Wednesday's headlines: Girl who had a rash at 3pm, was dead by 5pm; severe hailstorm in Christchurch; Govt accused of having ''covert agenda'' to impose user-pays education.
The New Zealand Herald leads with a former financial advisor, Jacqui Bradley, being found guilty of defrauding $15 million from investors in a Ponzi-style scheme. A victim of the scheme, Kathleen McDermond, says she was betrayed by Ms Bradley, after losing $485,000 she believed was safely invested with her company.
The paper also reports the United States is blaming the wind rather than John Key's diction, for a mistake-laden transcript of a press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Waikato Times says parents are under greater pressure to pay school fees, according to a new report which accuses the Government of having a ''covert agenda'' to impose user-pays education. PPTA Waikato treasurer Norman Austin said an increasing dependence on fees, which are voluntary, have given rise to greater inequality between schools.
The Dominion Post reports on the sudden death of Amanda Crook-Barker, aged 12, on Monday with the headline 'At 3pm she had a rash ... by 5pm she was dead'.
Meningococcal disease is suspected. Monday was also her mum's birthday, but rather than celebrating, Lisa Crook watched her eldest child die in ''horrific'' fashion.
The paper also reports the Maori water rights row looks set to snowball after a fresh claim was lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal covering waterways.
The Press says prefab buildings on four central-city sites could provide a home for more than 1000 rebuild workers under plans being announced on Wednesday. The complex would include suites, a bar, catering, a communal lounge and pinball machines.
There are also promises that there will be 24-hour security on site, with swipe-card access to the facility and alcohol controls.
A house lost its roof and conservatories collapsed as a ''severe'' hailstorm hammered Christchurch on Tuesday evening. Brilliant displays of lightning and roaring thunder were followed by ''golfballsized'' hailstones across the city.
The Otago Daily Times leads with comments from Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce, who says the University of Otago needs to do more to increase international student numbers. The number of quivalent full-time international students enrolled at Otago University fell by nearly 19% from 2050 in 2007 to 1664 last year.