NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for April 21, 2015

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Newsroom DigestThis edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains 7 media release snippets and 4 links of the day from Tuesday 21st April.

Top stories in the news cycle include the Government announcing Christchurch residents will have their say on renewed buyout offers to some red-zoned home owners, the sacked head of Auckland’s Heart of the City promotion agency pleading guilty to new fraud charge, and the Government is accused of reneging on its promise of free doctors’ visits for under 13 year-olds.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

Defence Force Contingent Depart For Australia: The main body of the New Zealand Defence Force training contingent bound for Iraq departed for Australia today from Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea. The contingent was farewelled by the Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Major General Tim Gall, and the Chief of Army, Major General Dave Gawn. Consistent with the requirement to keep New Zealand personnel safe, the departure of the main body was not publicly advised in advance, and the NZDF will not be supplying details in advance of the onward deployment of the main body to the Middle East from Australia.

Green Party: Government Breaks Pledge: The Government has already broken a key election promise by reneging on a pledge to make all doctors’ visits for under 13 year olds free, the Green Party says. Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. “This makes a lie of the promise to provide free doctors’ visits for all children under 13,” Green Party Health and ACC spokesperson Kevin Hague said.

Kiwi Dollar Moves Close To Aussie: The New Zealand dollar gained against the Aussie after Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens raised the prospect of an interest rate cut as early as next month to bolster a weak economy. The kiwi touched 99.27 Australian cents overnight, and was trading at 99.08 cents at 8am in Wellington, from 98.69 cents at 5pm yesterday. The local currency slipped to 76.54 US cents from 77.01 cents yesterday.

Quick Rise And Fall Of Petrol Prices: Rising global prices for crude oil and a 4 cents per litre increase in petrol prices this week saw Z Energy release updated research today from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research showing petrol prices react to international price changes within a fortnight and fall as quickly as they rise. In a report titled “Petrol prices (still) rise and fall at the same speed”, NZIER says the main change it has noted since about 2010 is that international oil price changes are passed through mostly within the following one or two weeks, rather than taking three or four weeks to filter through to the motorist at the petrol pump.

Red Zone Crown Offers: Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. “I have asked the chief executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) to prepare a Recovery Plan that looks at the offers to property owners in these categories,” Mr Brownlee says. “Following a legal challenge by the Quake Outcasts group, the Supreme Court directed that the decision on the offer to properties in these categories should be revisited and that a Recovery Plan was an appropriate approach.”

Dreamline To Take More Kiwi’s To Fiji: Air New Zealand has announced it will introduce the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Auckland – Nadi route this summer (November – March) adding 8,000 more seats to the route than last year. When Air New Zealand’s revolutionary new Boeing 787-9 lands at Nadi International Airport on 27 November 2015 it will be the first time this aircraft has operated to the Pacific Islands.

NZ/CHINA Research Projects: Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has opened the fourth New Zealand/China Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Co-operation in Wellington by announcing three new joint research projects between the two countries. Sixty delegates have travelled to Wellington for the meeting, which is held every three years and is hosted alternately by New Zealand and China. Each New Zealand team will receive government funding of $300,000 over three years, with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology providing equivalent funding for its researchers.

LINKS OF THE DAY

TOBACCO CONTROL PROTOCOL: Public feedback is being sought on whether New Zealand should sign up to an international agreement aimed at getting rid of the illicit trade in tobacco products. “These illegal products are usually cheaper than legal tobacco, which is taxed. Smokers buying illicit products may be less inclined to quit and non-smokers may be more likely to take up smoking.The illicit trade in tobacco products results in lost government revenue through tax evasion, and can be used to fund other criminal activity,” Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says. The consultation document is available on the Ministry of Health’s website:https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/tobacco-control/who-framework-convention-tobacco-control/illicit-trade-protocol

HISTORY OF VICTORIAN FEMALE BODY AND “TROPHY WIFES”: You might think that trophy wives are a modern phenomenon, but according to research from the University of Auckland, the idea of women being treated as their husbands’ status symbols is not that different from past generations. For her PhD in English Literature, Dr Kirby-Jane Hallum studied the late Victorian marriage market, whereby families sought to arrange financially and socially advantageous marital unions between their sons and daughters. She discovered that although the valuing of women according to their beauty dates back for centuries, the arrival of the Aesthetic Movement in the second half of the nineteenth century generated new standards for female beauty. The Art of Female Beauty is available to purchase as an e-book or hardback directly from the publisher’s website:
www.pickeringchatto.com/marriagemarket

BILATERAL ARBITRATION TREATY: A proposed bilateral arbitration treaty and the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior will be the focus of a visit from world leading international arbitrator and litigator Gary Born next month. Mr Born has been awarded the New Zealand Centre of International Economic Law’s (NZCIEL) Inaugural Senior Visiting Research Fellowship for 2015 and will visit New Zealand from 1 to 9 May While in New Zealand, Mr Born will discuss his recent initiative—a Bilateral Arbitration Treaty regime—with government representatives and businesses. More information on Gary Born’s visit and his Bilateral Arbitration Treaty regime is available at http://www.victoria.ac.nz/law/centres/nzciel/news

NETHUI LAUNCHED: InternetNZ is pleased to announce the launch of the NetHui 2015 website, formally announcing NetHui 2015. InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter is looking forward to hearing the New Zealand Internet community’s ideas for this year’s event. “NetHui is New Zealand’s premier Internet event. This year the theme is “the Internet is everybody’s business” and we’ve already locked in some cool speakers. People who are keen to help shape the Internet are encouraged to visit www.nethui.nz and get involved.

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Tuesday 21st 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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