Thursday's headlines: home mortgage rates tumble; childhood friends spent four hours in Lake Taupo without lifejackets refusing to believe they would die; Govt observer seen as calming influence on Christchurch City Council.
The New Zealand Herald leads with mortgage rates tumbling as banks respond to pressure from home-buyers for deals. A mortgage broker describes the market as 'frantic' and the best 'it's ever going to get' after negotiating rates as low as 4.75% for clients.
The paper also reports a new Auckland restaurant that serves only puffer fish, is struggling to convince diners that it is safe to eat the dishes on its menu.
'Would the last one out please turn out the lights' is the headline in The Waikato Times.
Waikato District Health Board has asked employees to come up with new ways of saving cash, and have asked that lights and computers be turned off as workers finish their shifts.
Broadcaster Paul Holmes is in Auckland hospital with suspected heart problems. It's unclear whether he has had surgery, but Auckland District Health Board says he is in a stable condition.
The Dominion Post leads with the story of two childhood friends spending four hours in Lake Taupo without lifejackets refusing to believe they would die.
Joshua Johnson and Neihana Tawerau, both 21, kept telling each other not to give up as they clung to gear bags.
Labour MP Shane Jones may have to wait a year for the outcome of an Audit Office inquiry into his awarding of a passport to the Chinese millionaire Young Ming Yan.
The Press says the Government's observer for Christchurch City Council, Kerry Marshall, wrote just one report in his first 2½ months on the job.
In the report, Mr Marshall said councillors needed to pull together. Mayor Bob Parker says that is exactly what he has been saying himself, but Mr Marshall had been a calming influence.
And the families of victims of the Pike River mine tragedy may abandon their attempts to recover the bodies. Spokesperson Bernie Monk says he accepts the likeliehood of them being recovered is very very minimal.
The Otago Daily Times leads on falling mortgage rates.
The paper talks to the former employer of killed Czech tourist Dagmar Pytlickova. Archangel Vineyard owner Mary Zurakowski says she had a "bubbly" personality and love of life that would be hard to forget.
And a popular traffic route near Dunedin railway station, linking Anzac Avenue and Castle Street may be closed to vehicles following the death of a cyclist last year and other near misses.