PRESS DIGEST-New Zealand newspapers - May 17

WELLINGTON Wed May 16, 2012 3:49pm EDT

WELLINGTON May 17 (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)

Airport to remove homes in noise zone: About 700 houses around Wellington Airport are to be demolished or insulated against airport noise.

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Banks admits receiving gift from Kim Dotcom: ACT leader John Banks says he gave away a luxury gift basket from German millionaire Kim Dotcom, who is at the centre of a series of allegations surrounding donations to the former Auckland mayor.

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Super-city report has gaps: Wilde: A report urging councils to shun a future Wellington super-city contains gaps and inaccuracies, Greater Wellington regional council chairwoman Fran Wilde says.

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Wellington an 'affordable' city to live in: The weak property market has made the Wellington region one of the most affordable cities to live in, a Government report shows.

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Tax policy plan released: The jury is out as to whether a radical tax proposal by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants will encourage the collection of the billions of dollars of black market money sloshing around the country.

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NEW ZEALAND HERALD (www.nzherald.co.nz)

Sweden embassy to close in Foreign Affairs cuts: Foreign Minister Murray McCully has confirmed the embassy in Sweden will close next month and other European posts will be told to move to cheaper offices as part of a bid to save $10 million a year.

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Affco upset by Shearer's picket visit: Affco, the company at the centre of a long-running employment dispute, is disappointed Labour leader David Shearer visited workers on the picket line but didn't visit management.

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Self-service goes in Warehouse revamp: Big box retailer The Warehouse is canning self-service checkouts, which its chief executive says work well in supermarkets but are less compatible with general merchandise.

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Sky faces probe as net deals criticised: Newscorp-controlled Sky Television is being probed by the Commerce Commission amid growing criticism it is limiting competition in New Zealand's unregulated pay television market.

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Shareholder body baulks at plan from Metlifecare: An initial examination of Metlifecare's $216 million expansion plan has not been greeted favourably by the Shareholders Association and the boss of the retirement business is in discussions with major shareholders.

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