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National Radio Midday Report

Power Suppliers – Air NZ – Southerner Train – Northland Transport – Diesel Sulphur – Middle East – Pregnant Netballers – Dairy Market – Children’s Commissioner – Stevens Murder – Tauranga Stabbing – Gang Murder – Manawatu Blackout

POWER SUPPLIERS: Consumers now have even less choice about their electricity supplier. A second retailer, Energy Online, is refusing to take on fresh customers, following yesterday’s announcement by FreshStart. EnergyOnline says with the wholesale price of electricity they cannot take on new customers without raising prices.

AIR NZ: Jockeying over the future ownership of Air NZ takes place on two fronts today, with Singapore Airlines pressing its case in Wellington and a meeting of Air NZ directors in Auckland.

SOUTHERNER TRAIN: The Rail and Maritime Union is predicting the Southerner passenger train between Dunedin and Invercargill is about to be axed.

NORTHLAND TRANSPORT: A delegation of Northland mayors and community leaders will meet with the Government to discuss the regions transport problems.

DIESEL SULPHUR: Mobil is calling for the sulphur levels in diesel to be slashed nation-wide, and not just in Auckland, as the Auckland regional Council has been lobbying for.

MIDDLE EAST: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is resisting calls from right wing hard-liners to take stronger action against Palestinians as increasing violence places strain on the fragile cease-fire.

PREGNANT NETBALLERS: Netball NZ says it sees no need to ban pregnant women from playing as has been done in Australia.

DAIRY MARKET: Changes are already underway in the local dairy market following the vote for the dairy mega merger yesterday.

CHILDREN’S COMMISSIONER: The Office of the Commissioner for Children is to have its powers strengthened through new legislation to be introduced to Parliament this year.

STEVENS MURDER: Crown has opened its case in the preliminary hearing in Nelson against the two men accused of murdering local Maori leader Kenny Stevens.

TAURANGA STABBING: There has been a good response to an emotional appeal for information by the family of Tauranga man Noel Mackenzie, who was stabbed to death in bed. Police say they have received up to 20 phone calls from the public following the family’s plea.

GANG MURDER: The High Court in Christchurch has heard that the killing of a Black Power member last year was the culmination of three years of gang tensions.

MANAWATU BLACKOUT: Power blackout left parts of the Manawatu without electricity for half an hour this morning.

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