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Letter No.46
13 September, 1996

23 August 1996

Parliament passes legislation making .. changes to the ACC scheme, including introducing a work testing regime designed to encourage claimants with low impairment levels back to work.

25 August 1996

The Department of Corrections says it does not propose to compete unfairly in the footwear industry with prison-made shoes, nor in any other inmate employment venture. Mark Byers, Chief Executive of the Department of Corrections says that they will "generally seek to enter only those sectors where we will have a minimal impact..."

26 August 1996

The Wellington City Council Tenants Association (WHAT) are preparing a possible bid to take over the management of the city's 2500 council flats and houses.

27 August 1996

The Works Corporation is to be split in two and sold for $89.8m to overseas-based companies, in the last of National's state asset sales before the election.

Wanganui homecare workers win a landmark Court of Appeal decision which said .over being treated as 'independent contractors' by the Central Regional Health Authority. The Court ruled that they were entitled to minimum wages and other employment protection, and could mean a back-pay claim of hundreds of thousands of dollars for homecare workers who have worked at below minimum-wage rates.

The government is looking overseas for a further 600 teachers for the next school year, as part of a $14m package to address the teacher supply shortage.

28 August 1996

Strife continues at the Eltham beef plant as 40 locked-out workers picket contracted staff trying to enter the troubled plant.

A parliamentary Select Committee has recommended that participation in a criminal gang should become an offence.

The Forestry Corporation announces a record $168m profit, a week after it has been sold by the government.

NZ First proposes a greater use of the military to train the unemployed, though not with compulsory military training.

Former head of the Ministry of Works, Graeme Shadwell, says that the sale of Works Corp will make the government less able to respond to a major natural disaster. He says this would add millions of dollars to any repair bill as well as undermining the ability to get the job done as quickly as possible.

29 August 1996

The sharemarket continues to climb, reaching its highest point in two and a half years.

One in seven voters is still unregistered, just two weeks before the printed roll closes.

The Alliance releases its employment policies, saying it would boost public works spending by $1.9 billion over three years in a bid to return NZ to full employment.

30 August 1996

The 2nd National Foodbank Conference opens in Wellington, with the theme of "Eradicating Poverty in NZ"

Kiwi International airline cuts back 90 staff and starts to trim services on its cheap-fare trans-Tasman flights.

The Glenbrook steel mill south of Auckland could have hundreds of jobs slashed from its payroll if BHP New Zealand Steel goes ahead with moves that would halve output.

31 August 1996

Afflex announces it will shift its Palmerston North animal ear-tag production company off-shore, with the loss of 130 jobs. This year alone, Sanitarium, Glaxo and Sunbeam have shed more than 200 jobs in Palmerston North.

Troops move into the prisons as the Penal Officers Association begin a strike over the employment of casual staff.

1 September 1996

The Labour Party wants young criminals to be asked to join the armed forces for a year.

The Workbase Education Trust says that poor literacy and language skills in the workplace are costing industry millions of dollars in lost revenue and production time.

A labour law expert, Bill Hodge, says that after a landmark case in Britain, workers struck down by job stress can now sue their boss for compensation.

2 September 1996

Teacher shortages have passed the 800-mark and will probably get worse for the next three years.

3 September 1996

Seven years after the abolition of truancy officers, a Ministry of Education survey is finding thousands of children missing from the education system who have dropped out when changing from one school to the next.

The Domestic Purposes Benefit is now costing the country more than the unemployment benefit, and about 12% of families now rely on the DPB as their source of income.

5 September 1996

An Auckland couple made $56,000 profit in five days from the sale of a state house they had bought from Housing New Zealand.

8 September 1996

Nearly half the schools in Auckland are not measuring up, according to the Education Review Office ... which points the blame at teachers, principals and boards of trustees.

University fees look set to rise by about 15% next year, prompting a warning that some students will abandon their studies.

9 September 1996

The cut-price airline Kiwi International goes into liquidation, with the loss of 259 jobs. National Housing Day, an initiative of the Housing Network.

11 September 1996

Citibank says that the NZ economy is heading for an outright slump if the present economic policies leading to high real interest rates are maintained.

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