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Smokers, sick and students face changes

Tuesday 01 Jan 2013 8:11a.m.

Smokers, sick and students face changes

Smokers, the sick and some students will be hit in the back pocket as a raft of law changes take effect from January 1.

The key changes:

* prescription charges rise from $3 to $5

* tobacco tax goes up 10 percent - the typical price of a packet of 20 cigarettes is now $16

* student allowances are no longer payable to postgraduate study starting on or after January 1 (except Bachelor degrees with honours)

* some workers sleeping over must now be paid minimum wage levels at least

* student loan borrowers must provide NZ contact person

* whooping cough vaccine available nationwide to pregnant women

* the sound compression on television advertisements is reduced, to make them quieter

* NZ officially withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol - it will now make voluntary pledges

* Plain English rules come into effect for investment documents


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