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Weather: Storm, Power Savings, Mail Stranded – Fatal Facial Case – Te Arawa Treaty Claim – Foreign Students Accommodation – Radio Strike – Cancer Fraud – Michael Barrymore

WEATHER – STORM: The central North Island is gradually recovering after its worst storm in a decade. 15 slips came down between Hunterville and Taihape blocking the road all day. The snow broke the roof of a shed near Waiouru. A metre of snow has fallen in Waiouru. Electricity was back on for most of Waiouru by 4am. Truck drivers were taken in by the Army and looked after. Ohakune was still blanketed this afternoon.

WEATHER – POWER SAVINGS: Homeowners have also been without power. Around 300 properties were affected by power losses that lasted longer than overnight. Savings of power nation-wide have fallen to 5.1%, on a regional basis the Middle North Island hasn’t saved any power yesterday. Lake Taupo has just seven centimetres of water in it. Even the Insurance industry is feeling the pinch after the storm.

WEATHER – MAIL STRANDED: The North Island storm has been delaying mail deliveries today. 30 tonnes of mail was caught in a flood South of Palmerston North. The driver climbed onto the roof of his truck and was rescued by helicopter. He later caught a lift home in a courier van. The army are considering rescuing the mail which is expected to be dry by mail bosses.

FATAL FACIAL CASE: A Christchurch Dr has today been fined $30,000 for killing of a woman with a facial treatment. Dr Little says the sum he has been asked to pay to the family of his victim is nothing compared to their grief. The 57-year-old woman died during the carbolic acid facial treatment. The judge said the Dr should have waited till resuscitation equipment arrived before doing the treatment.

TE ARAWA TREATY CLAIM: A petition of over 14,000 signatures opposing a Rotorua Lakes Treaty Settlement was presented to Parliament today. A group says that it wants to ensure access to the lakes for our children. Te Arawa says the group doesn’t understand the claim. One Kaumatua says she thinks some people in the town of Rotorua may not know how the lakes came to be under crown control. Margaret Wilson says the process of settlements will take as long as it takes.

FOREIGN STUDENTS: A draft code for accommodation for international fee-paying students is causing controversy. National’s Gerry Brownlee is concerned there is a significant transfer of responsibility for the welfare of students to schools. Steve Maharey defends the scheme saying he thinks we need it for a $1 billion industry. Some schools think it might be too expensive to implement.

RADIO STRIKE: Radio New Zealand staff have gone on strike till 6pm tomorrow night. A number of regular programmes have had to be replaced with the BBC and music.

CANCER FRAUD: A US pharmacist faces charges of watering down cancer drugs.

MICHAEL BARRYMORE: Police have been looking at Michael Barrymore’s home for evidence in relation to the death of a young man in his pool. The man, who was found floating in his pool clothed only in boxer shorts, was found to have used ecstasy and coccaine. Mr Barrymore’s lawyer says his client is not a murder suspect. Two other men have been charged on suspicion of murder. Barrymore’s personal life has often been under strain. Recently he arrived home from a rehab clinic.

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