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.
- The email begins with the most everyday legal language: "Further to your discussion with my client...". But that sentence from lawyer Brian Henry spells bad news for New Zealand First leader Winston Peter. Businessman Owen Glenn's "compelling" and "damning" evidence to the privileges committee yesterday dominates this morning's papers. The New Zealand Herald reports that Glenn arrived with phone records, emails and an affidavit showing that Glenn had spoken to Peters, been emailed by Henry and thanked by Peters at the Karaka horse sales in 2006. The Dominion Post says Helen Clark is "poised to cut Winston Peters loose" after evidence that "conflicts completely with the accounts Mr Peters has given the committee". Miss Clark said the evidence was "disturbing". As for the $80,000 donation to his party from the Spencer Trust, Peters has admitted to some knowledge of it for the first time, says the Herald.
- Labour has released another National party policy. Having released leaked copies of the Opposition's environment, conservation, and biofuel policies last week, Trevor Mallard yesterday released its science policy. National would restrcit the government's R&D tax credit to universities and Crown Research Institutes and could scrap the new Fast Forward fund.
- Concern by the Mallard leaks, National rushed out its housing and building policies yesterday.
- 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.