21 Aug 2012

Morning Report: local papers

8:11 am on 21 August 2012

The bombing in Bamyan province in which three New Zealand soldiers were killed on Sunday, leads all the morning papers.

NZ Herald

'Nothing could have survived' is the headline in The New Zealand Herald, accompanied by pictures of the three New Zealand soldiers who died in Sunday's bomb blast in Afghanistan.

Defence chief Lieutenant General Rhys Jones is quoted as saying New Zealand troops would probably have to come under daily attack before they would get more heavily armoured vehicles to use.

The paper also reports that some Auckland Council staff have defied a gagging order from chief executive Doug McKay over a manager at the centre of serious bullying accusations.

Waikato Times

The Waikato Times reports pressure is growing for a review of the timetable for the withdrawal of New Zealand troops from Afghanistan.

While a date of next April has been set, the paper understands plans are in place to pull out of the Bamyan region even sooner, maybe by November before the Afghanistan winter sets in.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post has more on the roadside bomb which killed the three soldiers, and comments from family and friends of the trio.

Corporal Tamatea's grandmother says he phoned her after the previous deaths on 4 August to tell her he was alright.

Private Harris, who was driving the humvee, is described as the pride of his family, while Lance Corporal Baker emigrated from the Netherlands as a child, and is said to have joined the army with the belief that 'girls can do anything.'

The Press

The Press pays tribute to Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker and her colleagues. All three were from an infantry regiment based at Burnham, but Lance Corporal Baker lived in Chirstchurch.

The paper says her commitment to the Army was recognised with a commendation for professionalism and courage in 2008.

The paper also features a graphic of where the explosion took place and details of a second bomb which was found and disarmed.


The Otago Daily Times quotes Lieutenant General Jones as saying responsibility for finding the bomb makers lies with the Afghanistan police, although New Zealand personnel could support them in that with intelligence and planning.

In other news: two Wanaka mountain guides held for ransom for four hours in Indonesian West Papua nine days ago have returned home, relieved to have escaped harm.

Mike Roberts and Lydia Bradey were leading eight climbers on an expedition when it went wrong.