23 Oct 2008

Morning Report: local papers

6:27 am on 23 October 2008

Thursday's papers: New Zealanders are leaving for Australia in record numbers; falling house prices plunge up to 130,000 homeowners into negative equity; funding cloud over Dunedin stadium.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald reports New Zealanders are leaving for Australia in record numbers, while the flow of immigrants and tourists coming here has slumped.

There was a net outflow of 33,900 people from this country to Australia over the 12 months to September.

The Herald understands that John Key has told Lockwood Smith he must forfeit the immigration portfolio in any National-led government as a result of his ill-judged comments about seasonal workers.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post says a repeat wife beater has again walked free from court, with a District Court judge discharging him without conviction. Critics accuse the judge of sending the wrong message on domestic violence.

On the election trail: for the second day, National leader John Key was forced to field questions about off-message comments by a senior MP, while Prime Minister Helen Clark turned her fire on 'greedy corporate bosses' at Contact Energy.

Golfer Danny Lee could face charges after an incident at Auckland International airport as he left with the New Zealand team for the Eisenhower Trophy. The world's top-ranked amateur golfer was apparently made an "inappropriate comment" about the contents of his bags.

The Press

The Press reports falling house prices have plunged up to 130,000 homeowners into negative equity as the value of their property drops below the amount they owe the bank.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples admits he would rather Labour won the election because it would be easier to deal with than National.

ODT

The Otago Daily Times says Dunedin's financial future is one of high spending and high debt - amid a warning that major city projects, including the stadium, may need to be reconsidered.

Salaries have risen sharply for the heads of Dunedin's two tertiary institutions: University of Otago vice-chancellor David Skegg earned 39.3% more than he was paid in his first full year in the job in 2005.