Media monitoring

What’s in the newspapers - Dec 17

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has stopped short of committing to a Government probe into the Whakaari / White Island eruption and says no decision will be made before next year; and banks saying 'no' more often to would-be borrowers has driven massive growth in the non-bank lending sector, says KPMG in its survey of non-bank lenders.

* The New Zealand Herald

In the New Zealand Herald,Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has stopped short of committing to a Government probe into the Whakaari / White Island eruption and says no decision will be made before next year. Ardern on Monday announced Cabinet had agreed to setting up a $5 million fund to help small businesses in Whakatāne affected by the disaster and those recently hit by flooding in the South Island's Westland District.

In other news,Whanganui iwi and hapū representatives are calling for the resignation of local councillor Rob Vinsen after they claim he made "racially motivated" comments at a council meeting.Vinsen made the statements at a December 10 meeting which decided the name of a newly developed housing subdivision in the Springvale area.Iwi and hapū had submitted the name Te Repo (wetlands) after internal discussions, as it reflected the history and was environmentally appropriate, Whanganui iwi leader Ken Mair said.

In business news, Contact Energy and Meridian Energy have been accused of extracting more than $60 million from consumers by over-charging for their electricity while spilling water from their South Island dams.Haast Energy Trading has complained to the Electricity Authority that the two firms have breached the good conduct provisions of the industry's code by manipulating their offers to hold prices higher than they would be, given the volume of water being spilled in recent weeks.

* The Dominion Post

In the Dominion Post,New Zealand came to a halt at 2.11pm yesterday to pay respect to the victims of the Whakaari/White Island volcano eruption last week.

In other news, Wellington will experience 16 times as many heatwave days by the end of the century and temperatures topping 30 degrees Celsius could start occurring if current climate change levels continue, a new report warns.But, while the region can expect warmer temperatures, it can also expect more rain, with heavy downpours expected to become more frequent.

In business news, a group wanting to reverse the sale of iwi land at Wellington's Shelly Bay has lost one round of the fight.A caveat that would have stopped dealing with three out of four parcels of land has lapsed, a decision from the High Court in Wellington says. Wellington City Council has given planning consent to dramatically change the former Air Force base on Miramar Peninsula in a $500 million proposal encompassing hundreds of apartments, along with other buildings.

*The Press

In The Press, ‘‘at times I feel like my life has come to an end. I sometimes wish I was dead so I could be with him.’’Owen Fraser sometimes wishes he was dead too after a teenager crashed and killed his partner of 40 years while fleeing police. Jayden Richard Breakwell, 18, was sentenced in the High Court at Christchurch yesterday to two years and eight months in jail for manslaughter and reckless driving causing injury. Justice Cameron Mander lifted the teen’s name suppression.

In other news, the Westland District Council is refusing to say how much public money it spent buying the Hokitika Racecourse.
The council announced on Monday that it had bought the 19.5-hectare central Hokitika site from the Westland Racing Club. The club faced the axe after a review of the New Zealand racing industry recommended closing 20 racecourses around the country, including in Hokitika.

In business news, banks saying 'no' more often to would-be borrowers has driven massive growth in the non-bank lending sector, says KPMG in its survey of non-bank lenders.Record demand for loans, and a surplus of funding from investors looking for a decent return, saw the non-bank lending industry post 9.32 per cent growth in 12 months to the end of June, said John Kensington, head of banking and finance at KPMG.

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