National News Brief, Wednesday September 10

Owen Glenn's "damning" evidence leaves Peters exposed; National's policy leaks continue; John Key backtracks on Families Commission but not on smacking; Progress in junior doctors pay dispute; Lloyd Jones amongst honoured writers.

  • John Key yesterday departed from speech notes suggesting National would take money of the Families Commission, saying instead that it would merely "rebalance" the organisation. His reluctance to damn the Commission is likely a concession to potential coalition partner United Future, but Peter Dunne said even Key's watered-down comments were "disappointing".
  • At the same forum, Key said he would only repeal the "no smacking" laws if he saw evidence they were not working, and "to this point I haven't seen such evidence".
  • Junior Doctors are "genuinely considering" an offer from district health boards after 15 months of at times acrimonious negotiations.
  • Residents of Kawakawa Bay, south of Auckland, are promising "fireworks" at a Manukau City Council meeting tonight. The small community has been isolated by a major landslip for more than two weeks.
  • And finally, Booker Award finalist Lloyd Jones, historian WH (Bill) Oliver, and poet Elizabeth Smithers were honoured last night with the 2008 Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement. Each writer receives $60,000 in recognition of their "enduring contribution" to New Zealand literature.