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What’s on RNZ News at 8am- Dec 17

Finance Minster Grant Robertson says more money may be made available for struggling businesses hurt by the Whakaari / White Island eruption; and PHARMAC knew for more than two weeks that three deaths had been linked to its epilepsy drug brand switch but didn't tell patients or the public.

1. WorkSafe has refused to say what audits have been done of White Island Tours,the company that lead tourists to the island last Monday. The volcanic eruption that day killed at least 16 people and 26 are in hospital.

2.A diver says changing weather could be a problem for search and rescue teams planning a dive around the around. Searchers have so far being unable to find two bodies still missing.

3. Finance Minster Grant Robertson says more money may be made available for struggling businesses hurt by the Whakaari / White Island eruption. The Government has announced that $5 million will help support small businesses in the area and those on the West Coast which was cut off by flooding last week. 

4. Schools are ignoring the rules that protect them from fraud and failing to report the crime when it happens, an accounting expert warns.Eastern Institute of Technology auditing and assurance senior lecturer Louise Mackenzie has analysed financial practices at a dozen schools, and told RNZ she found a big gap between what principals thought they knew about their school's financial controls and what was actually happening.

5. PHARMAC knew for more than two weeks that three deaths had been linked to its epilepsy drug brand switch but didn't tell patients or the public.The drug buying agency continued with the cost-saving brand switch after being told on 29 October that three deaths had been reported to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) over suspicions they were linked to the change.

6.A city council structural engineer who helped design a building that has serious deficiencies declared a conflict of interest. 

7.Opposition parties on Monday made common cause with students protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and condemned the “police brutality” on students of Jamia Millia Islamia on Sunday evening.

8.The former private secretary to the Māori King has pleaded guilty to six charges of fraud which include taking over $27,000 for a gastric bypass.Te Rangihiroa Whakaruru, 56, pleaded guilty to five charges of obtaining by deception, and one charge of supplying false or misleading information in Auckland District Court  yesterday.
 

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