25 Feb 2009

Morning Report: local papers

9:29 am on 25 February 2009

Wednesday's papers: $1 billion loan fund announced by ASB Bank; former finance minister Michael Cullen expected to quit politics in the next two months; shortage of canines in the police force.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald says ASB Bank has set aside $1 billion for low-interest loans to small and medium businesses and farmers to help them save and create jobs.

ASB says the move will reduce its profits and is calling on other banks to follow its lead.

The Herald says the early retirement of a police dog due to a back injury, highlights a shortage of canines in the force. Although Aster's handler already has a replacement, about 10 other dog handlers are seeking new recruits.

Dominion Post

[The Dominion Post reports judges are so concerned about courthouse safety they're strongly backing a Budget bid for more security officers. Courts officials were twice knocked back by the previous government.

The chief High Court judge says a serious incident is inevitable without more security.

And the paper says former finance minister Michael Cullen is expected to quit politics in the next two months.

The Press

The Press says pressure is increasing on the Government to find solutions to rising unemployment at a jobs summit on Friday as fears of widespread job losses continue to grow.

The former partner of a dead Waiau woman has been arrested after more than a week on the run. He will appear in the Rangiora District Court today charged with murder.


The Otago Daily Times reports the Otago University Students Association toga parade descended into disorder on Tuesday night, leaving Dunedin's main street littered with eggs, rubbish and glass, car and shop windows smashed and participants injured.

The paper says counsellors and social workers are becoming increasingly necessary in Otago primary schools as the financial stress inflicted on parents manifests itself in their children's behaviour.