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National Radio Midday Bulletin

1. NZQA: The State Services Commission, Audit Office and Crown Law are investigating payments made to the former head of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Minister Max Bradford was prompted to take action in part by written questions from Labour's Trevor Mallard. The former NZQA bosses salary was $220,000 and he made 15 overseas trips. He has already refunded some money.

2. NZQA: The man at the centre of the investigation says he does not wish to comment.

3. LAMB TARIFFS: It appears likely tariffs will be imposed on New Zealand lamb by the US government. Trade Minister Lockwood Smith says he expects a bad result. New Zealand may appeal the tariff to the WTO if it is imposed.

4. BOAT BILL: Law change bringing forward changes to the asylum seekers legislation has just been passed by Parliament. In debate Labour's Lianne Dalziel says we should have heard the story of the boat people before changing the law. Delamere defends the law and says the boat people will be detained on arrival. Passed 71 to 49.

5. BOAT BILL:Immigration Service says the boat will be tracked from Friday.

6. BOAT BILL:Mixed reaction to legislation. Council for refugees says the boat people are being seen as illegal immigrants before they have arrived. "Non criminals should not be put in jail", a spokesman says. Others support the law change including National's Pansy Wong - "these are not refugees in the ordinary sense of the term".

7. SCOTT WATSON TRIAL: Scott Watson trial hears evidence about the nature of the celebrations at Furneaux Lodge on New Years Eve 1997.



8. POLICE JOB: Western Australian government is expected to give a New Zealand police officer - Barry Matthews - the job of top cop in the state.

9. KOSOVO: Deadline has passed for Serbian troops to withdraw from southern Kosovo and the Kosovo capital Pristina. Nato forces have called upon Kosovars not to attack Serbian civilians. Attention will now turn to how to disarm the KLA.

10. INDONESIAN ELECTIONS: Main opposition party the Indonesian Democratic Party has a 15% lead over Golkar as counting reaches around 50% of the votes cast. However Golkar is expected to have more seats due to smaller seats in outlying islands.

11. MEXICAN EARTHQUAKE: Quake 6.7 on richter scale strikes in Mexico. Mass panic in Mexico City.

12. SOLOMONS: Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering assistance to the Solomon Islands

13. MAORI HEALTH: A Maori Health provider associated with Tainui and South Auckland Health have signed a partnership agreement to assist with providing health services in South Auckland and Waikato.

14. YOUTH SUICIDE: A new national Youth Suicide service has been launched today. The information service will be run by the Mental Health Foundation. The service is aimed at passing on suicide prevention research.

15. CHATHAMS DR: French Canadian doctor appointed to take on health role in the Chatham Islands. Drs wife is also a GP.

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