PM On NZ First – All Black Loss – Personal Health – Treaty Apology – Toothfish – Keith Quinn – Hunger Strike – MP’s Security – Australian Republic – Republicanism – Road Toll – Music Man – Retiring Vicar – Housing Renewal – Maori Seat Poll – Editorial: Child Safety
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PM ON NZ FIRST: The Prime Minister would rather risk another general election than accept half-pie support from Winston Peters if he holds the balance of power. 'I'm not prepared to work with people who are wanting to have it both ways - imply that there is stable Government but still hold the country to ransom,' Jenny Shipley said yesterday.
ALL BLACK L:OSS: Grow up, New Zealand, and give the All Blacks a fair go. That was the weekend message from the agency promoting excellence and fair play in sport as debate on the poor Rugby World Cup performance continued to rage. The Hillary Commission called on New Zealanders to renew their support for the All Blacks to counter abuse that had reached vitriolic proportions.
PERSONAL HEALTH: You and Your Health - Timed-release pellets of a natural growth factor produced by the body have helped heart patients grow their own bypasses, American researchers say. During a study designed only to show the procedure was safe, researchers found the treatment clearly helped patients' hearts work better.
TREATY CLAIM: It's been a long, lonely battle, but Wiremu Harris has finally won back his honour. Nearly 30 years after the Crown wrongly took his land, the 86-year-old has at last received a Government apology. Mr Harris, from the Far North settlement of Mangamuka, lost everything in a case of mistaken identity in 1971.
TOOTHFISH: New measures to counter pirate fishermen illegally catching Patagonian toothfish will be aimed at saving stocks of the species threatened with commercial extinction in parts of the Southern Ocean. But environmentalists claim the measures will fail because they are not tough enough. In February, the new frigate, Te Kaha, was deployed in Antarctic waters to combat pirate fishing in the Ross Sea claimed by New Zealand.
KEITH QUINN: Keith Quinn talks to WYNNE GRAY about the World Cup and his 34 years as the voice of rugby. Keith Quinn's favourite moment from the fourth Rugby World Cup was well away from the commentary booth where he spent nearly half the 41 matches. The day before the All Blacks' disastrous semifinal, Quinn was the subject of an interview for the cup Internet site.
HUNGER STRIKE: An asylum-seeker who has been on a hunger strike for 10 days in protest at his incarceration in Mt Eden Prison has called off his fast. The man is one of 16 asylum-seekers from India, Pakistan and Iran who are refusing to eat until they are released from prison to fight for their right to asylum in New Zealand. The Department of Corrections has confirmed that one of the men ended his fast yesterday - a day after a visit from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' New Zealand representative, Hans ten Feld.
MP’S SECURITY: Increased fears for MPs' safety means they can now claim a taxpayer refund to install a home burglar alarm. The Higher Salaries Commission, which has just recommended that the minimum pay for MPs rise to $83,000 a year, has also decided that they can be reimbursed for the cost of burglar alarms.
AUSTRALIAN REPUBLIC: The crushing rejection of a republic in Australia's public referendum has not ended the fight to dump the British monarchy. Australians will almost certainly vote on a republic again within the next decade, despite the decision to head into the 21st century with the Queen as their head of state.
REPUBLICANISM: Leaders across New Zealand's political spectrum say republicanism is low on the national agenda. While Australians voted against becoming a republic in Saturday's referendum, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said New Zealand was still decades away from even debating such a move. Her views were echoed by Labour leader Helen Clark and Alliance leader Jim Anderton, who agreed that turning New Zealand into a republic would be difficult because of the Treaty of Waitangi, signed by Maori chiefs and the British Crown in 1840.
ROAD TOLL: A pedestrian, a motorcyclist and a driver died on the roads at the weekend. The pedestrian, Arohanui Veronica Louise Hunia, aged 41, of Hamilton, had been reported missing and was in need of insulin for her diabetes. She was hit by a car as she walked along State Highway 1 just south of Hamilton about 9.45 pm on Friday, police said.
MUSIC: Auckland musician Martin Winch has a message for struggling guitarists. "Get yourself a profile," offers the man who achieved mass audience appeal last year with his number one album, Espresso Guitar.
RETIRING VICAR: Archdeacon Peter Beck, vicar of St Matthew-in-the-City for the past seven years, is hanging up his cassock full-time to enter corporate life. He has resigned his posts as Anglican Archdeacon of Auckland and head of the inner-city church where he oversaw a $3 million restoration project.
HOUSING RENEWAL: National is promising an urban renewal programme that would end housing estates as New Zealand has know them since the 1950s. Blocks of state houses would be demolished and replaced with a mix of public and private-sector housing.
MAORI SEAT POLL: Labour's candidate for the Maori electorate of Hauraki, John Tamihere, is well clear of his closest rival in a Marae/DigiPoll survey. The poll, taken from October 29 to November 4, shows Mr Tamihere with 53.8 per cent support. The next most popular candidate is New Zealand First's Josie Anderson on 18.2 per cent, followed by Alliance/Mana Motuhake candidate Willie Jackson on 15.7 per cent.
EDITORIAL – CHILD SAFETY: TOO often, a children's welfare official lamented last year, the public heard about the activities of social workers only when things went wrong. Every day, those workers helped to keep hundreds of children and young people safe. Such pleas are always understandable but are also misplaced. Fairly or not, a focus on failure is a fact of life, not only in social welfare but in virtually every avenue of activity. And the focus becomes that much sharper when a Government agency persistently offends, leaving people to cope with devastated lives. Eighteen months ago, a succession of blunders by the Children, Young Persons and their Families Service invited such scrutiny. There was the case of the baby girl, severely brain-damaged after repeated shaking by her father, whom the service arranged to be put in the care of a convicted sex abuser - until hospital staff blocked the move - and then into the care of a woman with a history of child neglect. There was the service's official apology for placing a teenage sex abuser into a family's home without their knowing his history. Then there was the two-day delay in answering a school's plea to help a 5-year-old sexual-abuse victim. So it went on - and, unfortunately, still goes on.