Let The Whales Die – MP Pay Rises – New Political Party – Indecision 2000 – Tunnel Safety – Stolen Letters
LET THE WHALES DIE: White middle class NZers get it in the neck from Tipene O’Regan. Sir Tipene says beached whales should be allowed to die. Sir Tipene’s speech attacked the “environmental ayatollas”. He says these groups are white and rich. Sir Tipene said he found it difficult to understand the emotional involvement people had with animals going through the natural process of dying on the beach. Project Jonah activists are not impressed. These people are not likely to be led by the nose by anyone says the TV3 reporter in response to allegations the conference Sir Tipene is at is a front for Japanese whalers. Environmental groups do not want to be seen to be treading on indigenous rights.
MP PAY RISES: Pay rises of up to 7% over the next two years have been ordered for MPs. PM Helen Clark is having her pay increased by $14,000. Back benchers are getting $4000 more taking them to $87,000. CTU President Ross Wilson says that the MP pay rises will help the argument for pay rises for workers.
NEW PARTY: United Future NZ is a new party formed between United NZ and the Christian Party Future NZ.
INDECISION 2000: Florida’s top election official today tried to speed things up but her motives are being questioned. Al Gore offered today a compromise solution which was rejected. Florida secretary of state Katherine Harris refused requests from three counties to hold recounts. Al Gore says he wants a meeting with Bush, but Bush doesn’t want to meet till after the election is decided. Meanwhile he has to decide whether a mentally handicapped man should be killed by lethal injection.
TUNNEL SAFETY: Four NZ tunnels are having work done on them to make them safer after several overseas tunnel disasters.
STOLEN LETTERS: A grandma who died of cancer left several letters for her grand daughters to open when they turned 13. However they have been stolen in a burglary. The letters were written two days before she died. The girls want the letters back.