30 May 2012

Morning Report: local papers

6:54 am on 30 May 2012

Wednesday's headlines: Not guilty Gwaze verdicts greeted by applause; schoolgirls found after eight hours in Kaimai Ranges; Dunedin City Council to consider merging with Otago Regional Council.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald leads with the discovery of a group of Tauranga schoolgirls on Tuesday night, some eight hours after they were due to return from an orienteering exercise in the Kaimai Ranges.

Anxious parents of the Year 7 students, who gathered at the Ngamuwahine Outdoor Education Lodge, praised the efforts of search and rescue teams who found the Tauranga Intermediate students.

The paper also reports that a 'catalogue of blunders' is being investigated after the deaths of 19 people - including three New Zealand children - at a shopping mall in Qatar.

Waikato Times

The Waikato Times leads with that story. The paper describes how the Weekes family is struggling to come to terms with the loss of their 'little monkeys' - three year old triplets Lille, Willsher and Jackson - in the fire at Villaggio Mall in Doha.

Dominion Post

The death of the triplets is the only story on the front page of The Dominion Post. The children's grandfather Ron Turner says "it's just like happiness is gone."

Inside the paper reports on what it calls the Government's back-down on school funding changes just days after announcing them in the Budget.

And near-naked environmentalists are pictured handing out pamphlets on a commuter train, as passengers stoically ignore them.

The Press

The Press leads on the not guilty verdicts in the George Gwaze trial. The verdicts were greeted by applause while Mr Gwaze's supporters sobbed and hugged each other.

Mr Gwaze tells the paper the verdicts were a relief and the truth was now out. He says "the girl was sick and that is it."

The death of the triplets is also on the front page.


The Otago Daily Times says police were hunting convicted kidnapper Jason Frandi on Saturday, shortly before the death of a Czech tourist. Frandi's body, along with that of Dagmar Pytlickova, 31, also known as Dasha, was found on Sunday morning in trees near Waimate. Police say it is likely the tourist was abducted on Saturday while hitch-hiking towards Timaru.

Dunedin City Council is to consider merging with Otago Regional Council. Mayor Dave Cull says the potential benefits of merging the two councils are being investigated.