Poll – APEC Manholes – East Timor – Hauraki Park Sunk – Teachers Quitting – National List – Derek Quigley – Ansett – Israel Peace
POLL: New Zealanders are still set to return to a Labour-led Government, but support for the junior partner in a centre-left coalition is looking wobbly. Labour has jumped two points to 43.8 per cent in the latest New Zealand Herald-DigiPoll survey, but some of the fresh backing may have come from its chief ally, the Alliance, which has tumbled to just 5 per cent in the poll. Translated to seats in Parliament, those results give a clear majority to a Labour-led coalition
APEC MANHOLES: No manhole cover is being left unturned, no traffic light is safe and no wheelie bin is unmoved as the police count down to Apec. Queen St strollers yesterday stopped to gawk at members of the police specialist search group painstakingly checking manholes and then sealing them with a small, numbered sticker.
JAKARTA – EAST TIMOR: Indonesians were yesterday coming to terms with the fact that the people of East Timor have emphatically rejected the nation that launched a brutal invasion of their half-island territory in 1975, bringing an appalling cost in human suffering.
HAURAKI PARK SUNK: The Labour Party has sunk the plan to create a Hauraki Gulf marine park by the start of America's Cup racing this year. Labour withdrew its support for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Bill yesterday, saying the legislation could wait until it was in power next year.
TEACHERS QUITTING: Stress and overwork are driving hundreds of secondary school teachers to quit or take leave, says their union. A survey of nearly 4900 of the country's 16,000 teachers found 153 had decided to leave this year because of stress, 63 had already left and 237 had taken stress-related sick leave.
NATIONAL LIST: Six sitting National MPs, including two cabinet ministers, have opted out of the insurance policy of a slot on their party's list and chosen to stand only in their constituencies. National's list was released yesterday after candidate rankings were completed by a special party committee on Saturday.
DEREK QUIGLEY: Act MP Derek Quigley is bowing out of Parliament. The 67-year-old's decision yesterday not to stand in the election came as no surprise. Mr Quigley was a National MP from 1975 to 1984.
ANSETT: Ansett New Zealand pilots have accused their company of deliberately spreading misinformation to foster anti-pilot feelings among the public. The pilots have been told by Ansett that they will be locked out of their jobs on Thursday, September 16, the day before school holidays begin, unless they sign a new employment contract.
ISRAEL: Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak signed a deal in Egypt yesterday that puts stalled Middle East peacemaking back on track after weeks of tortuous negotiations.