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TV3 News

Tasman Pacific Creditors Meeting – Air NZ/RCGM Poll Question – Wintry Blast – Phonics – Refugee From Oz – Heroic Mutt – Music Quota

TASMAN PACIFIC CREDITORS MEETING: Angry creditors had their first opportunity today to confront the directors of Tasman Pacific Airways. Michelle Penn spoke for 1200 staff about what she had to go through as a result of the failure of her employer Qantas NZ. The owner of a sub-contracting company says he has had to wind up business. Another says he sold assets to pay his own creditors. Creditors want the directors to open up their own wallets to pay their creditors. Virtually all of the questions were answered by one director Rob Campbell. He rejected all allegations made against the directors. Creditors will receive between seven and 11 cents in the dollar.

TV3 POLL QUESTIONS: Should the government allow a foreign airline to hold 49% of the National carrier? 43% in favour, 48% against. (later) On the Royal Commission of GM’s findings people were asked whether they agreed or not with the commission’s findings. 48% said they agreed and 43% disagreed. A university professor thinks the inconclusive result is due to the fact that the public didn’t know what the findings were.

WINTRY BLAST: Power savings took the back seat today as a wintry blast moved north over the country. Canterbury lambing worries in the snow. Queenstown woke up to snow plows. Power companies are worried about a surge of energy consumption. There are fears that savings from the last two weeks could be wiped out in 48 hours of cold. Central Otago farmers say they are geared up for power cuts anyway. Weather is set to clear tomorrow. Contact Energy has come up with a plan to link saving power to making community donations saying it will give up to $400,000 in each of five regions if savings targets are reached by its customers.

PHONICS: The Education Select Committee has issued a report on phonics, a method of learning to read. The method is said to be accessible to all kids. The Committee has recommended the Ministry of Education bring back phonics. The committee also wants smaller school classes. At present students learn to read using the “whole language” technique. An estimated one in five high school entrants are illiterate. The NZEI opposes going back to phonics and wants to focus instead on those who are suffering. The government has to decide what to do.

REFUGEE FROM OZ: A refugee from Yemen who escaped from an Australian immigration detention centre talks about his experiences after arriving in Auckland. Ali escaped to NZ after paying $5000 for a false passport. Earlier he had escaped from detention. He says NZ’s immigration service is much better to deal with than Australia’s.

HEROIC MUTT: A dog that stuck by its freezing owner for five nights in the Kaimanawa ranges is being hailed a hero. 58-year-old Des Pemberton fell down a hole in the dark and spent five years without food or water. Mates think his survival is incredible. Des is in a stable condition in hospital.

MUSIC QUOTA: The Government wants to force Commercial Radio to play more Kiwi music. Currently we have around 10% NZ music on radio. Marian Hobbs wants to increase this to 25% over five years. If the industry doesn’t cooperate then the voluntary quota could be made compulsory. Broadcasters think that 25% is unrealistically high. The amount of Kiwi music played has doubled in the last five years.

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