PRESS DIGEST-New Zealand newspapers - Dec 4

WELLINGTON Tue Dec 3, 2013 1:47pm EST

WELLINGTON Dec 4 (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)

Inquiry methods heavily censured: A former top public servant has been slated for over-reaching his powers while heading an inquiry set up by the prime minister and Government Communications Security Bureau.

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State would collect any Gully tolls: If tolls are charged on the NZ$1.3 billion Transmission Gully road they would be collected by the government, not the consortium contracted to build and operate the expressway.

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Email raid sparks call to dump Yahoo: Telecom should drop Yahoo as its email provider after hackers again seized control of thousands of YahooXtra email accounts, Telecommunications Users Association chief executive Paul Brislen says.

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Commercial vehicle sales hit new high: Sales of new commercial vehicles during 2013 are on track to be the highest annual total since records began.

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

Fast-track plan for Banks' trial: The High Court has ruled embattled Act Party leader John Banks should stand trial on electoral fraud charges next year but the trial will likely be fast-tracked so it can be completed before campaigning for the general election begins.

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Census data revealed: What we earn and how your pay rates: The gap between the rich and the poor appears to be widening with the number of Kiwis earning more than $100,000 increasing by nearly three quarters.

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SFO drops fraud charges: The Serious Fraud Office failed to consider key evidence in the NZ$1.7 billion South Canterbury Finance investigation which has led to charges against two senior executives being dropped.

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Tug of war over NZ dollar: The New Zealand dollar is trading at 5-year highs against the Australian dollar but continues to deteriorate against the US dollar, despite evidence that the local economy is strengthening.

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Economist Nouriel Roubini picks NZ housing bubble: Nouriel Roubini, the American economist and financial expert dubbed Dr Doom - who predicted last decade's global meltdown - has picked New Zealand as having one of the world's most precarious housing markets.

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