WELLINGTON, July 18 (Reuters) - Following are some of the lead stories from New Zealand metropolitan newspapers on Thursday.
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.
DOMINION POST (www.stuff.co.nz)
SkyCity deal doesn’t add up: Treasury: Treasury was not convinced by the economics behind an international convention centre and expressed concerns about the social harm of increased gambling, newly released documents show.
Government axes Milford Tunnel: The controversial plan to drill a tunnel to the Milford Sound has been axed by the Government. Conservation Minister Nick Smith said the NZ$180 million ($142.14 million) plan, by Milford Dart, to build a route through the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks, was beyond what was appropriate for a World Heritage Area.
Opponents cheer tunnel decision: There was jubilation in the south yesterday as a controversial plan to drill a tunnel to cut travel time to Milford Sound was rejected by Conservation Minister Nick Smith.
Sommet Sports channel free to view: New Zealand’s only free-to-air sports channel kicked off on televisions last night, with a game plan to provide fans with free internet sports streaming soon to follow.
BNZ sees value in fixed-rate loans with OCR ready to rise: People are beginning to wake up to the fact interest rates are not going to stay very low forever, with rises to both fixed and floating rates expected in the next year, BNZ’s latest outlook says.
NEW ZEALAND HERALD (www.nzherald.co.nz)
Ross Sea reserve rejected by Russia: New Zealand’s fight to establish a massive marine reserve in Antarctic waters has been delayed at least another three months after countries failed to agree on the ambitious sanctuary for a second time.
Revealed: Hard-ball bargaining that led to SkyCity deal: Treasury officials warned against the SkyCity cash-for-convention-centre deal, saying there were doubts the taxpayer would get enough out of it.
Tunnel out - monorail verdict next: Conservation Minister Nick Smith says his decision to reject a proposed tunnel through Fiordland reflects the high threshhold for disturbing national parks - but does not guarantee the thumbs-down for a second development in the region.
Rollercoaster ride for Xero: Xero has cemented its reputation as one of the most volatile NZX-50 stocks. After plunging almost 8 per cent in early trading, its shares rebounded into positive territory after the company’s response to a price inquiry from sharemarket operator NZX - about a 23.1 per cent drop in its share price since last week - sparked a rally.
Kiwi light bulb maker lands deal with major US retailer: Kiwi light bulb manufacturer Energy Mad has received a boost for its business in the United States, securing a deal with a leading retailer. The company’s Ecobulb lightbulbs will be available in dedicated display cases in Walgreens stores for the rest of the year.
$1 = 1.2664 New Zealand dollars