Wednesday's headlines: Christchurch described as a city living on its nerves; domestic-violence incidents soared; compensation and emergency payouts tipped within days.
The New Zealand Herald says stricken homeowners and workers in Canterbury will start receiving compensation and emergency payouts within days as Christchurch continues to reel from violent aftershocks and a quake bill that threatens to exceed $2 billion.
The Dominion Post describes Christchurch as a city living on its nerves and the nerves of people across Canterbury are being stretched to breaking point by constant aftershocks.
Meanwhile, an expert is warning that a series of large and destructive earthquakes triggered by the tremor that hit Canterbury could batter New Zealand in coming years.
The Press says four weeks cover for wages lost in the earthquake has been announced by the Government.
Prime Minister John Key landed back in Christchurch on Tuesday afternoon along with about a quarter of his Cabinet and Opposition leader Phil Goff.
Meanwhile, police say domestic-violence incidents have soared in earthquake-affected areas. They report a 53% increase, with some couples arguing over whether to leave damaged homes.
Aftershocks dominate The Otago Daily Times: the tremors were said to be milder on Tuesday, but Civil Defence has warned Canterbury could yet be hit by another big quake.
The latest tremors closed at least two major public buildings after new cracks appeared.
Dunedin's Foodstuffs South Island distribution centre has been ramped up to deal with extra demand caused by the earthquake.
In other news:
The NZ Herald says three women were killed in a two vehicle crash on one of New Zealand's most notorious stretches of state highway at Maramarua on Tuesday night.
The Dominion Post reports Building Minister Maurice Williamson is said to have cracked jokes about Muslims at an awards ceremony a few days before he accused New Zealanders of racism over foreign ownership.