PRESS DIGEST-New Zealand newspapers - March 7

WELLINGTON, March 7 Wed Mar 6, 2013 1:53pm EST

WELLINGTON, March 7 (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)

Petrol-tax rises not needed for roads - Labour: Government documents show the petrol-tax rise announced just before Christmas was not needed, Labour claims.

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MRP interest lodged at one a second: The Government has long said shares in Mighty River Power would be popular, but even the Treasury was caught out by the level of interest when the programme was launched.

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Too early to rethink payout, says Fonterra: Fonterra chairman John Wilson says the dairy giant will be watching world dairy prices closely in the next month for indications it should review its payout forecast.

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Methanol plant set to reap NZ$1b a year: Methanol production in Taranaki is set to boom with an NZ$80 million investment involving hundreds of workers restarting one of the original Think Big projects kicked off 30 years ago.

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Farmlands-CRT merger gets go-ahead: A big presence has emerged in rural service trading with the merger of co-operatives Farmlands and CRT into a $2 billion business after shareholders gave their final support.

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

Alcohol and sport link in spotlight: Sports players and clubs who are sponsored by liquor companies are much more likely to drink dangerously, a researcher will tell a conference on alcohol-related harm today.

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Dotcom ad points to share float: A job advertisement for Kim Dotcom's data sharing start-up Mega suggests the firm is serious about going public in New Zealand or Australia.

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Prices rise as drought bites: North Island dairy farmers face the cold comfort of higher dairy prices at a time when much of the island - representing about 46 per cent of the country's dairy production - is descending into drought.

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Snakk Media shares soar on first day: Shares in Derek Handley's Snakk Media soared more than 300 per cent yesterday on its debut listing on the New Zealand stock exchange.

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SkyCity bid for Gold Coast casino: SkyCity Entertainment Group is vying with international rivals to build the Gold Coast's first multibillion-dollar cruise ship terminal and casino, ready for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

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