NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for April 2, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains five media release snippets and four links of the day from Thursday 2nd April.

Top stories in this news cycle currently include frustrated farmers considering leaving Fonterra Co-operative after prices in the global trade auction fell for the second time in a fortnight, a Turkish official saying New Zealanders are safe to travel to Turkey for upcoming Gallipoli centenary celebrations despite terrorist attacks in Istanbul over the past three days, and coverage of a report that is critical of New Zealand’s handling of human rights issues and says that Parliament’s failure to act is harming the country’s reputation.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

Rule Out Diesel For Main Trunk Line : The National Government must rule out KiwiRail’s proposal to replace electric with new diesel trains on the Main Trunk Line, the Green Party said today. KiwiRail is proposing to replace electric trains with more diesel-powered engines in a cost-saving plan to buy a dozen more diesel locomotives from China rather than refurbish or replace the electric units. The move will also put hundreds of jobs at risk. “The Government must ensure the massive investment in rail electrification is protected and not sacrificed for a short-sighted cost-saving operation,” says Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

NZ Dollar Recovers Despite Dairy Fall: The New Zealand dollar rebounded from overnight weakness as prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, with softer US data weighing on the greenback. The kiwi slipped to a two-week low of 73.90 US cents overnight, and was trading at 74.44 cents at 8am in Wellington, from 74.75 cents at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 78.25 from 78.47 yesterday.

Flu Vaccine Distribution: The first shipment of this year’s funded influenza vaccine has arrived and is being distributed to general practices this week, says Dr Don Mackie, Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health. “We aim to immunise more than 1.2 million New Zealanders against influenza over the course of the influenza season. More than half a million vaccines are now in the country – with the first batch of 208,000 doses now being distributed to GP practices. A second batch of 340,000 vaccines will begin to be distributed after Easter.”

NZDF At Its Busiest In Vanuatu: Repairing buildings, clearing roads, delivering food and purifying water supplies has kept New Zealand Defence Force personnel busy on Epi Island in Vanuatu this week.More than 200 NZDF staff remain in Vanuatu, including HMNZS CANTERBURY and her crew, engineers and health services personnel, and most will be working through Easter. The largest total concentration yet of NZDF and other Kiwi aid workers went ashore at Port Kwemi in a series of landing craft trips from HMNZS CANTERBURY on Wednesday.

LINKS OF THE DAY

RESTRICTION ON INFANT FORMULA MARKETING: The Commerce Commission has authorised members of the Infant Nutrition Council (INC) to follow their Code of Practice that restricts advertising and marketing of infant formula for children under six months of age. The INC asked the Commission to authorise its Code under section 58 of the Commerce Act, as restrictions on advertising and marketing may lessen competition. After consulting on its draft determination, the Commission found that the public benefits outweigh the likely competitive detriments.The written reasons for the decision are available on the Commission’s website at:
http://www.comcom.govt.nz/business-competition/anti-competitive-practices/anti-competitive-practices-authorisations-register/detail/851

INCREASE IN COMMODITY PRICE INDEX: The ANZ Commodity Price Index for March increased by 4.6%, the second lift in a row. Dairy products once again led the increase (+9.2%), but much of this was a carryover effect into early March from the February rally in the GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) auctions. The last two GDT auctions have seen all of this improvement unwound already, not boding well for next month’s Commodity Price Index. One positive in March was a bounce in most meat and fibre product prices, which will hopefully prove more sustained. Outside of these two sectors prices were either lower or unchanged. Click here for more:
http://www.anz.co.nz/about-us/economic-markets-research/commodity-price-index/

HIGH TECH SALES: The information and communication technology (ICT) sector had sales worth $23.5 billion in 2014, an increase of 3 percent since 2012, Statistics New Zealand said today. Although the increase in overall sales was small, there have been changes within the sector. “Sales by the ICT sector are the equivalent of around 10 percent of GDP,” business performance manager Jason Attewell said. “While sales of ICT goods are generally falling, we are seeing strong growth in software and ICT services.” For more information about these statistics:
http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/information_technology_and_communications/ICTSupplySurvey_HOTP14.aspx

CAUTION OVER WEEKEND: Easter weekend is a popular time for New Zealanders to get out and enjoy everything our great outdoors has to offer. As part of preparation for outdoor adventures, the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) recommends planning for reduced daylight and changeable autumn weather. MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley says while Easter is a great chance to venture out with friends and family, it is easy to forget about the time difference when enjoying yourself in the outdoors. Visit this websites for safety tips:
www.mountainsafety.org.nz

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Thursday 2nd April 2015.

Brought to EveningReport by Newsroom Digest.

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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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