Friday's headlines: Police want to keep road toll to a 50 year low; vicious attack on girl in caravan in Turangi; 50 years since first cruise ship in Otago harbour.
The New Zealand Herald reports a girl was fighting for her life on Thursday night and another was seriously injured, after a suspected drink-driver lost control of his car and knocked them over on an footpath in the Auckland suburb of Manurewa.
Police are warning holidaymakers leaving town that they will be watched closely, as they try to keep the road toll to a 50 year low. Anyone driving 4km per hour above the speed limit will be stopped and drink-drive breath tests will be carried-out at all times.
The Waikato Times leads with the vicious attack on a girl in Turangi. It says two Danish tourists heard the mother's desperate screams for help after she discovered a man sexually attacking her daughter inside a locked caravan.
People in Waikato are advised to get through their beach cricket early on Christmas day, because the rain clouds are likely to arrive by afternoon.
The Dominion Post also leads with the assault at a holiday park in Turangi.
Detective Inspector Mark Loper described it as the most vicious he had encountered on a child in his 28 years.
Taupo Mayor Rick Cooper has condemned the attacker as an ''oxygen-stealing low-life'' and says he has grave concerns for the region's tourism.
The Press reports the $600 million redevelopment of Christchurch and Burwood hospitals may be partly funded through private investment. Health Minister Tony Ryall gave approval on Thursday for Canterbury District Health Board to develop a business case for redevelopment of the hospitals.
Fendalton vicar Mark Chamberlain of St Barnabas Church is pictured standing in a marquee it will use for Christmas services. The church was damaged in the quakes.
he Otago Daily Times says two men are to appear in court next month in relation to the theft of stock and farming equipment worth almost $250,000 from a farm near Wanaka. The charges include the theft of sheep and deer.
The arrival of the Sun Princess at Port Chalmers on Friday morning marks exactly 50 years since the first cruise ship made its way into Otago harbour.