29 Oct 2012

Morning Report: local papers

7:16 am on 29 October 2012

Monday's headlines: teenagers drink and drive with little regard for the law or safety; Dunedin City Council debt now $600 million; northern residents of Hamilton outraged by helicopters at 4am.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald reports Finance Minister Bill English will on Monday unveil the Government's response to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into home affordability. It says the Government will work with councils to open more land for redevelopment as it seeks to rein in New Zealand's high house prices.

A New Zealand boy, aged five, has been shot dead while fighting over a gun with his cousin in Samoa. Media there reported the cousin, aged eight, has been in police custody since the incident.

Waikato Times

The Waikato Times leads with the headline: 'Country rage for city folk'.

Complaints last week from north Rototuna and Gordonton residents when green tea exporter Zealong called in helicopters at 4am to combat frost, have again highlighted the march of Hamilton's subdivision development north into productive farmland.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post reports Government has been warned not to ''take its foot off the pedal'' as new statistics reveal that thousands of teenagers drink and drive with little regard for the law or safety.

Figures show that more than one Wellington teenager per day was convicted of drink-driving during the past two years, while throughout the country, 15 teens have been convicted at least six times in that period.

And Wainuiomata residents are being praised for their community spirit after joining a search on Saturday night for autistic boy who got lost in nearby bush.

Ryan Peel, aged five, was found cold but safe almost five hours after he went missing.

The Press

The Press reports the release of confidential documents has for the first time shed light on reasons behind the Government's reluctance to restore full democracy to Canterbury regional politics.

A report says the Government feared the economic boom promised by Canterbury irrigation could be in jeopardy unless Environment Canterbury was "stable, effective and efficient".

ODT

The Otago Daily Times says Dunedin City Council and its companies are about to reach the top of a $600 million debt mountain and start down the other side.

However, it is likely to be years before there is room on the council's books for any major new projects, potentially leaving the council exposed if "something untoward came along" according to Mayor Dave Cull. And a recent spike in synthetic cannabis use has prompted a toxicologist to warn of a range of dangerous side effects associated with the product, including vomiting, psychosis, seizures and tremors.