28 Apr 2010

Wednesday's newspaper headlines

9:14 am on 28 April 2010

Drug swoop targets indoor gardening stores; Blair Peach report revealed after 30 years; liquor reforms loom.

NZ Herald

The paper leads with police raids on indoor gardening stores targeting businesses responsible for the commercial sale of cannabis growing equipment. As part of Operation Lime, police swooped on 35 businesses and around 100 homes. They say more than 250 suspects were arrested, and 750 charges are likely to be laid.

New Zealand protester Blair Peach was almost certainly killed by the London Metropolitan police at a demonstration in 1979 according to a secret internal police report made public in the UK. Relatives and family members have been campaigning for almost 30 years alleging police brutality and a cover-up.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post also leads with the arrest of staff, managers and customers of a well-known chain of horticulture shops, which the paper describes as a massive crackdown designed to break the backbone of the $800 million cannabis industry.

A P dealer astounded police when he walked into the New Plymouth station and handed himself in. Leith Castle, 36, turned up just before 5pm on Tuesday with ten $200 bags of the class A drug, a glass pipe used to smoke it, two bags of cannabis and gave it to the head of the CIB drug squad.

The Press.

Liquor reform legislation will go to Cabinet within weeks recommending sweeping changes, including a nation-wide closing time and raising the alcohol purchase age to 20.

Stallholders at the Christchurch Arts Centre say they have been given less than six months to move and make way for car-parking. A group representing 103 stallholders say it was told of the plans by the Arts Centre business manager and market manager at a meeting last week.

Otago Daily Times

Supporters of the liquor proposals are hopeful they will change New Zealanders attitude to drinking, reduce crime and improve health. Opponents argue it does little to address binge drinking.

Dunedin City Council is considering rules which would force some rural residential holding owners to pick up droppings left behind by animals including sheep, pigs and goats.