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Auckland Health Funding Crisis – Another Parry Inquiry – Apple Wars – Super Supermarket – Keith Murdoch – Jonah Lomu – Miracle Escape – Taupo Murder – Moutoa Gardens – Tapu Lifing Controversy

AUCKLAND HEALTH FUNDING CRISIS: The hospital funding crisis has started to bleed all over the floor. Auckland Hospital faces a $62 million under-funding deficit. The CEO of Auckland Hospital says he has to look at services to start cancelling. The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says that the situation has compounded over a number of years. The Minister of Health says she is looking at a dedicated tax. The hospitals are expected to run deficits of up to $250 million a year. Auckland is just the first to go public.

ANOTHER PARRY INQUIRY: A Parliamentary Committee is to hold an inquiry into the treatment supplied by Dr Graham Parry to Northland women. Jack Poutsma the husband of Auckland woman Colleen Poutsma who died is pleased. So is another woman who had her smears misread. The committee is still to decide exactly what it will investigate. Parry’s lawyer is skeptical saying this will be the sixth inquiry. The Minister is also not convinced of the need for an inquiry.

APPLE WARS: Angry Apple Growers gathered in Napier today throwing apples at ENZA.

SUPER SUPERMARKET: Commerce Commission approval has been given for Progressive Enterprises to acquire Woolworths, and with it a 45% share of the NZ supermarket market.

KEITH MURDOCH: Former All Black Keith Murdoch has been served with a summons to attend a coroners inquiry into the death of an Aboriginal man at Tenant Creek. The man was found dead in the bottom of an abandoned mine.

JONAH LOMU: Could All Black juggernaut Jonah Lomu be headed for Rugby League? Sydney’s Daily Telegraph claims so. Lomu’s contract comes up for renewal at the end of the year. The Warriors say they are interested. Phil Kingsley-Jones says Jonah was disappointed not to make the team to play Samoa, but not enough to consider quitting union.

MIRACLE: There was a miraculous escape from a plane crash today when a plane hit transmission lines and the pilot walked away.

TAUPO MURDER: A witness says he saw murder victim Jason Johnson enter a car. Video footage hasn’t been very helpful yet. Johnson was known to make sexual advances to male motorists who picked him up. Police say they think his sexuality might be connected to his murder.

MOUTOA GARDENS: The Government has resolved an issue over Moutoa Gardens occupation related legal bills.

TAPU LIFTING CONTROVERSY: Controversy has arisen over the $10,000 cost of sending Maori elders for Tapu lifting ceremonies at the opening of new offices for the High Commission to Thailand. ACT MP Rodney Hide says the ceremonies held at all MFAT offices since 1986 are hocus pocus, and an example of religious bias. MFAT says it is a good introduction for foreign cultures to Maori culture.

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