National News Brief, Monday November 3

Vela family donation to United Future followed opposition to fishing restrictions; Greens want inquiry into Vela-New Zealand First relationship; banks promise to go easy on struggling mortgage-holders; Labour and National promise public spending to stimulate economy; Hell pizza's Sir Ed ads bad taste; and more

Six days later Mr Meurant recommended that Mr Vela donate $5000 to Mr Dunne's party to recognise his "assistance", the documents show. By mid-October 1999, Mr Meurant told Mr Dunne "donation on way", the papers show.

Dunne confirmed a donation from the Vela family but said United Future "have never been in the business of selling votes for policy".

  • The New Zealand Herald leads with a promise from New Zealand banks to relax mortgage repayment conditions for struggling home-owners. In return, the government will guarantee their overseas debts. The guarantee is intended to encourage overseas lenders who may be wary of lending to a bank without protection and will encourage local banks to re-enter regular foreign markets. Banks have said they will help struggling mortgagees by changing the frequency of payment, offering longer terms or interest-only periods, for example.
  • Both Labour and National are promoting significant spending as the way out of recession. Helen Clark says it will bring forward a large school building programme, rail upgrades, home energy-efficiency funding, and broadband expansion into the 2009/10 financial year. John Key would also accelerate school building and spend another $1.5b over the next four years on education operational spending, according to the Press.
  • A Hell pizza halloween ad campaign that depicted Sir Ed Hillary as a ghoul rising from the dead to dance on his own grave has been criticised by the mountaineer's family. Peter Hillary says it was "extremely poor taste". A Hell spokesman said the ad was meant to be "light-hearted".