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New Zealand Herald

NZ First Troubles - Sports Victories - Sweat Shop - McKinnon's Job - Surgeon Discrimination - Liam Holloway - Fraud Doctor - Teen Racing Warning - Crash Compo Changes - Part Time Kids - Impotence Can Be Fatal - Editorial Health

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NZ FIRST TROUBLES: New Zealand First, the likely post-election queenmaker, remained in disarray last night - unable to end the political haemorrhaging involving its three best-known women candidates. Three days after the New Zealand Herald revealed that prominent list candidate Suzanne Bruce would face tax charges, prompting her resignation, the party is still trying to wash its hands of her. The New Zealand Herald-DigiPoll survey and a TVNZ poll at the weekend both had NZ First holding the balance of power in a tight result on November 27.

NZ FIRST ON ELECTION TRAIL: As the air swirled with talk of leadership challenges, treachery and chaos within party ranks, Winston Peters campaigned happily in Howick yesterday. A good-humoured and relaxed Mr Peters cracked jokes with supporters and hecklers, seemingly oblivious to reports that NZ First's party structure is in a shambles.

SPORTS VICTORIES: New Zealand has that winning feeling back. In a weekend of Kiwi triumphs, golfer Michael Campbell held his nerve to win the $2.5 million Johnnie Walker Classic in Taiwan, while racing driver Greg Murphy pulled one back from the Australians when he took out the Bathurst 1000. And late last night the New Zealand cricketers squared the one-day series with India, pulling off a 48-run win to set up a decider in New Delhi on Wednesday.

SWEAT SHOP: A woman who allegedly imported Thai nationals to work in a West Auckland clothing factory has had her property, bank accounts and other assets frozen by court order. The Labour Department says Wiliwan Sivoravong underpaid eight workers by more than $250,000 over 21/2 years.

MCKINNON'S JOB: A jubilant Don McKinnon was last night celebrating his appointment as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. The victory in the two-horse race to succeed Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria was a career highlight, Mr McKinnon said from a hotel in Durban, South Africa, where the decision was announced.

SURGEON DISCRIMINATION: A Bosnian orthopaedic surgeon shunned by New Zealand medical authorities has been snapped up by an Australian hospital. And an overseas doctors' group has rejected a Government package aimed at retraining immigrant doctors in return for remote rural postings.

LIAM HOLLOWAY: New Zealand children who have been treated at cancer clinics in Mexico have never been cured - and many have died, says a top child cancer specialist. Several dozen clinics in Mexico offer a range of alternative cancer treatments. Young Central Otago cancer victim Liam Williams-Holloway, who has a large neuroblastoma tumour on his jaw, has headed to one of them with his father, Brendan Holloway.

FRAUD DOCTOR: A doctor convicted of committing fraud to feed his drug habit says he was simply treating himself for depression. Dr Maldev Keshvara, aged 43, of Huntly, was convicted in the Hamilton District Court last week after admitting he had fraudulently used documents to obtain morphine and pethidine.

TEEN RACING WARNING: A teenager suffered serious head injuries when a car hit him as he and 300 others watched souped-up car racing on a Wiri industrial estate early on Saturday. A 28-year-old man was arrested in Mangere later that day in relation to the incident.

CRASH COMPO: National aims to open up ACC road accident cover to competition - meaning drivers would pay premiums based on their accident rates. The change could be good news for many older, female drivers with good safety records but expensive for young men, who are involved in the most crashes.

PART TIME KIDS: One in four secondary school students is letting part-time work get in the way of schoolwork. Half of all students work during the school term, 75 per cent in holidays, and many for long hours, according to a survey by the Council of Trade Unions and the Post Primary Teachers' Association. Of 663 students surveyed from eight high schools, 26 per cent said their part-time work had negative effects on homework and schoolwork.

IMPOTENCE FATAL!: Impotence may be a valuable indicator of men at risk of heart attacks or strokes. It is a potential warning that should not be ignored, researcher Dr Marc Pritzker told a meeting of the American Heart Association.

EDITORIAL- HEALTH: Health services may no longer be measured in bricks and mortar, but there will always be a need for hospitals. The only questions are how many and where. The Government has answered the largest of those questions with its approval of Auckland Healthcare's plan to rationalise its hospitals and related services. Construction is about to begin on the centrepiece of the plan, an enlarged hospital on the Grafton site. Its billing as "New Zealand's national hospital" will probably prove to be no exaggeration. The plan is not quite the monolith that was originally proposed in 1995, when all hospital operations on the isthmus, including ambulatory services and day surgery, were to be concentrated at Grafton. The New Zealand Herald was not the only voice of the community to raise concerns about so many services on a single site where traffic congestion and street parking already pose problems for hospital patients and visitors. Auckland Healthcare heeded those crit-icisms and a few more besides. At a cost of $500 million, the all-purpose monster was found to exceed the most efficient size.

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