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The National Business Review – October 1

Law Firm In Fraud Probe – Youth Radio – APEC and Timor Polled – Editorial – Analysis & Comment

The Serious Fraud Office has launched an inquiry into the disappearance of money from the trust account of one of Christchurch’s blue-blood law firms, Saunders & Co. One source suggested the sum involved could be as high as $4 million. This is the second trust account scandal to hit the city this year. Last month, disbarred lawyer Matthew Brownie was jailed for nine months but details of the names of firms and trusts he was associated with have been suppressed.

A government desperate to be re-elected ignored advice from a range of officials when it raced into a pre-election commitment to a youth radio network. Cracks are already appearing in the hastily conceived plan with Culture and Heritage Minister Marie Hasler admitting the supposedly non-commercial station is likely to carry sponsorship and might not even happen.

The government’s handling of the Apec and East Timor issues have found favour with the public, the latest National Business Review-Compaq poll shows. Most people are confident intervention in East Timor will be successful, with 68% saying they believe the international forces would bring peace there. Most people (63%) also said the Apec meeting in Auckland last month was successful compared with 26% who said it was not.

EDITORIAL: It is difficult to take seriously the campaign led by disaffected academics against reducing the number of MPs in Parliament but we should. This campaign is little more than the Electoral Reform Coalition in drag – the organisation that told lies and manipulated public opinion to persuade us to adopt MMP

Political analyst Jeff Gamlin and education commentator Harvey McQueen analyse the various parties’ education policies, saying the student loans issue could influence the election outcome.
Economist Gareth Morgan argues in favour of widening the tax net to include all forms of income, including capital gains, to achieve a lower overall rate.
Act New Zealand MP Rodney Hide seeks more accountability in performance of public sector heads.

For further information: Nevil Gibson, Editor-in-Chief Ph 0-9-307 1629 or email

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