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PRESS DIGEST-New Zealand newspapers - Oct 4

WELLINGTON, Oct 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()

How to pluck $100,000 out of thin air: Rental fees for thin air are adding more than $100,000 a year to the city coffers. Wellington apartment and commercial building owners who have balconies or building features jutting over city streets and footpaths are being charged for the right to occupy the airspace, Wellington City Council figures show.

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Kim Dotcom surveillance began earlier: The full extent of government spying on Kim Dotcom is still unclear - with suggestions he was being snooped on from last November.

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Plan to close courts 'heavy-handed': Up to 100 jobs could be lost and four courts permanently closed under a Government proposal announced yesterday. Other smaller courts could also face the cut.

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Law changes won't tax members - Trade Me: Trade Me insists proposed changes to trading laws will not leave most of its members open to paying tax on their transactions.

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Gender gap for directors 61pc - report: Women directors are paid about 61 per cent less than their male counterparts, according to an Institute of Directors' annual report on directors' fees.

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Broker says OceanaGold shares still undervalued: OceanaGold's shares have rallied more than 70 per cent in the past two months, but a broker's report says they are still trading about 35 per cent below other miners, based on earnings and reserves.

- - - - NEW ZEALAND HERALD ()

Anxious wait for 105 Solid Energy staff: About 105 Solid Energy staff will stay home today to wait anxiously for letters advising them whether they will lose their jobs.

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Key hit by Dotcom 'brain fade': John Key sat through a briefing on the Kim Dotcom case just weeks after the high-profile raid but says he completely forgot about it - a change to the story he gave Parliament days ago.

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Staff carpark perks come under gaze of taxman: Central city carparks provided to workers will soon be taxed in a move described as "petty" by Opposition MPs.

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Pay for board chairs jumps 15.3pc in year: Fees for board chairs have jumped in the past year as workloads increase and finance company prosecutions show the importance of directors "getting it right".

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Airlines increase capacity to US: Strong demand on United States routes has led Air New Zealand to add flights from next year and convinced Hawaiian Airlines to use a bigger plane, even before it has started up its services.

- - - - Mainfreight boss tips China acquisition: Mainfreight

boss Don Braid says his company wants to ramp up its growth in China and that may involve buying a local business.

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((Wellington newsroom tel +64 4 802 7980, fax +64 4 473 6212 wellington.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com))

Keywords: NEWZEALAND PRESS