4 Jan 2011

Summer Report: local papers

5:00 pm on 4 January 2011

Tuesday's headlines: Better year tipped for Labour MP Shane Jones; three sharks pictured close to swimmers at Matarangi beach; Dunedin City Council staff may face random drug testing.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald reports that Labour MP Shane Jones can look forward to a better year this year. He was demoted in June as punishment for using his ministerial credit card for personal purchases, including porn movies in hotel rooms. The paper says he's tipped to be given the shadow Maori Affairs portfolio and be placed on the frontbench early this year.

Three sharks are pictured at Matarangi beach, close to swimmers. There were reports of up to 20 sharks swimming in shallow water on Monday - but apparently that was not enough to keep people out of the water.

Dominion Post

The front page of The Dominion Post is mostly dominated by a tragic update in the search for Cem Erbay, 19.

A body was found in bush on Monday afternoon not far from where he was last seen. Police say they are treating the death as suspicious.

The Press

The Press says figures obtained under the Official Information Act show students as young as seven have been suspended for drug, smoking and alcohol offences every year for the past four years.

Also, one of the earthquake assessors is striking back. Australian loss adjuster Shane Munt was sacked on New Year's Eve by the Earthquake Commission after a complaint that he was rude and threatening while inspecting a property. He claims he was perfectly polite and says he's the victim of a policy that puts speedy inspections before quality.


The Otago Daily Times reports Dunedin City Council staff may face random drug testing and the use of covert electronic surveillance to root out any drug abuse. Council community life general manager Graeme Hall says he's not aware of any significant drug or alcohol problems among staff, but this is about keeping staff on top of their game.

And recent rainfall has given farmers something to be thankful about. The ODT reports that Sunday's heavy rainfall is seen as a godsend for the average farmer.