23 Dec 2008

Morning Report: local papers

6:41 am on 23 December 2008

Tuesday's papers: December spending by shoppers well down to date; NZ current account deficit grows; Queenstown aquatic centre faces $77,000 funding shortfall for power.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald says the current account deficit - the gap between what the country spends and what it earns overseas - grew in the three months to the end of September, highlighting New Zealand's vulnerability to the global credit crunch.

Bluff oysters could soon be coming from other waters. The same species of flat oyster harvested from Foveaux Strait is now being farmed in waters off Marlborough, with a view to supplying North Island restaurants.

The Dominion Post

The Dominion Post says teachers could be forced to work more hours, under suggested changes to make the school day longer.

Children in Masterton watched in horror on Monday, as their miniature train ran over a boy who was sitting on the tracks, leaving him pinned beneath the 800kg machine.

The boy, aged two years, who had walked away from a picnic, was sitting cross-legged on the tracks at Queen Elizabeth Park.

The Press

The Press says health officials are warning bakers against licking their bowls as the country grapples with a major salmonella outbreak.

The Food Safety Authority believes a national salmonella outbreak that has affected almost 50 people over four months may be linked to contaminated uncooked flour.

More bad news for retailers: with only two shopping days to go, shoppers have so far spent only $2.7 billion across the Paymark network in December. Last year, their spending was more than $4 billion.

ODT

The Otago Daily Times features good news for the Otago community hospice, thanks to a $300,000 fundraising campaign run by the paper.

It's not such a bright picture in Queenstown, where an $18 million aquatic centre is facing a $77,000 funding shortfall for power costs.