New Zealand Herald

Published: Mon 18 Oct 1999 08:23 AM
Nats Rebound In Polls – Alliance Campaign – Derek Fox – Health Announcement – Teachers Poisoned – Labours Policies Expensive – NZ First On Broadcasting – Labour Maori Policy – Labour Science Policy – Civic Theatre – America’s Cup – World Cup Rugby – Cityjet – Editorial on Super
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NATS REBOUND IN POLLS: Labour and the Alliance made strong pitches for core votes at the weekend but polls point to a nervous and tough countdown to the election as National narrows the gap. An upbeat Jim Anderton launched the Alliance campaign in Takapuna yesterday, before learning that the party had dropped to 4.5 per cent in the latest TVNZ-Colmar Brunton poll.
ALLIANCE CAMPAIGN: The Alliance, sometimes accused of being a dinosaur, was yesterday the first party to launch its election campaign, with a high-tech presentation.
Thousands of the Alliance faithful from towns around New Zealand appeared on a huge screen at the Bruce Mason Theatre in Takapuna.
DEREK FOX: Independent candidate Derek Fox is running a close contest against Labour's Parekura Horomia in the eastern Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate, according to a DigiPoll survey.
Mr Fox, the Wairoa mayor and broadcaster, announced his candidacy just six weeks ago.
HEALTH ANNOUNCEMENT: National says it will spend an extra $175 million on health next year if it is still the Government - with an emphasis on mental health, children's health, waiting lists and population health.
Health Minister Wyatt Creech yesterday announced a 10-point action plan to accompany the funding increase.
TEACHERS POISONED: Several boys at Auckland's Remuera Intermediate School are under investigation for allegedly spiking a teacher's drink with what may have been a poisonous substance.
The police youth aid section is investigating the incident involving six boys and a woman teacher last week, although the school believes there are no sinister overtones.
LABOUR POLICIES EXPENSIVE: Labour will have to spend $1.24 billion over three years to implement its policies, says a report commissioned by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The report, by Wellington-based economic forecasters Infometrics, claims that Labour's policies would increase unemployment and reduce growth.
NZ FIRST ON BROADCASTING: Radio New Zealand and TVNZ should be merged, and TV2 kept fully commercial to pay for them both, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said yesterday.
Mr Peters attacked TVNZ for its "exorbitant" salaries, particularly its highest-paid staffer - believed to be Paul Holmes - who is on about $770,000.
LABOUR MAORI POLICY: The Labour Party says it will strengthen the Ministry of Maori Development and close the gap between Maori and other New Zealanders if it leads the next government.
The party's Maori policy is centred on beefing up Te Puni Kokiri, to be called the Ministry of Maori Economic and Social Development.
CIVIC THEATRE: Over the decades people have been snapping off bits and pieces of the Civic Theatre and taking them home to treasure, forget or throw away.
Now friends of the theatre want all the bits - including 440 plaster elephants - back as the landmark building is restored to its former magic-land glory.
AMERICA’S CUP: It is tough keeping up with the Joneses of Newport, Rhode Island.
For over a year, Dyer Jones, a former commodore of the historic New York Yacht Club, has been working 18-hour days in Auckland setting up the challenge for the America's Cup, which finally begins today.
LABOUR SCIENCE POLICY: Labour promises to boost the funding and status of science to address what it calls an urgent need for a change of attitude towards it.
It will raise public funding of science to 0.8 per cent of GDP (now 0.6 per cent) by 2010 and will consider boosting the Marsden Fund, which gave $9.6 million in grants this year.
WORLD CUP RUGBY: When the All Blacks headed to the south of France at the weekend, the "other halves" stayed put in Britain - except for Jonah Lomu's girlfriend, Teina Stace.
The touring partners were given the message by the team management that the dash across the English Channel was no holiday jaunt.
CITYJET: The grounded discount airline CityJet could have one plane back flying today after an inspection by engineers and Civil Aviation Authority staff yesterday.
The director of CityJet, Peter Webb, said one of the airline's four Bandeirante turboprop planes had approval to resume flying and he expected a further two to be cleared today.
EDITORIAL – SUPER: Superannuation is the last subject we might have expected to hear from Winston Peters at this election, at least in a constructive sense. His destruction of the surtax was bound to be a boast of his campaign. But compulsory super again?
For one much given to proclaiming his democratic credentials, Mr Peters is remarkably uninhibited by the overwhelming rejection of his compulsory saving scheme just two years ago. Not only has he revived his policy of the last election but he has exhumed it intact, with none of the refinements the Treasury gave it for presentation to the referendum.
Alastair Thompson
Scoop Publisher
Alastair Thompson is the co-founder of Scoop. He is of Scottish and Irish extraction and from Wellington, New Zealand. Alastair has 24 years experience in the media, at the Dominion, National Business Review, North & South magazine, Straight Furrow newspaper and online since 1997. He is the winner of several journalism awards for business and investigative work.
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