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    Letter No.13
    20 March, 1995

    2 March 1995

    This month, the Employment Service kicks off its Youth Action programme for 18-yr old school leavers who have been registered for 13 weeks or more. They will participate in a more individualised job search plan.

    The Wellington-Picton Sea shuttle closes operations, laying off 80 staff.

    3 March 1995

    Migration into NZ is overshooting targets, running at twice the 20-25,000 net migration level set by government.

    4 March 1995

    About two-thirds of redundant Gisborne freezing workers have been refunded money the $30,000 of former Weddel branch union funds that the Meatworkers Union had wanted to spend on a party.

    After making repeated pledges in the last election campaign not to privatise the Electricity Corporation, the cabinet has decided in principle to carve it up into two separate state companies, in order to create a "competitive wholesale electricity market".

    CTU Nelson district convener Kevin Statce says that threatening the unemployed with cutting their benefits if they don't accept apple-picking jobs was like returning to the `press-gang' days of getting workers to work.

    5 March 1995

    Labour launches its campaign against the government's housing policies, amidst scuffles with Alliance supporters outside the first state house built by Michael Joseph Savages government.

    7 March 1995

    The Foreign Direct Investment Advisory group chairman Gavin Walker tells The Opportunity NZ Seminar in Seoul that foreign investment in NZ has jumped from $400 million a year in the 1980's to $3000 million in the 1990's.

    The World Bank has brought 20 South American government officials to NZ in the hope that it can convince them to implement NZ-style economic reforms.

    8 March 1995

    International Working Women's Day

    About 1500 Victoria University students march on Parliament to protest at tertiary fee rises.

    9 March 1995

    The NZ dollar is at a six-year high against the US and Australian dollars.

    Peter Gresham asks a parliamentary select committee to change the Social Welfare Reform Bill to ally widespread concerns that Social Welfare will lose the ability to grant discretionary assistance.

    Police statistics show that violent crime is continuing to increase at an alarming rate, with violent offences rising almost 20% last year.

    10 March 1995

    The ANGOA Non-governmental organisations network releases its alternative report "Setting the Record Straight" on social development in NZ. The report will be distributed at the Social Summit in Copenhagen.

    The government recorded an operating surplus of $2.12 billion in the first 7 months of the financial year, compared to a forecasted surplus of $1.72 billion.

    Commissioner for Children, Laurie O'Reilly, reports a huge increase in "home alone" cases where parents are leaving their children unsupervised.

    University and Polytech statistics indicate that fee rises do not seem to have significantly effected enrolment at tertiary education institutions.

    11 March 1995

    Jenny Shipley expresses sadness at ANGOA's decision to issue "an inaccurate and biased report" at the Copenhagen Summit. She said the report brought into question "the credibility of eminent academics and church leaders who have selectively used information for political purposes ..."

    Labour's Michael Cullen describes the ANGOA report as "an Alliance piece of propaganda..."

    200 youth workers meeting at Ngaruawahia plan to set up a national association with the aim of making their job a recognised profession, with a code of ethics and specialist training.

    12 March 1995

    Graeme Dingle and partner Jo-Anne Wilkinson complete their 1200km trek to Auckland to raise money for their Project K programme for young NZ'ers.

    13 March 1995

    The Community Funding Agency has underspent its budget last year by $3 million. It says most of the money was earmarked for delayed projects and would be carried over into the new financial year.

    Veteran unemployed rights campaigner Sue Bradford was struck twice in the face during a protest outside the ACT NZ political rally in Auckland. The attack came as chanting protesters of the Counter ACT group accused Donna Awatere Huata of selling her people out.

    The USA unemployment rate falls to 5.4% in February amid strong job growth.

    14 March 1995

    Tegel Foods plans to slash 100 workers from June at its Manurewa production plant.

    15 March 1995
    Education Institute secretary Rosslyn Noonan warns that a two-tiered education system is developing in NZ with schools in wealthy areas being able for fundraise for extra facilities, while poorer schools had stopped asking because their communities could not afford it.

    Statistics NZ figures show that consumer prices rose faster than after-tax wages and salaries last year.

    Wi Huata, husband of ACT's Donna Awatere, is to have his charge of assaulting Sue Bradford diverted, enabling him, for a first offence, to make a donation to charity or do community work.

    The Council of Social Services says that hundreds of young people are living on the streets of Auckland because the voluntary agencies that would house them are being forced to close.

    The government announces more details of its plans to employ 700 more teachers in primary schools, and 100 more in secondary schools.

    16 March 1995

    Bill Birch says that income disparities in NZ would continue and "that doesn't worry me". He says his concern was that there should be adequate safety nets and a motivation to work. He said that his plan to employ more teachers was part of a strategy to encourage people to "get off the dole".

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