National News Brief, Friday March 6

David Bain trial begins; gang members carry concealed weapons; Ngai Tahu charging eelers; ACC entitlements to be cut; new political programme; and more

The retrial of David Bain begins in Christchurch today, 14 years after he was first convicted of murdering his parents and three siblings in Dunedin. The Press recalls that Bain, now 36, spent 12 years in prison before the Privy Council ordered in 2007 that he be retried. The New Zealand Herald says it will be "one of the largest and most high-profile murder trials in modern times", with more than 20 journalists filling most of the public seating space in the courtroom's lower level. The ODT runs a reminder graphic and says the trial judge yesterday reversed a decision from a day earlier and said online video coverage would be allowed, but with a 10 minute delay.

The Otago Daily Times' lead story, however, focuses on the Mongrel Mob, reporting that gang members are "routinely" being found carrying concealed weapons. Police say they have stopped patched members carrying sawn-off shotguns, machetes and even a crossbow. The Mob was "recruiting heavily".

The DominionPost's lead says Ngai Tahu is charging commercial users of Lake Ellesmere (or Te Waihora) to fish for eels there, and the angry fisherman say it's a forerunner to a nationwide "iwi tax". The eelers will pay 8% of their total profits towards conservation. Ngai Tahu says the levy applies only to those who profit from fishing. The Press says the users are paying under "extreme duress".

ACC minister Nick Smith yesterday told Parliament that people already receiving compensation and treatment would not have their entitlements removed, the Herald reports. The National government intends to cut entitlements, claiming cost blowouts, but Society of Physiotherapists president Jonathan Warren says physios have been subsidising ACC costs and that "it's the physio who gets people back to work, play and normal life as soon as possible".

WTO director-general Pascal Lamy told the New Zealand Herald the world needs the Doha Round more than ever. Lamy was in Wellington yesterday, criticising the EU's decision to reinstate export subsidies on dairy products.

Paul Holmes is returning to TVNZ after a five year hiatus. Holmes will co-host the new Sunday morning political show called Q&A with Guyon Espiner and Therese Arseneu, according to the DomPost. Holmes will make politics attractive to a wider audience, the Herald reports. [Declaration: Pundit editor Tim Watkin will be a producer on Q&A].