Thursday's headlines: Pre-Christmas traffic tipped to be heavy; woman sentenced to prison for torture of daughter; cafes and club spending up 8.1% in cafes, bars and clubs in Waikato.
'My mum was the worst' is the headline in The New Zealand Herald. The article describes how a woman punched her daughter, age nine, so hard that she broke bones in her hand and sought treatment for herself, but not the girl.
In sentencing her to nearly eight years in prison, Judge Brooke Gibson described the mother's actions as 'amounting to torture'.
The Waikato Times says Christmas is bringing cheer to publicans. The paper reports celebrations are bigger and better than last year, with people seemingly happier and carrying more cash.
Paymark figures show spending is up 8.1% in cafes, bars and clubs in Waikato so far for December, ahead of a national increase of just over 5%.
Holidaymakers are being warned by Netsafe not to post that you're off on holiday on Facebook or Twitter, as it can be as dangerous as placing a sign on your front door saying ''no-one home''.
The Dominion Post also leads with the child abuse case, after an Auckland woman was jailed for sustained abuse against her son and daughter, including tearing off the girl's toenail.
The paper reports the girl is so terrified she has nightmares her mother will get out of jail, find her and continue the beatings.
If you're planning of getting ahead of the Christmas traffic rush on Friday, think again. Surveys show 1.67 million people will be on the roads heading to Christmas holiday destinations, and most are planning to set off on Friday, thinking they will miss the worst of the traffic.
The Press has a large picture of Christchurch residents protesting against a $68,000 salary increase for city council chief executive Tony Marryatt. About 50 people went to the council offices on Wednesday afternoon, carrying signs including ''It's our money Tony.''
The Otago Daily Times reports pressure on stretched courts in the south increased on Wednesday, when two jury trial courtrooms in Dunedin were closed for up to a year for earthquake strengthening work.
The paper also reports prospects look bleak for teacher graduates as teachers surplus to requirements in Christchurch schools flood the Otago market.
And the first apricot pick of the season is about to begin.