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New Zealand Herald

Home Invasion – TVNZ – Hokianga Murders – ACC- Sky City Winner- Shadow Cabinet – Rangitikei – Naval Rape – Maori TV – Editorial:ACC

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HOME INVASION: The Government is hastening to patch up the controversial home-invasion law after crucial constitutional anomalies emerged yesterday. They came to light in the case of David Poumako, sentenced to a minimum 13 years in jail for killing Beverly Bouma during a vicious home invasion in November last year.In the High Court at Auckland, Justice Salmon found he had to sentence 25-year-old Poumako under a law change made in July, even though the murder occurred seven months before the law was passed.

TVNZ: The chairwoman of TVNZ, Rosanne Meo, is expected to signal today her departure from the state-owned broadcaster. She would be the first National Party-appointed head of a Government business to leave under the new Labour-led Government. Mrs Meo, whose three-year contract ends this month, may make an announcement to staff after a meeting of the state-owned enterprise's board.

HOKIANGA MURDERS: The family of two children stabbed to death in Rawene have challenged the Government to do more for victims of crime. As hundreds of mourners gathered on an Opotiki marae yesterday to bury 3-year-old Israel Te Apatu-Aporo and 11-month-old Keziah Smith, the family distributed a press release calling on the Coalition to honour the recent referendum demanding better victim support.

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ACC: Foundry owner Keith Skellern's accident insurance bills have tumbled under the privatised system, and he wants the new Government to leave it alone. His experience of the new system mirrors that of other small and large businesses the Herald canvassed yesterday as the Government prepares to renationalise workplace injury insurance.

SKY CITY WINNER: Matthew Edwards thought it was too good to be true when he won a new Volkswagen from Sky City casino. He was right. When Sky City discovered he was only 18, it refused to give him the car because the competition had an age restriction of 20.

SHADOW CABINET: National leader Jenny Shipley has refreshed her Opposition team, promoting loyal supporters and targeting what she sees as pressure points in the Government. She said the reshuffle was the first step in a three-year strategy to regain the confidence of New Zealand and win back the Treasury benches.

RANGITIKEI: Act has filed an application for a recount in Rangitikei, where 100 votes disappeared before the official count. But the speed of the Tauranga recount suggests the new count is unlikely to delay the opening of Parliament on Monday. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was confirmed yesterday as the MP for Tauranga, with a majority of 63 votes - an increase of one, and the smallest majority in Parliament.

NAVAL RAPE: A Navy officer will be sentenced today after a court-martial panel yesterday found him guilty of raping a female rating in Dubai. Lieutenant-Commander Wayne Peter Lawrence was also convicted of unlawful sexual connection over the incident in a hotel room three years ago.

MAORI TV: The Government has kept its promise to review funding for the establishment of the new Maori television channel: it has put a hold on the release of the first instalment of $6.5 million. The money, part of $10.9 million earmarked for capital funding to establish the channel, was due to be paid at the beginning of this month.

EDITORIAL – ACC: Labour went to the election with promises that were moderate and reasoned on the whole. Even its commitments to rewrite employment law were excessive in only one or two areas. But on accident compensation it surrendered to ideological pique. As soon as workplace insurance was opened to competition from the private sector in mid-year, Labour threatened to restore the state's monopoly on principle. It had no interest in observing how deregulation might pan out in practice. Now that it has the chance, the Government seems in a desperate hurry to carry out its pre-election threat. There is a suggestion that legislation to remove private insurers from the business may be introduced when Parliament assembles next week. That would be unfortunate on many counts. It is not a good sign for a new Government when its first legislative steps are negative, backward, setting it against the tide of change. If anything suggests that this is to be a short-lived Government it is this sort of measure, which already looks like a temporary suspension of the inevitable.

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