NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for May 04, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains 6 media release snippets and 3 links of the day from Monday 4th May.

Top stories in the news cycle today include the Prime Minister set to face further questions about pulling a waitresses ponytail as he returns to Parliament this week, New Zealand commodity prices take their biggest dive in over six years, and Privacy Week starts today.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

Labour: Law Changes Needed For Privacy: The Government must speed up promised law changes to reassure the public their private information is in safe hands as the country marks Privacy Week, Labour’s associate Justice spokesperson Clare Curran said today “The previous Justice Minister Judith Collins announced much needed sweeping changes to the Privacy Act a year ago this month. They would give the Privacy Commissioner more powers to compel public and private sector organisations to report privacy breaches and new offences and fines for those who didn’t. We are yet to see any legislation appear “Instead, in Privacy Week we have the current Justice Minister Amy Adams urging people to protect their own privacy.

Commodity Prices Takes A Dive: New Zealand commodity prices had their biggest decline since the height of the global financial crisis in 2008, led by falling dairy product prices. The ANZ Commodity Price Index fell 7.4 percent in April, the biggest decline since October 2008, when it fell by the same amount. The latest decline has reversed most of the gains seen since the start of the year, with prices 15 percent lower than a year ago. Dairy product prices led declines, down 15 percent to be a third lower than a year ago, on weaker milk powder and butter prices. Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, last week cut its forecast payout to farmers for the current season to $4.50 per kilogram of milk solids from $4.70/kgMS, blaming volatile global commodity prices and an over-supply in international markets.

Oil Company Should Be Taken To Task: Mobil should be prosecuted for the recent oil spill in Tauranga Harbour, says New Zealand First Conservation Spokesperson Clayton Mitchell. “New Zealand First believes Mobil has grossly understated the amount of oil leaked into the harbour,” says Mr Mitchell, who lives in Tauranga. “We are concerned the company’s estimates are being accepted without independent verification.

Labour: Emergency Service Needs Fixing: Lives are being put at risk if the company contracted to manage emergency 111 calls can’t cope with increased numbers, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Saturday’s situation where people calling the emergency services were unable to get through and were instead cut off shows there’s something wrong with the system. “Imagine if there was a serious incident affecting a lot of people such as an earthquake, terrorism event or other disaster resulting in hundreds of calls to emergency services at once. “The ICT and Emergency Service Ministers should demand an explanation from Spark as to whether they are delivering on their service obligations.

Fruit Fly Zone Decreased: The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says it is today relaxing the fruit and vegetable movement controls for some households in the centre of Auckland’s fruit fly zone. Acting Chief Operations Officer Steve Gilbert says MPI is very confident about the exact location of the small population of the fruit fly in Grey Lynn. “Because we are so certain about the location of the infestation, we can now safely reduce the size of the higher risk A Zone. This means some properties are far enough away from the population that they no longer need to adhere to the toughest fruit and vegetable controls.

Green Party: Include Child Poverty In Budget: The Green Party is challenging the Government to make good on its promise to tackle child poverty in this month’s Budget, as its other promises fall by the wayside to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. “The Government has promised two key things from Budget 2015: a surplus, and action on child poverty. It’s already failed on its surplus goal and will be judged harshly if it fails to improve the lives of the quarter of New Zealand kids living in poverty,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

LINKS OF THE DAY

CHANGE ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE DISABLED: Disabled people still experience serious barriers that prevent them from fully participating in society and feeling accepted, according to two new reports. Based on interviews with disabled people, the reports share examples where people feel their human rights have not been respected. As well as sharing their experiences, the disabled people interviewed called for a change in attitudes to disability, greater awareness throughout society and a more accessible New Zealand for all. The reports are available online athttp://www.dpa.org.nz/page/130/NewZealandConventionCoalitionMonitoringGroup.html

WEST COAST LINK WORK UNDERWAY: Work is being done to improve a section of road vital for linking the South Island’s West Coast with Christchurch, says Transport Minister Simon Bridges. Construction starts today on the State highway 73 Mingha Bluff realignment near Arthur’s Pass. “This $22 million project will significantly improve the safety of locals and visitors travelling between Christchurch and Greymouth, and will also improve efficiency for business and freight,” Mr Bridges says. More information about the Accelerated Regional Roading Programme can be found here:
http://www.transport.govt.nz/land/accelerated-regional-roading-package/

FRUIT FLY RISK AREA REDUCED: The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says it is today relaxing the fruit and vegetable movement controls for some households in the centre of Auckland’s fruit fly zone. All residents in the former A Zone will receive a letter notifying them of the change and the controls that will apply to them over the winter period. They will be able to check out where their home is on an interactive map on MPI’s website:
http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/queensland-fruit-fly

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Monday 4th May 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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