National News Brief Wednesday, March 4

New Zealand cricket tour to Pakistan in doubt after terror attack; National plans "significant changes" to ACC; government backs away from nine-day fortnight; Avondale teacher stabbed by pupil; and more

The deadly terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan dominates the New Zealand papers today. Eight people were killed and at least six touring players injured by an estimated 12 masked gunmen who attacked the team bus, according to the DominionPost. The New Zealand Herald quotes a New Zealand TV producer at the scene, Stu McPherson, saying he heard gunfire and two bomb blasts. The Press quotes New Zealand Cricket boss Justin Vaughan saying the New Zealand tour to Pakistan later this year was already of concern.

"November is a long way away but this, you would have to say, would add further doubt," he said.

The government is backing away from one of the key ideas to emerge from last Friday's Jobs summit – a government-subsidised nine-day fortnight. Colin Espiner in The Press quotes Finance minister Bill English saying a subsidy is "not going to happen" because it was too expensive. John Key indicated the government was likely to fund training instead, but union leader Helen Kelly said if there was nothing in the deal for workers it was unlikely to proceed.

On the Herald's front page, the busy Bill English says National is planning "significant changes" to ACC. He wouldn't say what changes, but claimed levies were "going through the roof" and liabilities are "blowing out". Labour said the government was "softening ACC up for privatisation". A ministerial inquiry yesterday blamed Treasury for not disclosing a $300m shortfall in the scheme before last year's election, John Armstrong writes, adding that robbed English of the chance to attack Labour.

A 17 year-old Korean student allegedly stabbed a teacher from behind at Auckland's Avondale College yesterday. The school was locked down for the rest of the day and the teacher, Dave Warren, is in Auckland Hospital. Students told the Herald there had been "an incident" between the teacher and pupil the day before.

The Otago Regional Council yesterday voted 6-4 to proceed with the controversial Otago Stadium after a last minute promise by the government to underwrite up to $15m of stadium costs. Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin the conditions attached to the money were "still a matter of discussion". Councillors in favour said the project would bring jobs to the city, while those opposed said it would be "an albatross around the neck" of the city with certain cost over-runs.

The government says failed investment company Mascot Finance should not have qualified for the deposit guarantee scheme because at the time it signed on it had already stopped taking deposits and was "reviewing" its future. Bill English says the South Island firm is likely to cost taxpayers "greater than $5m or $10m..."