Thursday's headlines: Gales and heavy rain hamper rescue efforts of stranded whales; Chris Carter still considers himself a Labour MP; Timaru now the most affordable city in New Zealand to buy a home.
The New Zealand Herald reports that howling gales and heavy rain have shattered weather records in the North Island and are hampering rescue efforts after a mass whale stranding at the northern tip of New Zealand. Up to 40 whales have died.
Police have searched about 10 homes and businesses as they investigate a possible super city voting scam in the Otara/Papatoetoe local board area.
The Dominion Post reports that Games chaos threatens to splinter Kiwi athletes with some heading for the village, some considering private hotels and some fretting over whether to pull out entirely.
The paper also reports that dissident MP Chris Carter has returned to Parliament saying he still considers himself a Labour MP.
The Press leads with what it calls a despairing plea for help from residents in Christchurch. Some people are still without showers and toilets in homes damaged by the earthquake and have made an emotional plea for more help from the Government.
Meanwehile, a new study shows that Timaru is the most affordable city in New Zealand to buy a home, costing 38% of a take-home pay packet.
The Otago Daily Times reports Federated Farmers wants parts of South Otago and Southland declared an adverse events zone after days of blizzards. Tens of thousands of lambs and calves have been killed in the worst storm in living memory.
An Oamaru police constable has been found guilty of indecently assaulting a woman while at her fancy dress birthday party.