More Lord of the Rings pictures, news from the campaign trail and a new US ambassador...see all today's news on Scoop...
Scoop Images: Where Bilbo And Frodo Live – Really!
NEWS FLASH: New US Ambassador for NZ
- New Zealand has a new US Ambassador. Carol Moseley-Braun has been confirmed in the appointment by the US Foreign Relations Committee in a vote 17-1. Sen Jesse Helms, who opposed her nomination throughout was the lone voice in opposition. You read it first in Scoop.... extensive coverage on Scoop's World  page.
 - http://www.scoop.co.nz/world.html
Poll Shows Left Breaking Away - 13 per cent Between Main Parties
- A TV 3 CM Research Poll shows National slumping in support down five per cent to 28 per cent with Labour gaining four per cent to 41 per cent. See… Left Break Away - 13 per cent Between Main Parties  in the Headlines wire.
Poll Shock For Prebble in Wellington Central
- Last nights TV One Colmar Brunton Poll of Wellington Central has revealed a cliffhanger race for the seat of parliament with ACT leader Richard Prebble on 47 per cent and Labour’s Marian Hobbs on 48 per cent of the electorate vote. See… Poll Shock For Prebble in Wellington Central  in the Headlines wire.
The Other Marion - And Candidate's Views On Wellington Waterfront
- Marion Smith a late entrant - from Auckland - to the Wellington Central race attended a Clyde Quay School electoral fundraiser last night. An independent candidate, Marion Smith is apparently an old acquaintance of ACT leader Richard Prebble. With the race for Wellington Central so tight Labour campaigners are suspicious that this candidate's name has something to do with her standing. See.. Scoop Images: Clyde Quay Face Off In Wgtn Central  for a photo report from the campaign trail.
All Blacks Welcomed Back by Hardy Supporters
- Several hundred rugby stalwarts welcomed the defeated All Black Rugby World Cup team home this morning. See… Fallen Coach Says Time To Move On  in the Headlines wire.
45 Years Old - The Age Of Injustice
- Most of us think 45 isn't really old and it's strange to call them older workers. But, according to the Australian National Congess on Ageing, bosses are unfairly disadvantaging older people. John Howard reports. See… 45 Years Old - The Age Of Injustice  in the Headlines wire.
ACT Launch Environment / Conservation Policy
– “New Zealanders can feel justly proud of our natural environment. Some progress has been made in recent years but significant environmental problems remain.” See… ACT Releases Environment & Conservation Policy  and Strong Economy, Responsible People, Good Stewards  and ACT's Common-sense Plan For Protecting Environment  in the Parliament wire.
Govt. Sells Out Again Over Native Forests
- The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society is calling on the Government to keep in public ownership three native forest areas on the Mamaku plateau, near Rotorua. See… Government Sells Out Again on Native Forests  in the Politics wire. Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says the prospective sale of publicly owned native forests in the Bay of Plenty, used for research for 40 years, makes a mockery of National's commitment to sustainable forest management. See… Research forests up for sale  in the Parliament wire.
Anderton Launches Offensive on ‘Fruitcake Fringe’
– Jim Anderton has issued a strong challenge to National and ACT to lay out their agenda on areas such as roading and hospitals and reminds the public that Richard Prebble believes our nuclear free status is a “cold war anachronism’. See… Anderton fires nuke missile at 'fruitcake fringe'  in the Parliament wire.
Cabinet Approves New Health Testing For Migrants
- Cabinet has approved new immigration procedures aimed at protecting the health of all New Zealanders, the Ministers of Immigration, Health and associate Immigration announced today. See… Cabinet approves new health testing for migrants  in the Parliament wire.
Clark To Ditch Tax Rise For Deal With Peters – English
- Helen Clark's announcement that Labour would consider scrapping its tax increase to do a deal with Winston Peters throws into doubt her personal commitment to delivering on Labour's core campaign promises, Treasurer Bill English said today. See… Clark Abandons Credit Card With Tax Backdown  in the Parliament wire.
Press Council ‘Defend Freedom of Speech’
- In its role as a defender of freedom of speech, the New Zealand Press Council today issued a statement in support of the New Zealand Court of Appeal's decision in the Lange v. Atkinson defamation case. See… NZ Press Council Defends Freedom Of Speech  in the General wire.
Shipley Makes Up Fiscal Cap On Treaty Settlements – Cullen
- “Prime Minister Jenny Shipley again opened her mouth and let things run out when on the Leighton Smith debate last night, she said there was a fiscal cap on Treaty of Waitangi settlements,” Labour finance spokesperson Michael Cullen said. See… Mrs Shipley's fiscal slips showing  in the Parliament wire.
Green Party Ask Delamere to Free Refugees
- The Green Party has written to Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamere asking him to release 17 asylum seekers from Mt Eden Prison. See… Green Party Say Free the Refugees  in the Parliament wire.
CYPFA Explain Maharey Allegations
- Child, Youth and Family says the boy concerned was placed with his sister as part of a plan designed by a formal youth justice Family Group Conference, whose participants included family members, police and the boy's lawyer. See… CYPFA Comment On Issues Raised By Steve Maharey  in the Politics wire. See Maharey's comments... Another tragedy in the making with CYFS  in the Parliament wire.
Victoria’s Vice Chancellor – Open Letter To Student Reps
– “I would like to comment on the contribution of student fees to the operations of Victoria University of Wellington before addressing your questions. As previously noted, government funding per student has declined by over 30% during the last ten years…” See… An Open Letter from the Vice-Chancellor  in the Education wire.
Fees Set To Skyrocket Further if Nats Return – Labour
- Tertiary Education Minister Max Bradford has made clear that fees will skyrocket even further if National gets back into government, Labour associate education spokesperson (tertiary) Steve Maharey says. See… Bradford indicates even higher fees  in the Education wire.
Auckland Fees Rise, Council Member Resigns
- The University Council at Auckland has approved a proposal that will see fees rise by, on average, 10.9% per student. Students say they attempted to enter dialogue with the Council until they adjourned the meeting and relocated behind closed doors. See… Student Fees Go Up; Council Member Resigns  in the Education wire.
License Regime Turns 250,000 Kiwis into Criminals
- The Government's mishandling of the new drivers' licence regime has turned nearly quarter of a million New Zealanders into 'criminals', Labour transport spokesperson Harry Duynhoven said. See… Govt. turns decent NZers into criminals  in the Parliament wire.
Alliance Promises of $1.8 billion will Cripple Economy – ACC
– The Auckland Chamber of Commerce says the Alliance proposal to fund $1.8 billion of new policies over three years by tax increases and a ‘temporary’ tariff will inevitably put the economy under severe and continuing pressure. See… Alliance Policy Cost Put At $1.8 Billion  in the Business wire.
Now Your Stolen Equipment Can Phone Home
- If your jet-ski or other trailer-carried item goes missing, it can now phone home to tell you where it is. See… Valuable Gear Can 'Phone Home'  in the Business wire.
Conservation Groups Pleased with Labour’s Rimu Promises
- Conservation groups have welcomed an assurance from the Labour Party that it intends, if in government after the elections, to end rimu logging on the West Coast as soon as possible. See… Conservationists Welcome Labour Party Assurance  in the General wire.
Labour Backtracts On Rimu Contracts – Nats
–“Labour has held more positions on the rimu contracts in the last month than a circus contortionist,” says Associate Food and Fibre Minister David Carter. See… Labour backtracks on rimu contracts  in the Parliament wire.
Greens Offer Parliament Stability and Alternative to Peters
- A centre-left government with a Green Party component offers more stability than any government depending on New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters. See… Greens offer stability  in the Parliament wire.
Alliance Launch Energy Policy
- The Alliance says it will make a repeat of the Auckland power crisis highly unlikely. See… Cleaning up National's energy mess  in the Parliament wire.