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What’s in the newspapers - Feb 26

The Government would consider direct assistance to tourism industry players if the fallout from coronavirus lasts well beyond the first half of the year; and New Zealand shares joined a global rout after the spread of coronavirus cases outside China caused stocks across Europe and the US to plunge as investors sought to avoid the risk of a global pandemic.  

* The New Zealand Herald

In the New Zealand Herald, a wealthy American couple were forced to sell a luxury Waiheke property for a huge loss after breaching foreign buyer rules designed to protect sensitive Kiwi land. Michael Rems and Julie O’Shea bought the six-bedroom, five-bathroom Glasshouse on Waiheke in June 2015 for $3.6 million. It is described as having “breathtaking” views towards Auckland and is rented for $1800 a night.

In other news, the Government would consider direct assistance to tourism industry players if the fallout from coronavirus lasts well beyond the first half of the year. In the meantime, the Government's $11 million package to boost tourism will target North America and Australia, while an advisory group will be set up to put together a "NZ Inc" plan to woo the China market when it reopens for business.

In business news, New Zealand shares joined a global rout after the spread of coronavirus cases outside China caused stocks across Europe and the US to plunge as investors sought to avoid the risk of a global pandemic. The S&P/NZX 50 Index declined 137.89 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 11,719.23. Within the index, 43 stocks fell and seven gained. Turnover was $186.4 million, with just four stocks trading on volumes of more than a million shares.

* The Dominion Post

In the Dominion Post, Napier student Kingston Webb admits he was driving way too fast, at 148kmh in an 80kmh zone, but is adamant it wasn’t dangerous and a judge has agreed with him. Webb, 18, was driving his Suzuki Swift north along State Highway 2, alongside the Hawke’s Bay Airport at about 7.40pm on November 1 last year. Constable Grant Marshall, driving in the opposite direction, clocked him at 148kmh. 

In other news, Porirua’s brand new Cobb & Co might not have the saloon-style doors we remember from childhood but it does have the booths, the old time pictures and mellow lighting. Those crunchy chips too. The traffic light drinks are still served with paper umbrellas but don’t expect a mermaid to be among the plastic characters perched on the side of the glass, Seb Gower says from behind the bar.

In business news, a roofer who stole petrol from his employer has been awarded just over $8000 by the Employment Relations Authority. The man, whose identity is suppressed because it was still possible he could face criminal charges, appeared before authority member Michael Loftus in Wellington.

* The Press

In The Press, Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel has made a secret trip to Japan to meet families who lost relatives in the February 22 Canterbury earthquake. It comes after she formally apologised on Sunday a day after a memorial service marking the ninth anniversary of the disaster for the city council's failings around dangerous buildings. 

In other news, a University of Canterbury student has died of meningococcal disease. Canterbury District Health Board medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink said a young woman died this week. ‘‘Meningococcal disease is a fast moving illness, which has symptoms similar to a number of other illnesses such as influenza,’’ he said. ‘‘The Community and Public Health team has identified those contacts who require antibiotics, to prevent them developing meningococcal disease.’’

In business news, the owners of an Oamaru rental property in which the tenants fell behind in rent are frustrated at how difficult it has been to remove them.Leanne and Adrian Tuffley own the property on Kingslea St, Oamaru through their company Tuffley Developments. They bought the four-bedroom house with the intention to demolish it and build townhouses. On October 14, they issued its tenants a 90-day notice to vacate the property, which gave them until January 15. But they said she refused to leave, and also stopped paying rent.

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