PRESS DIGEST-New Zealand newspapers - Aug. 22

WELLINGTON Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:58pm EDT

WELLINGTON Aug 22 (Reuters) - Following are some of the lead stories from New Zealand metropolitan newspapers on Friday.

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)

Key hoses down hearsay, rumours continue: National's election campaign was again thrown into disarray yesterday as Prime Minister John Key was forced to deal with more fallout over dirty politics. The party faced a series of swirling rumours stemming from links to attack blogger Cameron Slater and allegations made in Nicky Hager's latest book, Dirty Politics.

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Minister not surprised by decision: The Government's flagship education policy, aimed at enticing mum and dad voters, has potentially been scuppered after the biggest teachers' union rejected it.

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Top performer suffers share drop: Shares in Ryman Healthcare have dropped about 12 per cent from a peak earlier in the year, a reflection of weakness in the retirement-village sector, analysts say.

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Export effort may see locals miss out: A booming wine export sector has seen sales reach a record of more than NZ$1.3 billion($1.09 billion) in the year to June but the foreign clamour for Kiwi wine means New Zealand fans are missing out.

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'Fonterra for forests' targets small owners: A new company that its backers describe as a "Fonterra for forests" is targeting investors in New Zealand's 14,000 small forests.

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

Greens spring in polls as National takes hit: National has taken a hit in the first poll since Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics was released but the Greens, not Labour, are the big winners so far.

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New questions over Key claims: New evidence has emerged appearing to contradict Prime Minister John Key's claim he was never told by the SIS it intended to release politically sensitive secret documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

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NZ wine pops its export cork: New Zealand wine has established itself as a major commodity after exports increased by 10 per cent in volume and value to a record NZ$1.33 billion in the year to June, says New Zealand Winegrowers in its annual report.

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Meat deal too tough to swallow: New Zealand meat companies abandoned efforts to consolidate and reduce surplus capacity last year because they lacked an agreed export strategy and farmers wouldn't commit stock to firms that closed plants, say industry sources.

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Movie row buried four years on: Four years after a bitter industrial row over the filming of The Hobbit the New Zealand screen industry body Spada and actors union Equity have made their peace.

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(1 US dollar = 1.1902 New Zealand dollar)

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