INDEPENDENT NEWS

TV One News

Published: Tue 21 Dec 1999 06:45 PM
Television One News
Venezuela - Government’s Agenda Outlined For Next Three Years - Governor General Opens Parliament - Current Account Deficit Revealed - Labour President Under Fire
Venezuela Floods - Over 200,000 people have lost their homes and more than 10,000 people are believed dead after heavy torrential rain caused flash-floods and mud slides in the Central American country, Venezuela. The deluge is being described as being Biblical proportions, viewed by locals as the “end of the world”. Mud has poured down from mountains and hills over populated cites. Mud now smells of rotting vegetation and bodies. Disease outbreaks are feared. Trucks have been commandeered to act as hearses and the task of cleaning up damage and death is underway. The presidential palace has opened its doors to take in orphans. Two New Zealand documentary makers were caught in the floods but have emailed back to New Zealand saying the are safe and well.
Parliament Opened - The Governor General has opened the new Parliament with pomp and ceremony. Traditions going back over three hundred years to the British monarchy and Parliament and also Maori custom was observed. The Government’s agenda for the next three years was formally read by the Governor General, which included:
* Repealing of the Employment Contracts Act
* Re-instating income related rents for state house tenants
* Royal Commission on Genetic Engineered Foods
* Shake up for health with elected board members
* Bulk funding in education will be scrapped
* Revitalise regional reform in local Government
* Slowing down the rate of tariff reduction
* Quotas on New Zealand talent for Television and Radio.
The Prime Minister, Helen Clark said the new legislative programme will take time but it is what New Zealanders voted for and want.
Opposition leader, Jenny Shipley said the programme lacks in vision and is looking backward.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the programme heads in the right direction but is too timid.
ACT leader Richard Prebble says it lacks vision.
Greens co-leader Rod Donald says it heads in correct direction but is not far reach enough, specially on cutting defence spending issues.
Current Account Deficit - Current Account Deficit has hits $6.6 Billion For Year - with the September 1999 quarter current account deficit recorded at $2,646 million. The deficit shows more kiwis are spending more than they are saving and that overseas investors are making more out of New Zealand than New Zealand investors are making overseas.
Labour President Bob Harvey is fighting for his position. TV One understands Mr Harvey is seeking support among Labour Party hierarchy in an attempt to stave off a move to have him replaced as Party President.
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