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The New Zealand Herald

Crime Drop - Toxic Bloom - Coin Supply - TVNZ Salaries - Crims On Parole - Waiting List Death - Child Drowning - Rudman’s City - Mangare Crime - Waitakare City Council

CRIME DROP: Custom-designed crimefighting tactics initiated by staff have helped Waikato police to chalk up the country's biggest drop in crime. When Superintendent Clint Rickards took over as Waikato district commander last year, he inherited a rising crime rate. Since then, offences in his patch have dropped 12.1 per cent.

- TOXIC BLOOM: Hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in exports are under threat from a toxic algal bloom which looks set to invade the lucrative Marlborough Sounds mussel beds. Mussel Industry Council chief executive Paul Lupi said low levels of the algae were discovered in water samples taken near Pelorus Sound on Wednesday night.

- COIN SUPPLY: Crack open the piggy bank - the Reserve Bank needs our five cent coins. Supplies are dwindling, apparently because, unable to find anything to spend them on, we hoard them in jars and drawers around the house.

- TVNZ SALARIES: TVNZ has increased the salaries of its top earners in the past year, but the days of fat pay packets for presenters may be numbered. The biggest pay packet at the state broadcaster, believed to be Paul Holmes', is between $770,000 and $780,000 - up from the $740,000 to $760,000 reported earlier in the year.

- CRIMS ON PAROLE: The public does not have a general right to know when criminals are up for parole, says Corrections Minister Matt Robson. He told the Herald it was important only informed people took part in a private parole process, and that the Parole Board was not turned into a public spectacle.

- WAITING LIST DEATH: A New Plymouth church was packed yesterday for the funeral of schoolgirl Angie Webster, aged 15, who died while waiting for heart surgery. Angie had tachycardia, an abnormally fast heart rhythm

- CHILD DROWNING: Kirstin McNaught lives across the road from Howick Intermediate School, which her 11-year-old son Joshua used to attend. But this week, in the Thames Coroners' Court, was the first time since Joshua drowned on a school camp that she had seen the school principal or her son's former teachers.

- RUDMAN’S CITY: In my days at Grammar - Mt Roskill Grammar that is - only those with a death wish, or heavy padding down their trousers, would have risked cheeking the head in the way Auckland Grammar headmaster John Morris is thumbing his nose at Education Minister Trevor Mallard

- MANGARE CRIME: One voice at last night's public meeting held to address Mangere's crime woes seemed to sum it up. "The people who need the help aren't here. Why?" asked a distressed resident.

- WAITAKARE CITY COUNCIL: Waitakere City Council may have rivals in its bid for the Hobsonville Air Base, which the Government intends to sell. The council hopes to replace the base with housing, parks and industrial developments, including a $200 million investment by a super-yacht builder, who stipulates an April start.

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