21 May 2012

Morning Report: local papers

6:53 am on 21 May 2012

Monday's headlines: tragedy on the Manukau harbour; damaged properties being sold at fire sale prices in Christchurch; rise in the number of children being prescribed drugs for hyperactivity.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald leads with the tragedy on the Manukau harbour, with two feared dead, including a child, after a family's first trip in a new dinghy. The paper says terrified children clung to each other and yelled 'help us, help us' as several people scrambled into the water on Sunday afternoon to come to their aid.

The paper also reports a parent watching a children's rugby game on Saturday morning in Auckland, stormed onto the field and grabbed the throat of the referee - a policeman. He was subsequently arrested.

Waikato Times

The Waikato Times leads with a rise in the number of children being prescribed drugs for hyperactivity. The paper says more than 100,000 kids are now on medication, a jump from around 60,000 being prescribed such drugs in 2001.

The paper also details a rise in older women giving birth. Latest birth data from Statistics New Zealand showed 2525 babies were born to women 40 or older in the year to March 2012, a six-fold increase on three decades ago.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post devotes much of its front page to a story about a serial rapist, who, the paper reports, kept one of his teenage victims as a sex slave in a remote bush hut. The man is expected to walk free from court because he has mild dementia.

The Press

The Press reports that bargain hunters are snapping up damaged Christchurch properties, prompting a warning to owners not to sell for fire sale prices. Recent sales have included a two-storey character Avonside house which fetched $157,000 - the same as the rating valuation for the land only. And a house in Wainoni Rd which sold for $90,000 despite a $100,000 dollar land valuation.

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake occurred 20km east of the city just after 5pm on Sunday. It was the biggest in four months.


The Otago Daily Times reports that Southern Community Laboratories in Dunedin has apologised to an Otago woman who had a mastectomy by mistake earlier this year, after her breast biopsy specimen was swapped with another. The switch resulted in a false clearance for the other woman.

And family and friends of Dunedin tramper David Palmer, whose body was found on Saturday in the Ahuriri Valley in North Otago, have thanked the many people who "helped bring him home".