Wednesday's headlines: Wild weather lashes the central North Island; a family's questions after a man dies in hospital; fears of an exodus from Christchurch dispelled; money recovered from convicted fraudster.
New Zealand Herald
The lead story is a report on the wild weather lashing the central North Island. It says gales, a mini-tornado and rain wreaked havoc, toppling trees, tearing off roofs and cutting power in Taupo.
The Herald also reports that a double murderer who killed an elderly couple for a thrill is about to be given daily leave to go to work, despite objections from his own family as well as that of the victims.
Under the headline "Hospital death blamed on feed tube", the capital's daily says a man died in hospital after a feeding tube mistakenly pumped food into his body rather than his stomach, and his family want to know how it could have happened.
The paper also reports that writer Patricia Grace is refusing to sell her ancestral land in Waikanae, which is needed for the proposed Kapiti Coast expressway.
Early fears of an exodus from Christchurch in the wake of earthquakes have not come to pass. A survey shows that, at worst, about 8000 people might stay away a year.
The paper also says the Earthquake Commission will not visit many severely damaged properties in the city, relying instead on inspections by private insurers
Otago Daily Times
The Crown has recovered more than $500,000 from convicted Dunedin fraudster Michael Swann by selling his second holiday home in Wanaka.
The ODT also reports on the repair bill for Dunedin's St Clair Esplanade, which needs nearly $200,000 worth of work because of severe rusting. The area was upgraded in 2004.