Radio New Zealand - Thursday, 17th September 2009

This page lists items from RNZ that are available online. RNZ didn't start regularly putting both its audio and news content online until 2008. From 2002-2007 written news items (particularly from RNZ International) were placed online. You can access items prior to 2002 on the historic page.

This page features: Afternoons, Business News, Checkpoint, Midday Report, Morning Report, News Stories, Nights, Nine To Noon, Our Changing World, Parliament - Question Time, Rural News, Upbeat

Afternoons

The best song ever written
Matthew O'Sullivan of Christchurch chooses 'For Crying Out Loud' by Meatloaf. [more]

Your Place
Another yummy slice of NZ rural life. Today we head 45 minutes south of Auckland and off the main highway to Clevedon. [more]

New gold
Precious metals are often viewed as a safe haven in times of crisis. While the appetite for platinum currently remains depressed, given its use in industry the prospect of a recovery in platinum prices remains high, as talk of green shoots gathers momentum. [more]

Music awards
Auckland pop-rockers Midnight Youth, with their phenomenally successful first single 'The Letter', are amongst an elite group of Kiwi songwriters in the running for the prestigious 44th APRA Silver Scroll, to be presented tonight in Christchurch. [more]

He Rourou for 17 September 2009
'Support and strengthen our young people' - it's not a new message but it was a consistent one that was pushed by all recipients at this year's annual Creative NZ Waka Toi Maori Arts Awards. [more]

Feature album
Sail Away is a Randy Newman album from 1972, and a highly regarded one at that - it sits at number 321 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. [more]

Arts report with Lynn Freeman
Today Lynn Freeman welcomes back rising opera star Kristen Darragh, who's performing the role of Olga in the NBR New Zealand Opera production of 'Eugene Onegin'. We also take a visit to a new exhibition showing at the Film Archive in Wellington. [more]

Christchurch Story with Katy Gosset
Christchurch locals get to enjoy sounds from around the globe thanks to a unique music store. Gandhava Loka aims to promote peace and harmony through the universal language of music. And, as correspondent Katy Gosset discovered, stock includes everything from thumb pianos to kazoos. [more]

Environment with Alison Ballance
Earlier this year, Bill Sullivan and a team of 30 trappers were awarded Forest and Bird's Pestbuster Award for their efforts in trapping predators at 4 forest sites around Nelson. Alison catches up with the group working in the Marsden Valley. She also pays a visit to the Paremata Flats Reserve to join Julie McLintock and locals on a tree planting day. [more]

The Panel (part 1)
With Barry Corbett and Garth George. [more]

The Panel (part 2)
With Barry Corbett and Garth George. [more]

Business News

Morning Business News for 17 September 2009
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]

Markets update
A quick update of movements in the financial sector. [more]

Evening business for 17 September 2009
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]

Evening business
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]

Checkpoint

Controversy continues over Wanganui spelling
It's Wanganui with an H but for how long? [more]

Michael Laws doesn't think Wanganui will get an 'h'
Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws is expecting the Minister to reject the Board's decision, which he has roundly condemned. [more]

Iwi have been fighting for name change for 20 years
Ken Mair is a spokesperson for the iwi who first wanted an 'H' in Wanganui. He says he's been fighting for the change for two decades. [more]

Photo saga soldiers to be sent home from Afghanistan
3 New Zealand soldiers serving in Afghanistan are being sent home because they emailed photographs of themselves posing with a bomb and machine guns. [more]

LWR complaint laid with Serious Fraud Office
The National Distribution Union is pleased the receivers of Lane Walker Rudkin have laid a complaint with the Serious Fraud Office, though it won't help the 228 people who have lost their jobs. [more]

Undie 500 organisers seek new destination
Organisers of the infamous Undie 500 rally say the event won't be returning to Dunedin in the foreseeable future. [more]

Sports news
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

English faces fresh criticism
The Finance Minister Bill English faces fresh criticism that he should have disclosed a conflict of interest when claiming roughly $900 a week in accommodation expenses. [more]

Porirua hospital patients sue government
The Supreme Court has ruled that a group of 6 former Porirua Hospital patients can now sue the Government for compensation. [more]

Telecom warns of fault delays of 11 days
Angry Telecom customers in Northland are demanding action and compensation as they wait for repairs on faulty phone lines. [more]

Waatea news
News from the Waatea team. [more]

New Lynn to be transformed into a rail hub
Multi-million dollar plans to make Auckland's rail network rival that in Wellington have moved a step closer, with a spin off for a traditionally industrial part of town. [more]

Undie 500 canned
The Undie 500 car rally has been canned after it led to rioting in Dunedin for the fourth year in a row. [more]

NZ has an epidemic rise in necrotising fasciitis
New Zealand is suffering from an epidemic rise in cases of the flesh eating disease 'necrotising fasciitis', with the number of people dying equal to swine flu. [more]

Mayor vows to fight Wanganui spelling change
Emotions are running high following the Geographic Board's unanimous decision that Wanganui should be spelt with an 'h". [more]

Chairman explains Wanganui decision making process
The Chairman of the Geographic Board, Don Grant, says their decision hinged on historical evidence which shows that early settlers always intended that the name of the city match that of the river. [more]

Police name UK visitors killed in car crash
The Christchurch police say jet-lag may have been a factor in a car crash that killed 3 English tourists, including a 3-year old girl. [more]

Council delay fumigant decision despite protest
The Marlborough District Council is delaying decisions about the use of the controversial fumigant, methyl bromide, despite a protest today which ended in the council's chamber. [more]

Mary Travers loses fight with cancer
Mary Travers, of the trio Peter, Paul and Mary, has died from cancer at the age of 72. [more]

Carter revives race controversy in US
The White House has moved swiftly to dismiss comments by the former president, Jimmy Carter, that suggested recent attacks on Barak Obama's policies are driven by racism. [more]

Sports news
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Australian man fathers 4 children with his daughter
Police in Australia say DNA tests have established a man accused of child abuse is the father of his daughter's four children. [more]

Aussie children placed into the care of sex offenders
Child abuse experts in Australia say the young person protection system in Victoria is in chaos. [more]

NZ house market: 9th least affected out of 32 countries
Real estate consultancy Knight Frank says New Zealand ranks among the top 10 housing markets in the world for toughing out the house price slump. [more]

Super city legislation passed
Parliament has cleared the way for Auckland to become a super city, with one council, one mayor, one rates bill and one plan instead of eight. [more]

Indonesian security says top militant may be dead
Officials in Indonesia say four suspected militants have been killed during a police raid on the island of Java. [more]

Waatea news
News from the Waatea team. [more]

Supporters flock to court for Gerard Otimi appearance
Supporters of Gerard Otimi, the man accused of running a passport scam targetting Pacific Island overstayers, prayed and sang hymns outside court today. [more]

Magic ads
Advertising companies are always after that little bit of magic, that clever little gimmick that gets a product noticed. The new trick? Magazine adverts that move. [more]

Midday Report

Midday News for 17 September 2009
Midday Report news bulletin. [more]

Midday Business News for 17 September 2009
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]

Midday Sports News for 17 September 2009
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Morning Report

Top Stories for 17 September 2009
Fifteen people are arrested as police end Greenpeace's shipboard protest in Tauranga. A decision is due today on whether Wanganui will be spelled with a H. Questions over the qualifications of some of those employed to do Aucklan'd lab tests. Canterbury university students who gave Dunedin the Undie 500 and its associated public disorder last weekend now have a new event on its way. [more]

Pacific news for 17 September 2009
The latest from the Pacific region. [more]

Waatea news
News from the Waatea team. [more]

15 face charges after Greenpeace protest
The stand-off between police and Greenpeace protesters who chained themselves to a ship in Tauranga harbour came to an end late last night. [more]

Asset privatisation one focus of super city debate
Auckland's supercity legislation will almost certainly pass into law later today as Parliament continues to debate it for a third day under urgency. [more]

Container ship protest is over
The container ship protest off Tauranga has ended with police late last night using a crane and cage allowing them to cut free activists who had lashed themselves to the vessel. [more]

Ports want tough line taken against protesters
The protesters, who claim palm kernel imports encourage rainforest destruction, are calling on the Government to ban palm oil products. [more]

Decision on Wanganui's H due today
The New Zealand Geographic Board will later today release its decision on whether the city of Wanganui should be spelt with an 'h' and it will be controversial either way. [more]

Some Lab Tests staff not registered to work in NZ
The firm running community medical testing in Auckland says mischief-making and petulance by a small number of people is behind news that five of his staff lack registration to work in this country. [more]

Undie 500 mark two?
Canterbury university students who gave Dunedin the Undie 500 and its associated public disorder last weekend now have a new event on its way. [more]

Claims of secret night repairs to fated Tongan ferry
Allegations have surfaced that the Tonga ferry Princess Ashika was repaired at night to stop people from querying its seaworthiness. [more]

John Key forced to continue to defend his deputy, Bill English
The Prime Minister, John Key, is being forced to continue to defend his deputy, Bill English, over ministerial housing allowances. [more]

Morning sports news
An update from the RNZ sports team. [more]

Extradition not assured in Kenya case
An international law expert says Kenyan national Samuel Njuguna must first be charged with a serious crime if he is to be arrested and extradited. [more]

Carter says some of Obama's opponents are racist
The former US President Jimmy Carter says much of the vitriol against President Barack Obama's health reforms and spending plans is"based on racism". [more]

Further industrial action underway at polytechs
Further industrial action has kicked off today in support of pay claims by more than 900 staff at six North Island polytechs. [more]

Farmers demand protestors be charged with"piracy"
Port authorities angry after Greenpeace activists boarded a ship off Tauranga say the actions amounted to piracy and they want stiffer penalties. [more]

Supercity legislation likely to pass this morning
Auckland's supercity legislation will almost certainly pass into law later today as Parliament continues to debate it for a third day under urgency. [more]

Tourist hotels close as demand falls
One of New Zealand's leading hotel chains is mothballing two hotels for the first time because of falling demand. [more]

Fraud allegations cloud apparent Karzai poll victory
The credibility of the poll remains in doubt, with international observers saying fraud was widespread. [more]

Renault admits arranging a crash to help Alonso win race
The French team will appear before a motorsport tribunal in Paris next week, but it will do so without its boss, Flavio Briatore or its head engineer, Pat Symonds. [more]

Morning sports news
An update from the RNZ sports team. [more]

Lawyers accused of rorting leaky home cases
Auckland leaders and lawyers have clashed over how much money is being spent on legal fees in leaky homes disputes. [more]

Judge reserves decision - tenancy matter
A judge has reserved his decision over whether three Lower Hutt families should be evicted from their state homes - six months after being told to leave. [more]

Waatea news
News from the Waatea team. [more]

Melbourne man accused of 30 years of sexual abuse
In Melbourne, a man is accused of raping his daughter almost daily and holding her prisoner for 30 years. [more]

Marlborough council to crack down on sub-standard housing
The Marlborough District Council is today expected to confirm a crackdown on accommodation for seasonal workers in Marlborough. [more]

1000th aircraft manufactured in Waikato
The New Zealand aviation industry has marked the manufacture of its 1000th aircraft with an airshow at Hamilton International Airport. [more]

Nights

Viet Nam Now
Former Ambassador to Viet Nam, James Kember describes what the country is like today. [more]

Nine To Noon

Proposals for smoking legislation
We examine new proposals for anti-smoking legislation with Professor Richard Edwards and Roger Bull. [more]

Maori party's push to tighten smoking laws
Joining us is the associate health minister Tariana Turia. [more]

Alcohol at school balls and boozy after parties
We are joined by Justin Boyle, Faye Costain and Allan Parker to discuss the problems that can arise and some potential solutions. [more]

News from the U.K.
With our correspondent Michael White. [more]

Feature guest - Clifford Nass
Clifford Nass is Head of Stanford University's Communication between Humans and Interactive Media Lab. His research has been applied by more than 250 media products and services for companies including Microsoft, BMW, Sony and Time-Warner. [more]

Book reveiw - The Wrong Grave
By author Kelly Link, reviewed by Laura Kroetsch, published by Text Publishing. [more]

New Technology
Courtney Johnston talks about using technology in the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums). [more]

Health issues facing New Zealand children
Auckland City Hospital paediatrician answers some common concerns parents have about their childrens health. [more]

Television
With reveiwer Simon Wilson. [more]

Our Changing World

Measuring Sleep
Leigh Signal from Massey University's Sleep/Wake Centre attaches electrodes to Ruth Beran's head [more]

Sleep, Pilots and Pregnant Women
The Sleep/Wake Centre is researching the effects of lack of sleep on airline pilots and pregnant women [more]

Karori Sanctuary Volunteers
Bird feeding, the Wednesday Work Group and fence monitoring are some of the volunteer jobs at Karori Sanctuary [more]

Forest and Bird Volunteers
Keen volunteers from the Nelson Branch of Forest and Bird turn out to help plant trees and trap predators [more]

Parliament - Question Time

Question time for 17 September 2009
1. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers; if so, why? 2. DAVID BENNETT to the Minister of Finance: What are the measures this government is taking to improve New Zealand's financial position? 3. METIRIA TUREI to the Minister of Energy and Resources: When he said that"A report circulated by the World Bank some years ago ranked New Zealand second in the world in terms of natural wealth per capita", was he aware that protected areas and forests make up 29 percent of that wealth, whereas subsoil assets make up just 3 percent? 4. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement that"the Government has struck the right balance between its economic responsibilities and its environmental responsibilities"? 5. LOUISE UPSTON to the Minister of Education: What is the Government doing to support schools to raise achievement for Maori students? 6. SUE MORONEY to the Minister of Women's Affairs: What actions has she taken to advance the causes of women in New Zealand? 7. PESETA SAM LOTU-IIGA to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology: How does the $1.5 billion urban broadband initiative announced yesterday relate to the rural broadband plan announced last week? 8. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his comment that palm kernel extract was a waste product and not leading to deforestation; and, if so, does he believe that the $317 million that New Zealand paid for palm kernel in 2008 made no contribution to profitability of the oil palm industry? 9. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Energy and Resources: What criteria will be used to determine which households could receive free home insulation? 10. DAVID GARRETT to the Minister for Climate Change Issues: Has he a written document of what has been agreed to with the Maori party, to advance the Government's amendments to the emissions trading scheme to a select committee; if so, will he table it? 11. Hon PETE HODGSON to the Minister responsible for Ministerial Services: How is a Minister's primary place of residence determined? 12. CHRIS TREMAIN to the Minister of Fisheries: What recent changes to regulations have been made to address the issue of illegally harvested paua? [more]

Rural News

Morning Rural News for 17 September 2009
News from the rural and farming sector. [more]

Midday Rural News for 17 September 2009
News from the rural and farming sectors. [more]

Upbeat

Gautier Capucon
French cellist in the country to perform as part of the NZSO's Sibelius Festival. [more]

George Palmer
Australian composer whose work 'Incandescence' is being premiered by the Christchurch SO this weekend. [more]

News stories:

Image of Mother Mary draws crowds in Samoa
Hundreds of Catholic believers in Samoa have gathered to see what they believe is an image of Mother Mary. The image appears at the site of the Congregational Christian Church's... [more]

Snowboard and freestyle world champs to be held in NZ
New Zealand will host next year's snowboard and freestyle junior world champs. The International Ski Federation event, which runs for two weeks, will be the first time an FIS world ... [more]

Olympic medallist found hanged in his London apartment
Irish boxing is mourning the loss of Beijing Olympic medallist Darren Sutherland, who was found dead at his London home. The 27-year old fighter, who won bronze in the middleweight ... [more]

All Blacks not dropped for Wallabies Test
The All Black coach Graham Henry says the dropping of prop Owen Franks and lock Isaac Ross for Saturday's final Tri-Nations Test against Australia isn't form related. There are five ... [more]

McCullum not putting cash before country says NZ Cricket
New Zealand Cricket is dismissing comments by Indian Premier League bosses that New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum was effectively putting cash before country. In the Sydney Morning Herald, IPL commissioner ... [more]

Former Olympic champion wades into Semenya debate
The retired American track and field star Carl Lewis says South African athletics authorities have "let down" teenager Caster Semenya, amid the row over her sex. The newly crowned 800m ... [more]

More Aucklanders playing rugby in 2009
More than 21,000 Aucklanders are playing rugby, an increase across all ages of six per cent compared with last year. Auckland Rugby CEO Andy Dalton says it's really encouraging to ... [more]

Aussies see changes as salute to Wallabies
Some of the changes made by the All Blacks selectors for Saturday's final Tri-Nations match are seen across the Tasman as a rare salute to the Wallabies forward pack. The ... [more]

Auckland women's tennis classic nets top doubles pair
The country's top women's tennis tournament will feature the world's No.1 ranked doubles team, Zimbabwe's Cara Black and Liezel Huber of the United States. The pair, who lost to the ... [more]

Fate of Souths coach to be decided today
The South Sydney League club say the fate of their coach Jason Taylor will be known this afternoon. Taylor and his manager met the Rabbitohs board yesterday following the coach's ... [more]

Roulston leads BikeNZ team for UCI world road champs
Double Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston will spearhead an 11-strong BikeNZ cycling team at this month's UCI world road championships in Switzerland. New Zealand's competing in the individual time trial and ... [more]

Chris Jack set to return to Tasman and Crusaders?
It's being reported that the former All Blacks lock Chris Jack may return to the Tasman Makos. Jack's also reportedly already signed with the Crusaders for next year's Super 14. ... [more]

Windies try to settle dispute ahead of Champions Trophy
The West Indies Cricket Board will be given until the latest possible moment to make changes to their Champions Trophy squad as they try to resolve a major contracts dispute ... [more]

Federer turns out for Davis Cup this weekend
Roger Federer has joined the Swiss tennis team in Genoa for this weekend's Davis Cup World Group play-off against Italy. Doubts had been raised about the world number one's participation ... [more]

Tonga women's centre: letter confirms suspicions about ferry
The executive director of the Tonga National Centre for Women and Children says a letter published in newspapers claiming the sunken ferry Princess Ashika was unseaworthy confirms widely-held suspicions. The... [more]

Oxygen shortage delays operations in Vanuatu
A shortage of oxygen at Vanuatu's main hospital, the Port Vila Central Hospital, stopped all surgery on Tuesday. The hospital reports that ten operations had to be put off, but... [more]

Solomon's tax boss says taxes being spent wisely
The Solomon Islands Inland Revenue Commissioner says people can have growing confidence the government is spending their taxes wisely. Andrew Minto says hundreds of businesses have been drawn into the... [more]

Renault won't contest race fixing charges
Renault could still be kicked out of Formula One despite sacking their team boss Flavia Briatore and his deputy Pat Symonds and accepting allegations that last year's Singapore Grand Prix ... [more]

Harlequins doctor suspended over fake blood scandal
Wendy Chapman, the doctor involved in the Harlequins rugby club's fake blood scandal, has been suspended by Britain's General Medical Council pending a formal investigation. Chapman cut the mouth of ... [more]

Shifting breeze rules the day again
The second day of the Audi MedCup series regatta at Cartagena in Spain has again been abandoned due to shifting breezes. With two days and six races lost, the race ... [more]

Thursday's newspaper headlines
Most high schools not prepared for launch of new curriculum; Kiwi soldiers get new high-tech armour; Christchurch is getting a new hospital; Junior world skiing championships to be held in Otago. [more]

Fire at hotel in Samoa
Firemen and police in Samoa are rushing to a fire at the Tanoa Tusitala hotel in Apia that's reported to be burning fales and hotel rooms. Our correspondent in Samoa,... [more]

Father jailed for assault, neglect of children
An Auckland father of eight has been jailed for assaulting and neglecting his children. [more]

Pregnant woman found dead in hotel room on Saipan
The Department of Public Safety in the Northern Marianas says a pregnant woman has been found dead in a hotel room in Susupe. The Department says investigators found no signs... [more]

Chamorro hut replicas unveiled at Saipan airport
Two traditional Chamorro huts are on display at the Saipan International Airport in the Northern Mariana Islands. The Governor Eloy Inos and Marianas visitor authority officials unveiled one of the... [more]

Asian Human Rights Commission: 113 die of hunger in Papua
The Asian Human Rights Commission says it's received information that about 113 villagers in the Yahukimo regency in Papua have died of hunger associated with diseases this year. It says... [more]

Tender process designed to ensure safety of Tongan ferry
The aid agency, NZAid says the process it's using to select a new ferry for Tonga to replace the sunken Princess Ashika will ensure the new vessel is safe. A... [more]

"Absolutely ridiculous" - Renault's crashgate antics slammed
A former Formula One boss has slammed Renault's actions in the ongoing 'crashgate' scandal as "absolutely ridiculous". Renault are facing possible expulsion from motorsport's glamour event even after the managing ... [more]

Plummer expects van Dyk to move
Australia's netball coach Norma Plummer believes New Zealand shooter Irene van Dyk could switch positions for the return clash with her world champion team in Invercargill on Sunday. Van Dyk, ... [more]

Arsenal spared blushes by Eduardo
There's been controversy in European football's Champions League after Arsenal's Eduardo da Silva, playing two days after his diving ban was lifted on appeal, scored the late winner in a ... [more]

NZAid following thorough process to ensure safety of new Tongan ferry
The New Zealand Government aid agency, NZAid says the process it's using to select a new ferry for Tonga to replace the sunken Princess Ashika will ensure the new vessel... [more]

Vanuatu publisher defends education debate coverage
The publisher of the Daily Post in Vanuatu says his paper didn't mislead the public in debating proposed curriculum changes. Marc Neil-Jones says the paper raised concern by educationalists that... [more]

Solomons ministers told weak budgets a reflection of themselves
A parliamentary special select committee reviewing the functions of the national referral hospital in Solomon Islands has been told weak budgets reflect the ministers who look after the ministries. The... [more]

Polynesians seek to deepen ties with single governing body
An indigenous sovereignty campaigner from Hawaii says a single governing body for Polynesians is achievable, but its advocates need to be better prepared. Henry Noa's comment comes at the end... [more]

Samoa hotel fire under control
Firefighters in Samoa are now controlling a blaze at Apia's Tanoa Tusitala hotel which caught fire while being closed for renovations. It is not known what caused the fire, which... [more]

Asian Human Rights Commission reports famine in Papua
The Asian Human Rights Commission says it's received information that more than 100 villagers in the Yahukimo regency in Papua have died of hunger associated with diseases this year. It... [more]

New standards being introduced to lift Pacific region's meteorological services
New requirements are being introduced in the Pacific region to boost meteorological services to meet international standards. The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, or SPREP, in partnership with... [more]

French Polynesia approves high-speed ferry licence
The French Polynesian government has decided to grant a licence for the high-speed ferry King Tamatoa amid a threat of a port blockade. The president, Oscar Temaru, has told Tahitipresse... [more]

New Caledonia to build major new hospital by 2015
The New Caledonian Congress has endorsed a 530 million US dollar project to construct a new territorial hospital to replace Noumea's Gaston Bourret hospital. The Congress has approved the so-called... [more]

Foresters say revised ETS scheme will give certainty
Forest owners say the Government's revised Emissions Trading Scheme will give some certainty to the industry and will help stimulate plantings. [more]

Australia honey ban may remain for two years
A ban on honey imports from Australia could stay in place for up to two years while the Ministry of Agriculture carries out further investigations into pest and disease risks. [more]

Cheese factory workers to strike - union
An eight-day strike at the Open Country Cheese factory at Waharoa near Matamata will go ahead from Wednesday evening, a union says. [more]

Smaller dairy processors 'not getting milk cheaply'
One of the independent dairy processors that buys milk from Fonterra challenges the view that it is getting cheap milk. [more]

$26,000 fine over farm worker injury
A Manawatu dairy farmer has been fined $26,000 for failing to supply a helmet to an employee who was seriously hurt on in an accident on the quad bike he was required to use. [more]

Recession probably over - Bernanke
The head of the United States central bank says the recession is probably over, but the economy will remain weak and it will take time to create jobs. [more]

'Lessons not learned' from banking crisis
A British think tank is warning the rapid return of bonuses to the banking culture shows the lessons of the financial crisis have not been learned. [more]

SC Finance talks to investors about downgrade
South Canterbury Finance remains in talks with investors affected by its credit rating downgrade. It will make an announcement on restructuring and raising capital in coming weeks. [more]

Australian equity firm buys Burger King
An Australian private equity firm has bought the fast-food chain Burger King in a major trans-Tasman deal. [more]

$1.5b broadband proposal to proceed
The Government is pushing ahead with its $1.5 billion plan to get ultra-fast broadband to three-quarters of New Zealanders within the next decade. [more]

The country's 1000th plane takes to the skies
The 1000th aircraft built in this country has been flown in Hamilton. The milestone was celebrated with an air show at Hamilton Airport on Wednesday. [more]

Too much leaky-home money 'going on lawyers'
Auckland City Council says too much money is being spent on lawyers in leaky home settlements. [more]

Housing NZ tougher on problem tenants
Housing New Zealand is continuing to get tougher on tenants: since March, it has issued 28 eviction notices like those being challenged by three Lower Hutt families. [more]

Higher standards for seasonal worker housing likely
A plan for stricter standards for seasonal worker accommodation in Marlborough is set to be adopted by the region's district council. [more]

Row simmers over Labtests staff qualifications
General practitioners say they want the Auckland laboratory testing firm Labtests to be required to remove from its website the names of doctors not yet formally registered to work in this country. [more]

Answers sought to why contractor fell from wharf
The Waikato Regional Council says it is still trying to piece together why a contractor fell into the Waikato river and drowned. [more]

Three UK tourists killed in crash
The death toll from a car crash in Christchurch on Wednesday night has risen to three. All the victims were British tourists. [more]

Major new rail hub for Auckland
The latest stage in a bid to make Auckland rival Wellington as a rail city has moved a step closer. Funding has been confirmed for a New Lynn rail hub. [more]

Petition calls for only healthy foods in schools
A petition has been presented to Parliament calling on the Government to reinstate rules that require schools to sell only healthy foods. [more]

Boy racer law not enough, says Labour
Labour is accusing the Police Minister of being more concerned about her "Crusher Collins" image than making law that will effectively target boy racers. Judith Collins says legislation is being strengthened. [more]

Nine-day fortnight scheme change mooted
Talks are underway about possible improvements to the nine-day fortnight jobs initiative introduced in March. Unions want a rise in the subsidy and training included in the scheme. [more]

Sharples admits misunderstanding over ETS deal
Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says he misunderstood some aspects of the negotiations around the party's support to change the Emissions Trading Scheme [more]

Election warning over Maori super-city seats
The decision not to include dedicated Maori seats on the Auckland super-council will cost the Government dearly at the next general election, the Labour Party says. [more]

Primary-sector innovation fund launched
The Government's Primary Growth Partnership has been formally launched at Parliament, aimed at boosting growth in primary-sector innovation. [more]

High hopes for revolutionary stoat trap
The Department of Conservation has revealed a revolutionary new trap for stoats that could radically cut the cost of pest control. [more]

Godwits arrive at end of 11,000km journey
Bar-tailed godwits have started to arrive in Christchurch, having completed their annual 11,000 kilometre, non-stop journey from the Arctic Circle. The bells of Christchurch Cathedral will ring on Wednesday to welcome them. [more]

Group seeks answers to docking dogs' tails
The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee wants to know if tail docking is cruel to dogs. [more]

Visitors flock to see returned military medals
There has been a rise in the number of visitors to the National Army Museum in Waiouru since 96 stolen military medals were put back on display. [more]

Stolen Tarlton museum coins may have turned up
A report that coins stolen from Kelly Tarlton's Tui Shipwreck Museum almost a decade ago may have reappeared on an online auction is being investigated by police. [more]

More detailed murder statistics urged
A domestic violence action group says the police need to keep more data on the number of people murdered by their partners, to aid research and prevent violence. [more]

Weatherston legal aid bill almost $100,000
Convicted murderer Clayton Weatherston has so far been granted $98,119 in legal aid for his defence. [more]

NZ scientists develop new heart pump
Scientists at Auckland University have developed a wireless heart pump that could eventually provide an alternative to heart transplants. [more]

Fuel tank explosion victim named
The man killed when a fuel tank he was working on exploded in an industrial area of Hamilton has been named as Kenneth Joseph Crown, aged 55. [more]

Home loan rates slide further
Variable and short-term home loan rates are falling, as conditions in global credit markets improve. [more]

Worst of recession to come, child summit told
A summit on children and the recession has been told the worst is yet to come for New Zealand households, despite an apparent lift in economic activity. [more]

Hundreds of car dealers out of business
More than 500 registered motor vehicle traders have fallen by the wayside during the recession, mainly due to declining car sales in the past 18 months, the Motor Trade Association says. [more]

Film industry giant gives documentary Topp marks
"A docu that has you falling in love with two of the crazier people you've never met." That's just the opening line in a glowing review of a film by New Zealand's Topp Twins. [more]

Most schools on track for new curriculum
The schools' watchdog says schools are making good progress on preparing to implement a new curriculum next year. [more]

Pressure mounts on Government over ETS costs
Pressure is mounting on the Government over the true cost to consumers of the revised Emissions Trading Scheme. [more]

Second day of polytech strikes
Industrial action continued on Thursday in support of pay claims by more than 900 staff at six North Island polytechnics. [more]

Serious crime charge required for Kenyan's extradition
An international law expert says a Kenyan man wanted in relation to a Christchurch homicide must be charged with a serious crime to be extradited. [more]

Recession forces company to mothball hotels
One of the country's leading hotel chains is mothballing some of its hotels because of falling demand. [more]

February inquest into gorge tragedy
The coroner's inquest into the deaths of six students and a teacher in the Mangatepopo Gorge last year will be held early next year. [more]

NZ shooting itself in 'economic foot' - Greenpeace
Greenpeace says New Zealand is shooting itself in the "economic foot" by importing palm kernel extract when it trades on a reputation of being clean and green. [more]

Turia victorious: cigarette tax set to rise
Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says she has won her battle for a big increase in cigarette tax in the next budget. [more]

Bakers welcome iodised salt in bread
The Baking Industry Council is welcoming the compulsory addition of iodised salt to bread. It will be used in bakery products from 27 September. [more]

Prayers, praise for man accused of passport scam
Supporters of a man accused of a passport scam targeting Pacific Islanders hailed him with prayers and hymns when he appeared at the Manukau District Court. [more]

Telecom customers demand action on faults
Telecom customers in Northland are demanding action and compensation as they wait for repairs to faulty phone lines. [more]

Council delays decision on methyl bromide
The Marlborough District Council has decided to delay making any decision on future use of the fumigant methyl bromide. [more]

French Polynesia braces for disrupted shipping services
French Polynesia's shipping companies say they'll stop their service between Tahiti and Moorea from tomorrow morning in protest at a government decision to grant a licence for the foreign-owned King... [more]

Vanuatu education ministry says aim of changes not to compromise English teaching
Vanuatu's education ministry says the aim of proposals to change the policy on the language used for tuition is not to make French more important than English. This follows debate... [more]

Cuts to school lunches in Marshalls could see kids cutting class
Budget cuts have forced the Marshall Islands Ministry of Education to stop a school lunch programme, raising fears that student attendance and performance could fall as a result The Education... [more]

Opinion finds Bush had no authority to declare Marianas monument
An opinion published in the American Bar Association newsletter says the former US President George Bush did not have the authority under the Antiquities Act to declare the Marianas Trench... [more]

Vanuatu teacher training more of an issue than language policy says ministry
The education ministry in Vanuatu says ensuring the country's teachers are fully trained is a more pressing issue than the policy on language. The comment, from the minister's first political... [more]

American Samoa seeks US subsidies as canneries struggle
American Samoa's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says he introduced into the U.S. House, the American Samoa Protection of Industry, Resources, and Employment bill. He says this... [more]

Fa'alogo and Taylor sacked at Souths
The Kiwi international rugby league prop David Fa'alogo has been sacked by the South Sydney NRL club along with coach Jason Taylor after the pair were involved in an altercation ... [more]

Caddick from NZ but Somerset through and through says Botham
A host of former leading England cricketers have paid tribute to Somerset and England fast bowler Andy Caddick, who's about to retire from first-class cricket. The 40-year-old will call time ... [more]

New Zealand's richest Pro-Am golf tournament planned for Hamilton
New Zealand's richest Pro-Am golf tournament is being established in Hamilton. The Brian Perry Classic will have a professional prize purse of $100,000 and New Zealand's highest ranked professional golfer, ... [more]

Jack back to boost locking stocks
As the national rugby team's lineout woes take the spotlight, former All Blacks lock Chris Jack's return to Tasman may be timely. Jack's signed with the Makos with an eye ... [more]

Jack back but will he be playing in the Air New Zealand Cup?
As Tasman continue to exceed expectations in the national provincial competition, the top of the south rugby union is hoping that the return of former Mako and All Blacks lock ... [more]

New Zealand golfers struggle in Asia Pacific champs
New Zealand has struggled with challenging conditions and is well off the pace midway through the Asia Pacific Teams golf championship in South Korea. After two rounds New Zealand is ... [more]

Cause of Samoa hotel fire unknown
Iconic fales at the Tanoa Tusitala hotel in Samoa have been destroyed in a fire. The hotel in Apia had been closed for renovations after being taken over earlier this... [more]

Major revamp planned for Christchurch Hospital
The Canterbury District Health Board has unveiled massive redevelopment plans for Christchurch Hospital. They include two new multi-level buildings and a new children's facility. [more]

Tax Bill passed under urgency
Legislation introducing changes to tax law has been passed in Parliament under urgency. [more]

Mayor vows to fight 'h' in Wanganui
The mayor of the Wanganui District says his community will resist attempts to change the spelling of the city's name. [more]

Super-city becomes law
Parliament has passed legislation setting up New Zealand's first super-city, an amalgamation of Auckland's eight local authorities. [more]

Soldiers sent home after Afghanistan bomb stunt
Three New Zealand soldiers serving in Afghanistan are being sent home after potentially compromising security by emailing photographs of themselves posing with a bomb and machine guns. [more]