Radio New Zealand - Thursday, 24th December 2009

This page lists items from RNZ that are available online. RNZ didn't start regularly putting both its audio and news content online until 2008. From 2002-2007 written news items (particularly from RNZ International) were placed online. You can access items prior to 2002 on the historic page.

This page features: Afternoons, Best Of The Week, Business News, Checkpoint, Focus on Politics, Midday Report, Morning Report, News Stories, Nights, Nine To Noon, Our Changing World, Rural News, Saturday Morning, The Week In Review, Upbeat


The best song ever written
Ross Corbett of Napier chooses 'Fields of Gold' by Eva Cassidy. [more]

Your Place
It's our weekly tour of New Zealand's lesser known communities, those rural heartland gems. Today we travel to Spencerville, a semi-rural area, just 20 minutes from Christchurch's Cathedral Square (unless you're driving in Christmas eve traffic). This coastal town backs on to a forest and sits adjacent to the east coast on Pegasus Bay. [more]

Best song ever written - Top 10
A countdown of the songs nominated most often during 2009. [more]

He Rourou for 24 December 2009
Ana Tapiata gets a child's perspective on Christmas from five-year-old Te Amorangi Hawaii Kirangi. This little Wellingtonian has already sorted out her gifts list, her waiata and her Christmas blessing. [more]

Weekend weather
With MetService weather ambassador Bob McDavitt. [more]

Christchurch story
Christchurch is home to one of the country's first 'toyologists'. Hana Pearce is one of two children chosen from around New Zealand to review toys and offer feedback, both to her peers and to the toy manufacturer, Mattel. As Christmas beckons, Christchurch correspondent Katy Gosset gets some tips on the hot favourites, and watches the toyologist at work. [more]

Environment story
Alison Ballance ends the year with part two of a story about godwits - and it starts with a bang! She's at Foxton Beach with Jesse Conklin and Phil Battley from Massey University, and they've just managed to 'twinkle' the godwit flock into a perfect position. [more]

The Panel (part 1)
With Richard Griffin and Penny Ashton. [more]

The Panel (part 2)
With Richard Griffin and Penny Ashton. [more]

Best Of The Week

Best of the Week - 24 December 2009
Highlights from Radio New Zealand National's programmes for the week ending Thursday 24 December. This week...looking back at the tsunami tradegy that hit Samoa 3 months ago, how New Zealand's biggest lotto winners are coping with their riches just months after becoming millionaires, what's the difference between brie and camembert cheese and Mediawatch's end of year awards for those annoyingly rude journalists. [more]

Business News

Morning business for 24 December 2009
News from the business sector including a market report [more]

Markets update for 24 December 2009
A quick update of movements in the financial sector. [more]

Midday Business News for 24 December 2009
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]

Evening business for 24 December 2009
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]

Evening business for 24 December 2009
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]


Pre-Christmas carnage on the road
It has been a horror 24 hours on the road with six deaths, four of them today just hours before the start of the holiday road toll period. [more]

New EFTPOS transacation record set
Last minute Christmas shoppers have set a another new EFTPOS record. [more]

CTU says Govt not totally open about borrowing
The government's being accused of misleading the public over how much money it's having to borrow. [more]

Big LSD seizure in prison car park
About two and a half million dollars worth of LSD has been seized by police and prison staff from a car park at a women's prison in Auckland. [more]

Massive demand for food at Auckland City Mission
The Auckland City Mission says it's had its biggest queues for food parcels in ten years. [more]

Jail time for ballooon boy's parents
The American parents who triggered a major alert by claiming their 6-year-old son Falcon was adrift in a helium balloon have been sentenced to jail time. [more]

Is it "Time to Eat the Dog"?
And now for the big question... whether or not the time has come to choose between owning a large dog and driving a large car. [more]

Sports news for 24 December 2009
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

NSW residents will have a soggy Christmas
While most of New Zealand is in for a fine Christmas Day, across the Tasman a flood warning has been issued for parts of New South Wales. [more]

Attacks on Shia pilgrims in Baghdad
There has been a series of attacks against Shia pilgrims and other Shia targets in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. [more]

Christmas Island attracts new type of boat people
Christmas Island, best known for its detention centres, is now attracting visitors of a different kind. [more]

Waatea news for 24 December 2009
News from the Waatea team. [more]

Shepherd back in charge of Flying Nun
The New Zealand record company Flying Nun has again been bought by the man who first started the label in the eighties, with bands like The Chills and The Clean. [more]

Hunt for Amelia Earhart revived
One of the greatest mysteries of the golden age of flight - what happened to Amelia Earhart - might finally be solved in the coming months when a team of researchers return to a tiny archipelago near Kiribati. [more]

Phar Lap gallops again in Timaru
This year a life-size bronze sculpture of Phar Lap in full gallop was unveiled in the South Canterbury town where he was born. [more]

Horror 24 hours on the roads
The road toll has jumped by six over the past 24 hours. [more]

Five years on from Boxing Day Tsunami
It's a matter of hours before Christmas celebrations get underway, but for some families it is a time of remembrance 5 years after the Boxing Day Tsumani. [more]

Topp Twins' documentary gets glowing reviews
"A docu that has you falling in love with two of the crazier people you've never met." [more]

Kakapo becomes YouTube hit
This year a Kakapo was catapaulted into an internet star, after the critically endangered green parrot attempted to mate with the back of a British TV presenter's head. [more]

Debate continues over climate summit
The Copenhagen summit is still generating heated debate over why it failed to produce a legally binding agreement on cuts in carbon emissions. [more]

Cyclists clash with Orthodox Jews
In New York, a row has flared up between between a group of cyclists and their Orthodox Jewish neighbours. [more]

Redbacks invasion begins in Japan
The Australian redback spider was a new and unwelcome visitor to Japan this year. [more]

Sports news for 24 December 2009
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Waatea news for 24 December 2009
News from the Waatea team. [more]

Bishop says song should be called "Oh Come All Ye Faithless"
While many of you might spend tonight listening to or singing your favourite Christmas carols, one person who probably won't be is the Bishop of Croydon. [more]

Focus on Politics

Focus On Politics for 24 December 2009
It's been a tough year for the Labour Party leader Phil Goff. Labour has struggled in nationwide opinion polls all year, consistently trailing National by a substantial margin. But Mr Goff believes Labour is well positioned to challenge the Government next year and in 2011 when the country goes to the polls again. He talked to our political editor Brent Edwards and started by giving his view of the past 12 months. [more]

Midday Report

Midday News for 24 December 2009
Midday Report news bulletin. [more]

Midday Sports News for 24 December 2009
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Morning Report

Top Stories for Wednesday 24 December 2009
65 residents will need new home from late January; Hear from the winner of the 47th annual conch shell contest; Police outline Christmas traffic problems, drink driving blitz; Why do we have belly button fluff? And is it worth studying?; Four banks accept IRD liability of $2.2 billion; Discussion follows shooting of Auckland officer; Christmas message from John Key. [more]

65 residents will need new home from late January
A large Auckland resthome is being shut down after health officials ruled the standard of care is not up to scratch. [more]

Hear from the winner of the 47th annual conch shell contest
Throughout the morning we will be hearing again some of the weirder people and silliest stories we have brought to you this year. For example, bicycle tour guide Lloyd Mager who we spoke to in March just after he'd won the 47th annual conch shell blowing contest in Key West in Florida. [more]

Pacific news 24 December 2009
The latest from the Pacific region. [more]

What it's like to be Santa for a day
Every year hundreds of Kiwis run the gauntlet of being Santa in the name of entertaining children and keeping the festive spirit alive. [more]

Waatea news for 24 December 2009
News from the Waatea team. [more]

Police outline Christmas traffic problems, drink driving blitz
The Christmas holiday exodus has led to difficult driving conditions across the country. [more]

Why do we have belly button fluff? And is it worth studying?
Here at Morning Report we have been accused of navel gazing. But here's a man who does that for a living. [more]

Four banks accept IRD liability of $2.2 billion
In the largest tax settlement in New Zealand's history, four major banks have accepted liability for a sum that exceeds 2-point-2-billion dollars. [more]

Discussion follows shooting of Auckland officer
A leading defence lawyer says introducing tougher sentences for those who attack police officers would be a knee jerk reaction. [more]

Christmas message from John Key
This morning we'll be hearing Christmas greetings from some of the familiar voices we have had on the programme this year. [more]

Figures are good, but business community still cautious
The Government says New Zealanders can go into the Christmas break feeling more positive, after weathering the worst recession in 30 years. [more]

Christmas shoppers under control
One sleep to go - one day left to shop.One sleep to go - one day left to shop. [more]

Christmas message from Phil Goff
Let's hear from another of our political leaders with their Christmas message. [more]

What's the weather this Christmas?
The sun looks like breaking from tradition and actually shining for most of us on Christmas Day.The sun looks like breaking from tradition and actually shining for most of us on Christmas Day. [more]

Sports news for 24 December 2009
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Obama holding off Christmas holiday 'till it's through
US senators are just hours from a final vote on President Obama's plan to provide free healthcare for the uninsured. [more]

Commuter train runs for last time due to passenger dearth
A commuter rail service launched with great fanfare in Auckland nearly 18 months ago, runs for the last time this morning due to a lack of passengers. [more]

Christmas message from Pita Sharples
Let's hear again from the Beehive - this time Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples. [more]

Rounding up the jargon
Are you a recessinista who's something of a tangi hopper? What about a fast follower prone to junior moments? [more]

The car dealer with an offer you can't refuse
We're hearing again today from some of the more interesting people we've spoken to on Morning Report this year. [more]

Revenue Minister hails record tax victory against banks
Four major banks will together pay 2.2 billion dollars to Inland Revenue in the largest settlement of a tax dispute in the country's history. [more]

Active enforcement for cell phone ban begins
The police say the bedding-in period for the ban on hand-held cellphone use while driving, is over. [more]

Christmas message from Metiria Turei
Here's some Christmas advice from Greens co-leader Metiria Turei. [more]

Calls on Government to fix high death toll for youth
A committee from the Ministry of Health is urging the Government to crack down on what it says is an unacceptably high death toll for children and young people. [more]

Schumacher confirms F1 comeback
Michael Schumacher, the seven times world champion, is coming out of a three year retirement to race again in Formula One -- this time for Mercedes. [more]

Christmas message from Rodney Hide
Time for another Christmas message from one of our leaders.Time for another Christmas message from one of our leaders. [more]

The year in sports
2009 will go down as a year several leading New Zealand sports teams will want to forget. [more]

Sheep start a sprint
Forget the gee gees, the V8s and the rowing. When it comes to racing, at least in Methven, think sheep. [more]

Christmas message from Peter Dunne
Let's find out what's on the mind of United Future leader Peter Dunne this Christmas. [more]

Jamaica plane overshoots runway
An American Airlines plane has narrowly escaped disaster, after overshooting the runway when landing in the Jamaican capital Kingston. [more]

Waatea news for 24 December 2009
News from the Waatea team. [more]

Christmas message from Jim Anderton
The last of our Christmas messages from our political leaders. [more]

Santa told to cut calories, get more exercise
The Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal has some harsh advice for Santa -- you're too fat so get off the sleigh and walk door to door with your sack of presents. [more]

Kerry-Anne Walsh with news from Australia
We cross to Canberra now to join our correspondent, Kerry-Anne Walsh [more]


Santa update one
Hewitt Humphrey tracks Santa's progress. [more]

Gnome convention
Small, bearded and wearing pointed, colourful, conical hats, commonly represented as garden stauettes, this folkloric community will gather en masse at the upcoming 6th Australian Gnome Convention on Australia Day in Glenbrook Park, New South Wales. [more]

Santa update two
Hewitt Humprey reports on the progress of Ol' St. Nick. [more]

Santa update three
Hewitt Humphrey with another Santa update. [more]

Primarily Numbers - mathematics
Dr Dennis McCaughan, mathematician, University of Otago. From finite to infinity, it adds up to a lot more than cuisenaire rods... navigation by the stars. Also how do you connect maths and music? [more]

X marks the spot
The answer to X marks the spot. [more]

Santa update four
Radio New Zealand's Santa update. [more]

Santa update five
Hewitt Humphrey's last Santa update this Christmas eve. [more]

End credits
Bryan thanks the Nights team, and we hear a rendition of Silent Night from the Newsroom Choir. [more]

Nine To Noon

2009 highlights
Highlights of the year from the world of sport, media, business and politics. [more]

Gillian Lynne
British choreographer behind CATS. [more]

2009 highlights Part 2
Highlights of the year from the world of sport, media, business and politics. [more]

Elizabeth Goodyear
102 years old!! on the line from Manhatten, New York. [more]

2009 highlights Part 3
Highlights of the year from the world of sport, media, business and politics. [more]

Christian Lander
Stuff White People Like. [more]

Lady Kuia Morrison and Donna Grant
Lady Kuia is the widow of Sir Howard Morrison, Donna is his daughter. [more]

Mike Chunn and friends play the ukulele
Youth ukulele players. [more]

2009 Highlights Part 4
2009 highlights with adventurer Kennedy Warne, urbanist Tommy Honey, muso Marty Duda, comics Radar and Pinky Agnew. [more]

Paul Corrigan
Bad Gift Emporium. [more]

2009 Highlights Part 5
Highlights of the year from the world of sport, media, business and politics. [more]

Sergeant Guy Baldwin
"Blow on the pie"safer communities together - you tube sensation. [more]

2009 Highlights Part 6
Highlights of the year from the world of sport, media, business and politics. [more]

Nota Bene sing carols
Four carols sung by Joanne Hodgson, Virginia Earle, Andrew Dunford, Isaac Stone and Christine Argyle. [more]

Our Changing World

Bar-tailed Godwits - part 2
The cannon nets have been fired and Jesse Concklin and Phil Battley retrieve data loggers from the godwits they have caught. [more]

Remembering the Future
Recent research suggests the same parts of the brain are used for remembering and for thinking about the future. [more]

Calcium, lung function and asthma
Mathematician James Sneyd is modelling the role of calcium in lung function and saliva secretion. [more]

Asian Paddle Crabs
The newly arrived Asian paddle crab is proving to be aggressive, voracious and a fast breeder. [more]

Rural News

Morning Rural News for 24 December 2009
News from the rural and farming sector. [more]

Midday Rural News for 24 December 2009
News from the rural and farming sectors. [more]

Saturday Morning

Max Gimblett: Painting in NYC
One of NZ's most internationally prominent and successful artists, living and working on the Bowery in New York. [more]

John Reynolds : Art and Text
One of New Zealand's foremost painters and printmakers. [more]

Alun and Helen Bollinger: love and film stories
Respected New Zealand cinematographer and his wife who feature in film festival documentary Barefoot Cinema. [more]

JJ Joseph and Celia Lashlie: male violence
Author of a confessional book about violent offending, with the author of books about men and violence. [more]

Bill Oddie: from Goodies to depression
English actor, writer, TV presenter and musician who tells his life story in One Flew into the Cuckoo's Egg. [more]

David Trubridge: planes and boats and chairs
Furniture designer based in Hawkes Bay who exhibits and lectures on his work around the world. [more]

Barbara Anderson : a life in words
Barbara Anderson, Lady Anderson (14 April 1926 – 24 March 2013) was a New Zealand fiction writer who became internationally recognized despite only starting her writing career in her late fifties.  While her writing featured in journals, on radio broadcasts and in magazines, her first published collection wasn’t released until 1989,  Her memoir 'Getting There: An Autobiography' was published in 2008. She wrote numerous novels and short story collections, and many publications have been reprinted due to popular demand.  Barbara Anderson died last weekend aged 86 after a short illness. The interview with Kim hill was recorded in November 2008, at the time she published her memoir. [more]

Sir Roger Moore : being 007
TV and movie star( The Saint,James Bond ),who was awarded a knighthood for his work for UNICEF [more]

Margaret Mahy: fantastic life
One of New Zealand's most acclaimed writers; her new book is young adult novel The Magician of Hoad. [more]

Alan Breslau - phoenix founder
Engineer who spent five years in hospital being treated for burns after an airline crash, then set up a burn support network. [more]

Joseph Churchward: a life in type
Retired type designer, born and raised in Samoa, who has over 600 original fonts to his name. [more]

Bruce Sterling and Jasmina Tesanovic
American futurist writer and his wife, a Serbian activist and writer, visiting NZ for the Webstock conference [more]

Paul Callaghan: wool to Weta
Professor of Physical Sciences, Victoria University; author of Wool to Weta: Transforming New Zealand's Culture and Economy. [more]

Dawn French: fun, fame and farewells
British comedy actress best known for her TV series The Vicar of Dibley, and as half of the duo French and Saunders. [more]

Philip Temple: mountains and chance
Dunedin-based mountaineer and author of 31 books, whose memoir, Chance is a Fine Thing, has just been published. [more]

Terence Davies: Liverpool
British film director, whose most recent film, Of Time and the City, is a paean to his hometown of Liverpool. [more]

Gary Taylor: polyamory
George Matthew Edgar Professor of English, and director of the History of Text Technologies programme at Florida State University. [more]

James Belich: settler revolution
Research Professor of History at the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies; his new book is Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld, 1783-1939. [more]

Playing Favourites with Jonathan Owen
Welsh actor who co-produces and stars in the online episodic drama series Svengali, about the manager of a band trying to break into the big time. [more]

Peter Procter: cows, earth and cosmos
New Zealander who has led a biodynamic farming revolution in India; his story is told in the documentary film One Man, One Cow, One Planet. [more]

Ruth Reichl: mothering magazines
American food writer and editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine (until it closed unexpectedly in early October), and author of four books of memoirs including Not Becoming My Mother . [more]

The Week In Review

The Week in Review - week ending 24 December 2009
A review of the week's news including calls for tougher penalties in wake of police shooting, positive economic growth, Christmas sales up, banks made to pay up $2.2 billion, clamp down on beneficiaries planned, Copenhagen"not a waste of time", two spellings allowed for Whanganui, Susan Boyle complaint upheld, controversial church billboard vandalised, towns big and small to host rugby teams, native mistletoe discovered, Santa imposter no match for real thing [more]


Nelson Wattie
Alistair Te Ariki Campbell's biographer, pays tribute to the New Zealand poet, novelist and playwrite. [more]

Jack Body and Ross Harris
NZ composers featured in this year's NZSO Made In New Zealand concert. [more]

Aivale Cole
Winner of the 2009 Lexus Song Quest. [more]

Ben Northey
Australian conductor of NZSO SOUNZ Readings. [more]

Amber Rainey
NZ pianist and member of the Cook Strait Trio. [more]

News stories:

Dole may be cancelled after a year
People on the unemployment benefit for more than a year could have their payments cancelled if they refuse to front up to Work & Income and make a plan to return to work. [more]

Retailers report festive optimism
The Retailers Association expects Christmas trading, in dollar terms, to be about 5% above what it was last year. It says there's a sense of optimism among both retailers and consumers. [more]

Horomia lost for words over benefit reviews
Former Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says he is at a loss for words to describe a Government move on unemployment. [more]

Unemployment will remain high - CTU
The Council of Trade Unions say the economy remains fragile, despite figures showing a second consecutive quarter of economic growth. It says says unemployment will remain high for the next few years. [more]

Volvo to be sold to Chinese company
Swedish car maker Volvo is on the verge of being sold to a Chinese company by Ford. No details were given of how much the deal is worth. [more]

Rebellin says anomalies in positive doping test
Italy's cycling road race silver medallist Davide Rebellin, who was ordered to return his medal last month because of a positive doping test from last year's Beijing Olympics, has said he ... [more]

Biotech company in receivership
Biotechnology company BotryZen has asked the BNZ to appoint a receiver after failing to raise $1.5 million in a recent capital raising. [more]

Port of Lyttelton income down
Income for the Port of Lyttelton was lower in the five months to November compared with the same period last year. However, volume is expected to increase in the second half of the year. [more]

Fuel savings continue at Air NZ
Air New Zealand sliced 10% off its fuel bill last year and says it will continue trying to make savings. Fuel was the biggest cost to the business last year - $1.6 billion. [more]

Task force aims to meet report deadline
A wool industry task force appointed by Agriculture Minister David Carter still aims to get a progress report to him by the end of the year. [more]

Street coffee company opens in Hong Kong
Thirteen years after opening its first street espresso store in Wellington, Fuel Espresso has opened its first overseas store in Hong Kong. [more]

Morning Report: local papers
Thursday's papers: $2.2 billion tax payment by trading banks; biotech company Botry Zen in receivership; cruise ship carrying 2000 people to visit Stewart Island. [more]

New home sales fall in US
Sales of new homes in the United States were down by 11.3% in November to 355,000. The median sales price for November was $US217,000. [more]

NZ cranberry industry endorsed
Efforts to establish a cranberry industry in New Zealand have been endorsed by a representative of a large cranberry co-operative in the United States. [more]

Banks settle dispute with IRD
Inland Revenue and four major trading banks have settled a long-running tax dispute by accepting liability for a combined sum that exceeds $2.2 billion. The payments will end any legal action. [more]

Markets up
Wall Street stocks have been boosted by a Commerce Department report that showed consumer spending jumped 0.5% in November. Markets in Europe were also up. [more]

Helensville rail service ends due to low patronage
A new commuter rail service in Auckland runs for the last time on Thursday. Each passenger on the Helensville line was subsidised by $45. [more]

Govt happy with bank tax outcome
The Government is happy with the outcome of a dispute involving New Zealand's top trading banks. BNZ, Westpac, ASB and ANZ National are to pay a combined total of $2.2 billion, about 80% of what they originally owed in tax and interest. [more]

Marriage licence includes the 'h' in Whanganui
Daniel Paranihi of Whanganui has had partial success in getting a 'h' included on his marriage certificate. [more]

Early repayment of $200 million by PGG Wrightson
PGG Wrightson is repaying $200 million worth of bank debt three months early, after raising almost $250 million from shareholders earlier this month. [more]

Former French Polynesia President released from jail
French Polynesias veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, has been released from Tahitis Nuutania jail where he has been held since last month as part of a probe into alleged corruption. His... [more]

American Samoa politician expresses concern about military relocation delay
American Samoa politician Aumua Amata says delays in the relocation of 8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam will affect the processing of construction jobs on Guam for which hundreds... [more]

Solomon Islands parliament passes 2010 budget
The Solomon Islands National Parliament has passed a 228 million US dollar budget for the year 2010. The budget underwent furious debate and close scrutiny by the country's opposition and... [more]

SH4 open again
State Highway Four in the King Country south of Te Kuiti, is open again. [more]

Food queue outside City Mission
There's a queue for food parcels outside the Auckland City Mission on Thursday morning. [more]

Madoff in prison medical centre
Former Wall Street financier Bernie Madoff has been moved to a medical centre within the prison in North Carolina where he is serving 150 years for fraud. [more]

Toxic algae prompts river warning
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink is warning people not to swim in some of the region's rivers where toxic algae is growing. [more]

Lake algae problem
Whanganui District Council is to investigate options to deal with non- toxic green algae in Virginia Lake. [more]

Rodney power station gets go ahead
Final legal barriers have been cleared for the building of a future power station in Rodney, north of Auckland. [more]

Flower unhappy with review system
England's cricket coach Andy Flower is unhappy with the umpire's decision review system being trialled in the test series with South Africa. Flower doesn't like like the questioning of the umpires ... [more]

Zidane glad head-butt punished in World Cup final
The former French midfielder Zinedine Zidane says he's glad he was sent off for his head-butt in the last football World Cup final because he hasn't had to live with regret ... [more]

Scottish cyclist wins appeal against life ban
The Scottish road cyclist David Millar has been cleared to compete for his country at next year's Commomweath Games in India after a successful appeal against a life ban. Millar was ... [more]

Federer and Serena named ITF World Champions
Roger Federer and Serena Williams have been named the International Tennis Federation World Champions after capturing four grand slam singles titles between them this year. It's the fifth time Switzerland's world ... [more]

Drysdale says Lonsdale Cup caps a fantastic year
Champion rower Mahe Drysdale says receiving the New Zealand Olympic Committee's coveted Lonsdale Cup for the first time as an individual is the culmination of a fantastic year during which he ... [more]

Van Persie's World Cup hopes take nosedive
The injured Dutch striker Robin van Persie's hopes of being fit for the World Cup have taken a nosedive with Arsenal saying he could be out of Premier League action until ... [more]

Tommy Smith's availability a boost for All Whites
The All Whites' World Cup preparations are set for a further boost with the young Ipswich defender Tommy Smith contacting coach Ricky Herbert to say he wants to play for New ... [more]

Masaga moves from Counties-Manukau to BoP
The All Blacks winger Lelia Masaga has signed with Bay of Plenty for the next two years, leaving Counties-Manukau. He made his Test debut against Italy in Christchurch this year. Masaga ... [more]

Woods resumes relationship with New York showclub host
A new report has emerged that Tiger Woods and New York showclub host Rachel Uchitel have resumed their relationship. In Touch magazine has reported on its website that Woods, who turns ... [more]

Wild Oats XI lifted from water for hurried keel repairs
Sydney to Hobart race record-holder Wild Oats XI has been lifted from the water for hurried keel repairs ahead of the Boxing Day race start. An underwater inspection of the supermaxi's ... [more]

Ponting to undergo fitness test tomorrow ahead of Boxing Day test
The Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting will undergo a fitness test to decide whether he'll play in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan in Melbourne. He's nursing a left elbow injury, ... [more]

NZ women get first home international in almost three years
The New Zealand women's football side will play its first home international in almost three years, when it plays Australia in two matches in Auckland in February. The games against the ... [more]

Yet more off-field troubles for rugby league
Rugby league's off-field problems continue with two more NRL players in trouble with the law. Danny Wicks has quit the Newcastle Knights after being charged with supply and possesion of illegal ... [more]

Ball tampering allegations to be investigated
The Central Districts cricket coach Dermot Reeve has been ordered to appear at a code of conduct hearing over ball tampering allegations he made against Auckland player and England international Ravi ... [more]

Gayle labels Watson soft and easy to wind up
The war of words between Chris Gayle and Shane Watson has taken another turn, with the West Indies captain labelling the Australian all-rounder soft and easy to wind up. Gayle delivered ... [more]

Sevens star re-signs with Steelers
The Counties-Manukau winger and New Zealand sevens star Sherwin Stowers has re-signed with the Steelers for three years. The 23-year-old student was the leading try scorer in the Dubai Sevens tournament ... [more]

Auckland four clear in one day cricket competition
Auckland has opened a four-point lead in the one day cricket provincial championship after an 81-run win over Wellington. Auckland has 13 points after three wins in a row, four clear ... [more]

Sydney beat Mariners to go level with Melbourne
Sydney FC's beaten the Central Coast Mariners 1-0 in Australian football's A-League. The home win lifts Sydney level on points with league leaders Melbourne, while the Mariners have now lost a ... [more]

Schumacher says he's over his neck injury
The seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher says he's over the neck injury that stopped his comeback with Ferrari last season and after a three-year break he's regained his energy. Schumacher has ... [more]

Perth out-shoot Adelaide
Perth is back on top of the Australian National Basket League after a 94-73 win in Adelaide. Shawn Redhage scored a game-high 25 points for Perth, who were stung by the ... [more]

Schumacher wants record eighth F1 title
Michael Schumacher has targeted an unprecedented eighth Formula One title after Mercedes announced he was coming out of retirement. Schumacher, who won two titles with Benetton and five with Ferrari before ... [more]

Form Scotland halfback dies
The former Scotland rugby halfback Duncan Paterson has died of a suspected heart attack aged 66. Paterson won 10 caps between 1969 and 1972 and he later became Scotland's team manager. ... [more]

Bond not bitter about losing two years of Tests
Fast bowler Shane Bond maintains he bears no resentment towards New Zealand Cricket for denying him the chance to have two more years at the top of the game. Bond's announced ... [more]

Ireland's Leamy to miss Six Nations
The Munster number eight Denis Leamy has been ruled out of Ireland's defence of their Six Nations title with a knee injury. Leamy was injured in the closing stages of the ... [more]

Mayweather-Pacquiao bout off says promoter
The bout being billed as the richest in boxing history, the World Boxing Organisation welterweight title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, appears to be off. Pacquiao's promoter Bob ... [more]

Two in court over kidnap of elderly woman
Two women are due to appear in the Auckland District Court accused of the kidnap and robbery of an elderly woman on Friday. [more]

Gillies Ave traffic still congested
Police in Auckland say traffic on Gillies Avenue in Newmarket is starting to clear, but it would be a good idea to avoid the street for the next few hours. [more]

SH1 congestion expected in Wellington region
Police advise the public to put off unnecessary travel in the Wellington region on Thursday. Heavy congestion is expected on State Highway One until 10pm. [more]

Fiji 24 hour trading zones aimed at tourists passing through
The president of the Suva Retailers Association, Himmat Lodhia, says extended shop trading hours bring Fiji into line with major tourist destinations around the world. The Government announced yesterday that... [more]

Samoa man jailed for manslaughter after being on the run for eight years
The Supreme Court in Samoa has sentenced Ropati Nauer to seven years jail for a manslaughter conviction dating back to December 2001. The man had fled to New Zealand while... [more]

New Zealand NGO calls for dialogue to ease Papuan tensions after Kelly Kwalik killing
The New Zealand based Indonesia Human Rights Committee says it's deeply concerned about the possibility of escalating conflict in the Papua region of Indonesia in the wake of the death... [more]

Growing poverty in rural PNG prompts sale of young daughters as brides
Increasing poverty is being blamed for a surge in Papua New Guinean families selling their daughters as brides. One NGO, the Papua Hahine Social Action Forum, says girls as young... [more]

Solomons police warn of volatility of old World War Two explosives
Solomon Islands police have reiterated a plea for people not to touch any old bombs they find. This comes after three people were killed last weekend when they tried to... [more]

Phoenix ground rated only mediocre in A-League
A survey of A-League footballers has rated the Wellington Phoenix home ground Westpac Stadium only fair to middling. The survey by the Professional Footballers Association Australia rated Brisbane Roar's Suncorp Stadium ... [more]

Leicester City chairman accused of tax evasion
The chairman of English football club Leicester City has been charged with tax evasion. The charges will be brought against Milan Mandaric next year and relate to a 2002 incident when ... [more]

More than 50 marae expected at Pa Wars
Ngati Porou is gearing up for one of the biggest days on the tribal calendar: the annual Pa Wars. Next year's challenge is being held at Uawa, Tologa Bay, with teams from over 50 marae expected. [more]

Waikato DHB uncovers underage cigarette sales
Waikato District Health Board says nine dairy owners and employees face possible prosecution after selling cigarettes to a customer under 18 years of age. [more]

Cellphone driving ban will be enforced - police
Police say they will now actively enforce a ban on using hand-held cellphones while driving. The ban came into law on 1 November. [more]

ASB commits $10 million to Polynesian education
The ASB Trust is to commit $10 million to Maori and Pasifika education over the next five years. [more]

Large rest home to be closed
A large rest home and hospital in south Auckland is to be closed because the standard of care it provides is not considered satisfactory. The PacifiCare Rest Home Hospital, also known as Blue Dove, has 65 residents. [more]

Milk product being withdrawn
A soy milk product being recalled in Australia is being voluntarily withdrawn in New Zealand by its sole importer. [more]

Shot policeman spending Christmas in hospital
Police Constable Jeremy Snow, who was shot three times in Papatoetoe on Tuesday is receiving many visits from friends, relatives and colleagues as he prepares to spend Christmas in Middlemore Hospital. [more]

Fine weather forecast for Christmas Day
MetService says most of the country will have fine weather on Christmas Day. [more]

"Flying Nun" owner wants to take NZ music to the world
The new owner of the Flying Nun recording label wants to promote New Zealand music overseas. Roger Shepherd has re-acquired the label from Warner Music. [more]

IHC employee charged with fraud
IHC New Zealand says a former employee has been arrested and acused of fraud totalling about $600,000. [more]

Papua New Guinea signs off on another major LNG project
The Papua New Guinea Governmen has now confirmed that two liquefied natural gas projects are set to be completed in the country. The Petroleum and Energy Minister, William Duma, says... [more]

Fiji's Bainimarama says he wants to resume talking after offer from New Zealand Government
The leader of Fiji's interim government has welcomed reports that the New Zealand Government wants to renew engagement. The New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, this week told Auckland based,... [more]

Cooks Deputy Prime Minister replaced, prompting a walkout
Sir Terepai Maoate has been dumped as Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands. The move marks a split in the Democratic Party, which is headed by Sir Terepai with... [more]

Tax avoidance issue still unclear - ICA
The Institute of Chartered Accountants says uncertainty still surrounds tax avoidance cases following the $2.2 billion settlement of a dispute between trading banks and the Government. [more]

NZ thalidomide survivors welcome UK compensation
New Zealanders born disabled because their mothers took the drug thalidomide while pregnant say the Government should follow Britain's lead in offering them compensation. [more]

LSD found in car at women's prison
The manager of an Auckland women's prison has praised her staff for intercepting millions of dollars worth of the class A drug LSD. [more]

Govt denies misleading public over borrowing
The Government has batted away accusations it has misled the public about how much money it has to borrow over the next four years. [more]

Pacific nuclear veterans want compensation
The lawyer for New Zealand veterans exposed to British nuclear tests in the Pacific says Britain should follow France's lead and offer compensation. [more]

Accused's name suppressed for grandmother's sake
Interim name suppression has been continued for a man charged with seriously assaulting an elderly woman in Christchurch to allow his grandmother to be informed of the charges he faces. [more]

Queue for food parcels in Auckland
The queue for food parcels kept growing outside the Auckland City Mission from early on Thursday morning. [more]

Shoppers set Christmas Eve record
Shoppers have set a new record for Christmas Eve Eftpos transactions. [more]

Rafting co may appeal conviction over guide's death
An appeal is being considered by the director of a rafting company convicted over the death of a trainee guide. [more]

Water study on Canterbury Plains
Canterbury Regional Council has begun a major study of water resources on the plains area between the Ashley and Waimakariri Rivers. [more]

Farmers advised to milk reduce summer milkings
Dairy farmers are being advised to consider milking once a day as summer pastures dry up in parts of the country and feed supplies tighten. [more]

New Zealand market down on Christmas Eve
The benchmark NZX 50 index closed down 4 points, or 0.1%, to 3205 on Christmas Eve. [more]

Sex assault in central Auckland
A woman was sexually assaulted after a night out in central Auckland. Police say the incident happened near Mills Lane, off Queen Street between 2am and 4am. [more]

Todd's Olympic horse Gandalf dies
The horse Mark Todd rode at last year's Olympic equestrian event in Hong Kong has been put down after contracting a neurological disorder. [more]

Murder charge over Gate Pa death
The police on Thursday charged a 19-year-old with murder over the death of a man in Tauranga. [more]

Wellington man in hospital after deck fall
A man's been seriously hurt after falling off a deck in Wellington on Christmas Eve. [more]

Six die on NZ roads ahead of holiday period
It has been a horror 24 hours on the roads, with six deaths recorded before the official holiday road period began. All six deaths were in the North Island. [more]

Second arrest in police shooting
The police have arrested a second man in relation to the shooting of a south Auckland police officer earlier this week. [more]