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Tetraplegic Cannabis Sentencing – Cannabis Bust – Unemployment Falls – TVNZ Political Interference – Drought Drizzling To An End – Body Found – Naenae Hit And Run - NZSE Discrimination

TETRAPLEGIC CANNABIS SENTENCING: A New Plymouth tetraplegic has escaped a jail sentence because there is no facility suitable for him. He had 805gms of cannabis and 14 plants. Daniel Clark says cannabis is essential for his pain relief. In 1999 he spent 19 days in prison. Clark had lots of supporters present at his sentencing. He was sentenced to 100 hours community service. Nandor Tanczos says it is “really good” that Daniel is not in jail. Daniel int

CANNABIS BUST: Lower Hutt police say they have smashed a gang connected drug growing syndicate based in Wainuiomata.

UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS: The unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in 13 year, at just under 5.4 per cent. Drake Personnel says that it is a job seekers market at present. Good people are snapped up fast, says a spokeswoman. Regional and ethnic unemployment rates remain higher. The Maori and Pacific Island unemployment rate is closer to 12%.

TVNZ POLITICAL INTERFERENCE: News and current affairs staff at TVNZ have asked TVNZ Chairman Ross Armstrong to explain comments he was reported making in The Independent newpaper. Editorial staff have called for a please explain in a brief statement. A spokesman says that the comments from Armstrong describing Paul Cutler’s departure as a “dream scenario” are unacceptable. Murray McCully says Armstrong has to go. Minister Marian Hobbs says she is confident that Ross Armstrong is not planning on interfering in TVNZ employment decisions. Former TVNZ news boss Paul Norris says that there is reason to worry in Armstrong’s comments. JANE YOUNG COMMENTS: The irony in this is that Armstrong used to be an official in the National Party. Armstrong does have a close relationship with the PM and will shortly be away on a trip with her. Murray McCully appears very keen to attack Marian Hobbs whom National see as a weak link in Cabinet.

DROUGHT DRIZZLING TO AN END: The South Island’s worst drought in years may be drizzling to an end. Canterbury weather is drizzly again and warm temperatures are helping the grass grow. Farmers say the rainfall is the best possible way to end the drought, like going bankrupt and then winning Lotto. However farmers say they still need 50mm of rain.

BODY FOUND: Police in Whakatane are puzzling over a body found on the edge of the river in swampland. They say the body may have been there for some time and do not know whether it is a man or a woman.

NAENAE HIT AND RUN: Lower Hutt Police are seeking assistance in a hit and run fatality in Naenae.

NZSE DISCRIMINATION: A woman chucked out of the NZ Stock Exchange because she asked for parental leave is alleging discrimination. Catherine Jones has presented her case to the Select Committee considering a demutualisation bill for the exchange. Members of the exchange are set to win a financial windfall as a result of the bill. The stock exchange refused to appear on camera today.

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