Radio New Zealand - Thursday, 24th March 2011

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, Business News, CEISMIC, Checkpoint, Midday Report, Morning Report, News Stories, Nights, Nine To Noon, Our Changing World, Rural News, Upbeat

Afternoons

Best Song Ever Written - Sailing
Gerry Wright from Epsom in Auckland chooses 'Sailing' by Rod Stewart and talks about his extraordinary life at sea. [more]

Your Place - Kaukapakapa
Kaukapakapa is in the former Rodney district, north of Auckland. It's a place divided. A flood plain separates the business end of the town from the rest, where the majority of local residents live. With greater Auckland's population expected to exceed two and a half million in the next forty years, it's also a town with a rapidly changing identity. [more]

Finding Atlantis
Greek philosopher Plato said that Atlantis disappeared into the depths of the sea in a day and night. It is thought it was swamped by a tsunami. Debate about whether Atlantis truly existed has been going on for centuries but now a team of scientists claim to have solved the mystery. [more]

Mr and Mrs Roto
A pair of kaka called Mr and Mrs Roto have been allowed to return to the wild after many years. Mrs Roto has been captive for 27 years with the Orokunui Eco Sanctuary. [more]

Feature Album - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
The Feature Album is the debut by heavily hyped London indie rock band The Vaccines. [more]

The Arts Report
Lynn Freeman chairs a discussion about four major cultural events that are to be tied in with the Rugby World Cup. It's all part of the nationwide Real New Zealand festival on during the cup season. [more]

Southern Story for 24 March 2011 - Elderly in South New Brighton
Katy Gosset is in South Brighton where a group of older residents are showing resilience and community spirit. Despite the earthquake damage wrought upon their homes, some of which are still without water. [more]

Our Changing World - Shock Testing
It's important for the equipment aboard naval vessels to withstand the force of an explosion if they happen to be attacked during a war. At IRL, Clive Stirling and Terry Palmer conduct shock testing for clients like the Royal New Zealand Navy. [more]

The Panel Pre-Show for 24 March 2011
Your feedback, and a preview of the guests and topics on The Panel. [more]

The Panel with Julia Hartley Moore and Nevil Gibson (part 1)
The New Zealand economy avoided a technical recession in the final half of last year. [more]

The Panel with Julia Hartley Moore and Nevil Gibson (part 2)
People are being tarketed by"work from home"online scams. [more]

Business News

Morning Business for 24 March 2010
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]

Markets Update for 24 March 2010
A brief update of movements in the financial sector. [more]

Midday Business News for 24 March 2011
An economist says that the December GDP figures show how tough 2010 was. [more]

Evening Business for 24 March 2011
News from the business sector including a market report. [more]

CEISMIC

Australian police formally farewelled from Christchurch
Since the February earthquake, three hundred Australian police have travelled across the Tasman to support their New Zealand counterparts. [more]

Reports swirl of new head of Earthquake Recovery Authority
A senior Wellington public servant is reported to be the new head of the authority that will oversee the Canterbury earthquake recovery effort. [more]

Almost 100 jobs to go at Grand Chancellor Hotel
Almost 100 people are losing their jobs at Christchurch's Hotel Grand Chancellor this Friday, the latest in a series of significant job losses in the wake of the earthquake. [more]

Question Time for 24 March 2011
Questions to Ministers 1. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy? 2. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Prime Minister: Will he rule out making cuts to Working for Families payments this year; if not, why not? 3. TIM MACINDOE to the Minister for Social Development and Employment: What changes is the Government making to Family Start to ensure a greater focus on protecting children from abuse and neglect? 4. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister for Social Development and Employment: Does she agree with the Prime Minister that "anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice…some make poor choices, and they do not have money left"? 5. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Civil Defence: Did he meet with business leaders in Christchurch yesterday to discuss the Civil Defence state of national emergency operations; if so, what was the outcome of that meeting? 6. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Minister of Finance: Who was right, the Prime Minster who predicted that the New Zealand economy would grow "reasonably aggressively" in 2010-11, or the last four quarterly NZIER consensus forecast updates for GDP, which have progressively declined from 3.2 percent to just 0.8 percent for the year to March 2011? 7. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Finance: Which response to the Christchurch earthquake carries a greater risk of a credit downgrade: increased government borrowing or a temporary earthquake levy? 8. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Local Government: When he said "Auckland's fragmented governance has meant a lack [of] leadership and vision, but soon its leaders will be able to think regionally, plan strategically and act decisively", did he mean only if they agree with the Government's plan for Auckland? 9. JO GOODHEW to the Minister of Education: What were the results of the Accelerating Learning in Mathematics Pilot Study? 10. Hon DAMIEN O'CONNOR to the Minister for Biosecurity: Does he agree with the statements made by John Lancashire and Stew Wadey, President of Waikato Federated Farmers, in the Dominion Post yesterday that New Zealand is exposed to greater risk of incursions or exotic pests at our borders as a result of the "fast-tracking of tourists", the "attempts to abolish import restrictions", and his axing of 60 frontline border staff? 11. MICHAEL WOODHOUSE to the Acting Minister of Energy and Resources: What reports has she received on levels of renewable electricity generation? 12. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister for ACC: Does he stand by his answer to question 4 on Thursday last week "that funding will be taken from either the earners account or the work account" and "that a higher proportion of claims than the overall average for ACC are actually in the work account"; if not, why not? [more]

Former military man tipped to head recovery effort
News that a former military man, Major General Martyn Dunne, is expected to head the first stage of earthquake recovery in Christchurch has reignited debate about how that recovery should be managed. [more]

Checkpoint

Checkpoint Top Stories for Thursday 24 March 2011
Double dip recession averted, Hughes stood down from portfolios by leader, Transport Accident Investigation Commission's recommendations, Arts Centre tenants and staff let go as repairs assessed, and Loose rocks removed from cliff faces above Christchurch. [more]

Double dip recession averted
The country appears to have dodged a double-dip recession at the end of 2010. Fgures show the economy grew by zero-point-two per cent in the final three months of last year - reversing a similar size fall in the September quarter. [more]

Hughes stood down from portfolios by leader
The Labour MP Darren Hughes has been stripped of his roles as chief whip and education spokesman while the police investigate a sexual complaint laid against him. [more]

Australia joins the countries banning some imports from Japan
Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore are the latest countries to ban food imports from areas near Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, because of radiation contamination worries. But New Zealand is so far not taking the same step. [more]

Transport Accident Investigation Commission's recommendations
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission is calling for recreational boaties to hold licences after an inquiry into a collision on a Queenstown River. [more]

Sports News for 24 March 2011
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Arts Centre tenants and staff let go as repairs assessed
There have been more job losses in Christchurch, with all of the tenants at the city's Arts Centre having their tenancies terminated, and half of the centre's staff being let go. [more]

Australia joins the countries banning some imports from Japan
Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore are the latest countries to ban food imports from areas near Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, because of radiation contamination worries. But New Zealand is so far not taking the same step. [more]

Pilots told how to survive emergency landing
The Civil Aviation Authority is telling private aircraft pilots how to improve their chances of surviving an emergency landing and how to avoid having to make one in the first place. [more]

Waatea News for 24 March 2011
News from the Waatea team. [more]

Marine and Coastal passes despite efforts to delay it
The Marine and Coastal Area bill has just been passed into law, despite an attempt by the Act party to further delay it. [more]

Finance Minister claims economy has made aggressive recovery
The Finance Minister claims the economy has made an aggressive recovery even though in the second half of last year it didn't grow at all. [more]

Loose rocks are removed from cliff faces above Christchurch
Work is being done to remove loose rocks from cliff faces in the south-east of Christchurch. Massive boulders dot people's gardens and in some cases their homes. [more]

Triathlete delighted and dismayed at doping decision
A triathlete who returned a positive test for morphine has had his explanation accepted but he'll still be stripped of his title. [more]

Evening Business for 24 March 2011
The Securities Commission has won an interim injunction stopping partnerships controlled by the Christchurch businessman, Bernard Whimp, from making a questionable offer to buy shares. [more]

Sports News for 24 March 2011
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Manufacturing big contributor to positive GDP
The country has narrowly avoided another recession. Latest figures show the economy grew by 0.2% in the final three months of 2010. [more]

Fake missing person pleads guilty to wasting police time
Bizarre details have emerged in Court about a Wellington man who faked his own disappearance in January, sparking an extensive search and rescue operation. [more]

Opening of renovated Government House
Government House in Wellington has been officially reopened by the Govenor General, Sir Anand Satyanand. [more]

Waatea News for 24 March 2011
News from the Waatea team. [more]

Start date for 24-7 adult emergency services delayed
After years of delay, adults in West Auckland are being forced to wait another three months for around-the-clock emergency services. [more]

Midday Report

Midday News for 24 March 2011
The economy narrowly avoided going officially into recession. [more]

Midday Sports News for 24 March 2011
The New Zealand Mens Pursuit team is disappointed after a couple of disappointing rides on the opening day of World Track Cycling Championships. [more]

Morning Report

Top Stories for Thursday 24 March 2010
Political future of Labour's Darren Hughes hangs in balance, GDP figures to confirm economy again in recession, Libya's air force destroyed according to British Commander, Reports swirl of new head of Earthquake Recovery Authority, Elizabeth Taylor dies at age 79, Almost 100 jobs to go at Grand Chancellor Hotel, DoC accused of putting business needs first. [more]

Middle East reluctant to join in Libyan campaign
Libya's rebels have named Mahmoud Jebril to head an interim government, in opposition to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. [more]

Pacific News for 24 March 2010
The latest from the Pacific region. [more]

News from the Waatea team.
News from the Waatea team. [more]

Political future of Labour's Darren Hughes hangs in balance
The political future of the Labour Party MP, Darren Hughes hangs in the balance, after revelations yesterday the police are investigating what is believed to be a sexual complaint against him. [more]

GDP figures to confirm economy again in recession
The country will find out later this morning if we are back in recession when the gross domestic product figures are released. [more]

Libya's air force destroyed according to British Commander
A ranting Muammar Gaddafi has told the Libyan people to keep resisting, even as the international coalition claims to have destroyed his country's military defences. [more]

Elizabeth Taylor dies at age 79
Movie star, Elizabeth Taylor, one of the greatest actresses of the twentieth century, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 79. [more]

DoC accused of putting business needs first
The Department of Conservation is being accused of bending over backwards to satisfy the business needs of a South Island ski field. [more]

Sports News for 24 March 2010
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Jerusalem rocked by first attack in seven years
A huge blast in Jerusalem has killed one woman and injured 30 other people. [more]

Fishermen angry at charge to access Kaingaroa forest
Recreational users of the Rangitaiki river in Bay of Plenty are angry the forest management company Timberlands has decided to charge for access through Kaiangaroa forest. [more]

A journey to the centre of the earth - or at least a start
A scientific mission to rival the lunar landing is about to launch - though the researchers will stay firmly on earth. [more]

Where to now for Darren Hughes?
The rising star of the Labour front bench, Darren Hughes, is on leave following a police investigation into what are understood to be allegations of a sexual nature involving an 18-year-old man. [more]

Today's statistics may show economy back in recession
Today, the country will learn if the economy has dipped back into recession when the gross domestic product figures for the final three months of last year are released. [more]

Western powers struggle to agree on Libya
Western warplanes have silenced Muammar Gaddafi's artillery and tanks besieging the rebel-held town of Misratah. [more]

Hygiene problems trouble Japan evacuation centres
Tokyo's tap water is unfit for babies to drink after radiation from Japan's quake damaged nuclear plan contaminated the city's water supply. [more]

Architect calls for scrapping of one way system
The man appointed as the architectural ambassador for Christchurch has handed city planners an ultimatum - scrap the one way roading system or he'll refuse to help co-ordinate the city's rebuild. [more]

Sports News for 24 March 2010
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

American soldier court martialed for murders in Afghanistan
An American soldier accused of killing Afghan civilians for sport is due to face court martial today in Washington. [more]

Auckland mayor tries to convince summit about inner city rail
The Auckland mayor, Len Brown, has made another push for an inner city rail loop despite continuing uncertainty about funding. [more]

Waatea News for 24 March 2010
News from the Waatea team. [more]

Thousands of Christchurch businesses head to suburbs
Office space is in short supply, leaving many to work from home, while others have ended up above a butcher shop, and even a church. [more]

Westpac wants to fund social housing projects
The Westpac bank is interested in funding large-scale state housing projects in New Zealand. [more]

Ancient land tortoise once roamed New Zealand
A tortoise that was half a metre long, probably had horns and a clubbed tail once roamed New Zealand. [more]

British television producer stood down for racism
British television producer stood down for racism. [more]

Nights

Amazing Motorcycle Adventure
Danny Pemberton rode from LA to Cape Horn and ended up in Argentina. [more]

Science - Everyday Physics
Dr Shaun Hendy is taking it back to basics to explain how stuff works, nuclear power. [more]

Conundrum
Clue 7. [more]

Conundrum
Clue 8. [more]

Nine To Noon

Cuts to social services
With Sarah Packman - National Child Advocate Coordinator at Jigsaw, a national child abuse prevention group and Barbara Lambourn - UNICEF NZ's National Advocacy manager. [more]

Many provincial rugby unions in dire financial straits
With Mark Robinson - Taranaki Rugby CEO, Richard Reid - Otago Rugby CEO and Brent Anderson - NZRU General Manager of Provincial Union and Community Rugby. [more]

UK correspondent - Matthew Parris
Budget time in London and the UK's involvement in Libya. [more]

Feature Guest - Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish
The author of the book"I Shall Not Hate". [more]

Book Review - Water
Written by Steven Solomon, reviewed by Don Rood and published by HarperCollins. [more]

New Technology with Nigel Horrocks
The New York Times is now charging people to use it's website and other papers may follow. [more]

Parenting with Christian Wright
Christian is a speech and Language Therapist, discussing the use of pacifiers and dummies, and their effect on speech and language development. [more]

Film review with Graeme Tuckett
Graeme reviews Limitless, the animated film Rango and My Wedding and Other Secrets. [more]

Our Changing World

Sleep and Memory
How a sleep model developed by Waikato University physicists can help understand what happens in brains as we sleep [more]

Electric Fishing for Pest Fish
Waikato University researchers are using their electric fishing boat to see if they can control perch in a dam at Zealandia [more]

Glycolipid Adjuvants
Bridget Stocker and Janice Cheng are developing glycolipids adjuvants to make better personalised cancer vaccines [more]

Terrestrial Turtle Fossils
The latest fossils of land animals from St Bathans continue to revolutionise our understanding of NZ's biological history [more]

Rural News

Morning Rural News for 24 March 2011
News from the rural and farming sector. [more]

Midday Rural News for 24 March 2011
Fonterra Shareholders' Council says farmers supplying the co-operative are relieved it's still on track to deliver its best ever payout. [more]

Upbeat

Saleem Abboud Askar
Germany-based Palestinian concert pianist touring with the NZSO for their 'Apotheosis' season. [more]

Santiago Canon Valencia
Hamilton-based 15 year-old Columbian cellist performing with the Auckland Chamber orchestra. [more]

News stories:

Goff stands by Labour MP at centre of allegations
Labour leader Phil Goff says he supports his MP Darren Hughes who is being investigated by police. [more]

Rebuilding decision delayed till report received
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says a decision about which Christchurch suburbs will be rebuilt will not be made until he has received a geotechnical report. [more]

Wild pigs and deer being illegally released in Southland - report
Environmental agencies in Southland are concerned about reports of deliberate releases of wild pigs and deer in the region. [more]

Employment confidence up slightly - survey
Employment confidence has edged up slightly. The latest Westpac McDermott Miller employment confidence index for the three months to March rose 1.5 points to 105. [more]

Pursuit team to ride for bronze
The New Zealand men's pursuit team will ride for bronze later this morning at the World Track Cycling Championships in the Netherlands. Sam Bewley, Peter Latham, Marc Ryan and Jesse... [more]

Shuja wins in Geneva
The New Zealand squash player Kashif Shuja has won the Swiss Open title in Geneva. Second seed Shuja reached the final of the men's PSA World Tour Challenger 5 event... [more]

TiVo investment written-off by TVNZ
Television New Zealand has written off its $14.8 million investment in the digital TV service TiVo. [more]

Day to day issues expected to influence Maori voters
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia expects day to day issues like health, education and jobs will be greater influences on the way Maori vote than the foreshore and seabed. [more]

New farm rush not expected
Fonterra is not expecting another rush of dairy farm conversions, despite being on track for a record payout to farmers. [more]

Egyptian stocks plunge
Shares on the Egyptian stock exchange fell sharply on the first day of trading since it closed in the uprising last month that ousted President Hosni Mubarek. [more]

Current account deficit expected to widen
New Zealand's annual current account deficit is expected to widen in the later part of this year, as any rebalancing in the economy is pushed out further. [more]

Motorists cutting their travelling - economist
Markets.com chief economist Bill Hubard says motorists are already responding to high oil prices by cutting their travelling - and that could affect global economic growth. [more]

Embattled Tonga Police Commissioner has no intention of stepping down
Tonga's Police Commissioner says he has no plans to step down, despite now having to defend himself against allegations lodged with both Cabinet and the Minister of Police. Chris Kelley... [more]

Fiji police mum on its role in alleged abuse by military
The Fiji Police Force says it won't be commenting on any alleged involvement in the detention and beating of critics of the interim regime. Former cabinet minister Samisoni Tikonisau fled... [more]

Australian police farewelled from Christchurch
The final contingent of Australian police was formally farewelled from Christchurch on Wednesday night, ahead of their departure on Friday. [more]

Morning Report: local papers
Thursday's headlines: the days of petrol at less than $2 per litre are gone; house of former police minister and Labour deputy leader Annette King searched police police in Darren Hughes case; former military man tipped as earthquake recovery tsar in Chri [more]

Waldrom wants to play for England
The former Hurricanes and Crusaders loosie Thomas Waldrom wants to play rugby for England. The 27-year-old number eight, who now plays for Leicester Tigers, was looking to sit out the... [more]

Roosters to play their 2000th match this weekend
The Sydney Roosters will become the first top flight Australian rugby league club to notch 2000 first grade games this weekend. The club will reach the milestone in Sunday's clash... [more]

Italian voted Player of the Six Nations tournament
The utility back Andrea Masi has become the first Italian rugby player to win the Six Nations player of the tournament award. Masi picked up 30 percent of the 17-and-a-half... [more]

Substantial loss forecast by airline
Virgin Blue has warned investors to expect a substantial full-year loss, as rising oil prices lift costs while natural disasters have affected flights and demand. [more]

Offshore markets up
US stocks were up on Wednesday as a rise in mining and energy shares offset worries about unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. European shares also ended higher. [more]

Radiation traces from Japan detected in Hawaii
Officials in Hawaii say trace amounts of radiation from Japan's nuclear crisis have been detected in the US state for the first time. The US Environmental Protection Agency says a... [more]

Hawaii officials put damage caused by Japan tsunami at 14 million US dollars
A Civil Defence official says Hawaii's Big Island suffered more 14 million US dollars in damage during the tsunami that was triggered by the recent earthquake in Japan. Hawaii County... [more]

Tropical cyclone alert issued for Fiji groups
A tropical cyclone alert is now in force for Fiji's Lau and Lomaiviti groups. A strong wind warning is also in force for the Lau group, Lomaiviti Group and nearby... [more]

Single quake reconstruction agency makes sense - mayor
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says it makes sense that a single authority is being set up to lead the city's reconstruction instead of the commission put in place after the September earthquake. [more]

Cost of rebuilding Japan put at 25T yen
Japan has said it will cost as much as 25 trillion yen ($US309 billion) to rebuild the country after the deadly earthquake and tsunami. [more]

Man stabbed in Paeroa
A man is in Waikato hospital after being stabbed in the face in Paeroa. [more]

Serious Fraud Office drops inquiry
The Serious Fraud Office has dropped an investigation relating to a company that owns and runs about 140 early childhood centres because of insufficient evidence. [more]

Half year profit down for retailer
Half year profit at Hallenstein Glasson has fallen more than 16%, largely due to weak sales at its Glassons stores. The company says competition remains intense in women's apparel. [more]

Wage tax signed into law in American Samoa
American Samoa's governor, Togiola Tulafono, has signed into law legislation imposing a new 2-percent wage tax to be paid by all wage earners in the territory. The government is looking... [more]

PNG's Barramundi's looking for for step up in Dubai
Papua New Guinea's cricket coach, Andy Bichel, says his team will need to lift their standards at next month's World Cricket League 2 tournament in Dubai. PNG will be competing... [more]

Rail transit cars in Honolulu, Hawaii will cost over 500 million US dollars
The Honolulu Mayor has announced the rail transit cars for the city's 5-point-5 billion US dollar project will cost 574 million dollars to build. The city said that Ansaldo Honolulu... [more]

Interim injunction awarded against Whimp
The Securities Commission has been awarded an interim injunction against Christchurch businessman Bernard Whimp. [more]

Beer dispute between brewer and supermarkets
Australian supermarket chains, Coles and Woolworths, have fallen out with Foster's, the nation's biggest beer brewer. [more]

Rising petrol prices impact on large car market
The market share for large fuel-thirsty cars has fallen as petrol prices rise. [more]

Award won by farming family
A Waikato farming family has won the supreme award in the region's Ballance farm environment awards. [more]

Public comment sought on fungus application
The Environment Risk Management Authority is seeking public comment on an application to import a fungus to nobble a particularly nasty pasture weed. [more]

Industry urged to maintain momentum in developing markets
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade says the agriculture industry needs to maintain its momentum in developing international markets. [more]

First shipment on NZ veges to Russia by Heinz Watties
Heinz Watties has shipped its first exports of New Zealand canned vegetables to Russia. Canned peas from Canterbury will be followed by corn from Hawke's Bay. [more]

Changes to child abuse prevention programme
Changes are being made to a Government-funded programme aimed [more]

Air NZ passenger numbers up
Air New Zealand carried more than one million passengers during the month of February, an increase of 7% on the same month last year. [more]

French Polynesia wants ratings downgrade reversed
The French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang, has asked the ratings agency Standard and Poor's to revise its latest assessment. This comes as the agency downgraded French Polynesia's rating from... [more]

Marshalls gets Taiwan aid after accounting delays
Taiwan has released scheduled aid funds to the Marshall Islands after withholding the quarterly payment for two months. While Taiwan's Ambassador T.K. Li expressed his government's commitment to the partnership... [more]

Pakistan waltz into World Cup semis
Pakistan have waltzed into the World Cup cricket semi-finals after one of the shortest matches of the tournament. Led by their captain Shahid Afridi's four wickets for 30, Pakistan dismissed... [more]

MLB continues to blossom
Major League Baseball has emerged from the recession with a seven percent jump in the average value of a team this year to an all-time high of $700 million. Forbes... [more]

Navratilova says Murray needs to get tougher
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova says Britain's Andy Murray needs a change in attitude to win a first Grand Slam title. Murray has failed to win a set in his three... [more]

Vigiliance against burglars urged
Police in Christchurch are urging residents to be vigilant about burglars. [more]

Rubbish company to pay $92,000 over death
A rubbish collecting company in Auckland has been ordered to pay $92,400 following the death of an employee in March last year. [more]

Hawaii tallies damage from Japan tsunami
Civil Defence officials in Hawaii say the US state suffered more than 30 million US dollars worth of damage from the tsunami almost two weeks ago. They say a preliminary... [more]

NZ and Australian stock markets up
The New Zealand and Australian stock markets were up on Thursday morning. [more]

Westminster-style democracy failing Melanesia - thinktank
A report from the Pacific Institute of Public Policy warns that unless there are urgent reforms to the style of parliamentary democracy practised across Melanesia, autocracy will takes its place. [more]

Solomons PM faces defamation suit
The Solomon Islands prime minister Danny Philip and his former press secretary will face the Court next month in a defamation suit. SIBC reports the opposition's Mathew Wale filed the... [more]

Election of Solomons opposition leader delayed
The election of a new opposition leader in Solomon Islands has been delayed until this evening. The election was originally to have been held yesterday following Steve Abana's decision to... [more]

MSG warned against becoming political tool
An academic is warning the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group not to let the body become a tool of geopolitics. The MSG is currently staging a series of meetings... [more]

Police arrest seven in suspected food poisoning case
Police have arrested seven people following a raid on a restaurant in Dhaka after 105 policeman on security duty at the Cricket World Cup fell ill. The policemen, who included... [more]

ICC blasts media over World Cup match fixing allegations
The International Cricket Council chief Haroon Lorgat has blasted media allegations that the World Cup match between Australia and Zimbabwe was under investigation for match-fixing. The Times of India claimed... [more]

Deans says quake could help All Blacks
The Wallabies rugby coach Robbie Deans believes the devastating earthquake that killed at least 166 people and levelled wide swathes of Christchurch could galvanise the All Blacks in their bid... [more]

Shanghai gets go-ahead for Grand Prix
Formula One's governing body has given the green light to next month's Chinese Grand Prix after inspecting improvements to the Shanghai circuit and signing a new licence. The April 17th... [more]

Freddie Titmus dies
The former England Test cricketer Fred Titmus has died at the age of 78 after a long illness. Titmus played 53-Tests for England and took 153 wickets during a first-class... [more]

Two changes to Chiefs lineup
There are two injury enforced changes to the Chiefs starting lineup to take on the Blues in their Super Rugby clash in Hamilton on Saturday night. Prop Sona Taumalolo replaces... [more]

Saudi prince wants in on A-League
A spokesman for the Saudi prince Turki bin Faisal has confirmed the billionaire is "very serious" about investing in the cash-strapped A-League, although whether that translates into buying a club... [more]

Ben Campbell pipped at Australian amateur champs
Ben Campbell's battle to become only the second New Zealand golfer to win the Australian amateur competition has ended in defeat on the last hole of a tense final in... [more]

Dragons lose Scott for Warriors clash
The St George Illawarra back-rower Beau Scott will miss the Dragons' NRL clash with the Warriors in Auckland on Sunday after entering an early guilty plea to a dangerous contact... [more]

Ecclestone to talk about New York Grand Prix
Formula One's commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone will miss this weekend's season-opening race in Melbourne to go to New York to talk to mayor Michael Bloomberg and officials about staging a... [more]

Walsh to control Crusaders match
The former New Zealand referee Steve Walsh will control the Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Sharks at Twickenham on Monday morning. As a result of the change... [more]

Rescue package for Southland Rugby confirmed
Rugby Southland has received a $1.5 million rescue package, including a $500,000 dollar loan from the NZRU. The Invercargill Licensing Trust and Community Trust of Southland have each contributed $500,000... [more]

Kobe stars for Lakers again
Kobe Bryant delivered a sensational performance to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a roller-coaster 139-137 triple-overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns in NBA basketball. Bryant scored 42 points, pulled... [more]

Tactix to play in Australia
The postponed round three trans-Tasman netball clash between the Canterbury Tactix and the Northern Mystics will now be played in Auckland on Thursday April 7th. It was originally scheduled for... [more]

Pressure on for Blues places
Blues coach Pat Lam admits he's turned up the heat on his players this season as he searches for consistency in the tough Super Rugby competition. His players responded to... [more]

First Samoa election petition filed
An election petition has been filed against the leader of the opposition Tautua Samoa Party, Va'ai Papu Vailupe. Today is the deadline for election petitions to be filed from this... [more]

Cooks Agriculture Ministry starting from scratch with agriculture scheme
The Minister of Agriculture in the Cook Islands says budget constraints means the ministry is starting from scratch with funding the agriculture revitalising scheme, Te One Kura. The project, which... [more]

American Samoans urged to take care of health
The chief medical officer of LBJ Medical Center in American Samoa is calling on people to take better care of themselves. Aloiamoa Anesi was speaking after a recent surge in... [more]

Vanuatu opposition concerned over MSG's Papua stance
Vanuatu's opposition leader, Edward Natapei, says he has grave concerns at the decision by the Melanesian Spearhead Group giving Indonesia observer status. The MSG is meeting in Suva with a... [more]

Somare sentencing due after PNG tribunal
The Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, will hear later this afternoon whether he will be dismissed, suspended, fined or reprimanded after being found guilt of 13 misconduct... [more]

Lundy getting medical treatment outside prison
The Department of Corrections has confirmed that double-murderer Mark Lundy has been receiving medical treatment outside prison in the past 12 months. [more]

Appointment of High Court judge announced
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has announced that Wellington barrister John Stephen Kos has been appointed a judge of the High Court. [more]

Australian who died on glacier named
Police have named an Australian woman who fell to her death on Wednesday while climbing a glacier in Fiordland National Park. [more]

DoC accused of putting business first
The Department of Conservation is being accused of bending over backwards to satisfy the business needs of a South Island ski field. [more]

$50 fee to be charged for entry to forest
Some recreational users of the Rangitaiki River in Bay of Plenty are angry that Timberlands has decided to charge $50 for access through Kaingaroa Forest. [more]

Road closures
Some roads on the Coromandel Peninsula will be closed this week to allow damage from Cyclone Wilma in January to be repaired. [more]

Teacher found guilty of pulling students' ears
A jury has found a teacher at a Maori immersion school in Hastings guilty of pulling the ears of his young students. [more]

Pair not trained to use craft in rough seas - inquiry
Two men who drowned after their rigid inflatable boat sank in 2008 had not been trained to drive such a craft in rough seas, an investigation has found. [more]

On trip around globe, solar-powered ship stops in Tahiti
A ship powered by only solar energy and carrying four people has arrived in French Polynesia on a trip aimed at circumnavigating the globe. The MS Turanor Planet Solar, had... [more]

Fiji to look at curbing squatter settlements
Fiji is again looking at ways to reduce squatter settlements, with new figures showing that about 60,000 people or seven percent of the population living as squatters. FBC News quotes... [more]

Guards placed at Vanuatu Women's Centre
Vanuatu's Ministry of Justice and Community Services has posted security guards outside the Vanuatu National Council of Women offices after suspending Maryanne Bani, who was temporarily managing the body. A... [more]

Pirates launch as new NBL team
There'll be a new Auckland team in the National Basketball League next season with the Pirates to fill the gap left last year when the Stars were cut for financial... [more]

Cyclone Bune leaving southern Fiji waters
Tropical cyclone Bune is about to leave the waters of southern Fiji as the system is headed in a southwesterly direction. By late afternoon the storm's centre was about 400... [more]

Unstable cliffs threaten Christchurch homes
Some 225 Christchurch homes are at risk from rockfall following February's earthquake, a geologist warns. [more]

Crusaders announce "home" schedule
The Crusaders have confirmed their remaining round-robin "home" games for their Super Rugby season on the road, thanks to the Christchurch earthquake. Timaru gets two, another goes to Nelson and... [more]

Triathlete delighted and dismayed at doping decision
The triathlete who linked a positive test for morphine to poppy seeds is delighted the Sports Tribunal has accepted evidence the narcotic could have come from seeds in gluten-free bread. [more]

TrIathlete not at fault in doping test
The Sports Tribunal has found triathlete Graham O'Grady wasn't at fault after he tested positive for morphine following his win in the Tauranga Half Ironman on January 8. O'Grady didn't... [more]

Wellington diver admits faking disappearance
A Wellington man who sparked an extensive coastal search before turning up alive and well in Hawke's Bay has been ordered to pay $16,000 in reparation to emergency services. [more]

Call for licensing of recreational boaties
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission wants recreational boaties to hold some sort of licensing, following an inquiry into a collision on a South Island river. [more]

TVNZ fined over Bain documentary
The Broadcasting Standards Authority has fined Television New Zealand over a documentary it screened about David Bain's retrial on charges of murdering members of his family. [more]

Road worker killed in Waikato
A road worker has died in an accident in which police believe a tarseal spraying truck ran over him. [more]

Man dead after suspected drug lab explosion
A man has been killed in South Auckland following an explosion at what police suspect was a methamphetamine lab. [more]

Hungarian who killed man with banjo loses appeal
The Court of Appeal has refused to overturn the sentence given to a Hungarian tourist who bludgeoned an elderly man to death. [more]

Doubts NZ has avoided double-dip recession
There is uncertainty surrounding figures showing New Zealand averted a double-dip recession in 2010. [more]

NZ not banning Japanese food imports
New Zealand is not joining other countries in banning food imports from areas near Japan's crippled nuclear power plant. [more]

Waitakere emergency service now delayed till June
The Waitemata District Health Board says it has delayed the opening of a 24-hour adult emergency service at Waitakere Hospital in order not to compromise patient safety. [more]

Triathlete wins doping decision but loses title
A New Zealand triathlete who returned a positive test for morphine has had his explanation accepted but will still be stripped of his title. [more]

Government House reopens after restoration
A restored Government House been officially reopened by Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand. [more]

Auckland hospital staff to monitor generators
The Auckland District Health Board says a staff member will sit with emergency generators throughout the weekend in case the main electricity supply fails. [more]

More jobs to go in quake city
Employees at the Hotel Grand Chancellor and the Arts Centre have been told they will lose their jobs following the Christchurch earthquake. [more]

Coastal bill becomes law
The Marine and Coastal Area legislation has been passed into law after a fiery third and final debate. [more]

Fewer international students expected due to quake
Education New Zealand says overseas agents expect to recruit fewer international students for this country's education institutions because of the Christchurch earthquake. [more]

Oxford offers places for Canterbury students
Oxford University in Britain has become the latest institution to offer places for students at the earthquake-stricken Canterbury University. [more]