NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for May 05, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains 6 media release snippets and 4 links of the day from Tuesday 5th May.

Top stories in the news cycle today include the Labour Party calling for the Speaker to intervene over the use of zero-hour contracts in Parliament, the Government warning the Auckland Council that it may take over the consents process for Special Housing Areas, and the Prime Minister refuses to apologise to Parliament for repeatedly pulling a waitress’s ponytail.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

Parliament Workers On Zero Hour Contracts: The Government must take urgent action and insist the contractor who employs workers at Parliament on zero-hour contracts end these unfair work arrangements, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Speaker David Carter has confirmed in his reply to questions from Labour that nine staff are employed in the Parliamentary Precinct on zero-hour contracts. “Labour understands the contractor is the Australian cleaning and catering giant Spotless,” says Little.

Bill To Give Human Rights More Powers: A bill to give the Human Rights Commission greater flexibility in dealing with emerging human rights issues passed its second reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Amy Adams says the Human Rights Amendment Bill changes the composition, governance arrangements, functions and powers of the Commission.

World Military Experts Meet In Auckland: Best practice in peacekeeping is the aim of more than 28 military experts and eight observers from 23 countries gathering in Auckland this week. Hosted by the New Zealand Defence Force, the visiting delegates of the Association of Asia-Pacific Peace Operations Training Centres (AAPTC) were welcomed by Chief of Army Major General Dave Gawn. The theme for AAPTC 2015 is “Promoting Best Practices for Peace Operations Training”, with a focus on discussing respective training packages for use of force, rules of engagement and patrolling.

Leaders Appointed To Fight Cancer: Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says two new sector-based cancer leadership roles will ensure patients receive even better support and care. Clare Greensmith has been appointed National Lead for the cancer psychological and social support workforce initiative, and Heidi Watson takes up the role of Clinical Leader, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Network Aotearoa.

Labour: Auckland Ratepayers Pick Up Govt’s Bill: The Government’s failure to invest in infrastructure to service its Special Housing Areas is dumping massive costs on Auckland ratepayers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council has declined to approve three new Special Housing Areas on the city fringes, citing lack of investment in infrastructure to support the developments.

ANZ Strong Performance: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2015 half year results were released today, showing a strong performance for ANZ New Zealand with cash profit of NZ$841 million. Statutory profit was NZ$877 million, up 3% on the corresponding half in FY14. The result reflected market share growth in lending and deposits, confidence in the economy and continued productivity gains driven by the company’s simplification programme.

LINKS OF THE DAY

PROPERTY REPORT: Coordination between agencies has seen the Crown continue to reduce its property footprint and pay less for office space, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. The Property Management Centre of Expertise (PMCoE) today released the fourth Crown Office Estate Report showing the Government is making good progress creating more effective, flexible and agile workplaces. The Crown Estate Report to 30 June 2014 can be found at:www.pmcoe.govt.nz

E-CIGARETTES GET WORLD STANDARDS: New world standards for electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and e-liquid published by AFNOR, the French standardisation and certification programme, add safety and accountability to the still unregulated market. While FDA regulated e-liquid ingredients from the US meet and exceed the new world standards, products sourced from China – where the majority of e-juice products in New Zealand come from – have no regulation or safety standards. Read more: 

http://www.nzvapor.co.nz/

DEFENCE WHITE PAPER PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS: Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee welcomes the beginning of the public consultation process for the 2015 Defence White Paper, calling for New Zealanders to seize this opportunity to influence defence policy. The White Paper, which is intended to be published before the end of the year, will be the blueprint for how the Government plans to address the security threats, challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand over the next 25 years.Further information on the submission process and the public meeting schedule can be found at: 

www.defence.govt.nz

MARRIAGE PREFERED BY SAME SEX COUPLES OVER CIVIL UNION: The number of same-sex couples entering into civil unions dropped significantly in 2014, with couples opting to join in marriage instead, Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the first full year of same-sex marriage registrations since the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 came into effect in August 2013. For more information click here: 

http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/marriages-civil-unions-and-divorces/MarriagesCivilUnionsandDivorces_HOTPYeDec14.aspx

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Tuesday 5th 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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