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Petrol Price Fixing Allegations – Turoa Sale Approved – Sky Resignation – Vodafone Party – Mystery Foot – US Elections – Tourism Bonanza

PETROL PRICE FIXING ALLEGATIONS: The Commerce Commission is investigating whether BP has been price fixing. The commission is investigating a temporary price support mechanism exposed by Deputy PM Jim Anderton. Anderton was not naming the petrol company involved at his press conference. A BP retailer spoken to today said he thought the system was legal. The Commerce Commission says it is seeking more information from BP. BP says the scheme has been operating for two years with Commission knowledge.

TUROA SALE APPROVED: Third time lucky for RAL in its bid to buy Turoa Ski Field. The corks were popping on Mt Ruapehu this afternoon. The Commerce Commission say the benefits of two fields combined outweigh the issued of dominance. Turoa was pushed into receivership by eruptions and warm summers. Ohakune business people are delighted.

SKY RESIGNATION: Sky TV’s CEO Nate Smith has resigned. Sky TV’s share price has risen today.

VODAFONE PARTY: Vodafone is being investigated for a party featuring a live elephant and seven strippers. Some employees were offended by the nudity and one complained to the Human Rights Commission. 1400 staff and their partners attended. TV3 understands that the strippers were in a nightclub adjacent to the main party. Party organisers are also in trouble for their use of the elephant.

MYSTERY FOOT: Ben Smart and Olivia Smart have been eliminated as possible owners of a foot dredged up by a trawler. The foot was found in a basketball boot and may have been on the bottom of the sea for five years.

US ELECTIONS: Al Gore has gone public in the PR war over the Florida recount. Gore says it is not about him or Mr Bush. He says he would not want to win on the basis of a few votes cast in error. “While time is important it is even more important that every vote is counted.” Republicans went to court today to try to stop the Florida vote hunt, and lost. But a senior electoral official has announced a deadline for the vote count that will prevent the hand count.

TOURISM BONANZA: Tourists coming to NZ are spending 25% more than they did last year. In total tourists spent $4.6 billion in NZ last year. The spending is increasing beyond Tourism NZ’s targets. Japanese tourists spend over $5000 each. Australians spend $1784 each. The area that is growing is the 45+ year old age group who want comfortable adventures. Germans go to the beach. Australians visit friends and families and Americans spend lots.

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