NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for April 20, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains 6 media release snippets and 6 links of the day from Monday 20th April.

Top stories in the news cycle include Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visiting New Zealand ahead of the Anzac Centenary, China’s consul-general in Auckland expressing concern over claims that spy agencies in New Zealand and the United States have plotted to spy on the Chinese Consulate, and the Prime Minister saying at least two families in New Zealand have contacted police concerned about the radicalization of their children by extremists.

 SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

Extension of NZDF commitment in Afghanistan: The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said today.

CTU Calls On RBNZ To Cut CPI:“With prices rises at just 0.1 percent over the last year, the Reserve Bank must reduce its Official Cash Rate next week. It is well past time it did so,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “A housing price bubble is forming in Auckland – but only Auckland. That cannot be dealt with the interest rate that the Reserve Bank controls. It needs to find other tools such as stopping property investors from further inflating prices. The Government is also failing in its responsibility to treat the situation with urgency by attacking land banking and building affordable good quality houses itself, either for rent or resale,” Rosenberg said.

Labour: Key’s Housing Comments ‘Bizzare” Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk of the market going bust and causing immense human and economic damage. “When the Reserve Bank is insisting on new solutions to cracking down on speculators it is time the Prime Minister wasn’t quite so relaxed about Auckland’s housing crisis,” Phil Twyford says.

Team NZ Funding Decision Welcomed: Responding to the reported comments of the Prime Minister, that taxpayer-funding of Team New Zealand was “at the end of the road”, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Taxpayers have already stumped up significant amounts of money in order to support what is a rich sport. The return to taxpayers of propping up a team to go and sail on the other side of the world was always questionable.”

Māori Affairs Minister Urged To Stop Holmes Farm Sale: New Zealand First wants the Minister for Māori Development to seek an injunction against the Māori Education Trust to block the sale of the former Holmes Farm – Mapuna Atea.

REINZ All Farm Price Index: Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 425 farm sales in the three months to end of March 2015, compared to 464 farm sales for the three months ended February 2015 (-8.4%) and 472 farm sales for the three months to the end of March 2014.  1,802 farms were sold in the year to February 2015, 2.2% fewer than were sold in the year to March 2014.

LINKS OF THE DAY

COMMUNIQUE ON FOSSIL FUELS: New Zealand, along with Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland endorsed a statement over the weekend to be delivered to the Paris conference that supports the elimination of inefficient subsidies to fossil fuels on environmental, economic and social grounds. For the full text of the communique see: http://www.iisd.org/publications/fossil-fuel-subsidy-reform-communique

COMMEMORATIVE ANZAC COINS:  More than three quarters of the coloured circulating commemorative coins minted to mark the Anzac centenary have been taken up by the public.The Reserve Bank minted one million of the special 50 cent Anzac coins to commemorate the centenary, on 25 April 1915, of the Anzac landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The coins are available at PostShop and Kiwibank branches nationwide, and online at NZ Post’s website here: https://coins.nzpost.co.nz/new-zealand/2015/1915-spirit-anzac?utm_source=AnzacCoin&utm_medium=RBNZwebpage&utm_campaign=AnzacCoin

MINISTER ADDRESSES GEOTHERMAL CONGRESS: Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges will be promoting New Zealand’s world-leading renewable energy expertise at an international conference in Melbourne this week .Along with Australia, New Zealand is co-hosting the 2015 World Geothermal Congress where Mr Bridges will deliver the keynote address.For more information, visit here: http://wgc2015.com.au

DISABILITY SUPPORT SERVICES DATA RELEASED: Demographic information about the disabled people allocated the majority of disability support services funded by the Ministry of Health’s Disability Support Services (DSS) – that is: home and community support, carer support, community residential, supported living and respite – was released on Friday. Read the report here: http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/demographic-information-clients-using-ministry-healths-disability-support-services

CPI FALLS IN MARCH QUARTER: The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. Visit Consumers Price Index: March 2015 quarter: http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/CPI_inflation/ConsumersPriceIndex_MRMar15qtr.aspx

DRAFT CODE FOR VICTIMS’ RIGHTS: Justice Minister Amy Adams says a new draft Victims Code of Rights will help to ensure victims are better informed and put them at the heart of the justice system. The draft code outlines victims’ rights, the services available to victims and their families from government agencies and other organisations, and the obligations of justice sector agencies when dealing with victims. Both the draft code and questionnaire can be found on www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/v/draft-victims-code-for-consultation.

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Monday 20th 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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