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Treaty Clause – Singapore Deal – Sky Resignation – Topless Dancers

- TREATY CLAUSE: The government has backed down, watering down a contentious Treaty of Waitangi clause in the Health and Disability Bill. The bill returned from select committee today looking very different from the one that had Race Relations Conciliator Rajen Prasad labelling it racist.

- SINGAPORE TRADE DEAL: In a historic diplomatic move, the Government has sealed a free trade agreement with Singapore today. The Prime Minister and her Singaporese counterpart signed the deal in Singapore, before Miss Clark left for the Apec meeting in Brunei. Miss Clark said the deal promotes bilateral trade and reduces barriers to exports. Some local manufacturers fear the deal opens a back door to cheaply made goods from other Asian countries, devastating local industry.

- SKY RESIGNATION: There has been a surprise resignation at Sky TV. Chief Executive Nate Smith will quit at end of the year for personal reasons. The announcement comes a day after the announcement of the TVNZ/Telstra Saturn deal, which will see Sky facing stiff competition in a small market. The two organisations are in a race to introduce interactive digital TV – including Internet and email options through the television. An Australian/British digital TV competitor looks set to enter the local market as well.

- TOPLESS DANCERS: Topless dancing at an office Christmas party for Vodafone has sparked a flurry of complaints from female employees, including one to the Human Rights Commission. 1500 employees went to the party. The Human Rights Commission needs to decide whether having the dancers at the party amounts to sexual harassment. The theme of the party was “One Night in Bangkok,” hence the topless Thai dances.

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