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The Independent, 2/8/00

front page:

1/ "Back to the Thirties" headline - return of ERB is "a defeat for employers and business in general" the paper says. Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett urges businesspeople not to be distracted by "the re-emergence of a union vs employer environment that the ERB locks into place";

2/ Singapore free trade deal close - more comprehensive than CER and hailed by NZ officials as a world leader. Other reports that Treaty issues were holding up progress have been denied;

In the rest of the paper:

3/ First investment by Auckland Uni-linked venture capital fund set to invest $4 million in another Auckland Uni-linked bio-tech company, NeuronZ, undertaking research into drugs to treat central nervous system disorders;

4/ Commerce Commission takes Telecom to court alleging anti-competitive behaviour in its 0867 Internet arrangements;

5/ Open skies agreement with Australia is in the offing, but the change of heart in Canberra appears to come with strings attached;

6/ Chief Justice Sian Elias rules that an Auckland High Court Master, John Faire, was wrong to order the destruction of notes taken in court by a reporter for The Independent;

7/ Passage of ERB sees emergence of a new kind of "off-the-shelf" union which will negotiate collective contracts for one-off fees and aimed at the single workplace level;

8/ Statutory manager for failed investment group IMI Pacific seeking to bankrupt its two directors unless they pay court costs of $52,000;


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