16 Feb 2011

Morning Report: Local papers

8:18 am on 16 February 2011

Wednesday's headlines: Schoolboy bullied in "reign of terror"; Tramper survives five nights in the bush; Weight-loss surgery offered for first time in Christchurch.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald leads with a kidnap drama affecting an Auckland man whose sister and partner have been captured by Somali pirates.

Deborah Calitz' brother Kevin van der Merwe is based in Auckland and says the pirates are asking him for $13 million, or the pair will be killed in two weeks time.

And just how bad is the traffic in Auckland? One woman tells the paper that roadworks-ridden central Auckland has become so gridlocked, it has been taking an hour to travel 250 metres.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post devotes a large chunk of its front page to what it calls the "reign of terror" over a Levin schoolboy.

Jacob Hamilton,13, says he is too scared to go to Waiopehu College after threats, standover tactics and cyberbullying.

But the school's principal says bullying is not a problem.

Also on the front page there is coverage of Julia Gillard's visit to New Zealand, with the Australian Prime Minister urging a step up in efforts to bring the two economies together.

And a British tourist has survived five days in rugged bush near Nelson.

The Press

In The Press, morbidly obese Cantabrians will be offered weight-loss surgery in Christchurch for the first time this year.

Canterbury has special funding for 16 obesity operations before June and another 15 in the next financial year.

The paper also talks to Christchurch man Kevin Williams about his ongoing struggle with weight.

And there is more on rescued tramper James Esbester - despite his ordeal, he suffered only minor hypothermia.


The Otago Daily Times reports that a plan for new bridges across the Waitaki River is being criticised.

Waitaki mayor Alex Familton is calling for urgency in replacing the existing 129 year old bridges which have been compromised by flood damage.