13 Aug 2010

Morning Report: local papers

7:04 am on 13 August 2010

Friday's headlines: About 1200 skiers stuck on Mt Hutt overnight; prisoner suicide rate nearly five times higher than the general population; Wellington commuters fed up after three consecutive days of delays on the rail network.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald reports about 1200 skiers - including several hundred school children - were stuck on Mt Hutt overnight after gales of more than 200km per hour closed the only road off the mountain.

The weather on the ski field is described as a precursor to wild weather expected to hit the rest of the country on Friday and Saturday.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post reports Wellington commuters are fed up after three consecutive days of delays to services on the beleaguered rail network.

But those who run the service continue to plead for patience, insisting it will improve eventually.

A Wellington coroner says relatives who suspect a family member needs a curse lifted should consult experts.

In a ing on the death of a Wainuiomata woman in an attempted exorcism, Ian Smith said tohunga or kaumatua should be consulted when a makutu, or curse, was suspected.

The Press

The Press leads with the trapped skiers, along with a photograph of the packed cafe which was their home overnight.

Winds closed the field just before midday, with the access road shut an hour later as gales created snow drifts and cut visibility.

Also on the front page: mental health and addiction problems are said to be contributing to a prisoner suicide rate nearly five times higher than the general population.

Christchurch City Councillor Gail Sheriff says harassment over her ratepayer-funded trip to a Californian sandcastle festival has prompted her to quit.

ODT

The Otago Daily Times reports the panel on South Island neurosurgical services will visit Dunedin, Christchurch and Invercargill at the end of the month.

Two Salvation Army volunteers have been convicted of stealing groceries intended for the organisation's Dunedin foodbank. They have been convicted and sentenced to community work.

Full public access to Pilots beach reserve on the Otago Peninsula may have to make way for the protection of the resident blue penguin population.