21 May 2009

Morning Report: local papers

6:23 am on 21 May 2009

Winter weather and overcharging by big power generation companies dominate the papers on Thursday.

"Cold snap looks likely to linger" is the headline on The New Zealand Herald.

Weather analyst Philip Duncan says winter has well and truly arrived - and the coldest part of the year is still two months away.

Also on the front page is a picture of a boy from Australia whose life was saved by a GP using a handyman's drill to relieve a blood clot on his brain. Without the doctor's quick thinking and steady nerves, Nicholas Rossi - who'd fallen off his bike and banged his head - would almost certainly have died.

The Dominion Post reports Porirua harbour is sick. Parts of the harbour are near a "tipping point" according to a report by Porirua City Council. A build-up of black, smelly sediment could become impossible to remove and urgent action is needed.

The paper also says that big power generation companies have used their market dominance to overcharge consumers by $4 billion. A Commerce Commission report expected to be issued on Friday will say they charged New Zealanders $1000 each more for power over a six year period.

The Press covers both the power generators and the weather. Part of a clifftop road in Christchurch is pictured collapsing into the sea. Residents of Whitewash Head Road blame bad weather and heavy vehicles.

The Otago Daily Times says Dunedin has become the "poor relation" in terms of air travel - as Air New Zealand conducts a review of its network. Over the past three months, capacity has already been reduced at Dunedin airport after the airline downsized aircraft on certain routes, and cut the frequency of some flights.