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Health Legislation – Business Forum – Student Allowances – Lisa Blaikie – One Tree Hill – Victory Parade

- HEALTH LEGISLATION: Race Relations Conciliator has warned that new health legislation could divide the country. The Government plans to enshrine Treaty of Waitangi clauses in new health legislation, but the Raced Relations Conciliator says it is divisive and is taking the Treaty too far. He says it would invite resentment and anger from non-Maori. National welcomed the conciliator’s call. A select committee is due to report back on proposed legislation by the end of November.

- BUSINESS FORUM: The Government is being urged to turn words into action quickly, after the warm fuzzies from yesterday’s business forum, or risk losing credibility with business. A report on yesterday’s forum is being written and will be sent to business leaders and Cabinet Ministers. One of the key questions to come out of the business forum is how the Government handles research and development and information technology. Essential to that is the education system – we need more graduates in the information technology area.

- STUDENT ALLOWANCES: The Department of Work and Income has been given new job description and $6m to deal with student loans and allowances next year. Social Services Minister Steve Maharey said the Department will be held accountable for delays such as have been seen for the past two years.

- LISA BLAIKIE: Police have confirmed luggage found in a water race contained property belonging to murdered hitchhiker Lisa Blaikie.

- ONE TREE HILL: The pine atop One Tree Hill will be cut down tomorrow, as it has become dangerous. Attacks by Maori activists have seriously reduced the tree’s life span. The Auckland City Council has invited public submissions of what kind of tree should replace the pine.

- VICTORY PARADE: Thousands of Wellingtonians lined the main street today for the victory parade of NPC champions the Wellington Lions.

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