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What’s in the newspapers - Feb 28

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will use today’s meeting with counterpart Scott Morrison in Sydney to tell him his Government is deporting Australian criminals to New Zealand while ignoring the outsized economic contribution Kiwis make to Australia, upping the ante on the long-running sore spot in the relationship; and gun owners decrying law reforms are selfish by putting personal inconveniences above public safety, a gun safety expert says. 

* The New Zealand Herald

In the New Zealand Herald, a shortage of New Zealand’s most common antidepressant and a switch in the drug’s supplier has sparked fears Kiwi lives will be put at risk. Since Monday, all pharmacists have been told by New Zealand’s drug buying agency, Pharmac, to only give patients one month supply of antidepressant Fluoxetine, instead of the usual three months. 
Pharmacists are also being told to add a note to the prescription, which is prescribed to hundreds of thousands of Kiwis, saying it is “out of stock”.

In other news, gun owners decrying law reforms are selfish by putting personal inconveniences above public safety, a gun safety expert says. And Philip Alpers, who used to host TV show Fair Go and is now a public health expert, supports a national gun register because he believes it would make the biggest improvement to community safety.

In business news, Air New Zealand has changed direction with its latest safety video released today. This, the 20th in a decade-long series, features no cameos from local or international celebrities. The clip instead features the story of a young girl travelling through the country, emphasising the importance of the environment alongside a quirky takahē called Mr T.

* The Dominion Post

In the Dominion Post, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will use today’s meeting with counterpart Scott Morrison in Sydney to tell him his Government is deporting Australian criminals to New Zealand while ignoring the outsized economic contribution Kiwis make to Australia, upping the ante on the long-running sore spot in the relationship. It is understood Ardern will make the case that while Australia is justified in deporting some criminals, it is sending many back who are effectively Australian.

In other news, Wellington motorists could be stung with night parking charges or hourly weekday fee hikes in an effort to keep rates rises down. It has been revealed Wellington City councillors were presented with the options at a recent closed-door workshop, in which it was suggested hourly central city parking rates could be increased to $4.50 across the board. 

In business news, coronavirus could cost Victoria University of Wellington $12 million, a letter to its staff has stated. The letter, sent by Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford, said time was running out to bring international students from China to New Zealand, and there could be a long-term financial impact.

* The Press

In The Press, the future of Christchurch’s ratepayer owned bus company has been thrown into doubt after losing a big chunk of its business to competitors. After a $5.3 million financial loss in the last year, Red Bus Ltd had pinned its hopes on winning more bus routes in the latest Environment Canterbury (ECan) tender round.

In other news, sixteen and 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote, Christchurch's civic leaders say. The Christchurch City Council has added its voice to a growing campaign to lobby the Government to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16. The calls have been made in a submission to the Government's justice committee inquiry into the 2019 local body election.  

In business news, two earthquake damaged heritage buildings will get $1.2 million from Christchurch ratepayers. The former Livingspace building at Sol Square (96 Lichfield St) and the Design and Arts College building at 116 Worcester St have each received $600,000 toward their multimillion-dollar repairs and refurbishments. 
 

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