WELLINGTON, April 5 (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.
Flags lowered as PRT closes in Bamiyan: The New Zealand flag has been lowered for the final time at Kiwibase in Bamiyan marking the official close of the Provincial Reconstruction Team and this country’s 10-year involvement with it.
Rennie: PM scrapped spy short list: Opposition parties are clamouring for an inquiry into the appointment of spy boss Ian Fletcher, as more details about Prime Minister John Key’s role in the controversial hiring emerge.
Increase for SOE bosses ‘obscene’: Mighty River Power directors will get pay rises close to the median wage, in a move labelled by a union boss as “obscene”.
Port expansion plans watered down: Ports of Auckland has bowed to public criticism of its desired expansion into Waitemata Harbour and released a new, more conservative development plan.
Datacom sells contact centre to US firm: Datacom has sold its 850-strong Asian contact centre business, based in Malaysia and the Philippines, to United States firm Convergys for an undisclosed sum.
NEW ZEALAND HERALD (www.nzherald.co.nz)
House prices tipped to rise by 12pc: Auckland house prices are predicted to rise a further 12 per cent over the next year, with the nationwide average jumping almost $40,000 by the end of the year.
PM put mate’s case for job in 2009: Prime Minister John Key was pushing his childhood friend Ian Fletcher as a good candidate for a top-level government job as early as 2009, State Services Commissioner Ian Rennie revealed yesterday.
Mighty River directors’ 73pc pay rise realistic - Key: A 73 per cent pay rise for Mighty River Power directors is “realistic” and it is “sensible” to do it now before the company is listed on the sharemarket next month, Prime Minister John Key says.
Questions hang over 2degrees’ future: 2degrees lost a guiding hand with the death of chief executive Eric Hertz last weekend at a time when the company faces the challenge of getting revenues to match its share of customers.
Jetstar working on plan to change tarnished image: Budget airline Jetstar is working on an image change. The airline, which today will carry its five millionth domestic passenger in New Zealand, says it will modify its pitch beyond just price.
Fulton Hogan denies report of being put on market: New Zealand’s biggest civil engineering, roading and resources business has denied a report it is being put up for sale.