30 Jan 2009

Morning Report: local papers

7:02 am on 30 January 2009

Friday's papers: No quick fix seen in global recession; call centre trial by Telecom in the Philippines reported to be a success; headstone now marks grave of Minnie Dean.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald pictures planet earth on its front page, illustrating the scale of the financial downturn. "We are in a global recession, the likes of which we have never seen. There is no quick fix," - the paper quotes Stephen Roach, the chairman of Morgan Stanley bank in Asia.

Bank chiefs are reportedly resisting pressure to go easy on people wanting to break fixed term mortgages. Falls in floating interest rates and new fixed rates mean many home owners are stuck with high payments.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post also leads with fixed mortgage rates, saying the Government is putting pressure on Kiwibank to lower its fees for breaking these deals.

This follows reports that the State owned bank's fees were among the highest of any bank. The Bank of New Zealand chief economist advises people to "lock in a nice, lovely, low interest rate to help their household finances" - for up to seven years.

And the paper says hundreds of Telecom jobs are in danger after the success of a call centre trial in the Philippines.

The Press

"Experts tip jobs crunch" is the front page headline in The Press. Economist Gareth Morgan says New Zealand faces ''Depression conditions''. He predicts 50,000 people could lose their jobs and unemployment may reach 8%. And he says, nothing will improve here until conditions improve overseas:

''We're really the cork in the ocean," he says. "We're going into a big dipper here. Until they pick up, we ain't going anywhere.''


The Otago Daily Times has a graveyard mystery on its front page. Child murderer Minnie Dean was the only woman to be hanged in New Zealand, at Invercargill Jail in 1895. She's been in an unmarked grave for over 100 years. But a gravestone has suddenly appeared. Spooky.