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National Radio Midday Report

Teaching Reading – Tasman Pacific – Starship Surgery – Telecom Result – Electricity Law – Biscuit Theif – Truck Driveshafts – Economy Class Syndrome – Southerner Future – Sounds Claim – Harbouring Charges

TEACHING READING: A parliamentary Select Committee has called for better literacy standards. It wants the Government to focus on early school years to cut down on the need for intervention later on and urgent research into literacy of students entering secondary school. It re-ignited the debate over phonics teaching in reading. Alliance MP and select committee chair Liz Gordon says New Zealand has developed a major reading gap. She says a high proportion of students don’t have basic skills by the time they get to secondary school, and that a return to phonics is the way to close the gap.

TASMAN PACIFIC: Creditors of failed airline Tasman Pacific Airways, which traded under the name Qantas NZ, are getting a chance to question company directors about their performance at a meeting in Auckland today. Just over 50 creditors are at a Christchurch meeting on a video link-up to Auckland, and are angry that no directors are at the venue.

STARSHIP SURGERY: Auckland’s Starship Children’s Hospital says some non-urgent surgery will resume earlier than anticipated.

TELECOM RESULT: The cost of cutting down its new generation mobile phone network in Australia has helped pull down Telecom’s annual result for the year to the end of June.

ELECTRICITY LAW: The Government has outlined changes in the electricity industry designed to improve services to consumers now that the Electricity Industry Act is now law.

BISCUIT THEIF: A Waitara man has won $15,000 compensation after being unjustifiably dismissed from his sawmilling job for taking biscuits lying on the tearoom table and eating them.

TRUCK DRIVESHAFTS: The Land Transport Safety Authority and Road Transport Forum are addressing concerns about the safety of truck driveshafts after a recent accident when a driveshaft fell off. Last November, a similar incident killed a motorist.

ECONOMY CLASS SYNDROME: Medical researchers studying economy class syndrome are targeting younger travellers as they continue to search for 1000 volunteers for their study.

SOUTHERNER FUTURE: Users of the Southerner passenger train will know more about its future this afternoon, and Local authorities in the South Island announce what progress they have made towards saving the service.

SOUNDS CLAIM: Top of the South Island iwi have lodged a court appeal against the rejection of their claim for ownership of the Marlborough Sounds seabed and foreshore.

HARBOURING CHARGES: Charges against a Porirua man and his wife of Harbouring escaped prisoner Kevin Polwart have been withdrawn by the Porirua District Court and they have been granted permanent name suppression.

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