Media monitoring

What’s in the newspapers - Feb 25

More than 300,000 families on the benefit will get more after the linking of state support to the net average wage; and Rio Tinto reported a $46.2 million underlying loss from its New Zealand aluminium smelting interests in 2019 despite near-record production. 

* The New Zealand Herald

In the New Zealand Herald, a relative of Kiwi woman Cindy Low who died in the 2016 Dreamworld tragedy said the loss was “heartbreaking” but was relieved for the family the inquest was finally over. Coroner James McDougall yesterday handed down his long-awaited findings from the inquiry into the deaths of four people on the Thunder River Rapids ride, saying there was a “systematic failure” by Dreamworld in “all aspects of safety”. 

In other news, more than 300,000 families on the benefit will get more after the linking of state support to the net average wage. The increases to benefits are larger than they would have been if they remained linked to the consumer price index 3.09 per cent instead of 1.66 per cent. For example, a person on a sole parent support benefit will have an increase of $10.48 a week.

In business news, Rio Tinto reported a $46.2 million underlying loss from its New Zealand aluminium smelting interests in 2019 despite near-record production. The company owns 79.4 percent of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, which produced 353,293 tonnes of saleable metal last year, the most since 2011.

* The Dominion Post

In the Dominion Post, awkward, Movie mogul Sir Peter Jackson continues to support Wellington Mayor Andy Foster, even as he is threatening to take his council to court. The legal threat in which Jackson and Dame Fran Walsh ask for urgent confirmation that a decision to sell and lease Wellington City Council land at Shelly Bay goes back for another council vote plonks the council in a quagmire. 

In other news, a dangerous suspect fled police custody in what's alleged to be a ‘‘preplanned’’ ploy by his family. Police believe James Maurirere’s escape while he was being seen at Wairarapa Hospital in Masterton last Thursday had been planned out.

In business news, Wellington Water has proven it doesn't need a burst pipe to get in the poo when a reply-all button will do. A bizarre email chain saw a Wellington Water spokesperson launch a tirade against a South Coast resident, followed by a swift rebuke by councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, then a grovelling apology.

* The Press

In The Press, the Government has decided to extend a ban on foreign travellers arriving from China to protect against the spread of coronavirus. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said restrictions, which were due to expire at midnight, should remain in place for a further eight days and would be reviewed every 48 hours. 

In other news, a woman who parked on the footpath outside a Queenstown home was shocked to find a note on her car, telling her to ‘‘act like a Kiwi’’. Prue, who did not want her surname used, found the handwritten message on the front window as she left for work on Saturday her birthday. The car was parked on the footpath in front of a housing complex in Frankton because of a shortage of spaces for residents, she said. 

In business news, the manager of a failed media business owing creditors more than $100,000 has been charged with harassing the liquidator appointed to sort out the company. Christchurch business Zone Media Limited formed by director Jacob Williams (formerly known as Zach Anthony), with Brodie George Williams listed as the manager went into liquidation in December 2018 owing money to 31 creditors.

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