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New Zealand Herald

NZ First List – All Blacks “Film Stars” – Sick Children – Britomart Fallout – Home Invasion – Dog Attack – GE Protest – Child Abuse – Vector Row – Incest – Author Prisoner – Editorial: Britomart

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NZ FIRST LIST: New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has been attacked as a 'bit thick' by a loyalist MP dumped way down the party list. Jenny Bloxham is 22nd on the list, down from fifth in 1996. NZ First's only other female MP, Robyn McDonald, was also demoted, from 14 to 20. Thirteen newcomers to the list are ahead of her. Both women are likely to lose their seats.

ALL BLACKS “FILM STARS” - Legendary All Black hardmen have told the current "film stars" they wouldn't have tolerated the sort of filthy tactics the 1999 side put up with in the World Cup debacle.
After accusations yesterday that French players grabbed testicles, gouged eyes and indulged in head-butting in the semifinal defeat, former internationals rounded on the All Blacks and accused them of going soft.
Tough prop Richard Loe, banned in late 1992 for eye-gouging, blamed rugby administrators, corporate image-makers and coach John Hart for a lack of aggression in the game.
The Super 12 and NPC judicial systems suspended players for incidents that should have stayed on the field, effectively turning the New Zealand players soft, he said.

SICK CHILDREN: Sick children from South Auckland are driving themselves into the operating theatre with smiles on their faces.
The Manukau SuperClinic has made surgery less daunting by providing toy cars to transport young patients to theatre.

BRITOMART FALLOUT:Furious Britomart developers are likely to sue the Auckland City Council over the axed downtown transport terminal.
The $164 million multi-level underground terminal was canned by the council, which said it would look at a smaller, more user-friendly terminal in an effort to bring buses and trains into the city to ease the growing transport crisis.

HOME INVASION: A Rotorua man beaten with a gun, kicked 30 times and robbed in his liquor store says he is sickened by the attack.
Police believe they are lucky not to be investigating a homicide after the aggravated robbery of Keith Bentley and his wife, Delwyn, on Tuesday night.

DOG ATTACK: An 11-year-old boy was dragged helplessly along behind his pet pitbull terrier yesterday morning as he tried to stop the dog attacking a 14-year-old friend.
Sacred Heart College student Verna Fonokalafi had just said goodbye to his younger neighbour in Mt Wellington and was heading for a bus-stop on his way to school when the dog chased after him and sank its teeth deep into his right arm.

GE PROTEST: A group of genetic engineering protesters peppered warning labels over stock at an Auckland supermarket as a publicity stunt, not to cause damage, a court was told yesterday.
Three members of the group have pleaded not guilty to intentional damage charges, laid after protesters allegedly stuck "may contain genetically modified ingredients" stickers on food items at the Mt Albert Pak 'N Save supermarket in a protest on May 13.

CHILD ABUSE: Doctors have welcomed the call to work with Government agencies to improve recognition and reporting of child abuse and neglect.
A report yesterday from the Department of Child, Youth and Family reveals that in the past two years doctors filed only 1 per cent of child mistreatment notifications.

VECTOR ROW: An urgent hearing will be held in the High Court at Auckland in a bid to resolve a bitter legal battle over a possible payout to customers of the power company Vector.
The Auckland Energy Consumer Trust, which owns Vector, the company created from the sale of Mercury Energy's lines business, wants to pay customers a $250 dividend from a $107 million cash pool.

INCEST: A "counsellor" persuaded a mother to let him have sex with her 13-year-old daughter to help overcome her emotional problems.
Yesterday in the High Court at Auckland, the man's particular form of therapy landed him a 10-year jail sentence.

AUTHOR PRISONER: Convicted burglar Simon Allan Kerr will use cash earned from two scripts he is working on to pay back his share of a $53,000 haul from a jewellery store.
In the Auckland District Court yesterday, Kerr was given 150 hours of community service, a two-year suspended jail sentence and told he had two years to pay $26,500 reparation for the burglary in September 1996. The first $10,000 must be paid within three months.

EDITORIAL – BRITOMART: After five years with an albatross preparing to settle on their shoulders, the ratepayers of Auckland City might scarcely believe the Britomart scheme is dead. Even last year, when they elected a mayor on a pledge to "rethink" Britomart, ratepayers probably expected the construction contracts were too far advanced for more than minor modifications. So they probably were, providing the developers kept their side of the bargain by putting up equity of $80 million. In the event, the delays in raising that amount have finally given the council grounds to terminate the agreement.
Whether the grounds are sufficient to avoid liability for compensation, might be for a court to decide. But Christine Fletcher and her council have proceeded with the kind of care and legal advice that give them cause for confidence. It is much to their credit, particularly hers, that they have managed to keep an open mind throughout, often to the consternation of the scheme's critics. Opportunities to frustrate the scheme seemed to go begging as Mrs Fletcher and the council maintained an attitude of "good faith," despite the delays by other parties to the contract.

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