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New Plymouth Dioxin – ACC Overcharging – CPI – Hot Day

- NEW PLYMOUTH DIOXIN: Residents of a New Plymouth neighbourhood call it the valley of death – they have complained of poor health for years, suspecting the local 245-T manufacturing plant of being responsible. Despite two Government inquiries finding there are no harmful effects from the local 245-T manufacturing plant, closed in 1988, the Health Ministry has now approved blood tests. A public meeting has been called in New Plymouth. Highly toxic Dioxin is a by-product of the manufacturing of 245T. It is claimed dioxin levels in the area have been recorded at 100 times safe levels. There are 12 suspected toxic chemical dumpsites in Taranaki. Dow Agroscience have declined to be interviewed, but said they welcomed blood tests. High levels of birth defects and multiple sclerosis have been recorded in New Plymouth.

- ACC OVERCHARGING: ACC admits it may have overcharged some businesses and self-employed people by as much as $100m. But they have no idea who should be reimbursed. ACC says people wanting to know more should call 0800 222776.

- CPI: Food costs in January suffered their biggest monthly rise in 12 years. Economists say that could stall moves to reduce interest rates.

- HOT DAY: Today was the hottest day of the year in New Zealand. It is making people grumpy. Golfers are sweating profusely. Children are struggling to sleep in the north. Children, especially boys, are misbehaving in the classroom. Auckland Zoo lions sucked on fish and blood flavoured ice blocks. Zookeepers swam with the sea lions. Weatherman Jim Hickey described the Valentines Day weather as “symbolically steamy,” and said he’d have more later in the bulletin.

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