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Midday Report – National Radio

HAWKESBY ROW: Complaint over PMs comments. Labour’s Chief Whip Mark Burton has made a formal breach of privilege claim alleging that Prime Minister Jenny Shipley misled Parliament. The complaint comes as a result of contradictory explanations over her comments that TVNZ payed John Hawkesby $1 million in a severence payment.

TOURISM BOARD: Tourism Board Payments. A settlement over the $340,000 exit payment to Tourism Board members Brian Mogridge and Michael Wall is being examined by the Crown Law Office and the Inland Revenue Department. It is expected the settlement will be announced later in the day.

ACC MURDER: A 35 year old man, Johnny Manu, has appeared in the Waitakere District Court charged with murdering 34 year old ACC case worker Janet Pike. Manu has been remanded in custody for two weeks and must undergo a psychiatric assessment. He was given name suppression until midday to allow him to inform family of his arrest.

TEACHERS SETTLEMENT: Secondary Teachers support settlement. Ninety per cent of secondary teachers have endorsed the long awaited settlement of their contract, following two years of bargaining. PPTA President Graeme McCann said most teachers believed the settlement was the best that could be achieved in the circumstances. Pay increases of 17 per cent for new teachers and seven per cent for senior teachers will take effect from next month and will be back dated from January.

VETERANS: Veterans report. A government report into veterans exposure to chemicals and radiation and the link to their childrens health defects has been criticised by veterans organisations. The report found no link between the exposure and ongoing health problems and abnormalities and failed to recommend compensation for servicemen and their families. Sue Rabbitte-Roff, a Research Fellow from the University of Dundee said the report is deeply flawed as it fails to take into account all data on the research. She said Scottish scientists are now able to test the blood and saliva of servicemen to determine the extent of radiation exposure and the impact on their bodies.

ESCAPE: Paremoremo escape. A dangerous prisoner has escaped from Poremoremo Prison in Auckland. Dion Ihaka Matthews, 28, was on preventative detention for rape was discovered missing at 8am this morning. He is heavily tattooed on his body and face and Auckland police say he should not be approached.

PRISON DEATH:. A remand inmate has died in Hawkes Bay Regional Prison last night. The 28 year old man had only spent one night at the prison. Counselling is being offered to staff and inmates and the matter is being investigated.

HEALTH: New Health Campaign. Underpriviliged children in South Auckland who do not access health care are being targetted by a new campaign by public nurses. The campaign will boost the number of nurses working in 48 schools in low income areas of South Auckland.

ROPATI CONVICTED: Highlander convicted of assault. Otago Highlander Romi Ropati has been convicted of assault and fined $2000 in the Dunedin District Court today. The court was told Ropati punched Peter Attwood six times, breaking his jaw in two places and causing a tooth to be removed.

GDP: GDP figures show modest growth. GDP figures which reflect total output show that the economic activity grew by 0.7 per cent in the three months to the end of March.

DIABETES: HFA diabetes pilot screening scheme. The HFA says it will evaluate a diabetes pilot screening scheme before considering a public screening programme for the disease. The Hepatitis Foundation wants to add tests for diabetes to a nationwide hepatitis B screening programme next month but the government has not supported the idea.

ANIMAL RESEARCH: Animal experiments increase. Annual figures from the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee show a total increase in the number of laboratory animals of nearly 40 per cent. Last year over 308 000 animals were used for research, about 87 000 more than the previous year. Most of this increase is accounted for by a large fish tracking operation by a Crown Research Institute. The use of cats and dog in experiments also increased.

DEPORTATION: Schiers deportation. The Schier family are to be deported on Sunday. The application by Petra Schier and their three children to stay another month until their business was sold was declined by Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamere.

KOSOVO: Serbs and Albanians urged to work together. The NATO Secretary General has urged serbs and Albanians to work together to build a multi-ethnic democracy. However returning Albanians are still exacting revenge by torching Serbian houses and looting businesses.

MEMORIAL: Bary Wells memorial. A memorial to missing fisherman Barry Wells will be held in Nelson today. Wells was last heard from on Friday 4 June when he left Nelson to meet family in Pelorus Sounds. His upturned boat was recovered but his body never found.

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