The Government is creating a new division of the Education Ministry in an overhaul that will strip schools of the right to manage their enrolment zones and their property; and Cabinet ministers will now consider recommendations to move the Auckland Port northward towards Whangarei
1. Six million residents of New South Wales are bracing for catastrophic bush fire conditions today. The states fire authority say they are as ready as they can be with strong winds, low humidity and high temperatures expected. 21 New Zealand firefighters will be arriving today to backup the crews in Queensland.
2. The Government is creating a new division of the Education Ministry in an overhaul that will strip schools of the right to manage their enrolment zones and their property.There will also be minimum standards for prospective principals and possible compulsory training for school trustees.
3.Cabinet ministers will now consider recommendations to move the Auckland Port northward towards Whangarei but say no final decision has been made.
4. The newly established Infrastructure Commission says $670 million worth of big projects should be closer to starting next year. The independent commission has been set up to advise the Government on projects, bottle necks and timing and help industry organise resources to get jobs done.
5.A name suppression breach meant a key Crown witness in the Grace Millane trial knew the man accused was the subject of a murder inquiry before she spoke with police, a court has been told.The 27-year-old defendant was granted interim name suppression at his first appearance in the Auckland District Court on 10 December.
6.A key witness says he felt sick as he contemplated the death of Amber-Rose Rush during a road trip South following the killing. The 32-year-old former doctor, Venod Skantha, is on trial in the High Court in Dunedin for murdering 16-year-old Amber-Rose Rush in February last year.
7.The Opposition thinks the Police should be allowed to prohibit certain people from having access to guns without needing a judge to make the order. The Government is seeking feedback on so called Fire Arms Prohibition Orders.
8.The former head of the Ministry of Social Development has been challenged on why it was necessary to name Winston Peters when he briefed his Minster about Winston Peters over payment. Brendan Boyle is one of five defendants the Deputy Prime Minister is taking legal action against claiming a breach of privacy.
9.A Maori studies teacher is calling for the Qualifications Authority to change the NCEA timetable to stop disadvantaging Maori students. Many of them are sitting in an exam room for six hours today with the Level 2 NCEA English exam scheduled as the same day as the Level 2 Te Reo Maori exam.
10.Forest and Bird says there is no evidence a Russian election scandal has hit its bird of the year competition, despite hundreds of votes coming from the federation.