Oz Benefit Agreement – Maori Education – Indonesia – Israel – Cancer Wait Increases – Jamieson Murder – Cleaner Lock-Out – Customs Exercise – Antarctic Pollution
OZ BENEFIT AGREEMENT: The PM says the money NZ will save with not having to compensate for NZers receiving benefits in Australia can now be spent in NZ. Officials say NZ will save $100 million through signing a new agreement.
MAORI EDUCATION: A warning has been given that too much focus should not be placed by Maori on the establishment of a Maori Educational Authority. Parekura Horomia says that other issues are also important. Meanwhile Trevor Mallard says that an Authority for Maori school pupils will be set up.
INDONESIA: Reports from the Indonesian side of Borneo says that up to 400 people are dead and thousands have fled the Kalimatan area.
ISRAEL: The US Secretary of State Colin Powell is urging Palestinians and Israelis to put an end to the conflict that has so far claimed hundreds of lives in Israel and the occupied territories. Powell’s visit to the region has been accompanied by protests and the deaths of two Israelis. Powell asked, “who will put the first key in the door to open the way to peace.”
CANCER WAIT INCREASES: Figures released by the National Party show that the number of patients who have waited for more than six weeks for radiology treatment for cancer has doubled. The Health Minister says the increase had been predicted.
JAMIESON MURDER: Police in Auckland will today be following up fresh sightings of Auckland woman Marie Jamieson. Police say a manikin used by police jogged the memories of several Aucklanders.
CLEANER LOCK-OUT: Cleaning staff are picketing at two hospitals in Wellington after being locked out by their employer Spotless Cleaning. The breakdown occurred over disputes around redundancy clauses.
CUSTOMS EXERCISE: Australian and NZ customs services are conducting a joint exercise with the police and MAF. The exercise includes two boats and air support.
ANTARCTIC POLLUTION: An NZ environmental team has found oil contaminated pools of water near McMurdo Sound that may have killed more than 200 penguins.