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TVNZ Savaged – Lockerbie Verdict – Lockerbie Reaction – Robert Mahuta – Tributes – PM and Dover - Sandwich Boards

TVNZ SAVAGED: TVNZ has been given another savaging. This time by the Commerce Select Committee. Recent figures show 124 people in TVNZ earn over $100,000 a year, 18 earn more than $200,000 and one over $780,000. TVNZ had said it would try to cut down on excessive salaries. Concern is also expressed by the committee about complaints not being handled well. The Committee also said it was unacceptable that TVNZ refused to discuss its digital plans with the committee. Nat MP Murray McCully says the government is keeping quiet about a report that says that the charter will cost $100 million. Marian Hobbs says that the report is 4 months old and the figures were a worst case scenario.

LOCKERBIE VERDICT: A Libyan intelligence officer is tonight beginning a life sentence for bombing Pan Am flight 103 which crashed into the town of Lockerbie. The verdict took just over a minute to be delivered. Another intelligence officer was acquitted. Inside and outside court their were tears. American relatives are pleased at one guilty verdict but say it is not enough. The prosecution say that today’s verdict is a success. The evidence against the Libyan is all circumstantial but he will serve at least 20 years in jail – roughly one month per victim.

LOCKERBIE REACTION: Britain and the US have responded to the verdict asking for compensation for victims. Libya wants sanctions lifted. President George W Bush said he would continue to push for compensation. In Lockerbie the town

ROBERT MAHUTA: Sir Robert Mahuta died last night in Waikato Hospital aged 61. Sir Robert had diabetes and other problems. Mahuta checked himself out of hospital yesterday to attend to tribal business. Sir Robert was instrumental in pushing through the Tainui Settlement in 1995 including $170 million in compensation. Sir Douglas Graham pays tribute. Dr David Gilgen has been a strong critic of Sir Robert recently. Last year Tainui suffered a power struggle and a split in the tribal management structures remains. MORE TRIBUTES: Helen Clark – “a great loss throughout all of NZ” – Parekura Horomia - “he was well known for his tenacity” – Sir Tipene O’Regan – “I note sincerely the loss of a major figure, a respected figure in Maoridom”.

PM AND DOVER: The PM and Dover Samuels have met in Auckland. Today she was welcomed in Nga Puhi country. Clark says she made a lot of progress in the meeting with Dover and his wife. Some protestors still noted their exceptions to the PM’s comments about Waitangi on her visit including the son of Titewhai Harawira. Last night’s meeting with Samuels couldn’t have been more perfectly timed – Jane Young.

SANDWICH BOARDS: Auckland City Council is banning Sandhich boards in Queen St. More than 600 tickets were issued to boards last week. A jeweller says that his Sandwich board is critical to his business. Pedestrians don’t care. In some parts boards were missing today.

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