4 Mar 2009

Morning Report: local papers

6:59 am on 4 March 2009

The attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan dominates the front pages of all the papers on Wednesday.

The New Zealand Herald says the sporting world erupted in shock after the Sri Lankan team bus was ambushed in Lahore. At least seven people were killed and seven players wounded.

The Dominion Post says the attack has cast doubt on future tours of Pakistan. The New Zealand cricket team is due to tour there in November.

The Press quotes New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan as saying this attack is worse than a bombing near the New Zealand team's hotel in Pakistan in 2002 because this time the cricketers were the target. He says "this raises the stakes to a whole new level".

The Otago Daily Times carries an interview with umpire Steve Davis who said: "It was terrible, the van driver died in front of us, I am lost for words".

Other stories

The Herald says the Government is planning significant changes to the Accident Compensation, saying deteriorating costs and poor performance show the current scheme is not working. But Finance Minister Bill English would not be specific.

Racial sensitivity could have been behind the stabbing of a school teacher in a classroom on Tuesday.

The Dominion Post says the attack on the teacher has added urgency to a summit being held in Wellington this month to address school violence.

The Press says ratepayers are likely to be spared a shortfall of $20 million for the redeveloped AMI Stadium in Christchurch. The Government on Tuesday agreed to underwrite a shortfall of $15 million in funding for a new stadium in Dunedin. There are hints Christchurch could get a similar sum.

The stadium news leads the ODT which says the Otago Regional Council is to contribute $37.5 million to the project.

Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry says the stadium is on track to be finished before the 2011 Rugby World Cup.