long term departures to Australia leap. People, not products, are becoming our biggest exports, The Independent says;

* Shell Oil interest in Fletcher Energy is ironic, given FC Energy's original intention to try and force one of the big four oil companies to sell its retail operations to the Challenge retail petrol chain. The Challenge chain will not be kept if Shell buys FC Energy;

* full report on the "lies and high living" of bankrupted Auckland property developer Graeme Raymond;

* new Waitangi Fisheries Commission stacked in favour of urban Maori;

* Coasters call for a road through Kahurangi National Park;

* Federated Farmers presses for a new WTO round of global trade talksx;

* NZ will miss an opportunity to leapfrog into the electronic economy if it follows the draft recommendations of the telecommunications inquiry. Copying the Australian regulatory model while failing to require local loop unbundling and offering no number portability solution will leave Telecom happy and "still pretty untouchable", Sydney-based analyst Paul Buddle told the inquiry this week;

* tax breaks for retirement savings on the way for low income earners?

* cost-cutting drives 30% profit boost for Ports of Auckland, despite increased competition from regional ports;

* acting IRD commissioner John Perham is under attack by the finance and expenditure select committee, which says the department's attitude to the committee has been "contemptuous";

* Auckland Law Society to challenge ruling limiting access to Russell McVeagh papers on three early 1980's bloodstock tax dodge schemes at the centre of a long-running winebox-related saga;

* Foodland selling 13 Progressive Enterprises supermarkets to Macquarie Countrywide Trust to improve profitability;

* Navy resists private sector plan to relocate naval HQ to Whangarei to allow redevelopment at Devonport.


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