Radio New Zealand - Wednesday, 8th February 2012

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, CEISMIC, Checkpoint, Midday Report, Morning Report, News Stories, Nights, Nine To Noon, Rural News, Te Manu Korihi, Upbeat

Afternoons

Best Song Ever Written - Bathe In The River
Sally Widger from Waikato has chosen 'Bathe In The River' by Don McGlashen. [more]

Link 3
Can you spot the connection in our music quiz? [more]

Sustainable transport in Fiji
A traditional canoe with a few modern twists is being developed in Fiji to replace fibreglass boats that guzzle petrol. Joji Marau Misaele teaches mechanical engineering at Fiji National University and has helped develop the prototype for the new canoe. [more]

Birthday of Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens probably would have hated it, but around the world celebrations are being held for the much-loved writer who was born 200 years ago. [more]

Virtual World with Hamish MacEwan
How Siri could hurt everyone's cell service; the Google Freshness Algorithm update; and alleged details about Google HUD eyeglasses. [more]

Auckland Story for 8 February 2012 - Better Teen Dads
Teenage fathers are learning how to become better dads, as a result of a new course run by Auckland's Otara Health Charitable trust. So far the centre's run two of the courses, and another starts this month. [more]

The Panel Pre-Show for 8 February 2012
Your feedback, and a preview of the guests and topics on The Panel. [more]

The Panel with Finlay MacDonald and Neil Miller (Part 1)
Topics - a new report examining daycare says New Zealand should undergo what it calls a long overdue re-evaluation of motherhood and don't tax the rich, tax inequality! [more]

The Panel with Finlay MacDonald and Neil Miller (Part 2)
Topics - New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has launched a spectacular offensive on targetted funding for Maori health and wellbeing. Can a Segway be operated on the footpath or is it a motor vehicle? [more]

Business News

Morning Business for 8 February 2012
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]

Markets Update for 8 February 2012
A brief update of movements in the financial sector. [more]

Midday Business News for 8 February 2012
Hallenstein Glasson issues a profit upgrade after bumper summer sales. Greek officials delay bailout talks despite EU threats and the sharemarket is flat. [more]

Evening Business for 8 February 2012
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]

CEISMIC

Question Time for 8 February 2012
Questions to Ministers 1. DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement in the House yesterday, in answer to Oral Question No 2, that his Government is selling assets because "New Zealanders want less debt, more productive assets, and an economy that is going to function, not a load more debt"? 2. PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister for Economic Development: What progress is the Government making in implementing its economic growth agenda? 3. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Transport: Does the Government consider it important for its transport spending to be cost-effective and provide a good return on investment? 4. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister for State Owned Enterprises: What, according to the Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit, was the average total shareholder return of Genesis, Meridian, Mighty River Power and Solid Energy over the last five years and how does that compare to the average cost of borrowing to the Government right now? 5. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister of Local Government: What reports has he received on how much rates increased nationally in the decade since the Local Government Act 2002 and how does this compare to the previous decade? 6. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister for the Environment: Does he stand by his statement made in the House yesterday in relation to the grounding of the Rena that "the statute sets down very clearly that I as Minister for the Environment should not be encouraging or discouraging a proper, independent decision by Environment Bay of Plenty as to whether they should or should not take a prosecution"? 7. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Broadcasting: What recent announcements has the Government made on progress towards digital switchover? 8. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he still have confidence in all his Ministers? 9. Hon LIANNE DALZIEL to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery: How many written comments were received on the draft Recovery Plan for the Christchurch CBD and is it his intention to consider them all before making a decision on the draft Recovery Plan for the CBD, in accordance with the process set out on the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's website? 10. MELISSA LEE to the Minister of Internal Affairs: What recent steps have there been to promote New Zealand citizenship as a successful settlement pathway for migrants? 11. CLARE CURRAN to the Minister of Broadcasting: Does he stand by the Prime Minister's statement in relation to the appointment of the Prime Minister's electorate chairman Stephen McElrea to the NZ On Air board that "if you look at the vast array of appointments we make, I think the balance is about right"? 12. CATHERINE DELAHUNTY to the Minister of Education: Will she rule out implementing Treasury's advice to increase class sizes in schools? [more]

Checkpoint

Checkpoint Top Stories for Wednesday 8 February 2012
Evidence an electric spark ignited the fireball which killed the 29 Pike River miners. An angry crowd in Rotorua today left the Finance Minister Bill English in no doubt that Maori oppose the sale of state assets and the social conservative Mr Santorum has overwhelmingly won Minnesota and Missouri, and its neck and neck in Colorado. [more]

Evidence an electric spark ignited a deadly fireball in mine
The Pike River Royal Commission has heard the most likely cause of the fireball which killed all 29 miners was from sparks which ignited methane gas when the power supply to the water pumps was turned on. [more]

Bill English attends hui in Rotorua and Hamilton
An angry crowd in Rotorua today left the Finance Minister Bill English in no doubt that Maori oppose the sale of state assets. [more]

More from the head of Te Arawa Group Holdings
Roger Pikia, the chief executive of Te Arawa Group Holdings, was at the first of the SOE sale hui at Rotorua earlier today. [more]

Tempers flare over asset sales.
The Government has revealed average shareholder return on the four energy companies it's putting up for sale was 18-point-five percent a year over the past five years. [more]

The latest on three primary battles in the US
To the US now, where it's Rick Santorum is giving Mitt Romney a run for his money in at least two states as the battle to pick a Republican presidential nominee heats up. [more]

Opposition parties label minimim wage increase lousy
Opposition parties have labelled the increase in the minimum wage lousy, saying it doesn't go nearly far enough. [more]

Sports News for 8 February 2012
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Convicted killer still refuses to say where the body is
The brother of a woman killed 20 years ago says it's possible her murderer may come after him now he's out of prison. [more]

Transport agency faces Auckland anger over tunnel change.
The Transport agency has been accused of dishonesty, and lacking intelligence, in contemplating a contentious change to an Auckland motorway project. [more]

Southern Steel seeks bailout after two bad years
The Southern Steel netball franchise is seeking a bailout and warning the sport's financial model needs an urgent overhaul if it's to survive. [more]

Up to 400 women could be effected by proposed changes
Almost half the women expected to give birth in Whanganui each year may be forced to travel to Palmerston North for specialist maternity care under a new plan released today by the Whanganui and MidCentral District Health Boards [more]

Argentina protests British "militarisation" around Falklands
Tension over the Falkland Islands has ratcheted up a notch with Argentina announcing its making a formal complaint to the United Nations accusing Britain of militarising the waters around the disputed territory. [more]

Tribes say they've never given up right to claim water
The two Maori tribes with major hydro electric schemes in their region insist they've never given up their right to claim ownership of water. [more]

The vandal of Governor's grave labelled ignorant
An historian says whoever desecrated the grave of New Zealand's first leader is ignorant and has no idea that he fought for the rights of Maori. [more]

Expert: US reaction to Russia/China veto hypocritical
An American Middle East expert says it's hypocritical for the US to be outraged by China and Russia's veto of the latest UN resolution condemning the violence in Syria. [more]

Transpower defends charging more to upgrade grid
Transpower is defending raising its charges to pay for power grid upgrades. [more]

Pollution levels prompt call for NZ to reduce fuel emmissions
Auckland's air is being polluted by emissions from ships. [more]

Diver fears for safety while saving orca
A young diver says he kept an anxious eye on half a dozen killer whales as he rescued one of their mates entangled in the rope of a cray pot off the Coromandel Coast. [more]

Sports News for 8 February 2012
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Rick Santorum has rejuvenated his presidential hopes
The former US senator Rick Santorum has rejuvenated his presidential hopes with overwhelming victories over the front-runner Mitt Romney in Republican nominating contests in Missouri and Minnesota. [more]

Call for elephants in the outback sparks worldwide attention
An Australian scientist's call to release elephants in the outback has provoked both praise and scorn. [more]

Midday Report

Midday News for 8 February 2012
The Labour Department reveals the most likely cause of the Pike River explosion and a hui on asset sales is underway in Rotorua. [more]

Midday Sports News for 8 February 2012
The Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador says he's considering appealing against the two-year ban he was handed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for failing a dope test during his victorious 2010 Tour de France campaign. [more]

Morning Report

Top Stories for Wednesday 8 February 2012
Peters denounces Whanau Ora as a 'giant koha scheme', Turia responds to Peters' criticism, Russia bids to stop the escalating violence in Syria, Property Council believes Christchurch city plan is restrictive, Norwegian explorer back in Antartica without permission. [more]

Debate grows over Thai lese-majeste law
Debate over Thailand's Lese Majeste law is heating up, with a group of law professors calling for the penalties to be loosened. [more]

Pacific News for 8 February 2012
The latest from the Pacific region. [more]

Wellington man defends Whanau Ora grant
A Wellington businessman is defending the three-thousand-dollar grant he's received under Whanau Ora, saying he and his family are worthy recipients. [more]

Maori Council secretary speaks about water claim
The Maori Council has filed a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal for iwi ownership of rivers and lakes. [more]

Peters denounces Whanau Ora as a 'giant koha scheme'
The New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, is labelling the Whanau Ora programme a giant koha scheme after learning a Wellington businessman received a three thousand dollar grant to organise a family get together. [more]

Turia responds to Peters' criticism
The minister responsible for Whanau Ora is Tariana Turia. [more]

Russia bids to stop the escalating violence in Syria
In Syria as the diplomatic debate continues to rage, so does the violence. [more]

Property Council believes Christchurch city plan is restrictive
The New Zealand Property Council says Christchurch's draft central city plan is too restrictive and undermines the business community's efforts to rebuild. [more]

Norwegian explorer back in Antartica without permission
A Norwegian explorer who led a fatal Antarctica trip last year says he is now back in Antarctic waters on a second unauthorised trip. [more]

Pike River inquiry resumes to look into cause of explosion
The Pike River Royal Commission resumes today for the first time this year and will look at the immediate cause of the explosions that killed 29 men. [more]

Legal experts at odds over Maori bid for water ownership
Maori rights to the ownership of rivers and lakes are now on the agenda of the Waitangi Tribunal after the Maori Council, supported by eleven hapu groups, lodged a claim yesterday. [more]

Sports News for 8 February 2012
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Auckland council demands new powers to tackle housing costs
The Auckland Council wants greater powers to help create more affordable housing. [more]

New system for posting parcels being giving thumbs down
Customers could be charged extra for wrapping their own parcels, under a new postal system being considered for a nationwide roll out. [more]

Rescue workers continue search after Philippines quake
Rescue workers in the Philippines are searching for survivors after an earthquake triggered landslides that killed dozens of people. [more]

Russia says the Syrian President is ready for dialogue
Syria has had a high profile and controversial visitor. [more]

Property council wants changes to Christchurch CBD rules
The New Zealand Property Council is calling for significant changes to the draft plan for rebuilding Christchurch, saying the plan as it stands is too restrictive and undermines the business community. [more]

Parliament to consider Monday-ising Waitangi, Anzac holidays
A proposed law to Monday-ise Waitangi Day and Anzac Day when they fall on weekends will be considered this year. [more]

Queensland evacuees wait to return to their homes
Residents in the Queensland town of St George are facing a new threat, with flood waters damaging the local sewage treatment plant and contaminating waters. [more]

Sports News for 8 February 2012
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Republicans see politics in Eastwood Super Bowl ad
The most talked-about advertisement of the Super Bowl half-time is being described as one of the loudest flashpoints yet in the early re-election campaign of President Obama. [more]

Lawyer says mandatory child abuse reporting is necessary
A South Auckland lawyer says mandatory reporting of child abuse is necessary, in light of a second conviction for the abuse of a 9 year old Auckland girl. [more]

Navy barge hits rocks off Tutukaka
A navy vessel is taking on water after hitting rocks on off Tutakaka, Northland. [more]

Political crisis in Maldives
The President of the Maldives has resigned after a police mutiny. [more]

Social media content continues to leak out of Syria
The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, is visiting the Syrian capital for talks with President Bashar al-Assad, as intense violence continues. [more]

Records - and competitors - tumble at Masters Games
The records are tumbling and the injuries are mounting up at the 23rd Masters Games in Dunedin. [more]

Nights

Brass Bands Of Britain
The history and importance of brass band culture within the United Kingdom with Brass Herald editor Philip Biggs (in light of New Zealand potentially losing seven military bands and the recent negative press received by the Mineworkers' Open National Brass Band Festival). [more]

Arts: Gamers
Joystick ninja Matt Maguire rescues princesses and saves the Earth countless times in many levels of gaming platforms... the many ways to play - gaming hardware. [more]

Conundrum
Clue 3. [more]

Conundrum
Clue 4. [more]

Nine To Noon

The Waitangi Tribunal claim by the Maori Council
The claim seeks to halt the proposed partial sale of state-owned power generators until the water and geothermal ownership of the SOEs is resolved. With Donna Hall - Lawyer who lodged the claim, Nick Davidson - Retired lawyer from Bell Gully - Commercial lawyer involved in fisheries, forestry and Ngai Tahu settlements. [more]

A new way of teaching maths
With Dr Bobbie Hunter and Jodie Hunter - Mother/daughter research team. [more]

Australia Correspondent - Karen Middleton
The floods in northern NSW and Queensland. [more]

Feature Guest - Nina Nawalowalo
Fijian New Zealander Nina Nawalowalo on how her parents cross cultural love story inspired her latest play Masi which premieres at the NZ festival of the Arts. [more]

Book Review - Religion for Atheists
Written by Alain de Botton, reviewed by Phil Vine and published by Hamish Hamilton. [more]

Music with Marty Duda
Artist of the Week - Ringo Starr. [more]

Arts with Courtney Johnston
The announcement of the delayed reopening of Christchurch Art Gallery and the discovery of what's thought to be the earliest copy of the Mona Lisa. [more]

Rural News

Morning Rural News for 8 February 2012
News from the rural and farming sector. [more]

Midday Rural News for 8 February 2012
News from the rural and farming sectors. [more]

Te Manu Korihi

Manu Korihi News for 8 February 2012
The Taranaki Daily News says it regrets taking out of context holocaust comments made by a Taranaki language lecturer; Members of New Zealand's second largest iwi will now have the chance to express their views to the Government, over its intention to partially sell off four state owned enterprises; It may be the height of summer, but a Turangi-based iwi is busy insulating hundreds of houses. [more]

Manu Korihi News for 8 February 2012
Members of New Zealand's second largest iwi will now have the chance to express their views to the Government, over its intention to partially sell off four state owned enterprises; The Taranaki Daily News says it regrets taking out of context holocaust comments made by a Taranaki language lecturer; The Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency says there aren't enough people with training and experience to produce programmes that promote te reo Maori; It may be the height of summer, but a Turangi-based iwi is busy insulating hundreds of houses. [more]

Manu Korihi News for 8 February 2012
The President of the New Zealand Jewish Council isn't backing down over his reaction to holocaust comments made by a Taranaki language lecturer; The head of the commercial arm of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Trust says many iwi are keen to invest in state asset shares - but not at the expense of losing treaty provisions in SOE legislation; An effort to fill a critical shortage of expert te reo Maori teachers has been given a boost by Massey University with a new four-year Maori immersion teaching degree; The Corrections Department is delighted with the support of employers in Hawke's Bay to give Maori inmates in a rehabilitation and re-integration unit, the opportunity of a job. [more]

Manu Korihi News for 8 February 2012
The head of the commercial arm of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Trust says many Iwi are keen to invest in state asset shares - but not at the expense of losing treaty provisions in SOE legislation; The President of the New Zealand Jewish Council isn't backing down over his reaction to holocaust comments made by a Taranaki language lecturer; The Corrections Department is delighted with the support of employers in Hawke's Bay to give Maori inmates in a rehabilitation and re-integration unit, the opportunity of a job; An effort to fill a critical shortage of expert te reo Maori teachers has been given a boost by Massey University with a new four-year Maori immersion teaching degree. [more]

Upbeat

Jan Bolwell and John Smythe
Writer/Choreographer and Actor performing in Wellington Fringe Festival production of DANCING IN THE WAKE: The story of Lucia Joyce. [more]

Gemma New: Postcard Home
Chris Gendall speaks to NZ conductor who was recently appointed Assistant Conductor of New Jersey Philharmonic after completing studies at Peabody institute in Baltimore, US. [more]

Dennis O'Neill
Welsh tenor who will adjudicate this year's Lexus Song Quest. [more]

News stories:

Laser ban wanted by pilots
The Airline Pilots Association wants the Government to ban imports of powerful lasers, due to an increase in the number of laser strikes against aircraft. [more]

Sharemarket ends Tuesday 3 points up
The NZX50 closed up 3 points at 3315 on Tuesday. Turnover was $88 million. [more]

Interest rates held by RBA
The Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged at its first board meeting of the year, keeping the official cash rate at 4.25%. [more]

Auckland airport passenger volumes up
International passenger volumes at Auckland airport rose by 5.9% compared in December compared with the same month a year earlier. The busiest day of the year was 23 December. [more]

High bacterial count recorded near effluent spill
Southland Regional Council says water samples taken near an effluent spill at an Invercargill meat processing plant have confirmed high levels of bacterial contamination. [more]

Takeover closing date extended
A German company seeking to buy Turners Growers has extended the closing date for its full takeover offer to 7 March. It now has acceptances giving it 69% of the company. [more]

Businessman honoured with lifetime award
Sir John Buchanan, a New Zealand-born businessman, has been given a lifetime award for services to finance and business. [more]

Djokovic eyeing up 'Golden Slam'
The world tennis number one Novak Djokovic says it's not impossible for him to win all four grand slam titles and the Olympics this year, the so called golden slam. [more]

WADA concerned 'doping boredom' could undermine testing
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says financial constraints and a general boredom with the issue could undermine the fight against doping. The WADA president John Fahey says the organisation should... [more]

Brisbane coach shoots down McKay rumours
The Brisbane football coach Ange Postecoglou says his defending A-League champions have absolutely no intention of paying Scottish power club Rangers a fat fee to buy back former inspirational skipper... [more]

German Bundesliga most popular football league?
The German football league, the Bundesliga, is on track to set a new attendance record this season after average figures per game topped 44,000 for the first half of the... [more]

Raikkonen sets early pace in testing
The former world motor racing champion Kimi Raikkonen has set the eary pace in pre-season testing in southern Spain, driving a Lotus. After two years in rallying, Raikkonen was given... [more]

New League Commission ready for launch
Australian Rugby League's new Independent Commission will finally be launched on Friday. The long-awaited new governing body for the code will assume control just weeks out from the start of... [more]

Vatuvei to play in Warriors trial match
The Kiwi's rugby league winger Manu Vatuvei, prop Russell Packer and fullback Kevin Locke have been named in the 22-man Warriors squad for Saturday night's second NRL pre-season trial against... [more]

Bell dropped for one dayers against Pakistan
The England batsman Ian Bell is the most notable casualty of his team's test series whitewash by Pakistan. Bell's best effort in six test innings against Pakistan was 29 so... [more]

Brownlie suffers fractured finger
X-rays have confirmed the Black Caps batsman Dean Brownlie has a fractured finger on his left hand following a fielding incident in Monday's one-day cricket international against Zimbabwe. Brownlie sustained... [more]

Paper regrets error over reporting of holocaust comments
The Taranaki Daily News newspaper says it regrets taking out of context Holocaust comments made by a Taranaki language lecturer. [more]

Whare being warmed up for winter
It may be the height of summer, but a Turangi-based iwi is busy insulating hundreds of houses before winter arrives. The tribe is paying two-thirds of the cost, with the Government footing the rest of the bill. [more]

More Maori programme makers needed
The Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency says there are not enough people with training and experience to produce programmes promoting te reo Maori. [more]

More discussion over legal title of shares needed
A dairy farmer representative says more discussion between Fonterra and its shareholders is needed before a major sticking point in the Trading Among Farmers proposal is resolved. [more]

New wheat varieties available soon
New Zealand wheat growers will have access to new high yielding and disease resistant wheat varieties this year, stemming from a cereal breeding programme that began in the 1990s. [more]

Potential seen for lamb exports to China
Agribusiness Professor Keith Woodford of Lincoln University thinks there's still scope to develop the lamb trade to China. [more]

Economic outlook now worse - Treasury
The Treasury says New Zealand's economic outlook has worsened further because of the prolonged debt crisis in Europe. [more]

Q1 solid performance reported by BNZ
National Australia Bank says its New Zealand subsidiary BNZ, delivered a solid performance in the first quarter of 2012. [more]

Higher fees mooted for SOE directors
Fees paid to the directors of State Owned Enterprises tagged for privatisation may have to be doubled to be brought in line with those of listed companies. [more]

Cautious approach advised on performance fees
An advisor to the superannuation industry is warning regulators against taking a hard line on performance fees for KiwiSaver fund managers. [more]

Maker of women's farm gear looking to expand
A women's farmwear manufacturer hopes to grow the business both in New Zealand and overseas by expanding her product range. Zanux sells predominantly on its website and at Fielddays. [more]

WADA boss warns politicians
The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, John Fahey, has labelled Alberto Contador a "doping cheat" and said he might have escaped with half of his two-year doping ban had... [more]

Thorn may go to Ireland
Irish rugby champions Leinster are keen on picking up former All Black lock Brad Thorn on a short-term contract. Thorn moved to Japan after the World Cup, but with the... [more]

Parks retires from Scotland rugby team
The Scotland first five Dan Parks has retired from international rugby with immediate effect. The 33-year-old Parks played the last of his 67 Tests in Saturday's 13-6 Six Nations opening... [more]

FIFA to donate substantial sums to Egypt stadium disaster
FIFA has announced it'll be donating 300,000 dollars to the families of the victims of last week's Egyptian stadium disaster in which 74 people died when violence erupted between rival... [more]

Adams disappointed to miss play-off matches
The former Black Cap Andre Adams says he's disappointed he won't be able to help Auckland finish off their one day cricket campaign. Adams along with new internationals Ronnie Hira... [more]

Kobe becomes NBA's fifth all time leading scorer
The American basketball star Kobe Bryant passed former team-mate Shaquille O'Neal for fifth on the NBA's all-time scoring list but Philadelphia spoiled the moment with a 95-90 victory over Bryant's... [more]

Supermarkets urged to cut price of milk
Consumer New Zealand says supermarkets should follow a small grocery chain's lead and cut the cost of milk. [more]

Complaints about apple exports to Australia
Some apple growers say they are blocked from the Australian market and want the process reviewed. [more]

NZ says it's could host World Cup qualifying tournament
New Zealand could also host June's Oceania World Cup qualifying tournament in the wake of Fiji being stripped of hosting rights for next month's Olympic qualifier. The Olympic qualifier for... [more]

Water claim cannot proceed - Franks
A Wellington lawyer who specialises in public policy says a water claim by the Maori Council cannot legally go ahead. [more]

More powers wanted wanted by council
Auckland Council wants greater powers to help deliver more truly affordable housing. [more]

Royal Commission resumes
The Pike River Royal Commission is nearing the end of its third phase which is looking into the events leading up to the explosion which killed 29 men. It is to look at the immediate cause of the first blast on 19 November, 2010. [more]

UBS profit well down
Profits at UBS slumped by 76% in its latest quarterly results. The bank said business in the coming three months was also likely to disappoint. [more]

New postal system not liked by Coasters
A new system for posting packages being trialled on the Kapiti Coast is proving unpopular with some people, who say it's costing them more. [more]

Body believed to be that of missing bartender found in CNMI
A body believed to be that of a missing bartender was found yesterday afternoon at an abandoned mall in San Roque in the Northern Marianas. Emerita Relata Romero went missing... [more]

LBJ hospital may have to lay off staff in American Samoa
There's a big possibility that the LBJ hospital in American Samoa will begin laying off staff later this month in order to keep the hospital afloat while waiting for promised... [more]

Fiji Welcomes UN Needs Assessment Mission for Upcoming Elections
The Fiji government has accepted an offer from the United Nations to send a Needs Assessment Mission to the country ahead of the planned parliamentary elections in 2014. The Fiji... [more]

Wall St up
Wall St stocks have risen, as investors await the outcome of discussions on a bailout package for Greece. However, markets in Europe were down. [more]

Ngati Kahungunu to be consulted over asset sales
Members of New Zealand's second largest iwi, Ngati Kahungunu, are now to have the chance to express their views to the Government over its intention to partially sell off four state-owned enterprises. [more]

Sonny Bill predicting fiery encounter in Hamilton
Sonny Bill Williams is vowing to put on a show when he squares up against Clarence Tillman III for the vacant New Zealand heavyweight title in Hamilton tonight, after the... [more]

Giants fans congregate in giant fashion to celebrate win
More than a million people have turned out onto the streets of Manhattan to greet the victorious New York Giants NFL team, following their dramatic Superbowl triumph over the New... [more]

Trust critical of length of prison term for abuse of child
The Sensible Sentencing Trust is critical of a three year prison sentence given to an man over abuse of his daughter. [more]

Draft plan still seen as hindrance to rebuild
The Property Council says the draft central city plan for Christchurch will hinder the business community's efforts to rebuild. [more]

Bill to Monday-ise Waitangi Day and Anzac Day
A Members' bill to celebrate Waitangi Day and Anzac Day on Monday if they fall on a weekend is to be considered by Parliament. [more]

Records tumble at Masters Games
Records are tumbling and the injuries are mounting at the 23rd Masters Games in Dunedin. Masseuses and doctors are treating up to 100 injuries per day. [more]

Mining company and commodity trader to merge
Mining firm Xstrata has formally announced plans to merge with Glencore, the world's biggest commodity trader. [more]

BP profits and dividend up
BP has boosted its profits and raised its dividend to shareholders by 14% - the first increase since the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010. [more]

Morning Report: local papers
Wednesday's headlines: Southern Steel netball franchise begging Netball NZ for financial assistance; harassment reported by woman who bottle-feeds her son; voting slow in Burwood-Pegasus byelection. [more]

Vanuatu on high alert as Cyclone Jasmine gets closer
Southern Vanuatu remains at risk from destructive gales, flooding and huge swells for the next twelve hours as Severe Tropical Cyclone Jasmine moves through the region. Early this morning it... [more]

Fiji regime offers immunity to media in new decree
Fiji's interim government has introduced a new decree offering legal immunity to the media when reporting statements by the regime. The State Proceedings Amendment Decree provides that no media organisation... [more]

Contador considers appealing his ban
The Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador says he's considering appealing against the two-year ban he was handed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for failing a dope test during his... [more]

Search for woman resumes
A search has resumed for a woman missing in the suburb of Karori, Wellington. She was last seen on Monday evening. [more]

Dressage rider named in NZ Olympic team
The dressage rider Louisa Hill and her horse Bates Antonello have been named as New Zealand's first equestrian representatives for the London Olympic Games. It will be Hill's second Olympics... [more]

Bailout needed by netball franchise
Netball Southland says the sport's financial models must be overhauled if the Southern Steel team is to survive. The franchise has borrowed more than $40,000 and asked Netball NZ for urgent assistance. [more]

Macquarie expects 25% drop in profit
Macquarie Group, the largest investment bank in Australia, expects full year profits to drop by 25%. [more]

Tahiti issues enter French pre-election discourse
The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, has rejected criticism by the Socialists, saying they are trying to sell French Polynesia's pro-independence politicians a dream. This comes after the Socialists... [more]

13% drop in GBS under new chicken regulations
Tighter regulations on the processing of fresh chicken have led to a drop of 13% in cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune condition. An Otago University study has found a direct link. [more]

Tower too conservative in bidding for AMI
Tower chairman Bill Falconer admits his company lost the bid for AMI Insurance because it was too conservative and was outgunned by a larger Australian company. [more]

Call for supermarket milk price war
Federated Farmers is calling for a milk price war between major supermarket chains. [more]

Office building sold by DNZ Property Fund
DNZ Property Fund has unconditionally sold its Hunter Street office building in Wellington for $20.3 million. Settlement is scheduled for 20 March. [more]

Higher power prices foreseen by Labour
Labour has renewed a warning that any privatisation of state-owned power companies will force electricity prices higher. [more]

Bathurst pre-hearing conference on Monday
Bathurst Resources of Perth says a pre-hearing conference for appeals of its Escarpment mine project will be held in Christchurch on Monday. [more]

US top Pacific aid official due in Fiji
The United States top foreign aid official in the Pacific, Gloria Steele, will visit Fiji later this week. She will meet the Suva-based representatives of other donor nations as well... [more]

2nd company interested in Chatham phosphate
The investigation of extensive phosphate rock deposits on the sea-bed east of New Zealand has intensified, with a second company gaining a exploration permit for the Chatham Rise. [more]

Sport: PNG name new cricket coach
Papua New Guinea have appointed former Queensland and South Australia wicketkeeper Peter Anderson as their new head coach, following the resignation of Brad Hogg last month. Hogg quit after being... [more]

Sport: IRB confirms more core teams for World Sevens Series
The International Rugby Board has confirmed plans to increase the number of core teams competing on the world sevens circuit next season from 12 to 15 teams. This year's Hong... [more]

Sport: NZ Football open to hosting Oceania Nations Cup
New Zealand could also host June's Oceania Football World Cup qualifying tournament in the wake of Fiji being stripped of hosting rights for next month's Olympic qualifier. The Olympic qualifier... [more]

PNG Supreme Court adjourns hearings into political standoff
Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has adjourned hearings into the nation's ongoing political dispute until today. The court had ordered all the major players involved in the recent political upheaval... [more]

Minimum wage up 50c per hour
The minimum wage is going up from $13 per hour to $13.50, an increase of 3.8%. The new rate comes into effect on 1 April. [more]

Aotea Square papers have to be served again
Auckland Council made mistakes in the way it served documents on Occupy Auckland protestors in Aotea Square and will have to repeat the process. [more]

Quake business grants
The Canterbury Business Recovery Trust has given $584,519 to 32 businesses in the past two months to help them re-establish in the aftermath of the earthquakes. The total amount distributed is just over $3.7 million. [more]

Graffiti removed from Hobson's gravestone
Graffiti has been removed from the gravestone of New Zealand's first Governor William Hobson, at the Symonds Street cemetery in Auckland. [more]

Fiji media observer says new decree opaque and chilling
A veteran journalism educator in the Pacific says the Fiji regime's new decree affecting the media could have a chilling effect on the run-up to promised elections. The State Proceedings... [more]

Cooks police favour tighter gun ownership laws
The Cook Islands police commissioner says there's a need to tighten gun ownership laws which haven't been updated since 1968. A committee is being set up to look at ownership... [more]

CNMI power costs prompt shorter school days
The principal of San Antonio Elementary School in the Northern Marianas says the curriculum at his school will not be disrupted despite his students having half an hour less in... [more]

Sarkozy speech fuels Tahiti war of words
There is a continued war of words in French Polynesia over last weekend's televised address by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, on a broad range of topics. The opposition To... [more]

Food shortage predicted as Fiji flood clean-up continues
A Red Cross regional co-ordinator is predicting food shortages in Fiji's Western Division following floods last month that killed eight people and forced hundreds from their homes. Mohammed Hafiz says... [more]

Australian legal action considered over kava ban
A group called the Australia Kava Movement is considering legal action in the High Court after being told it couldn't serve kava as a ceremonial drink at a major festival... [more]

Fiji schools reopen after devastating flooding
A Red Cross regional co-ordinator says most of the schools in Fiji that were used as evacuation centres during last month's floods have reopened. Flooding and landslides in the Western... [more]

American Samoa hospital personnel told of lay-offs
Reports from American Samoa say layoff letters have been delivered to some LBJ Medical Center employees amid a deep funding crisis. Our correspondent says about 200 staff have been told... [more]

Cyclone Jasmine puts southern Vanuatu on red alert
The Vanuatu Disaster Management Office has issued a red alert for the southern Tafea province as severe tropical cyclone Jasmine passes close by. The cyclone, a category 3, has winds... [more]

Tahiti opposition says Paris building sale a folly
The French Polynesian opposition has described the sale of the territory's flagship property in Paris as a folly. Edouard Fritch of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has told local radio that... [more]

New drive to fight leprosy in PNG
Leprosy Mission New Zealand is working with the World Health Organisation and the Papua New Guinea Department of Health on a new strategy to combat a resurgence of the disease... [more]

Indonesian policeman killed in Papua attack
An Indonesian police officer with the Mobile Brigade was shot dead yesterday while on patrol near the Freeport mine in the highlands of the Papua region. Police suspect the gunmen... [more]

Landslide stops work at Exxon Mobil's airport project
The Papua New Guinea government has allocated more than four and a half million US dollars to clear a road damaged by a recent landslide, so that the Exxon Mobil... [more]

Return on SOEs revealed as 18.5%
The Government has revealed average shareholder return on the four energy companies it is selling was 18.5% a year over the past five years. [more]

Elderly woman dies in Christchurch house fire
A post mortem is being carried out on an elderly Christchurch woman who died in a house fire in Spreydon on Tuesday afternoon. [more]

New Zealand man seeks Fiji anti-government graffiti charges dropped
A New Zealand man charged in Fiji with writing anti-government graffiti in public places and on billboards last year is challenging his arrest and wants the charges to be dropped. [more]

Three tragedies hit PNG in less than six months
The minister for Transport and Works, Francis Awesa, says the loss of life through three different disasters in the past few months in Papua New Guinea is unprecedented. In October... [more]

Conditions calming for recovery of PNG ferry victims
The acting director of the Morobe disaster management office in Papua New Guinea, Charlie Masange, says calming conditions will make it easier to search for victims of last week's ferry... [more]

Samoa eyes central produce export place in Auckland
Samoa's agriculture minister says talks are being held to set up a base in Auckland to centralise the country's produce exports. Le Mamea Ropati says the discussions involve Samoa's trade... [more]

Fiji has new record tourism figures for 2011
Provisional figures for 2011 show Fiji had almost 675,000 visitors, which is a new record. According to Ministry of Tourism figures published by the Fiji Sun this marks a 6.8... [more]

Transport Agency dishonest over proposed tunnel change
The Transport Agency is being accused of dishonesty for proposing a contentious change to the Waterview motorway tunnel project in Auckland. [more]

100 attend Hamilton hui
One hundred people have attended a hui in Hamilton held to consult Maori on the government's planned partial sale of four state-owned power companies. [more]

Convicted killer now out of prison
A man jailed in 1992 for killing his estranged wife, whose body has never been found, is now out of prison. [more]

Regulation on cruise ship pollution could tighten
The Environment Minister is considering whether tightening regulation on air pollution from cruise ships is required. [more]

Woods wants long putters banned
Tiger Woods says he's been talking to golf's powerbrokers about a rule to ban the long putter. The former world number one says he's never been a fan of long... [more]

Labour says minimum wage rise falls short
Labour Party leader David Shearer says the minimum wage increase offers only a bit of help for those on the lowest incomes. [more]

Logging truck driver charged
Police in Bay of Plenty have charged the driver of a logging truck with dangerous driving, after a crash involving a school bus near Ruatoki last year. [more]

Iwi chair says water claim still on agenda
The chairman of New Zealand's second largest iwi board says his tribe has never given up the right to own water. [more]

Jewish Council president refuses to back down
The president of the New Zealand Jewish Council isn't backing down over his reaction to holocaust comments made by a Taranaki language lecturer. [more]

New degree should boost number of te reo teachers
An effort to fill a critical shortage of expert te reo Maori teachers has been given a boost by Massey University with a new four-year Maori immersion teaching degree. [more]

Iwi keen to invest in SOEs but not at Treaty expense - Pikia
The head of the commercial arm of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Trust says many iwi are keen to invest in state asset shares - but not at the expense of losing treaty provisions in SOE legislation. [more]

Hawke's Bay employers commended for giving inmates work
The Corrections Department is delighted with the support of employers in Hawke's Bay to give Maori inmates in a rehabilitation and re-integration unit, the opportunity of a job. [more]

Timaru man trampled
A truck driver is in Timaru Hospital intensive care unit after being trampled by a 500 kilogram steer in South Canterbury on Wednesday morning. [more]

Maternity care change could cause anxiety
A Whanganui advocacy group is concerned that proposed changes to its hospital's maternity care could increase pregnant women's anxiety. [more]

Sales lifted by clothing retailer
Hallenstein Glasson has lifted its half year profit forecast by 25%, after strong sales over the Christmas and New Year period. [more]

Massey launches immersion teaching degree
Massey University is addressing a critical shortage of expert te reo Maori teachers with a new four-year Maori immersion teaching degree. [more]

Miners could have caused explosion - lawyer
Evidence at the Pike River Royal Commission on Wednesday suggested workers could have ignited the methane that caused the explosion at the mine. [more]