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The National Business Review - December 10

Young America Struggles - Waitangi Litigation Warning - Poll: Envy Tax Popular - Editorial: No Nonsense Cullen

Cash-strapped New York Yacht Club syndicate Young America is fighting to keep its head above water as it scrambles together enough money to fix its broken boat in the America's Cup challenge. President John Marshall admitted he had had to go with cap-in-hand back to the team's major sponsors - wealthy individuals who have already contributed more than $US30 million to the syndicate's campaign. But he denied speculation Young America had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US.

Maori have been given a no nonsense message to sort out their fishing squabbles round the table, not in court. Six years down the track resolution of a complex legal wrangle over the role of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission in the ownership, control and allocation of around $750 million of Maori fishing assets is now further away. The commission has already spent more than $6 million mainly defending allocation related litigation since 1994.

The Labour-Alliance coalition government's populist plan to punish people earning over $60,000 with a tax hike is welcomed by low earners, according to the he latest National Business Review- Compaq poll taken the week after the election. The findings suggest the tag " envy tax" is appropriate since sentiment toward the change is indexed so closely to income. Support for the proposal is enthusiastic among those who have low incomes but falls among middle-income earners.

There is no question Michael Cullen has the toughness for the job. He does not put up with nonsense or personal abuse, whether from the left or the right, and that might be his greatest strength when it comes to hectoring from Jim Anderton. His pledge to free trade in the face of Alliance calls for punitive tariffs was a small but important step to convincing the business community he believes in non-state enterprise. Dr Cullen and his leader, Helen Clark, have yet to embrace the language or the mindset of NewLabour in Britain - the language and mindset of enterprise Britain's enlightened competition minister, Kim Howells, used during his whistle-stop visit to New Zealand last week.

For further information: Nevil Gibson, Editor-in-Chief Ph 0-9-307 1629 or email

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