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The Independent, 8/11/00

The Independent, 8/11/00

Front page:

* Dissident NZ First members are threatening to resign and form a new party if proposed restructuring and refinancing proposals go ahead. Showdown predicted at party's annual conference, November 18 and 19. Fears that appointment of a centralised "board of management" will strip regional party arms of influence;

* Erstwhile Britomart developer Jihong Lu faces bankruptcy proceedings in the Auckland High Court today, brought by a Malaysian company which says it is owed $2 million. Lu is also revealed to have become involved with two Filipino gaming companies implicated in the alleged share-ramping and insider trading investigations threatening Philippines president Joseph Estrada's tenure. Lu says he bought and took a board position on one of the companies after the controversial period in question;

* NZ Law Society beats back landbrokers' attempts to gain rights to perform conveyancing. Landbrokers had sought registration in Australia under the CER Trans-Mutual Recognition Agreement, in order to practice here. Judge Lowell Goddard, however, ruled that there is no equivalent profession to landbroking in NZ, so the agreement doesn't apply;

elswhere in the paper:

* NZ slips from third to fourth in the World Freedom Index, published by the Wall Street Journal and conservative Washington DC think-tank, the Heritage Foundation. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Ireland are first three;

* Flying Pig now owned by IT Media in share swap involving various Eric Watson-linked vehicles;

* ABN Ambro economist Rodney Dickens says pessimism about the economy is overdone;

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