7 Dec 2012

Morning Report: local papers

9:23 am on 7 December 2012

All the morning newspapers have blanket coverage of Thursday's tornado.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald leads with the headline 'Tornado's deadly eye'. An accompanying full page picture shows emergency services working to recover the bodies of three men who died when a wall crushed them during the 140km per hour tornado.

At least seven others were injured and 250 people were left homeless after it swept through parts of West Auckland on Thursday afternoon.

Waikato Times

The Waikato Times also leads with full page coverage of the tornado, with a plumber describing how he looked on in horror as his workmates disappeared beneath 15 metre concrete panels.

Sam Nuthall told the paper he saw two or three panels tip over and land on a truck were two men were sheltering.

A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's labour division spokeswoman said it had not become involved, as the tornado appeared to be an ''act of God''.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post carries the headline 'Twister terror' and a photo of roofing iron left dumped in the front yard of a Hobsonville house - one of many left uninhabitable by the tornado.

The paper reports residents cowered in cupboards and wardrobes as their houses were torn apart, trees uprooted and living rooms laid bare to the elements.

Along with the wind damage, torrential rain flooded homes and brought motorways and roads to standstills with 21mm of rain falling in 10 minutes.

The Press

The Press also reports on Auckland's day of destruction. Hawkins Construction executive general manager Dan Ashby said the company's immediate focus was on supporting the affected workers' families. In a separate story, the paper reports next year could be boom time in Canterbury with the Government unveiling a $20 - $30 billion recovery programme containing 20 projects to boost the region's recovery.


The Otago Daily Times reports a witness to the building site tragedy in Hobsonville, saying ''it was just panic everywhere'' when the tornado struck.

A concrete panel that had been hanging off a crane crashed to the ground and a worker who was harnessed to the frame of the building was left dangling from a gantry.

And in other news, a Dunedin man, 19, faces five charges after he a plumber's van was stolen, driven into a power pole and then stuck in a ditch while pursued by police on Thursday.