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    Letter No.24
    9 September, 1995

    18 August 1995

    Student demonstrators try to disrupt the National Party's annual conference in Dunedin, in an effort "to remind government that not everything is going well..."

    19 August 1995

    In a memo aimed at gagging leaks from her department, Margaret Bazley, the Director General of Social Welfare warns staff that disciplinary measures will follow any further leaking of information to MPs or the media on social welfare activities. The department's actions and policies have been constantly under fire in recent weeks. With some irony, Mrs Bazley's memo was consequently leaked to politicians.

    Auckland police are operating at 80 officers short, and may not fill the jobs because of budget restraints and a new $200m technology package.

    21 August 1995

    Steve Maharey says that bright students are being disadvantaged by a government decision to do away with student allowances for people under 18 years. He says that it will force bright students of 16 and 17 yrs to delay their university studies until they are 18 because their families cannot afford to support them.

    An editorial in the New Zealand Herald proclaims a "Milestone in employment" : " Buoyant news on the employment front is cause for congratulation and represents, surely, another confirmation of the validity of the government's moves to an open, virile economy ..."

    Talkback host Pam Corkery throws her hat into the race for the Auckland mayoralty.

    22 August 1995

    The median price for a house is at $136,000 in July, a rise from $115,000 from July 1983.

    GP Print, the former Government Printing Office, will lay off 35 staff.

    23 August 1995

    Government Property Services will sell 33 properties worth $200m, with the proceeds being used to repay government debt.

    A Dominion editorial proclaims that "Employment is almost full" : "People who have no skills to offer, or who are reluctant to train seriously to make themselves employable, will always find it hard to get a job. On the current figures, and for practical purposes, full employment is closer than we realise."

    24 August 1995

    Wage and salary rates rose 1.4% in the year to June 1995.

    Inland Revenue Department offices were closed today while staff were told a review of staffing levels that their numbers would be reduced by 195 people, and more than 1000 staff would be asked to relocate offices.

    25 August 1995

    For the second time in two weeks, the Reserve Bank tightens the money supply. This time the daily settlement cash target has been reduced from $15m to $5m. The move was prompted by renewed weakness in the NZ dollar.

    Mercury Energy is considering sacking more than half its 900 staff rather than wait for a court to decide whether it can legally require them to undergo drug and alcohol tests.

    Half of last year's Auckland University graduates found jobs within a few months. The proportion of students still looking for work had fallen from 14.4% in 1993 to 12.5% in 1994.

    26 August 1995

    Banks are under pressure to reverse the mortgage rate cuts announced last month.

    The tightening of the money supply was condemned by both Michael Cullen and Jim Anderton

    29 August 1995

    Charities face a rising demand for temporary housing as families struggle to pay rising house rents in Auckland.

    30 August 1995

    The alliance condemns a decision by Postbank and the ANZ to increase their across-the-counter withdrawal fee for savings account holders whose balances are less than $300.

    31 August 1995

    Business ventures receiving $3.85 million from the Technology for Business Growth Scheme have created 88 jobs.

    1 September 1995

    Veteran Protester Sue Bradford is found guilty of obstructing police at protests during the Asian Development Bank Conference. Sentencing was delayed while the judge considers police requests for Bradford to be imprisoned.

    British authorities unmasked 78,000 people in a crackdown on unemployment benefit fraud which saved them $220m. Two unnamed actors from Britain's favourite soap Coronation Street were caught also claiming the benefit during the crackdown.

    Average household weekly expenditure increased by almost 7% in the year to March 1995.

    3 September 1995

    The number of police leaving the job for stress and health reasons has increased 85% in the past two years.

    4 September 1995

    Business and banking leaders join with opposition politicians and lobby groups to accuse the Reserve Bank of overkill in its latest inflation moves. The National Bank says the latest moves are "far too cautious, and potentially very destructive in its implementation of monetary policy."

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