The paper says a $200,000 Families Commission summit for 150 people due to be held in February at Waipuna Lodge has been axed after Social Development Minister Paula Bennett declared it a waste of money. In its continuing series on child abuse, the Herald says a new programme that reduces non-accidental shaken baby syndrome injuries by nearly 50% will hopefully be running in Auckland within a year.
The paper describes a 'mixed bag for Christmas' as far as the new Government is concerned, with Scrooge on Kiwisaver and Santa on tax. The Dominion Post reports that mothers' sobs filled the Wellington District Court yesterday as inquests were held on how seven babies died in bed, possibly because of "unsafe sleeping environments".
The Press reports Parliament will move into urgency on Wednesday as National begins to push through its first 100 days legislation including the right for some employers to sack staff in their first three months. A knife police believe was used to kill refugee taxi driver Abdulrahman Ikhtiari was found by officers as two teenagers appeared in court charged with his murder.
Otago Daily Times
The ODT says the personal income and expenditure of Michael Swann - subsequently convicted of fraud - was queried by Dunedin businessman Sir Clifford Skeggs, who says he informally raised concerns with members of the Otago District Health Board. The Otago Daily Times says the $18 million Queenstown Alpine Aqualand complex has closed its fast-speed hydroslide for a design review after 69 patrons received minor injuries. The centre's manager says 51 of those incidents were caused by slide users breaking the safety rules, such as standing up during the descent.