New Zealand has discovered that Year 2000 problems begin long before 2000. The criminal justice system of New Zealand now has a problem: the nation's computerized system is acting up. It does not recognize 2000.
This story appeared in the BUSINESS HERALD (Jan. 5).
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The Millennium Bug has hit the law enforcement computer that stores the confidential files of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders.
In what experts fear could be a portent of the chaos to come, the Wanganui computer [the national police computer system] is failing to recognise the year 2000 when police try to set court dates for people arrested for traffic offences.
The glitch has been around since the New Year and is believed to be the first instance of the bug in New Zealand. . . .
The computer stores information on criminal records, vehicles, drivers' licences, stolen property and other personal material. It is used by police, Justice staff and the Land Transport Safety Authority. . . .
United MP Peter Dunne, who has surveyed 150 firms, utilities and councils on their work transforming computer systems for the millennium, said the Wanganui glitch should warn everyone to prepare. . . .
Judith Johnstone, the information officer for the Ministry of Justice, said all law enforcement agencies would have new computer systems by then . Some files would stay on the Wanganui system, which was being phased out, and all the systems should be immune to the Millennium Bug by September 1999.