21 Dec 2011

Morning Report: local papers

7:08 am on 21 December 2011

EQC contractors accused of smuggling cocaine; Wellington City Council apartment blocks assessed as meeting less than a third of the earthquake standards code; Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee accuses "parts" of Christchurch City Council of slowing the earthquake recovery.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald says two of the five people arrested in a cocaine smuggling bust, were EQC contractors helping to rebuild Christchurch. More than US1 million of the drug was seized at Auckland Airport after being found in suitcases. EQC says it has begun an internal audit of all activities undertaken by the individuals on its behalf and is helping with the police investigation.

The paper also reports that the Financial Markets Authority is considering whether to take legal action against former TV One newsreader Richard Long over his Hanover Finance advertisements.

Waikato Times

The Waikato Times leads with the headline 'Going....going....gone' as Hamilton homeowners follow a rising national trend by opting to sell their houses through auctions, with the trend expected to continue into next year.

And watch out for that Christmas ham! New figures from ACC show the ham was responsible for a range of physical damage last Christmas, including burns, carving injuries, and knee and neck strains from carrying heavy cured swine.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post reports Wellington City Council's earthquake strengthening bill continues to rise. More than 300 council tenants live in at-risk buildings. Six apartment blocks have now been assessed as meeting less than a third of the current earthquake standards code.

The paper also reports that Wellington is set to set to have its own fashion week, with an eight day event planned for April.

The Press

The Press says that only days after being reappointed, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has accused "parts" of Christchurch City Council of slowing the earthquake recovery. Mr Brownlee accuses councillors of being ill-informed and not supporting Mayor Bob Parker. He has refused to rule out using special powers to sack some of them.


Occupy Dunedin protester Kieren Trass is pictured mowing the Octagon lawn in The Otago Daily Times, as the protest came to an end.

The paper also names the two EQC contractors accused of cocaine-smuggling. Cameron Lockie, a painter from Wanaka, appeared in Christchurch District Court on Tuesday and Brendan Clarke, also an EQC contractor, appeared in Wellington District Court.