WELLINGTON, June 6 (Reuters) - Following are some of the lead stories from New Zealand metropolitan newspapers on Wednesday.
Stories may be taken from either the paper or Internet editions of the papers.
Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
Party in wings for Hobbit premiere: Wellington will roll out the red carpet once again on November 28, when the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is held at The Embassy theatre.
ACC report contains ‘blatant lies’: ACC is accused of trying to justify “blatant lies” in a report containing allegations of extortion against whistle-blower Bronwyn Pullar.
Key puts departure tax on the menu: British tourist numbers to New Zealand are plunging as a punitive departure tax kicks in. But pleas to reverse the charge were expected to fall on deaf ears when Prime Minister John Key met his British counterpart overnight.
TelstraClear deal may hit 540 staff: Vodafone’s proposed acquisition of TelstraClear could affect up to 540 Wellington staff. Telstra is in talks to sell TelstraClear to Vodafone, which could mean Wellington loses another corporate head office.
Brownlee wrong over oil permit - court told: Former Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee wrongly assumed he had no jurisdiction to take account of the environmental impacts of oil exploration when awarding a major permit to Petrobras in 2010, a court has been told.
NEW ZEALAND HERALD (www.nzherald.co.nz)
Boag pushes for apology from ACC as Pullar cleared: Former National Party president Michelle Boag is demanding an apology from ACC after police said they would not prosecute her friend Bronwyn Pullar for trying to blackmail the corporation over a privacy breach.
Pokie trusts accused of misusing community cash: Pokie charities have been accused of using money meant for community projects to oppose a proposed law change which threatens their survival.
Vodafone play challenges Telecom: If Vodafone buys TelstraClear it would be a direct play against Telecom and give it more clout to challenge the market leader, analysts say.
Proposal to merge is ‘fair’ - report: The related party nature of listed retirement village operator Metlifecare’s proposal to merge with two other businesses should leave minority shareholders focused on price.
Purchase gives Cushings 19.6pc of Kirks: David Cushing says he has no plans to make a takeover offer for retailer Kirkcaldie & Stains right now but he won’t rule it out in the future.
Oil survey eco impact overlooked say lawyers: Lawyers challenging Brazilian oil company Petrobras’ deep sea oil exploration licence say the Minister of Energy failed to consider the impact on marine life of seismic surveying.