Trampers, rafters and boaties rescued; property developer's multi-million dollar Waiheke Island home for sale; British comedian Stephen Fry films endangered NZ birds for BBC series.
'Rockin' New Year' is the paper's headline for its report on how New Year festivities were shaping up on Wednesday night as it went to press.
The New Zealand Herald says the multi-million dollar home on Waiheke Island of property developer Mark Cooper has been put up for mortgagee sale by a bank.
The paper speaks to British comedian Stephen Fry who is in New Zealand filming a BBC series about the world's most endangered species. It has a picture of him taken at the Karori Bird Sanctuary in the capital with a stitchbird - or hihi - in his hand.
The Dominion Post has a story about Ben Hana - known as Blanket Man - a well known street identity in the Wellington famous for wearing only his blanket. The paper says he's been freed after spending a week remanded in custody on the proviso that he wears pants.
The Press leads with a catalogue of rescues around the South Island, listing two sunken boats, three missing trampers and three crazy rafters.
The SPCA is struggling to coping with the number of animals ending up in its care. It took in 310 animals in December, many of them stray cats, and being able to adopt out only 57.
The paper has story of a family rescued from rocks near Bluff after their boat sank. The skipper said he was a bit embarrassed because they probably could have walked to shore, but alarmed tourists eating at a restaurant overlooking the rocks called emergency services.
The Southland Times carries an update on Callum Shaw, 18, who suffered serious injuries before Christmas when he was crushed by a concrete slab while working on a trench in Mataura. He's recovering well, although he says being in hospital over Christmas 'sucks'.