Woman shot dead by AOS; conflicting polls on government leadership; Rodney Hide slapped by Electoral Commission; Contact Energy directors back down; Dunedin Hospital still battling norovirus; and more
- A woman was shot dead by the Armed Offenders Squad in Whangarei yesterday, the first woman killed by New Zealand Police. She had entered a Vodafone shop and was carrying an air rifle, mistaken for a shotgun. The Herald reported that she went into the shop looking for a salesman's daughter. According to the Dominion Post she may have been looking for a staff member who she said owed her money for drugs.
- A new poll suggests the Maori Party will hold the balance of power after the election. The 3News poll put National at 45.1 percent and Labour at 37.4 percent, meaning neither could govern without the Maori Party. Co-leader Pita Sharples said this week that it would be easier to make a deal with Labour than with National, according to the Dominion Post. "Maori are joined at the hip with Labour. There is no doubt about it."
- In contrast, the latest Herald-DigiPoll found National could govern alone, with 50.4 percent support compared the Labour's 37 percent. The Herald's political editor Audrey Young says, "The Maori Party, with four seats, would not hold the balance of power. Nor would it do so if it won all seven Maori seats but stayed on its 2.4 per cent poll rating in the party vote."
- Tables have been turned on Act leader Rodney Hide, who made allegations against New Zealand First leader Winston Peters for not declaring political donations. Now the Electoral Commission has said the Act Party should have declared free office space, worth $20,000 a year, offered by Sir Robert Jones. Act has been ordered to fill out amended returns for the years the office space was used, reports the Press.
- Contact Energy directors have decided not to raise their fees to $1.5 million after shareholders told them they were greedy. However, the company is still raising power prices 10 percent, the Dominion Post says. A shareholder's meeting in Auckland yesterday was heated, with directors told they should put off any fee rises until the economy recovered. The company said it would not increase directors' fees at this time but could do so at any time in the future without taking a vote.
- The norovirus battle at Dunedin Hospital continues, reports the Otago Daily Times. The orthopaedic ward has been reopened after a confirmed norovirus outbreak but now the geriatric ward has been shut due to a suspected outbreak. In August the hospital postponed 2000 procedures and banned visitors from entering the hospital for a week.
- John Key told gay magazine Express he would turn gay for Brad Pitt. Australian talk show host Rove McManus has turned the question, 'Who would you turn gay for?' into a classic part of his programme, says the Herald. Politicians don't usually answer, but the National leader had no qualms when asked by Express magazine. "Who would I go gay for? ... Brad Pitt. Now he's a bit older, he's a bit of a looker. I was going to say Tom Cruise, but someone of his age shouldn't look that young."