16 Feb 2012

Morning Report: local papers

11:49 am on 16 February 2012

Thursday's headlines: Crafar farms decision dropped like a bombshell at Parliament; Exide plant at Petone to close; Otago rabbit numbers out of control again; Labour MP accused of scalping tickets to a Wellington music festival.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald carries the headline "A Twist on Summer", accompanied by a large picture of a waterspout that formed over the Waitemata Harbour on Wednesday afternoon.

The paper also carries reaction to the High Court's decision to overturn the Crafar farms sale. It says a reappraisal of the Chinese bid for the farms will be completed within days.

A Shanghai Pengxin spokesperson says the company is 'astonished' by the decision and while it did not intend mounting a legal challenge, it remains committed to its offer.

Waikato Times

The Waikato Times leads with a woman who helped to expose a Waikato rent-to-buy scam on television, is now living in a tent with her eight children.

Lisa Ngatai was evicted from her Putaruru house, where she lived with her partner and eight children, on January 26, following a tenancy tribunal hearing which found she had not paid rent in over a month.

The paper also reports the Crafar farms decision dropped like a bombshell at Parliament on Wednesday with Labour claiming vindication in its campaign against the sale and the Government warning of far-reaching implications.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post says Petone people are "stoked" that the Exide plant is to close, though 40 jobs will go. After environmental problems and a lengthy legal battle, the factory will shut on 31 March.

Labour MP Trevor Mallard has been accused of scalping tickets to a Wellington music festival.

Mr Mallard had four tickets to Saturday's sold-out Homegrown festival, worth $380. However, he eventually sold them on Trade Me for $656.

Mr Mallard defended the sale, saying he listed the tickets at face value but decided to let the auction run.

The Press

The Press leads with the hope from Commonwealth Games gold medallist Dick Tayler, that Queen Elizabeth II park will be rebuilt as one of the biggest sports complex in the southern hemisphere.

The paper also reports the salaries of top-level Christchurch City Council managers have increased by $69,000 over the past five years, with the highest-paid executive making more than $300,000 per year.


The Otago Daily Times reports drier weather this summer has allowed the number of rabbits on Otago farms, to get beyond levels that can be effectively controlled by shooting.

However, Otago Regional Council is also warning farmers dealing with increased rabbit numbers, not to try to re-release the RCD virus - as has been widely rumoured - because it could "do more harm than good".