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What’s on RNZ News at midday – Nov 13

The National Party is floating the idea of replacing the tertiary fees-free policy with a scheme like KiwiSaver to pay for University or polytechnic courses; and the Crown says Winston Peters claim his privacy was breached falls away entirely when held up against the law.

1.The National Party is floating the idea of replacing the tertiary fees-free policy with a scheme like KiwiSaver to pay for University or polytechnic courses. The Opposition Party released a discussion document this morning seeking feedback on alternatives to the Government flagship policy.

2.The Crown says Winston Peters claim his privacy was breached falls away entirely when held up against the law. Victoria Casey QC is giving her closing arguments in the Deputy Prime Minister’s case against the State Services Commissioner, the former Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry.  

3.Epilepsy New Zealand is urging authorities to immediately halt a drug switch following the death of three people. The state drug buyer PHARMAC began in May switching 11,000 patients most with epilepsy to a generic form of drug lamotrigine called Logem.     

4.The architect of a massive shake up of the school system says the Government should crack down on Colleges taking students from out of their zone. The plan announced yesterday includes the creation of a new agency which will take over zoning from individual school boards.

5.Fire crews in New South Wales say they could be battling large bush fires for months because there is no end insight to the extremely dry weather. Several large bushfires are still burning in New South Wales despite a cool wind change overnight.    

6.MPs will this evening cast the deciding vote on whether to send the question of voluntary euthanasia to the public or to dump the issue altogether. The End of Life Choice Bill would allow terminally ill adults to request a medically-assisted death. A protest is planned for midday on Parliament's lawn ahead of the third reading and vote starting at 4pm.

7.Descendants of Rua Kēnana have told a Select Committee that a bill to pardon the prophet will help ease their burden. Tears flowed as Ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu gave submissions on the Rua Kenana Pardon Bill at the Maori Affairs Select Committee today.    

8.Jailed Cardinal George Pell has been given a final chance to fight his convictions for child sex abuse offences, after the High Court granted him leave to appeal. The 78-year-old is currently serving a six-year jail sentence after a jury unanimously found he had sexually assaulted two choirboys while he was the archbishop of Melbourne in the mid-1990s.

9.The Catholic Church in New Zealand has yet to bring in external audits for child safety practices two-years after promising it would. In 2017 the church said an auditing system was being developed to enforce compliance with national guidelines.      

10. The man accused of murdering Grace Millane told police he was at a bar getting black-out drunk at a time CCTV cameras showed him entering CityLife with the British backpacker.The 27-year-old man denies murdering Millane after meeting her on a date in Auckland's CBD last December.

11.Hong Kong's rule of law has been pushed to the "brink of total collapse" after more than five months of protests, police have warned.The warning came a day after the territory saw a marked escalation in violence, with police shooting one activist in the torso.

12.Protesters in Chile are dissatisfied with the government's move to change the country's dictatorship-era constitution saying that it could be used to stall on making any real reforms.The protests might have started over growing inequality and alleged rights abuses, but have since widened to include a demand for greater political and social freedoms.

13.The US Supreme Court appears ready to overturn an Obama-era programme that protects nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation. The White House tried to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) policy in 2017 as part of an immigration crackdown.

14.Police have released CCTV footage of an assault on an Auckland walking track in an attempt to find the perpetrator. A woman in her mid 20s had moderate injuries after being assaulted while jogging last Friday afternoon on the track near Browns Bay near Beechwood Road.

15.A breastfeeding group is backing the Wellington City Council’s decision to ban mothers feeding babies in city pools. The council says breastfeeding in pools poses a risk of contamination and breaches the food and beverage policy.

16. One person has died following a crash between a  car and a ute on State Highway 30 in eastern Bay of Plenty this morning.

17. Crowds have gathered in central Christchurch for a free concert by world renowned cellist  Yo Yo Ma The concert on the banks of the city’s Avon river, is being put on to celebrate the city’s connection with its waterways and rivers.

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