Bank deposit guarantee could lead to problems; Labour promises universal student allowance; Louise Nicholas investigation cost $4 million; Wendy's to double NZ presence; Carisbrook Stadium on track; and more
- Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard says taxpayers will probably not be responsible for funding bank bailouts but may end up paying for finance company failures. Under the bank bailout scheme announced on Sunday the Government guarantees bank and finance company deposits of up to $150 billion in case of failure. Critics say this may encourage people to invest their money in higher interest-earning finance companies, where risk of failure is higher. Massey University's head of banking studies, David Tripe, told the Herald, "If you were running a small finance company, you would now have a wonderful opportunity to rake money in and lend it out on all sorts of risky projects." The Dominion Post reports that ANZ-National, BNZ, ASB and Westpac, TSB, SBS Bank, and Kiwibank have joined the scheme.
- Labour has promised to introduce a universal student allowance of $153 a week, which will cost $420 million over the next four years. The current income test, which takes account of student income and their parents' earning, will be phased out by 2012, opening the way for an additional 50,000 students to get the allowance, reports the Herald. The Dominion Post says Helen Clark's announcement at Otago University yesterday "overshadowed" John Key's pledge earlier in the day to put an extra $47 million a year into a "crusade on literacy and numeracy".
- The investigation into historic rape complaints against police officers brought by Louise Nicholas cost $4 million, reports the Dominion Post. The rape allegations led to a commission of inquiry which cost a further $4.8 million. Nicholas said yesterday that if her complaints had been investigated in the 90s when she made them it would not have cost so much, but added, "They did a great job and I don't care if it cost $50 million, I'm glad they did it. They really had four trials to investigate and the more they delved the more they found out."
- Children are spending longer in early-childhood education programmes, crowding out other toddlers, Dr Sarah Farquhar, new head of the Early Childhood Council, told the Press. She says Labour's policy of providing 20 hours a week of early childhood education free to each eligible child has meant children are spending more time at early-childhood education centres, but there aren't enough spots to satisfy demand.
- American fast-food chain Wendy's is to open 20 new outlets in New Zealand, more than doubling its presence, reports the Herald. The chain currently has 14 restaurants in Auckland and one in Tauranga. The hunt is on for premises in Wellington, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Rotorua, the South Island, and Auckland.
- Dunedin's Carisbrook Stadium Trust remains confident that it will raise enough money by the February deadline to gain final approval to build the new stadium. In September, the Dunedin City Council set a target of 60% of public funding to be achieved before February for the project to continue, reports the Otago Daily Times. Stadium trust chief executive Ewan Soper said selling seating packages and membership products would bring in $41.5 million, and the sale of sponsorship products, $14 million.