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National Radio Midday Report

Extended Non-Parole – Queensland Crash – Potential Power Crisis – Patient Overflows – Whooping Cough – Flying Pig – Record Milk Volumes – Turia Apology – Palmerston North Murders – Speight Men On Bail – Rimu Theft

- EXTENDED NON-PAROLE: The man who killed Maungakino police officer Murray Stretch has been given an extended non-parole period on his life sentence. He must now serve a minimum of 18 years before being considered for parole. His callous brutality created exceptional grounds that warranted an extended non-parole period, the judge said. The judge said he needed to send strong message of deterrent to the public.

- QUEENSLAND CRASH: Police have arrived at a remote site near Queensland, where a plane has crashed. Police have confirmed there were no survivors and one victim was New Zealander. The plane flew across three states and territories on auto-pilot. The people on the plane would have been unconscious for most of the flight, as the plane flew at very high altitude. The crash is eerily similarity to a crash which killed a golf champion and five others in the US Last year.

- POTENTIAL POWER CRISIS: Lake Taupo, which feed Waikato River power stations, is less than 1/3 full, due to a dry winter. It is normally twice that level. The low levels have lead to concerns there may be an energy crisis in Auckland this Summer. The Energy Minister is making contingency plans.

- PATIENT OVERFLOWS: Auckland’s three main hospitals are struggling with patient overflows. North shore hospital has had to delay elective surgery with the unusual number of acute patients.

- WHOOPING COUGH: Christchurch remains in the grip of a whooping cough epidemic, which started late last year. So far there has been no deaths from the disease, which is a potential killer in babies under one-year-old.

- FLYING PIG: Flying Pig, New Zealand’s largest e-tailer, has shrugged off suggestions that it’s financial future is in doubt. It is losing $100,000 a month. Flying Pig are seeking new investors. The head of Flying Pig says they are not in trouble and are well placed to take advantage of the future boom in e-tailing.

- RECORD MILK VOLUMES: Milk volumes are expected to reach record levels this season, aided by a mild summer.

- TURIA APOLOGY: The Maori caucus is supporting an apology by Tariana Turia for her comments comparing colonisation to the Nazi Holocaust, which she is expected to make in Parliament today.

- PALMERSTON NORTH MURDERS: Palmerston North police investigating a double homicide are asking people to ring their hot-line sooner rather than later, while the night of the deaths is still fresh in their memory.

- SPEIGHT MEN ON BAIL: Two key George Speight supporters have been freed on bail by the Fiji Magistrate’s Court. They pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful assembly and consorting with people carrying guns.

- RIMU THEFT: Police investigating the theft of rimu trees on the South Island’s West Coast are not discounting that commercial operators may be involved. The area where the trees have been taken from is not used for commercial purposes.

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