The Independent, 15 November 2000

Published: Wed 15 Nov 2000 10:16 AM
front page:
* America's Cup "family of five" sponsors for Team NZ is showing signs of cracking apart, with only Lion Nathan close to committing to a proportion of the $75 million needed for the campaign. TVNZ may withdraw if Team NZ would prefer a cash sponsor - it provided coverage of the event last time at no charge but did not contribute cash to the campaign - and Telecom NZ and Toyota NZ executives are quoted questioning whether they can sustain high cash requirements. Meanwhile, Team NZ is actively seeking sponsorships from offshore companies;
* Savoy Equities to review its month-old projection of a $5 million profit this year, following resignation last week of bankrupted director and would-be Britomart developer Jihong Lu;
* Fijian Govt is drafting new law apparently aimed at curbing activities of trade unionists and journalists critical of its activities;
Elsewhere in the paper:
* Auckland Uni research finds evidence that "tall poppy syndrome" is not only real, but a characteristic peculiar to Australasia;
* disappointing profit from Telecom NZ - $161 million for first quarter of this financial year, thanks to costs of its Australian telco acquisition, AAPT, and tough competition in the NZ mobile market;
* opponetns of the Waltus property syndicates merger battle on;
* NZ First party president Doug Woolerton is confident restructuring plans will pass at this weekend's party conference, despite criticisms from rank and file that it will take power to the centre;
* Air NZ to stop flying to Frankfurt from next April, opting instead to code-share with Star Alliance partners, including Lufthansa;
* one concrete outcome of the APEC summit in Brunei may be the world's first "pluri-lateral" open skies agreement, between NZ, the US, Singapore, Chile, and Brunei. Initial Australian interest appears to have withered under pressure from Qantas, which is not keen on open skies arrangements;
* Sky TV boss Nate Smith says he doesn't believe TVNZ can scramble its digital signal to keep it off Sky decoders. (Anyone noticed the Auckland bias in the stories on Sky vs Telstra-Saturn? Far from having to shell out for set-top boxes, Wellingtonians with Saturn already get TVNZ through their set-top boxes and it doesn't cost a cent more);
* cautious support for genetic engineering as long as risks are well-managed, says Infometrics in a new modelling study presented to the GM Royal Commission;
* new r tax regime could kick in from next April, earlier than expected:
* drug company accuses another drug company of dumping in NZ to win a Pharmac contract;
* today's Quarterly Employment Survey important as a reality check on the unexpectedly strong Household Labour Force Survey figures a fortight ago;
* threat to trust accounts from IRD test case to claw money out of such accounts;
* trading in the Kiwi dollar becomes ever thinner.
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