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    Letter No.19
    17 June, 1995

    25 May 1995

    Salary and wages rose 1.3% in the year to March 1995.

    Doug Graham warns that the government would consider changing the law allowing a referendum on any issue if it was repeatedly used to promote `useless' polls. He was commenting on the decision to proceed with the referendum on jobs being lost under Fire Service restructuring.

    Foreign investment in NZ has increased by $7.9 billion to $89.4 billion, in the year to March 1994.

    Polytech leaders say that, if government funding continues to fall, students will end up paying close to 50% of their course costs.

    More than 600 support service workers at Health Waikato may lose their jobs to private contractors.

    26 May 1995

    Winston Peters plans to introduce a private members bill to restrict foreign shareholders to no more than 24.9% of any NZ company, and will end all future land sales to foreign interests.

    PSA President Tony Simpson tells a Geneva International Labour Organisation Conference that NZ is running a `lottery economy' with a few big winners and many losers. He cited the recent Rowntree Foundation research that found the gap between rich and poor in NZ grew faster between 1977-1990 than any other country in the OECD. Simpson : "This is a shameful result for a country with an egalitarian tradition more than a century old ..."

    27 May 1995

    Statistics are released in the US indicating the worst job losses in four years, and economists in the US are predicting that the United States economy has already entered a recession.

    Tarawera MP Max Bradford says that Family Support should be capped for families with more than three children. He says that families existing on benefits or low incomes, with three children already, should not expect the state to pay for them to have more.

    28 May 1995

    A report sponsored by the Education Forum lobby group challenges the assessment methods at the heart of the new national qualifications framework.

    30 May 1995

    The Northland Credit Union Northwide has collapsed. Its membership, who are largely beneficiaries, will lose thousands of dollars.

    This month's National Bank business survey puts business confidence at its lowest level since September 1991.

    31 May 1995

    The Waitangi Tribunal has agreed to hear claims lodged by four urban Maori authorities who represent groups of Maoris who live in the cities without tribal affiliation. The groups want a share of the assets being distributed by the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission.

    The Salvation Army reports a 12% fall in demand for its food parcels this year. Major Campbell Roberts says that increased job opportunities were helping people move away from subsistence existence.

    The Wellington Downtown Community Ministry is also reporting a drop in demand for food parcels. Spokesman Tony McGurk puts it down to a relaxation of the Social Welfare special needs criteria, rather than an increase in jobs.

    Northland, Rotorua and Dunedin report XXXX increases in demand for food parcels.

    1 June 1995


    2 June 1995

    A TV3 Gallup poll shows Jim Anderton as the preferred Prime Minister, with National the most preferred party at 44% support, with Labour at 25% and the Alliance at 19%.

    3 June 1995

    A least 200 immigrant doctors and dentists are unemployed in NZ and registered with NZ Employment, according to practitioner groups. Under the present law, only doctors from Australia, Britain, Ireland, Canada and South Africa are afforded automatic registration.

    6 June 1995

    Anne Hawker of the Disabled Peoples organisation DPA is angered at Budget announcements to wean sickness and invalid beneficiaries off `welfare dependency'. She says the government wants to reduce numbers on the benefit by 33,000. If they transferred to the unemployment benefit, the beneficiaries would lose $35 a week.

    The Christian Heritage Party says that government policies, such as raising the retirement age, are forcing people in their 60's to remain in the workforce to pay for their retirement, while the young stay at home developing `couch potato syndrome'.

    Labour's private members bill to give Industry Training Organisations the power to raise levies has won a ballot to be brought before Parliament. The Government will oppose it.

    7 June 1995

    RadioNZ poll shows Jim Anderton as preferred Prime Minister. Support for National is at 24%, the Alliance goes into 2nd place at 22% and Labour has only 16%.

    Parentline says that child abuse is widespread in NZ, and not isolated to any one socio-economic or ethnic group.

    The new Auckland casino will eventually need 1700 staff. The casino plans to hold a `job fair' in July for people interested in working there. It will hire 400 dealers in August and training will begin in September.

    8 June 1995

    The Government announces its plan to split the Electricity Corporation into two State-Owned Enterprises, as a first step towards the development of a competitive market for wholesale electricity.

    The Dominion predicts that electricity prices are set to rise 25% after the split.

    National back-bencher Trevor Rogers announces he is joining the Right of Centre Party.

    Alliance leader Jim Anderton withdraws his party's commitment to support the party with the most seats in the House. He moves a vote of no confidence in the Government.

    Money markets immediately devalue the NZ dollar by 43 points on hearing of Mr Anderton's statement in Parliament.

    9 June 1995

    A United Nations Children's fund report shows that NZ is well behind other industrialised countries in its donations to overseas aid. NZ donates 0.22% of its GNP in aid, where most developed nations gave 0.3%. This is less than half the 0.7% figure agreed on 25 years ago.

    10 June 1995

    Justice Minister Doug Graham is considering a report on Maori self-management in areas such as health, welfare and justice.

    Lockwood Smith defends his $23m increased funding of private schools by comparing the uniformity of the state school system to a McDonald's Hamburger chain.

    12 June 1995

    The Takapuna office of the NZ Income Support Service wins the 1995 Auckland region Business Development Awards for "... a vision to achieve excellent customer service."

    Labour's Michael Cullen launches an attack on the Alliance's economic policies, promising not to agree to them as part of any future coalition deals under MMP.

    13 June 1995

    Good Health Wanganui says it will cut services and reduce staff by the equivalent of 246 full-time jobs over the next three years in order to live within funding limits.

    14 June 1995

    The purchasing power of wage and salary earners fell 2.3% in the year to March 31, as inflation outstripped increases in take-home pay.

    CHE Minister Paul East announces that there will be job losses at Waikato's Crown Health Enterprise, but gave no indication of timing or numbers. he said the CHE had been asked to cut $20m off their budget over the next 2-3 years.

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