14 Aug 2009

Friday's newspaper headlines

8:36 am on 14 August 2009

Ban on using hand-held cellphones while driving; plan to 'gut' the health ministry; high-profile political figure involved in Family Court case.

NZ Herald

Drivers will be banned from using hand-held cellphones in their vehicles from November under new rules that will also require motorcyclists to use their headlights during the day, the New Zealand Herald reports.

The paper says former prime minister Helen Clark pressured her former ministerial colleague Margaret Shields not to accept the title "Dame" but the former MP for Kapiti did not buckle.

An independent inquiry has been ordered into the cause of last week's sinking of the Tongan ferry Princess Ashika.

Dominion Post

The paper reports on a plan to 'gut' the health ministry saying a national Health Board to oversee and fund district health boards could be established under a radical overhaul of the sector.

On the cellphone ban, campaigners say better education on the dangers is the only way to reduce road deaths.

A high-profile political figure involved in a Family Court case being heard in Auckland is accused of screaming obscenities, trying to kick down a door and grabbing the neck of a woman, who is now seeking a protection order against him.

The Press

In the Press, the cellphone ban has been welcomed by the family of a Canterbury couple killed in a texting-related crash.

Lyttelton Port has signed a multi-million dollar deal with Fonterra, leaving PrimePort Timaru in shock over the loss of much of the dairy giant's business.

Otago Daily Times

The paper says quick action by an onlooker led to an arrest on Thursday after a 14-year-old truant schoolgirl suffered a stranger's unwanted attention in Dunedin. The 'Good Samaritan' ran for several kilometres to track the alleged assailant to a street address so police could arrest him.