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Greens Victory – Sue Bradford – Parliament Numbers – Student Jobs – Rangitikei – Gift Company Collapses – South Auckland Health – Whangaparoa Death – Ecstasy – WTO Editorial

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GREENS VICTORY: The new Labour-Alliance Coalition has vowed to govern alone even though it no longer has a majority in Parliament after the Greens triumphed in Coromandel on special votes. Facing the prospect of running a minority Government, the Prime Minister-designate, Helen Clark, last night admitted that the overturning of the election-night result made things slightly more complicated.

SUE BRADFORD: Veteran protester and new Green MP Sue Bradford was smiling at the sight of a photographer's camera.
"It's such a relief to have a picture without a cop around your neck," she said.
Instead the 47-year-old mother of five had around her shoulders the hemp-shirted arm and one or two dreadlocked strands of the new Parliament's most recognisable non-haircut.

PARLIAMENT NUMBERS: In come the Greens, out go six MPs from other parties. But the shape of Parliament was by no means settled last night without a final result from the all-important seat of Tauranga.
If New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is knocked out in Tauranga on special votes, the Greens would increase their seats to seven, but Labour and the Alliance would still have a majority with 62 - Labour with 52 and the Alliance 10.

STUDENT JOBS: Student required to mow lawns: must be hardworking - and white.
Students from ethnic minorities are facing discrimination in their attempts to get summer work. Staff at Student Job Search say they are dealing with employers who are openly prejudiced.

RANGITIKEI: The election result muddle descended into farce yesterday as the Chief Electoral Office admitted it had lost 100 ballot papers from a highly marginal electorate.
The Chief Electoral Officer, Phil Whelan, said he had called in the police to investigate the disappearance, which leaves the result of the Rangitikei seat in limbo.

GIFT COMPANY COLLAPSES: While scores of children face a Christmas without presents after a gift company collapsed, many poor Auckland families have cashed in on a church group's festive banking scheme.
The Methodist Central Mission is handing back to 62 low-income families their $22,000 of Christmas savings, plus nearly $2000 in bonus payments and interest - an average of about $380 a family.

SOUTH AUCKLAND HEALTH: South Auckland health providers are calling for an extra $56 million to overcome the region's appalling health statistics.
Eleven health organisations comprising the Counties Manukau Think Tank presented a submission to health authorities yesterday, which they hope will reverse the area's health trends.

WHAGAPAROA DEATH: It had been a happy birthday, but Robyn McClure's party turned to tragedy when the 43-year-old slipped off a tractor her partner was driving and was run over during a midnight beach trip.
Tomorrow, family and friends will bury the bright, fun-loving Whangaparaoa sales manager.

ECSTASY: Police say the use of the illicit drug Ecstasy may soon be second only to marijuana - after being ranked sixth two years ago and virtually unknown at the start of the decade.
Police say hundreds of thousands of the small tablets, worth tens of millions of dollars on the street, are flooding into the country every year.

EDITORIAL – WTO: If the World Trade Organisation did not exist, the world would have to invent it. Global regulators tried to do it in the years following the Second World War, at the time the United Nations was spawning bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the International Labour Organisation, but narrow mercantile interests could not embrace anything more than a General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. It was not until six years ago that negotiations under the general agreement ventured to turn it into a fully fledged WTO. Was that a mistake? The debacle at Seattle last week might suggest so. A conference called to launch another negotiating round was besieged by citizens of rich countries fearful of Third World wages and global corporate power. Inside the conference, the poor nations that have flocked to join the organisation in the past six years were at loggerheads with representatives of the rich, who want to bring labour and other standards into a global trade regime. They could not find common ground.

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