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What’s in the newspapers -Nov 19

Almost half a million dollars in political donations appear to have been hidden inside a secret slush fund controlled by a coterie of Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters’ trusted advisers; and  the head of a Ministry of Health ethics committee is calling for the immediate destruction of hundreds of suicide notes submitted to a study backed by comedian Mike King's Key to Life mental health charity.

* The New Zealand Herald

In the New Zealand Herald, air travellers are being warned to prepare for disruptions over summer after Air New Zealand axed international flights affecting 14,000 passengers.The national carrier suspended some services to Perth from Auckland and Christchurch over the holiday season due to engine problems with its Dreamliners.

In other news, the head of a Ministry of Health ethics committee is calling for the immediate destruction of hundreds of suicide notes submitted to a study backed by comedian Mike King's Key to Life mental health charity.The '1000 letters' study - launched in September - asked people to submit final notes or messages left by victims of suicide so they could be analysed for common themes to inform future interventions and suicide prevention efforts.

In business news, proposed Government changes to the law for landlords - affecting about 600,000 properties which are home to around 1.5 million New Zealand tenants - is specific, precise and detailed.If these go ahead, the law will swing firmly further into the tenants' favour.The chances of success depend partly on how strong the landlord lobby is: they oppose these changes and will battle hard to stop all or some, or have them weakened.


* The Dominion Post

In the Dominion Post, almost half a million dollars in political donations appear to have been hidden inside a secret slush fund controlled by a coterie of Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters’ trusted advisers.The secretive New Zealand First Foundation collected donations from wealthy donors and used the money to finance election campaigns, pay for an MP’s legal advice, advertising, fund a $5000 day at the Wellington races and even pay an IRD bill.

In other news, Immigration NZ has forced the closure of at least one website fraudulently selling electronic travel authorities.Since ETAs became compulsory for visitors from about 60 countries on October 1, Immigration has so far processed 500,000 applications, most of them in minutes. 

In business news, Kiwis could soon be pouring something different on their cereal with a homegrown sheep milk company poised to launch its product in supermarkets.After successful launches overseas, Waikato's Spring Sheep has turned its attention to the local market."In New Zealand, most people associate sheep with high-value wool and high-quality meat, but this is changing," marketing and innovation director Andrea Wilkins said.

*The Press

In The Press, a tornado that hit Christchurch has left two people injured, ripped roofs off buildings and scattered debris – some contaminated with asbestos – through the air.The storm briefly cut power to more than a thousand homes throughout the city and left part of a tree upside down in powerlines. It hit about the same time as hail rained down on the city yesterday afternoon.

In other news, more than 1500 schools will not ask parents for donations next year after a huge majority of eligible schools signed up to a Government scheme to scrap them.Close to nine in 10 (89.6 per cent) of eligible schools have decided to scrap school donations in favour of a guaranteed $150 per pupil payment from the Government next year.The opt-in scheme only applies to two thirds of schools, as schools in the richest three deciles are not currently eligible.

In business news, a Chinese-owned South Canterbury-based dairy company wants to build a 7.5 kilometre-long pipeline to discharge up to 10 million litres per day of wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.The application, filed with Environment Canterbury, proposes the pipeline will travel from the Oceania Dairy factory at Glenavy on State Highway 1, about 58km south of Timaru, to the Pacific Ocean coastline, with a 350m long submerged outfall.
 

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