EAST TIMOR: Darwin – Officer Training – UN – Filmmaker – Editorial. OTHER NEWS: - TV3 Poll – Schnauer – Maori Protestors – South Auckland – Rotorua Murder – America’s Cup – Ansett Strike – Greer Robson
EAST TIMOR – DARWIN: New Zealand SAS troops helped to spearhead the United Nations drive into East Timor yesterday. Flying out of Tindal Air Force base, south of Darwin, in a dawn operation with Australian SAS units, the New Zealanders helped to secure Dili airfield for more than 2000 soldiers following in a huge air and sea-lift. Hundreds of troops in the first wave of peacekeepers into Dili were flown in by RNZAF Hercules aircraft operating out of Tindal, and Townsville in north Queensland.
EAST TIMOR – OFFICER TRAINING: Indonesian officers are still being trained in New Zealand - more than a week after the Government announced it was suspending military cooperation with Jakarta. Since the announcement, four have continued their New Zealand taxpayer-funded studies, while two have been sent home.
EAST TIMOR - NEW YORK: As the multinational force fanned out in East Timor, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called yesterday for the UN to send human rights abusers a decisive message - including the threat of military action. Opening the general debate of the 54th General Assembly, Annan told presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers: "Massive and systematic violations of human rights, wherever they make take place, should not be allowed to stand."
EAST TIMOR – FILMAKER: Auckland film-maker Annie Goldson, who has been watching New Zealand troops leaving for East Timor, says our country lost the chance eight years ago to make a difference there. Annie Goldson produced and directed the acclaimed documentary Punitive Damage: A Mother's Story.
EAST TIMOR – EDITORIAL: The international community has made the right move by placing "justice" among the items on the East Timor agenda. The evidence of atrocities is manifest and the message is clear: those who committed these crimes will be called to account. Since the end of the Cold War the creation of appropriately constituted courts to investigate and test the evidence of crimes against humanity has gained international acceptance. Now, even before the enforcement process has begun, a tribunal on East Timor has been mooted.
SHIPLEY BOOSTED IN POLL: Poll support for Prime Minister Jenny Shipley has jumped in the wake of Apec. A TV3/CM Research opinion poll shows her rising from 14 per cent to 20 per cent in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, two points ahead of Labour leader Helen Clark. Thirty-eight per cent of those questioned said they had a better opinion of Mrs Shipley after her handling of Apec, with just 8 per cent saying they now had a worse opinion of her.
SCHNAUER: Patricia Schnauer's decision to get out of politics was, by recent New Zealand standards, subdued. No heartfelt cries of "I'm outa here" like former New Zealand First MP Deborah Morris. No slagging off her leader as a bully, like Alliance MP Pam Corkery.
MAORI PROTESTORS: Confusion has muddied a police trespass case against 24 Maori protesters who occupied Paraparaumu Airport. Charges were dropped without the knowledge of the investigating officer or the airport director. The protesters were delighted: their defence had appeared in jeopardy after problems with their legal advice.
SOUTH AUCKLAND: South Auckland is missing out on a Government scheme to help under-privileged youngsters - despite the area's having some of the worst child health problems in the country. Health workers in South Auckland are angry the region has not received any of the $41 million earmarked for the Family Start programme designed to identify and help needy children up to the age of five.
ROTORUA MURDER: Auckland peanut merchant Mille Vukotic was probably killed by a blow to the neck before being crushed under a car as part of a staged death, the Crown told a court hearing in Rotorua yesterday. Mr Vukotic, aged 55, was found dead beneath his car at a roadside lay-by 15km south of Cambridge on State Highway 1 on November 14, 1995.
AMERICA’S CUP: While other America's Cup teams are arriving in Auckland armed with bags of cash, the Australians have come with nothing but bags of rice. Veteran racer Syd Fischer has cobbled together a challenge with a minuscule budget - one-hundredth the size of the $120 million Italian Prada challenge.
ANSETT STRIKE: More than 30 Ansett NZ pilots are looking for new jobs overseas as a bitter dogfight with their employer drags on. Ansett locked out 125 pilots last Thursday after they refused to sign a new five-year employment contract which would have required them to fly longer hours for less money.
GREER ROBSON: Former child star Greer Robson has a new role in Shortland St as a bright young law graduate -- but this time she is not acting. The Shortland St of her present job is not the fictitious one of the television soap, but the central Auckland address of her new employer, law firm Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartleet.