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    Letter No.18
    29 May, 1995

    11 May 1995

    Government sources are indicating that the June 1st budget will include changes to abatement rates for beneficiaries and family support payment levels.

    12 May 1995

    The first iwi-based social service to be approved by Social Welfare begins this week. The Ngati Ruanui tribe in Taranaki will have guardianship of young people in need of social welfare care and protection, and they will also decide who will deliver social services to their people in the area.

    Telecom announces it will give half-price rental costs for 20,000 low-income houses from July 1st. One condition for the scheme is that recipients are existing clients of Family Budgeting Services.

    13 May 1995

    Wira Gardiner, the chief executive of Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development, has resigned 14 months before his contract was due to expire.

    14 May 1995

    Team NZ wins the America's Cup. Jubilant celebrations throughout NZ and in San Diego.

    15 May 1995

    The 4th anniversary of the Employment Contracts Act.

    Housing Minister Murray McCully approves a three-year expansion programme for Community Housing, the Housing NZ division which lets houses to organisations such as womens refuges and disabled groups.

    16 May 1995

    The Auckland New Venture Trust hosts an employment forum at the Maritime Museum conference centre in Auckland.

    17 May 1995

    The latest quarterly employment figures show that unemployment has dropped to 6.6%.

    Jim Anderton again tops the opinion polls as NZ's preferred Prime Minister.

    18 May 1995

    PM Jim Bolger is not moved by the complaints about quality of work, and describes Steve Maharey's comments on the jobs figures as "niggly, miserable and mean." Bolger : "These figures show a dramatic turnaround ... these are good jobs employing people which is a thousand times better than being on the benefit ..."

    The Firefighters Referendum has been given official approval, making it the first petition to succeed under the 1993 Citizens Initiated Referenda Act.

    Proposals are unveiled to make School Certificate a compulsory, no-cost, external exam at the end of the fourth form.

    A meeting of 60 retailers including top chains such as the Warehouse, Farmers Trading and Deka, have agreed to set up a steering committee for a retail sector ITO.

    19 May 1995

    Protesters, before dawn, peacefully leave the Moutua Gardens Pakaitore Marae site in Wanganui - ending their occupation which began on February 28.

    Ignoring Reserve Bank warnings on mortgage rates and inflationary pressures, the ANZ and ASB cut their fixed home lending rates.

    New President Chirac of France declares war on unemployment as his first priority of office. The French PM Mr Juppe is to chair an emergency meeting on the employment issue, and his new cabinet will contain such portfolios as the Fight against Poverty, Solidarity among the Generations, Social Integration and Troubled Neighbourhoods, reflecting the will to heal the "social fracture" caused by a high jobless rate.

    20 May 1995

    Jim Bolger repeats his commitment to employ 1000 extra teachers in schools as part of a strategy to raise the standard of education in NZ.

    The number of overseas visitors to NZ has doubled since 1986. Last year we had 1.356 million visitors, with Asians being the fastest growing source of holidaymakers.

    21 May 1995

    The Presbyterian Church wants government to lower state housing rents and to cancel the next round of increases due on July 1st.

    TV2's 60 Minutes profiles Karroll Brent Edmonson, the Manager of KT Footwear and campaigner against welfare dependency.

    In the US, over 28,500 jobs are being cut due to a sweeping re-organisation of NASA which will save the space agency over $5 billion over the next 5 years.

    The Human Rights Commission finds that the government is discriminating against the elderly by testing the income and assets of long-term hospital patients.

    22 May 1995

    The Crown and the Tainui tribe sign an historic settlement on land claims in the Waikato. The deal includes the Crown returning as much land as it has in its possession in the Waikato region.

    24 May 1995

    Huge tickertape parade in Auckland welcomes the America's Cup and Team New Zealand home to NZ.

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