Social Development Minister steps in to break up a mall fight; crackdown on rescue helicopter rules; recession boosts university applications.
The paper has the story of Social Development Minister Paula Bennett stepping in to break up a fight in a mall. It says about 30 young people were involved, mainly girls, with five or six of them fighting at a time. Witnesses, describing her as a "tough lady," say Ms Bennett physically pulled the girls apart.
The New Zealand Herald also looks to Washington DC where it says crowds are building ahead of the inauguration of United States president-elect Barack Obama.
The paper suggests people are opting to study rather than seek jobs in the recesssion. Applications for post-graduate courses have risen nearly a quarter this year.
The Dominion Post reports on a crackdown on the rules surrounding rescue helicopters flying patients directly to hospital. Civil Aviation law says single engine aircraft can only land in built up areas in a life and death emergency. The authority says the rule is often flouted but rescue flight operators say it saves patients time and the health system money.
The paper has the story of the Wellington man who recreated Leonardo Da Vinci's model of a glider and launched himself off a wharf in Wellington, as part of the annual Bird Man competition. Unfortunately, the glider managed to fly only a couple of metres before plunging into the sea.
Infratil boss Lloyd Morrison has been diagnosed with leukaemia and is stepping aside from his business roles while he undergoes treatment.
The newspaper leads with anger from Christchurch environmentalists over the City Council seeking the right to discharge sewage into the Avon and Heathcote Rivers more often, rather than further upgrading the treatment systems.
There is a photo of the big flow of excess water being spilled from the Benmore hydro dam, a move which it's hoped will flush the invasive didymo weed out to sea.
Otago Daily Times
The ODT reports Dunedin City Council will consider cutting $1 million a year from its social housing budget for the next ten years, effectively stopping a programme to build five to seven units a year.
The Southland Times
The paper leads with the chemical accident at Fonterra's Edendale plant.
It also features Mataura's Jimmy Cowan who has been named to lead the Highlanders Super 14 rugby team for the coming season