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What’s on RNZ News at 8am – Feb 18

Court documents show the Serious Fraud Office prosecution of four people over donations to the National Party involves two donations of $100,000; and a lobbying firm run by a New Zealand First Foundation Trustee pushed for a law change on behalf of a property development company, which then donated tens of thousands of dollars to the foundation. 

1.Some of the 300 Americans evacuated from a cruise ship held in quarantine in Japan have turned out to be infected with the coronavirus. 14 have tested positive for Covid-19.    

2.A New Zealander still in quarantine on board the Diamond Princess is reluctant to take a seat on an Australian evacuation flight because he doesn’t want to spend more time in isolation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has told the 11 New Zealanders on board the ship, that if they want a seat on the plane from Tokyo to Darwin, they must agree to a 14 day quarantine period when they return.   

3.A lobbying firm run by a New Zealand First Foundation Trustee pushed for a law change on behalf of a property development company, which then donated tens of thousands of dollars to the foundation. Doug Woolerton, one of two trustees running the secretive foundation which has been bankrolling New Zealand First, took on apartment developer Conrad Properties as a client for his firm, The Lobbyist. 

4.Court documents show the Serious Fraud Office prosecution of four people over donations to the National Party involves two donations of $100,000. The two donations were made in June 2017 and June 2018. 

5.The National Party is keeping close to its chest for details of proposed tax cuts it says are needed because people are struggling to meet costs imposed by the current Government. 

6.A document that appears to give the most powerful insight yet into how China determined the fate of hundreds of thousands of Muslims held in a network of internment camps has been seen by the BBC. Listing the personal details of more than 3000 individuals from the far western region of Xinjiang, it sets out in intricate detail the most intimate aspects of their daily lives.

7.Japan’s economy shrank at the fastest rate in five years in the last quarter of last year. Annualised GDP fell by a much steeper than expected 6.3 percent, as the economy was hit by a sales tax rise, a major typhoon and weak global demand. There are also concerns the slump will continue this quarter because of the coronavirus outbreak which has led to a big drop in Chinese tourists visiting Japan.  

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