26 Feb 2010

Morning Report: local papers

6:57 am on 26 February 2010

Friday's headlines: flights into Dunedin airport diverted to Invercargill on Thursday night after a controller called in sick; Labour leader Phil Goff to cut his use of chauffeur-driven Crown cars; big penalties ahead for film and music copyright breaches on the internet.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald reports anyone caught breaching copyright by downloading films and music from the internet will face large penalties under new legislation.

Formal warnings will be issued to offenders under a three-strikes system and further illegal downloads could prompt copyright owners to apply for up to $15,000 compensation from the user.

And the political future of former minister Phil Heatley now hangs on an Audit Office investigation finding him to have been foolish with his ministerial expenses rather than trying to rip off the taxpayer.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post reports new documents reveal that Mr Heatley was repeatedly warned by officials about his ministerial credit card use.

Prime Minister John Key asked Mr Heatley to stand down from his fisheries and housing portfolios on Thursday while the Auditor-General investigated his spending, but Mr Heatley resigned.

Also on the frontpage: four firefighters in Gisborne freed a bull-mastiff puppy after its head became wedged in a teapot. It was initially thought a person was trapped.

The Press

The Press reports Labour leader Phil Goff will cut his use of chauffeur-driven Crown cars in favour of taxis after he ran up a $70,000 bill in three months. But he's questioning the cost of the ministerial BMW limousines.

Mr Goff said he would write to the Prime Minister and Internal Affairs, which runs the VIP Transport Service, challenging the fees, which increased significantly last year.


The Otago Daily Times reports flights into Dunedin international airport were diverted to Invercargill on Thursday night because no air traffic controller was available. The situation came about after a controller called in sick.

That resulted in jet-powered flights not being able to fly to or from the airport for nearly 11 hours

Buyer beware! University of Otago is warning about the dangers of buying imported prescription drugs on the internet.

Professor Pauline Norris says buyers are putting their health at risk by bypassing regulations aimed at ensuring the safety, quality and effectiveness of prescription medicines.