WELLINGTON, Aug 15 (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.
Labour at new low: poll: Labour has plumbed new depths in our latest poll as the election takes an ugly turn after a day rocked by allegations of blackmail, dirty politics and pushing and shoving on the campaign trail.
Key stands by Judith Collins, staffer as threats fly: Prime Minister John Key is standing by Justice Minister Judith Collins and former “black ops man” Jason Ede after Nicky Hager’s book alleged extensive collusion between the Government and Right-wing attack blogs.
Flat demand for power generates uncertainty: National grid company Transpower has posted a NZ$184 million profit in the June year, down NZ$18m from the previous year, saying it has come to the end of its big projects to make the grid more reliable.
Software firm welcomes high-profile investment: Trade Me founder Sam Morgan’s further investment in listed Christchurch crime analytics software firm Wynyard Group is a “great endorsement” for the company.
Healthy earnings at Vital property trust: Investing in Australia’s private medical market is paying off for trans-Tasman healthcare real estate fund Vital Healthcare Property Trust.
NEW ZEALAND HERALD (www.nzherald.co.nz)
Colin Craig: A mission to get to Parliament: Conservative leader and millionaire Colin Craig will keep on spending his savings to get into Parliament no matter what the outcome this election.
Dirty Politics: ‘That’s fine’ - Key relaxed on hack by spin doctor: Prime Minister John Key is backing spin doctor Jason Ede over claims he accessed Labour’s membership records - but said that even if he did “it would be fine”.
House prices picked to keep rising: Rising interest rates have yet to dent people’s expectations that house prices will continue to rise over the year ahead, especially in Auckland and Canterbury.
Pressure on to ease Tasman travel: Pressure is building to make travel easier between Australia and New Zealand, a move that could help fill a million empty seats each year on flights across the Tasman.