Fonterra's Chinese nightmare; new police powers 'draconian'; Peters back before committee while Labour goes after his supporters; Greens promote new Hillary holiday; and more
- A third baby has died in the Chinese milk powder poisoning, and 158 are reported to have acute kidney failure, the New Zealand Herald reports today under the headline Fonterra: This is as bad as it gets. The company's chief executive Andrew Ferrier was defending his company's choice to work with Chinese authorities in secret for over a month, but in the Dominion Post lead a Fonterra spokesman has admitted the situation raises "governance and management issues". The contamination was only made public when the New Zealand government learnt of the crisis and blew the whistle. Since then, the Otago Daily Times reports, industry-wide testing has found contaminants in similar products from another 21 companies.
- The government wants police to have the power to search without a warrant if the crime is punishable by 14 years or more in prison and detain people present at the search, says the ODT. The new bill is meant to tidy up core police powers which the Law Commission has said are "scattered around the statute book". But in The Press, the Council for Civil Liberties says the law is "draconian", allowing police to undertake "fishing expeditions".
- The Herald's Brian Fallow says the Federal Reserve was right to rescue AIG "for the same reason our government was right to bail out the Bank of New Zealand 18 years ago. The collateral damage caused by letting it collapse could have been too great". The New Zealand sharemarket rebounded 1.3% yesterday.
- Another twist in the Peters donation inquiry: The Serious Fraud Office has made a submission to the privileges committee investigating the Owen Glenn donation, says the DomPost, despite the fact that that donation was specifically excluded from the SFO's inquiry. Winston Peters has demanded a right to respond and will be back before the committee this afternoon. Meanwhile, Helen Clark said yesterday she would await the outcome of the inquiries into New Zealand First's donations before deciding what to do with Winston Peters.
- Labour is looking to benefit politically from Peters' woes as it courts the seniors vote, says the Herald. According to the DomPost, hundreds of over-60s packed a church hall in Lower Hutt yesterday to question the PM on doctor shortages and prison sentences.
- The Greens' industrial relations policy includes calls for a new midwinter national holiday in honour of Sir Ed Hillary. The government has been consulting the Hillary family and will soon announce plans for official commemorations.
- And finally, champion swimming coach Duncan Laing's charisma, humour, and stubbornness were fondly remembered at his funeral in Dunedin yesterday.