Morning Report: local papers

Wednesday's headlines: Court of Appeal to hear spina bifida ACC case; Gallopsouth office visited by Internal Affairs and the Serious Fraud Office; Waikato hospital emergency department fails to meet national target.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald reports a woman who says she would have terminated her pregnancy had doctors properly diagnosed her unborn child with spina bifida, is seeking ACC cover for her disabled daughter.

The woman has won the right to a hearing in the Court of Appeal.

Waikato Times

The Waikato Times leads with Waikato hospital's emergency department being ranked New Zealand's least efficient.

The ranking looks at whether emergency departments meet the national target of 95% of patients being seen within six hours. The hospital said it believes the result is due to understaffing.

The paper reports a slimmer Tame Iti will walk free from Waikeria prison on Wednesday. Iti's son said he has been working on his fitness and plans to compete a half ironman later in the year.

The Dominion Post

The Dominion Post reports that in the lead up to filming the Hobbit movies, Sir Peter Jackson became so frustrated by a man he described as a "snake" of a union official, that he was unable to think about the film for three weeks.

Jackson describes the dispute with the unions as "toxic nonsense" in documents released under order by the Ombudsman on Tuesday.

And the paper reports there is speculation that Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert jumped before he was pushed.

The Press

The Press leads with a proposed $20 tax on Christchurch ratepayers to pay for nearly $70 million worth of new cycleways.

The cycling tax would come on top of a proposed 6.6% rate rise and one cycling club said there are fears the tax could lead to more animosity towards cyclists.

And finding a property in Christchurch may not be as difficult as people think: house prices are in line with the rest of the country and rental prices have not increased as much as expected.

ODT

The Otago Daily Times reports Gallopsouth is the latest organisation embroiled in a major pokies investigation, after its Dunedin office was visited by Internal Affairs and the Serious Fraud Office on Tuesday.

A homegrown surfboard is making a splash around Dunedin beaches. Carpenter Tom Leckie has crafted a board out of korari by gluing and shaping the flax stalks together.

The board was a gift for his girlfriend and two-time national surf champion, Daisy Thomas.

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