23 Feb 2012

Morning Report: local papers

7:00 am on 23 February 2012

Thursday's headlines: Kim Dotcom ordered not to go online; Fraud Squad detective critical of Crown prosecutors; delays to plans for further development on Clutha River signalled by Contact Energy.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald leads with the headline "Free but offline" accompanied by a large picture of Kim Dotcom walking free from court on Wednesday. Mr Dotcom was granted bail despite strong opposition from US authorities. However, he has been ordered not to go online or use his personal helicopter.

The paper also reports on an impending showdown between Australian PM Julia Gillard and her ousted predecessor Kevin Rudd, following the Foreign Minister's sudden resignation.

Waikato Times

The Waikato Times leads with a senior Waikato police officer's criticism of the way Crown prosecutors handled the prosecution of former Hamilton school principal Martin Elliott.

The paper has obtained a letter in which Fraud Squad detective Simon Eckersley says Elliott was given too many concessions when he agreed to plead guilty to two of the 30 charges he was facing. Mr Eckersley says the case has left him with a bitter taste.

And there's a photo of an orca snagged by a Hamilton fisherman's game lure off the coast of Gisborne. Rob Page says he thought he was hallucinating when he saw what he'd caught. The orca escaped.

Dominion Post

The Dominion Post says Wellington City Council has admitted one of its tenants lay dead in his council flat for at least eight months before being discovered.

Last year the paper revealed a dead tenant was not found for a year. The new disclosure concerns a man who died in 2009, but whose case has only now come to light in council documents.

The paper says a deck officer on the Cook Strait ferry Arahura has been stood down while a near miss between the ferry and a small fishing boat on Monday is investigated. His absence means all Arahura passenger sailings on Thursday have been cancelled.

The Press

The Press is devoted to Wednesday's earthquake anniversary commemorations under a headline, "Christchurch remembers" and a quote from the Governor-General, "we have seen this community endure so much".

There are photos taken at the various events held to mark the one year anniversary of the quake, and the report notes that whatever their race, nationality, status or age, the 185 victims were honoured equally.


The Otago Daily Times says Contact Energy has signalled delays in its plans for further development on the Clutha River. Contact announced plans in 2009 for developments costing up to $1.5 billion, but now says other projects have higher priority.

And residents of two student flats have been referred to the Otago University proctor after fireworks were shot into a crowd on Tuesday night and firefighters dousing couch fires had bottles thrown at them.