People’s Bank – Vets Strike – Tamihere Attacks – New Plymouth Dioxin – Derailment – Marlborough Drought
- PEOPLE’S BANK: With support from the Greens, the Government has the numbers it needs to start the People’s Bank. But the opposition leaked confidential NZ Post documents that expressed doubts about the bank’s viability, somewhat spoiling Jim Anderton’s big day. Anderton says the negative scenario outlined in the report - if the Bank attracts too many beneficiaries and not enough wealthier customers the some of the Bank’s plans will be compromised - is only one small scenario in a huge report.
- VETS STRIKE: A last ditch effort is underway to stop the MAF vets strike. The strike is due to begin at midnight tonight. MAF and the union have entered last minute negotiation. The strike is angering farmers, who need to get their stock to the works to take advantage of a good time of year for the export market.
- TAMIHERE ATTACKS: Support has come from fellow Maori MPs for Labour MP John Tamihere, who put his own party on notice in a fiery speech yesterday, over their lack of progress and bungling on Maori issues.
- NEW PLYMOUTH DIOXIN: New Plymouth residents who claim to be affected by toxic dioxin discharge from a 245-T are weighing up their legal options. The Health Ministry has promised blood tests. But residents’ property value are very low, because of the proximity to the plant. They want compensation for health costs and loss of property value.
- DERAILMENT: A fire began at the site of a derailed train, just south of Ward. Yesterday another derailment started a fire.
- MARLBOROUGH DROUGHT: There is a total ban on fires throughout Marlborough because of drought. Local farmers and orchardists are suffering through the lack of water. Fish are dying as pools dry up. The past 3 moths the have been driest on record for the area. Meanwhile, the same dry weather is responsible for series of small scrub fires in mid Canterbury today.