National would increase Super Fund investment at home; Labour offers $165,000 houses; norovirus outbreak kills two in Auckland; Real Groovy in receivership; top jockeys charged with cheating on drug test; Helen Clark says debate was "a game show"; and more
- If elected a National government would make the Superannuation Fund invest 40 per cent of its money in New Zealand. The fund currently has about 23 per cent of its assets invested in New Zealand, reports the Herald. New Zealand Institute chief executive David Skilling and New Zealand Exchange boss Mark Weldon both support the proposal, while investment strategist Brian Gaynor says politicians should not direct the fund's investments. "Where does it stop? It leads to pork barrelling – go and build an airport in Kaitaia, or something like that."
- Meanwhile, Helen Clark announced a new housing scheme for first home buyers yesterday, says the Dominion Post. The scheme, requiring homeowners to come up with about $165,000 per house, would free up public land for housing lots but ownership would be retained by the Crown. The homeowners could sell the houses. The package would be directed at families making $55,000 and $85,000 per year and single people earning $45,000.
- Two residents of an Auckland retirement centre have died and a dozen more are sick from a suspected outbreak of norovirus, says the Herald's lead. Those affected live at St Andrews Village in Glendowie. A norovirus outbreak last month shut down part of Dunedin Hospital.
- Music store Real Groovy has gone into receivership four months after it was put on the market. The company's four stores remain open but are no longer accepting gift vouchers or trading second-hand music, according to the Herald.
- Prime Minister Helen Clark has rubbished Tuesday's TV One-YouTube debate, which National leader John Key won, according to a public vote. The Press reports that Ms Clark criticised the debate for being like "a game show" and Key for "barracking" and "tantrum-like behaviour". She said Key might have appeared to have performed well because expectations were so low. "The fact that he didn't burst out crying on the set probably counted for a lot," Clark said.
- Fonterra has cleared the last hurdle for a $212 million extension of its Edendale plant, reports the Press. The extension will push productivity from 10.6 million litres to more than 15 million litres of milk a day.
- Top jockeys Opie Bosson and Bruce Herd have been accused of cheating in a random drug test. New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing alleges that Bosson agreed to pee in the bottle for Herd. NZTR communications manager Simon Cooper told the Dominion Post, "It carries a maximum penalty of disqualification for life and/or a fine not exceeding $25,000, so it would definitely be at the upper end of the chart."