PRESS DIGEST-New Zealand newspapers - Oct 3

WELLINGTON Wed Oct 2, 2013 3:30pm EDT

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WELLINGTON Oct 3 (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)

No change to Kiwi citizenship status - Aust PM: New Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made it clear he won't revisit the plight of Kiwis across the Tasman - and is using his New Zealand-born wife Margaret to support his hardline stance.

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Govt awaits ruling over 'copper tax': Prime Minister John Key says the Government will wait for a Commerce Commission ruling this month before deciding whether it will press ahead with its so-called "copper tax".

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Deal on Solid Energy wrapped up, says English: Finance Minister Bill English believes the proposal to restructure Solid Energy is a done deal, dismissing concerns that one of the banks is not on board.

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Labour support highest in five years: A new poll has Labour's support at the highest level in five years, with a big boost since David Cunliffe became leader. The latest Roy Morgan poll had Labour up 4.5 percentage points to 37 per cent, the highest support it had seen in the poll since Helen Clark was Prime Minister in 2008.

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New mega ministry's PR costs $220,000: The Ministry for Primary Industries has spent more than NZ$220,000 ($181,700) on communications consultants since its creation last year. Figures provided under the Official Information Act show Senate Communications has received NZ$175,579, Catchphrase Communications NZ$30,791 and Network Communication Group NZ$13,794.

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

Meridian float backed by researchers: Independent research house Morningstar has come out in favour of the upcoming Meridian Energy float, saying it was likely to appeal to long-term investors seeking yield. But Morningstar said the company, which accounts for 30 per cent of New Zealand's electricity output, would be susceptible to political change and the weather.

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Len Brown's financial record: Soaring debt, hefty rate increases and a blow-out in the wages bill have marked Len Brown's first term as Mayor and Treasurer of the Super City.

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Rules review sets wide net: lawyer: Supermarkets and service providers could be caught up in regulations designed to prevent another finance company collapse if Reserve Bank recommendations are followed through, a top lawyer has warned.

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Calls for public services to be funded by local government: Local Government New Zealand and the New Zealand Initiative are calling for more public services to be provided by local government and funded by local taxes.

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Power price games: Energy Minister Simon Bridges buried bad news about rising power prices by delaying release of official figures until just before Parliament went into recess, Labour's energy spokesman, David Shearer, says. But Mr Bridges says he is happy to defend National's record on power prices against Labour's "any day of the week".

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($1 = 1.2107 New Zealand dollars)

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