Newsroom Digest: Top NZ News Items for March 19, 2015

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Newsroom DigestThis edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains six media release snippets and four links of the day from Thursday 19th March.

Top stories in the news cycle today include the Independent Police Conduct Authority finding numerous deficiencies in the original investigation into the so called “Roastbusters”, the Vietnamese Prime Minister leads a delegation to New Zealand, and aid workers in Vanuatu aim to vaccinate 1000 children a day over the next 10 days, as concerns mount about disease and a lack of clean water.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

NZ/Vietnam Agreement: New Zealand and Vietnam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. The target was confirmed in today’s bi-lateral meeting between Mr Key and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, as well as senior ministers from both countries. Also signed was a cooperation arrangement on food safety and an air services agreement. Read more at the NewsRoom_Journal: http://newsroomplus.com/2015/03/19/international-relations/

Report Highlights Impoverished Disabled Children: A new report by the Child Poverty Action Group highlights the invisibility of disabled children in Government policy making and significant gaps in data. The report titled ‘It shouldn’t be this hard’ also points out the difficulties families face in accessing the Child Disability Allowance, respite care, and special needs education for their children. The reported compiled parents’ stories of struggling to navigate the bureaucracy to access support and education for their children and in some cases have given up. Read more at the Newsroom_Journalhttp://newsroomplus.com/2015/03/19/child-poverty/

iPredict Sees Peters Win in Northland: After high-volume trading, NZ First leader Winston Peters is now strongly favoured to win the Northland by-election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict.  Mr Peters has a 77% chance of winning on 28 March compared with 23% for National’s Mark Osborne.

Legislation For New Housing: Special legislation is being proposed to amend the Christchurch Racecourse Reserve Act 1878 to enable a new housing development on Yaldhurst and Steadmans Roads in Riccarton, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today. “The Government has welcomed the proposal from Riccarton Racecourse for a 600-home development on 33 hectares of its 123-hectare reserve to support Christchurch’s post-earthquake recovery. The racecourse will benefit financially from the more efficient use of this valuable land, and the city will gain additional housing supply that is within reasonable range of the city at affordable prices,” Dr Smith says.

Second Measles Case: The Canterbury District Health Board is urging people to get immunised following a second confirmed case of measles in Christchurch. Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton says the case suggests measles has gained a foothold in the Christchurch community. “This is a very contagious disease and it’s quite likely we will get more cases. The good news is immunisation is a proven way to stop the spread,” Dr Brunton says.

Bill Targets ‘Trojan Horse’ TPPA: A New Zealand First bill pulled from the Members’ Ballot today will axe the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement’s (TPPA) ‘Trojan Horse’ provisions, which allow foreign corporations to sue the New Zealand government for billions of dollars. “The Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill in my name is our opportunity to learn the truth about the TPPA. It gives New Zealanders a chance to ban our government from signing any treaty that gives foreign corporates the right to seek compensation if they believe our laws affect their business,” says Fletcher Tabuteau, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Commerce and Trade.

LINKS OF THE DAY

NORTHLAND BY- ELECTIONS: There’s just over a week left to make sure you’re on the electoral roll and ready to vote in the Northland by-election. “If you’ve moved house, or have turned 18 since the last election, you must get on the roll to have your say in the Northland by-election,” says Deborah Darton, Registrar of Electors,Northland Electorate. Information about enrolling to vote is available at: www.elections.org.nz.

WESTPAC JOINS AIRPOINTS PROGRAMME: Air New Zealand has announced Westpac New Zealand will join the airline’s Airpoints™ programme as its newest financial services partner providing members with a suite of new Airpoints earning products. The new agreement with Westpac takes effect from 1 May 2015. Further details are available at www.airpoints.co.nz, with a comparison table of the full range of Airpoints earning credit cards available at: www.airnewzealand.co.nz/airpoints-direct-earn-credit-card-comparison-table.

ECONOMIC GROWTH: New Zealand’s economy grew 0.8 percent in the last three months of 2014, led by retail and accommodation, Statistics New Zealand said today. Combined with increases in real estate services and manufacturing, this boosted growth for the December 2014 year to 3.3 percent. This is the highest annual increase since 2007, before the global financial crisis. For more information about these statistics: http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/GDP/GrossDomesticProduct_HOTPDec14qtr.aspx

DYSLEXIA IN THE YOUTH COURT: Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand (DFNZ) is calling for an increase to the Youth Court age to help ensure dyslexic youth are not entrapped in a system that treats them unfairly as adults. The move, part of DFNZ’s Dyslexia Advocacy Week (16-22 March) campaign, comes as the Government is considering feedback on its Fifth Periodic Report under the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCROC), in which it rejects an UNCROC recommendation to increase the age of criminal majority to 18. It is presently 17, meaning 17 year olds are excluded from Youth Court and tried as adults. Political party statements, and NGOs supportive of raising the Youth Court age, can be viewed via ‘quick links’ at: http://www.dyslexiafoundation.org.nz/daw2015/justice.php

Brought to EveningReport by Newsroom Digest, Thursday 19th March  2015.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues.
Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia’s FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand’s The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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