18 Aug 2009

Morning papers

8:54 am on 18 August 2009

In the New Zealand Herald, fitness clubs are up in arms over a feared 40-fold increase in copyright charges for music at aerobics lessons and other fitness classes.

A working group reviewing the tax system says raising the rate of GST could increase the economy's efficiency if used to shift the mix of taxes away from income tax. The paper also says over-the-counter sales of cold tablets that contain pseudoephedrine will be banned if the Government takes up a recommendation by Prime Minister John Key's chief science adviser.

In The Dominion Post, more than 9,700 families receiving Working for Families credits are said to own rental properties and are using losses on them to boost the amount they get from the taxpayer.

The paper says it is a common way of rorting the system.

Also on the front page is a story about a battle brewing over plans by BP to build a huge new storage depot and its application to pour potentially contaminated water into Wellington's harbour.

In The Press, a guilty plea has been a "long time coming", but the battle for justice is not over, says the son of a Christchurch street-racing victim. The 25-year-old accused gave up his year-long fight on Monday against a manslaughter charge, pleading guilty before the start of a hearing in Christchurch District Court.

The paper also reports that Ngai Tahu has offered to pay for the rebuilding of Christchurch's Aorangi School in what would be the first public-private school partnership between an iwi and the Crown.

Finally, the Otago Daily Times says "positive" to "disappointed" were the range of reactions on Monday to an Environment Court decision that clears the way for Holcim to build a $400 million cement plant in the Waiareka Valley, near Weston.

The paper also reports that Dunedin City Council will underwrite Otago Rugby Football Union debt for the next three years as part of a deal that includes the purchase of Carisbrook for $7 million.