WELLINGTON, June 21 (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)
Drought fails to halt growth: Despite a vicious summer drought, the economy still grew a creditable 0.3 per cent in the March quarter and will keep picking up in the months ahead, according to Bank of New Zealand economists.
Storm hits Wellington like a freight train: Wellingtonians face massive disruption this morning, with wild weather threatening major roads, cancelling trains and leaving 30,000 households without power.
Interest in Premier League broadcasting rights revealed: If you think only die-hard soccer fans would fork out NZ$150 ($120) to watch a season of English Premier League football online, you are probably not alone. But Telecom could wrap up a deal within a week that would let its broadband customers watch matches at little cost or even free.
Govt convention centre deal on cards: The Government has struck a deal with the city council that will see a new convention centre built in Christchurch without the need for any ratepayer funding, Fairfax Media understands.
Mana unveils housing policy: Mana Party leader Hone Harawira wants to offer Maori first-time homebuyers no-deposit, low-interest loans but admits he doesn’t know how much the programme would cost. Mana yesterday unveiled its policy of building 10,000 state houses a year and offering the loans.
NEW ZEALAND HERALD (www.nzherald.co.nz)
Polar blast: Icy gales set to hit Auckland: The wild weather is set to continue - the fierce and freezing polar blast that has caused havoc in the South Island will bring icy, gale-force winds to Auckland and Northland today and there is still a chance of snow on the Hunua Ranges.
Broadband the X factor for internet TV viewing: Viewers wanting to sign up for internet-based broadcasting can choose from a multitude of devices but their viewing experience will ultimately be dictated by the quality of their internet connection.
Air force deaths: NZ$70k offer: The families of three airmen killed in an Anzac Day 2010 helicopter crash have been offered NZ$70,000 for each death.
Study to decide if land will be sold: Part of a large multi-million dollar piece of Devonport land could be sold by Auckland Council, but first a study of its future uses must be made.
God of nations, wash my sheets...: Thanks to social media, the secret that a New Zealand brand of washing machine can sing anthems has been uncovered. Almost 20 years ago, Fisher & Paykel engineers gave their machines the ability to sing the national anthem for in-store demonstrations. But the gem was forgotten until an Aucklander rediscovered it and made a YouTube video.
$1 = 1.2945 New Zealand dollars