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National Radio Midday Report

Golden Handshake – Producer Price Index – NZ Dollar – Gisborne Health – Doctors’ Strike – Manslaughter Sentence – Fiji Coup – Fiji Tourism – Solomons Peace Summit – Child Killing Trial – Company Fined – Christians on GE – Poke-Virus

- GOLDEN HANDSHAKE: Health Link South has defended the $260,000 golden handshake payout to its former chief executive – she resigned one year into a three year contract. She resigned three weeks after an announcement that Health Link South would merge with Canterbury health to form one district health board. National Health Minister Wyatt Creech condemned the amount of the payout, but Health Minister Annette King said the merger would benefit tax payers in the long term.

- PRODUCER PRICE INDEX: Costs for farmer manufacturers and the retail sector have recorded their largest annual increase in 10 years. The producer price index, which measures changes in the cost of production has risen by 5.5 percent in the financial year ending in June. Deputy Statistician Ian Ewing says the falling dollar and rocketing petrol prices are largely to blame.

- NZ DOLLAR: The NZ dollar continues to trade at US43.5 cents after rebounding from yesterday’s all-time low.

- GISBORNE HEALTH: The man appointed to take control of Gisborne health services has been introduced a 12 week programme at the city’s hospital, which aims to create public confidence by setting out clear goals for hospital staff to achieve.

- DOCTORS’ STRIKE: The junior doctors’ pay dispute is gathering momentum – with three more regions electing to strike.

Minister of Youth Affairs Laila Harre says a possible deal with junior doctors over student loans has revealed real issues. Ms Harre downplayed the government’s role in the deal.

- MANSLAUGTER SENTENCE: A Wellington woman will spend 10 years behind bars for the stabbing manslaughter of her Cambodian neighbor. She was sentenced 12 years jail with a minimum non parole of ten years – the same as for murder.

- FIJI COUP: Fiji’s chief magistrate is to decide in the next two weeks whether immunity should be granted to George Speight and 14 of his associates.

- FIJI TOURISM: Fiji resorts and hotels have launched a million dollar campaign to draw Australian and New Zealand tourists there, following Australian and New Zealand governments downgrading their warnings against travelling in Fiji.

- SOLOMONS PEACE SUMMIT: Solomon Islands non-Government organisations and church groups are beginning a three day peace summit on the NZ frigate Te Kaha – which arrived in Honiara yesterday.

- CHILD KILLING TRIAL: The High Court Jury in the trial of a couple charged with causing the death of a three year old boy have retired to consider their verdict.

- COMPANY FINED: The Labour Department’s Occupational Safety and Health unit says the conviction of a company fine for it’s part in the death of three sewer workers in Auckland will act as a deterrent against future incidents.

- CHRISTIANS ON GE: New Zealand’s Christian faiths have formed their own commission on Genetic Engineering to make sure ethical issues are not overlooked.

- POKE-VIRUS: A new computer virus featuring the Pokemon character, Pikachu, has spread in the United States. The Poke-virus works similarly to the love bug.


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