Air New Zealand – Balloon Emergency – Paddington Rail Crash – Christine Rankin – Tax Changes – Power Shakeup – Queenstown Murder Trial – Wellington Club – City Satisfaction Survey
AIR NEW ZEALAND: Air New Zealand’s fate lies with the Government tonight. It must decide whether to lift a 35% cap on foreign ownership of our National Carrier. Air New Zealand needs capital to maintain its business. Last night Singapore Airlines Dr Cheong met with the NZ Government to lobby for a deal to buy more of Air New Zealand. The government is saying little. National supports the plan and says foreign ownership levels should be lifted.
BALLOON EMERGENCY: The Civil Aviation Authority is investigating a ballooning incident over the Waitemata Harbour when a balloon became becalmed. After dumping his passengers on a police boat, unwillingly, the balloon pilot eventually landed in a mudflat across town. Police say they remember a Christchurch accident in which several tourists died when a balloon crashed in the sea.
PADDINGTON RAIL CRASH: A British public inquiry has criticised railway managers for the Paddington Train Crash. The immediate cause of the crash has been attributed to a newly qualified driver, only 13 days out of training, driving through a red light.
CHRISTINE RANKIN: The Government is to appeal a court decision that the Christine Rankin’s employment dispute should be heard in the employment court. They want the case heard in the High Court.
TAX CHANGES: Radical tax changes are being suggested by a tax review team report out today. One suggestion would be to scrap excise taxes and raise GST instead. Another idea is to tax the equity in housing. The objective of the housing “wealth” tax would be to reduce investment in housing. The tax review is a slap in the face for the Alliance. The housing tax is thought to be political suicide.
POWER SHAKEUP: Reports tonight indicate a big shake-up could be underway soon in the power industry. On Energy is said to be considering revaluing its electricity supply business.
QUEENSTOWN MURDER TRIAL: A Queenstown policeman was in tears today when he gave evidence against his 2-year-old son Mark who is accused of killing his mother Paddy Burton. Policeman Trevor Burton spoke about writing to Mark Burton’s doctors saying that he was very concerned about the safety of his wife and his younger son if Mark Burton was released from hospital given his paranoid beliefs. The court heard that Mark Burton drank whiskey and smoked cannabis before stabbing his mother to death.
WELLINGTON CLUB: The Race Relations Conciliator has written to the Wellington Club apologising for complaining about the club not accepting his dress sense.
SATISFACTION: A study of several cities has found that
Wellingtonians are the happiest city dwellers in the
country. Wellingtonians were 85% satisfied with their city
followed by Christchurch residents on 83%. Manakau City
residents were the least satisfied. The report also finds
that Auckland’s westies hardly ever use public transport.