Radio New Zealand - Thursday, 18th December 2014

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, At The Movies, Best Of The Week, Business News, Checkpoint, Dateline Pacific, Extra Time, Late Edition, Midday Report, Morning Report, News Extras, News in Pacific Languages, News Stories, Nights, Nine To Noon, Our Changing World, Rural News, Te Manu Korihi, The Panel, The Wireless, Upbeat, William Shakespeare 450, World & Pacific News

Afternoons

Best song ever written - Let It Be
John Stokes from Wellington has chosen 'Let It Be' by the Beatles. [more]

New Zealand A to Z - Onetangi
We are heading off shore for the last edition of New Zealand A to Z for 2014. This place is described, at least by locals, as the jewel in the crown of Waiheke Island. It's the location of the largest beach on all the Hauraki Gulf Islands - two and a half kilometres of golden sand at the edge of generally calm waters. [more]

Christmas Village
About this time last year we met Steve Flaunty, the creator of a grand display on a miniature scale. One whole room of his Lower Hutt house is transformed every year into a Christmas village complete with miniature houses and people, trees, snow, lights, a train and even a Bavarian Brewery. This year, Steve's miniature Christmas village is more ambitious [more]

Hundertwasser Makeover
Two Northland artists have admitted giving some Whangarei District Council bollards a sneaky Hundertwasser-style makeover. But the guilty parties are unrepentent, after H-bombing six bollards in the Town Basin. Glenda Ferguson and Heather Carthew also admit to being "geri-rebels". They says their senior citizen status hasn't stopped them having a great time giving the bollards outside The Bach an unauthorised makeover. [more]

Feature Album - Chaka
Today our feature album is 'Chaka' by Chaka Khan. The debut solo album by American R&B/funk singer born Yvette Marie Stevens in March 1953 and released on the Warner Bros. Records label in 1978.Yvette Stevens grew up in the rough Southside projects of Chicago, attributing her love of music to her grandmother, who introduced her to jazz music as a child. [more]

Author - Thomas W Devine
A man who has had eight books published in the United States. But you may not even know his name. Blenheim-born Wellingtonian, Thomas W Devine, spent most of his working life working in public law. But recently he's been writing... and he's just had his eighth book, called Hillsend, published. [more]

At The Movies

At The Movies for 18 December 2014
On the final At The Movies of the year, Simon Morris looks back over a year of film: from Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave to the big trends of 2014. It was a year of big, if shaky, franchises, a lot of films about music-makers and the belated discovery that teenagers weren't the only ones going to the cinema. [more]

Best Of The Week

Best of the Week - 19 December 2014
Highlights from Radio New Zealand National's programmes for the week ending Friday 19 December. This week.....insights into how and why the Sydney seige happened; alone on air - when a guest walks out of an interview; from whale killers to whale counters - the end to whale hunts in NZ; Marcus du Sautoy on the symmetry of maths; testing IQ on robins; farming food at school; milking the community cow benefits everyone; cooking slow food with no power and no smoke; and RZA on herding members of the Wu Tang Clan for a 20th anniversary album release [more]

Business News

Today's market update
The New Zealand dollar ended the day little changed from late yesterday, but in between traded in a wide range of more than 1 US cent. [more]

Economy grew 1% in the Sept Qtr: spending rose 1.3 percent
The economy grew 1 percent in the September quarter with spending growing an even stronger 1.3 percent. [more]

Finzsoft's MD Andrew Holiday joins forces with Silverlake Axis
Finzsoft's managing director and major shareholder has set up a company to takeover the banking software firm. [more]

Spark's Lightbox and Coliseum to offer internet tv sport
Spark's internet TV business has formed a joint venture with Coliseum Sports Media to offer premium sport content to subscribers. [more]

Acurity bidders hope for a speedy Commerce Commission decision
The consortium led by the businessman Mark Stewart is hoping the corporate regulator will make a speedy decision on its latest application for regulatory clearance to take over Acurity Health. [more]

Low cost computer hacking services a growing industry
Ratbag-as-a-service is the kind of computer hacking service anyone can hire to do significant damage to an information system. [more]

Morning markets for 19 December 2014
The Dow Jones Index is up 267 points to 17 624. [more]

Markets Update for 19 December 2014
A brief update of movements in the financial sector. [more]

Net migration surges to a fresh record
Net migration stayed near record levels in November and the gain for the year ended November was a fresh record. [more]

Tourism Holdings lifts profit forecast
Tourism Holdings has lifted its first half profit forecast by a million dollars. [more]

ComCom delays final copper line pricing decision
The Commerce Commission has once again delayed its final decision on how much Chorus can charge for access to its copper lines. [more]

North Korea ordered cyber attacks on Sony
Sony's global business interests could be a factor in the firm's decision to pull a controversial film amid damaging cyber attacks on the Japanese-based company. [more]

NZ seen as a hotbed of new business activity
New Zealand is a hotbed of new business activity as a couple of United States-based start-up investors have discovered. [more]

Job advertising down in November
A surge in job advertising earlier in the year has flattened out. [more]

Vladimir Putin reassures Russians about economy
The Russian President has blamed external factors for the collapse of the rouble. [more]

Midday Markets for 19 December 2014
For the latest from the markets we're joined by James Malden at Macquarie Private Wealth. [more]

Checkpoint

Checkpoint Top Stories for Thursday 18 December 2014
The mistakes which allowed the murderer and paedophile Phillip Smith to escape. An ambulance officer who sexually abused patients is jailed for at least 8 years and new questions about the safety of small aerodromes. [more]

Murderer and paedophile exploits information gaps to escape
A new report into the escape of paedophile killer Phillip John Smith has found he was able to exploit information gaps between governments agencies. [more]

Aerodromes still unregulated five years on from crash inquiry
Civil Aviation still hasn't got more powers to oversee small aerodromes despite the Government saying five years ago it was crazy that they didn't. [more]

Ambulance officer gets big sentence for abusing patients
The case of a St John Ambulance paramedic who sexually abused women while taking them to hospital has been described by a judge as one of the worst of its type in this country. [more]

Report reveals how car manager ripped off Dunedin council
An investigation into the Dunedin City Council's missing cars has named Citifleet team leader Brent Bachop (bok-ip) as the man at the heart of the one and a half million dollar fraud. [more]

New trans-Tasman cable gives surety
The new trans-Tasman cable confirmed today by three telecommunications giants will make New Zealand's broadband connections with the outside world more secure but it won't mean lower prices for consumers. [more]

Dan Carter signs with French club for three years
The All Blacks first five Dan Carter has confirmed he's signed with the French club Racing Metro on a three year deal, starting after next year's World Cup. [more]

TAIC report into Rena disaster finds fault
Routine safety violations, a history of ignoring navigation policy and poor maintenance. [more]

Coroner's Findings released regarding fatal air crash
A Wellington coroner says a near perfect storm of contributing factors in the sky above Paraparaumu airport led to the deaths of three people. [more]

Australian Police got it wrong over Man Haron Monis gun licence
The Australian Police have admitted giving Tony Abbott inaccurate information about whether the Sydney siege gunman had a firearms licence. [more]

Auckland City close, but not enough
Auckland City's improbable run at football's Club World Cup has come to an end with an agonising 2-1 extra time loss to the South American champions, San Lorenzo in the semi-final in Marrakech. [more]

Sports News for 18 December 2014
An update from the team at RNZ Sport [more]

Three charged with murder on Paekakariki Hill
Three people have been charged with murdering the man found near his crashed car on the Paekakariki Hill Road near Wellington. [more]

Assasination movie 'The Interview' cancelled
Sony Pictures has cancelled the release of its comedy 'The Interview' about a plot to assassinate the North Korean leader, after the FBI warned movie chains that people might be in danger if they went to see it. [more]

Household spending and farm production boost economy
The economy has continued to grow solidly, due to household spending and improved farm production. [more]

Auckland Reverend jailed for $1.1 million tax evasion
An Assembly of God reverend in Auckland has been sent to prison for three years for refusing to pay more than a million dollars in tax. [more]

Auckland City FC to use winnings on new training facility
The dream for Auckland City Football may be over for now, but the financial reward from their success at the football club World Cup lives on - with plans to set up new training facility in Auckland. [more]

President Obama hails a new chapter in relations with Cuba
President Obama has hailed a new chapter in relations with Cuba as he eased travel and financial restictions and called for an end to the 53 year old trade embargo. [more]

European quit smoking drug hailed
Researchers say an Eastern European pill helps smokers beat the habit faster and for a fraction of the price of other medication. [more]

Council spends $10-million to regain accreditation
The Christchurch City Council has revealed the price tag attached to regaining its accreditation to issue building consents - 10-million-dollars. [more]

NZer accused of trying to travel to Syria will stand trial
A New Zealand man will stand trial in the Victorian Supreme Court , accused of trying to travel to Syria to fight against the Assad regime in September last year. [more]

NZ arrested in bali takes help from same lawyer as Corby
The New Zealander held in Bali for trying to bring in nearly two kilograms of methamphetamine has employed the same death penalty specialist lawyer as Schapelle Corby. [more]

Dateline Pacific

Ray of hope for pacific cocoa farmers
South Pacific cocoa farmers will soon be introduced to the world of artisan chocolate making, bringing the chance of significantly higher returns. [more]

World Vision says cuts to Australian aid 'cruel'
World Vision Australia says the Australian Government is using its aid budget to try and balance its books and the latest cuts are 'unfair and cruel'. [more]

Dateline Pacific evening edition for 18 December 2014
Australia's cuts to its aid budget labelled 'harsh, unfair and cruel'; New Zealand joins demands for investigation into Papua shooting; Cook Islands byelection ordered after result voided; A ray of hope for Pacific cocoa farmers; And in sport: Three more PNG Hunters players are NRL bound. [more]

World Vision says cuts to Australian aid 'cruel'
World Vision Australia says the Australian Government is using its aid budget to try and balance its books and the latest cuts are 'unfair and cruel'. [more]

A number of PNG political parties face de-registration
35 of the 37 registered political parties in Papua New Guinea are facing possible censure from the registrar. [more]

West Papuan movement unified behind single goal
The head of the newly formed United Liberation Movement for West Papua says the major West Papuan represenative groups which have unified to create the organisation are working as one towards the goal of independence. [more]

Dateline Pacific morning edition for 19 December 2014
A new West Papuan movement claims its unified behind single goal; PNG political parties face de-registration; Cuts to Australia's aid budget are labelled 'unfair and cruel'; There's a ray of hope for Pacific cocoa farmers; Funding problems could force Pacific teams to skip World Hockey League. [more]

Extra Time

Extra Time for 19 December 2014
In the programme this week, we look at the comings and goings of the All Blacks with Dan Carter and Steve Hansen, recap Auckland City's run at the Club World Cup, talk motorsport with Hayden Paddon and Earl Bamber and investigate the umpire shortage in club cricket. [more]

Late Edition

Late Edition for 18 December 2014
A petrol price bonus just in time for the holiday season. Should alcohol advertising go the way of tobacco in aotearoa? And in Dateline Pacific prospects for the regions cocoa growers. [more]

Late Edition for 19 December 2014
An unexpected rise in the projected cost of Auckland's convention centre; Nicky Hager looks back on the year of dirty politics; and in Dateline Pacific the West Papuan independence movement consolidates. [more]

Midday Report

Midday News for 19 December 2014
The US considers its response to Sony Pictures cyberattack and Russia says the West is to blame for its economic woes. [more]

Midday Sports News for 19 December 2014
The Black Caps coach says the best is still to come from fast bowler Adam Milne. [more]

Morning Report

Top Stories for Friday 19 December 2014
President Putin spends two hours reassuring Russians the collapsing rouble does not mean economic doom. No laughing in Hollywood as Sony bows to North Korean threats and pulls the plug on its latest comedy and three men, including a New Zealander, have gone on trial in Myanmar on charges of insulting Buddhism. [more]

Sports News for 19 December 2014
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Dunedin City Council slammed for not picking up fraud sooner
The Dunedin City Council is being slammed for not picking up the Citifleet fraud sooner than it did. [more]

Pacific News for 19 December 2014
The latest from the Pacific region [more]

Sports News for 19 December 2014
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

Vladimir Putin reassures Russians about economy
President Vladimir Putin has held a marathon "end of year news" conference in an attempt to reassure Russians not to panic as their economy slides towards recession. [more]

North Korea ordered cyber attacks on Sony
North Korea ordered cyber attacks on Sony according to federal investigators in the United States.. [more]

Hollywood stars dismayed at cancellation of film's release
Hollywood stars have reacted with dismay to the cancellation of the release of the film. [more]

Three men, including a New Zealander, go on trial in Myanmar
Three men, including a New Zealander, have gone on trial in Myanmar on charges of insulting Buddhism. [more]

Carter signs with Paris-based Racing Metro
All Blacks first five Dan Carter is set to be the highest-paid rugby player in the world. [more]

Carter signs with Paris-based Racing Metro
And listening to that in France is the L'Equipe newspaper's rugby journalist, Richard Escot. [more]

Ad exec says sport will be poorer if alcohol marketing is cut
An advertising expert is warning that sport will be the loser if a ban on alcohol sponsorship and advertising is imposed. [more]

Sea Shepherd calls on Aust authorities to impound Thunder
Environmental group Sea Shepherd wants the Australian authorities to impound a suspected Nigerian poaching vessel called Thunder. [more]

Family's long fight for state house change
An Auckland family with a severely disabled daughter says they have been waiting two years for a small change to be made to their state house that would dramatically improve their lives. [more]

Marsden bicentenary to be marked this Christmas
Hundreds of people will gather this Sunday at a tiny Bay of Islands beach -- to celebrate New Zealand's first bicentenary. [more]

Sports News for 19 December 2014
An update from the team at RNZ Sport. [more]

NZer accused of trying to join jihadist forces will face trial
The Somali-born New Zealander accused of trying to fight with jihadist forces in Syria will stand trial in Australia. [more]

Boston bombing suspect makes first public appearance
The Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has appeared in court after spending almost a year and a half in solitary confinement. [more]

Amnesty claims trial restrict freedom of expression
Amnesty International says the charges against three men, including a New Zealander, in Myanmar are an excessive restriction on freedom of expression. [more]

Coroner criticises oversight of small aerodromes
The government is moving to regulate small airfields in the wake of a fatal air accident over Paraparaumu airport in 2008. [more]

Former Peshawar resident reacts to school massacre
A former Peshawar resident now living in New Zealand is in disbelief over the Taliban's barbarity following Tuesday's school massacre in Pakistan. [more]

Direct descendent of Samuel Marsden in NZ to mark bicentenary
As we reported last hour, hundreds of people will gather this Sunday at a tiny Bay of Islands beach -- to celebrate New Zealand's first bicentenary. Joining us is Samuel Marsden, the great, great, great grandson of Reverend Samuel Marsden. [more]

The two big telcos promise plans for a new trans Tasman cable
Players in the telco industry say a planned new trans-Tasman data cable should've happened years ago. [more]

New code of practice for fluoridation
A new code of practice for the use of fluoride in drinking water supplies has been released by Water New Zealand. [more]

Beards, boats, cannons for goldrush 150th anniversary
The pioneers will come ashore, the cannon will fire and the best beards will be chosen this weekend as Hokitika celebrates its 150th birthday. [more]

Kerry-Anne Walsh with news from Australia
Let's have a chat to our Canberra correspondent Kerry-Anne Walsh. [more]

News Extras

Xero CEO Rod Drury says MYOB's numbers 'must be down'
Rod Drury, speaking to Radio NZ's Jenny Ruth, says his company is winning customers from its biggest rival in NZ and Australia. [more]

Xero CEO Rod Drury defends progress in US
Rod Drury says he finds the suggestion that Xero give up in the US "incredibly upsetting". He argues the company can "probably" win 20-30% of the market and will "try really hard" for higher. [more]

News in Pacific Languages

News in Samoan for 19 December 2014
The latest news in Samoan language. [more]

News in Niuean for 19 December 2014
The latest news in Niuean language. [more]

News in Tongan for 19 December 2014
The latest news in Tongan language. [more]

Nights

Global Neighbours - Uganda
Uganda's Daily Monitor journalist Tabu Butagira reports from the Republic of Uganda, pop. 35,873,253 (est. 2012). The recent sacking of Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi by President Yoweri Museveni amid allegations the prime minister (also former security minister) schemed to stand against Museveni for president in 2016 when Uganda is expected to go to the polls; and the Constitutional Court has nullified on a technicality the anti-homosexuality law which had riled western governments and triggered backlash, including aid and developments assistance cuts. [more]

Scientist - Native Fish Zoology and Ecology
New Zealand fish with Stella McQueen, self-confessed native fish geek, author and field worker. Find out how you can best see New Zealand's native fish for yourself. [more]

Conundrum clue
Clue number seven. [more]

Conundrum clue
The final clue of the final conundrum of year. [more]

Nine To Noon

Analysis of Russia's economic crisis and its implications
Lidia Kelly is the Reuters Macroeconomics Correspondent, based in Moscow. [more]

Social Development CEO reflects on Asburton shootings
Brendon Boyle the Chief Executive of the Social Development Ministry reflects on the Ashburton shootings and the impact on the organisation. [more]

Sony scraps release of movie after hack-attack
Kim Zetter of Wired.com on the extraordinary scrapping by Sony of its satirical film 'The Interview' following the hacking of its computers. The film is about an assassination attempt on North Korea's president, Kim Yon Un. [more]

Sony scraps 'The Interview' after cyberattack.
Steven Gaydos is the executive editor of the entertainment industry magazine Variety. [more]

Big Year interview, Nicky Hager
Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics dominated this year's election. The book was based on the hacked emails of right wing blogger, Cameron Slater, to highlight his relationship with senior National Party figures. [more]

Book review - How Does It Hurt? Narrating Pain
Writen by Stephanie de Montalk and reviewed by Tilly Lloyd. Published by Victoria University Press. [more]

New Music with Jeremy Taylor
eremy Taylor presents his final musical repast for the year, with the long awaited new release from D'Angelo, a compilation of Sly Stone's productions, and a bit of 'hey nonny nonny' from Dutch lutenist Jozef Van Wissem. [more]

Sports commentator Brendan Telfer
Sports commentator Brendon Telfer discusses another difficult week for international cricket and Dan Carter becomes the highest paid player ever in world rugby. [more]

The week that was with
With comedians Te Radar and Michele A'Court. [more]

Our Changing World

Bird Brains - Measuring the IQ of Bush Robins
Wild robins are the perfect subjects for a study looking at how smart birds are, and whether being smart helps them raise more chicks [more]

Using Sugars to Test Gut Health
Drinking two sugar probes is a common test to measure the leakiness of the gut but research by Ivana Sequeira has improved it [more]

Aging Males and In-bred Kiwi: Genetic Updates
Two new studies report a decline in sperm quality in older males, and poor breeding success as a result of inbreeding in little spotted kiwi populations [more]

Spying on Wild Animals with Remote Cameras
A biologist is asking citizen scientists to help identify thousands of photos of introduced predators taken by remote cameras [more]

Using Google Balloons to Study the Stratosphere
Google's Loon project aims to deliver internet access to remote areas, but the balloons are also helping scientists to study changes in the stratosphere. [more]

A World with Whales
The National Whale Centre opens in Picton to focus on the natural and cultural history of cetaceans and to mark 50 years since the end of commercial whaling in New Zealand. [more]

Rural News

Morning Rural News for 19 December 2014
News from the rural and farming sector. [more]

Midday Rural News for 19 December 2014
News from the rural and farming sectors. [more]

Te Manu Korihi

Ngati Porou maps coastline for claims
The Tairawhiti tribe, Ngāti Porou, says it will be applying for customary marine title to a 'reasonable' stretch of the coastline in its territory. [more]

Te Manu Korihi News for 18 December 2014
Ngati Porou says it will be applying to the government for customary marine title to a 'reasonable' stretch of the coastline in its territory; The international oil and gas company OMV has been granted a marine consent to continue drilling in the South Taranaki Bight despite on-going opposition from west coast hapu and iwi; Ngai Tahu has launched a new Maori Farming Diploma which it hopes will produce the country's future leaders in agriculture. [more]

Te Manu Korihi News for 19 December 2014
A Far North iwi is planning to buy back its ancestral maunga - Whakakoro; The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association is backing a move by the Maori military veterans seeking compensation, but says that everyone who served should be entitled to the same thing; A Community organisation says it has had to make some hard decisions around what services it has had to get rid of; The Nurses' Organisation says potential funding cuts to public healthcare could see poorer health outcomes for Maori. [more]

Te Manu Korihi News for 19 December 2014
The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association is backing a move by the Maori military veterans seeking compensation, but says that everyone who served should be entitled to the same thing; A Far North iwi is planning to buy back its ancestral maunga - Whakakoro; The Nurses' Organisation says potential funding cuts to public healthcare could see poorer health outcomes for Maori; A Community organisation says it has had to make some hard decisions around what services it has had to get rid of. [more]

The Panel

The Panel pre-show for 18 December 2014
Your feedback, and a preview of the guests and topics on The Panel. [more]

The Panel with John Bishop and Cas Carter (Part 1)
Topics - some plain and uncompromising advice on alcohol and advertising today from The Ministerial Forum set up to look at this issue. The Forum says the link between alcohol and sport was leading young people to drink, and drink heavily. So it's calling for a total ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport. We awoke this morning to news of a thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba. It's been over 50 years since the US enforced a trade embargo against Cuba's communist government. President Barak Obama says it's time for an end to the policy of frozen diplomatic relations and a trade embargo. [more]

The Panel with John Bishop and Cas Carter (Part 2)
Topics - do we laugh or shake our heads at this story...a police officer described a motorist as "Irish" after the man tying his kayak sideways instead of lengthwise along his car roof. Police said it caused a potentially dangerous situation, the man was given a warning, ordered to remove the kayak and told to head back into town to get suitable transport arranged for the kayak before continuing his journey. Auckland City bowed out of the FIFA Club World Semifinals today, losing 2-1 to the champion San Lorenzo side from Argentina. But in reaching the semi finals, and in pushing the South Americans to extra time, they far, far exceeded expectations. Two examples in Auckland today of pedestrians being struck by cars. A six year old girl was hit when using a pedestrian crossing on West Auckland's Titirangi Road this morning. Police say early indications are that the girl was crossing on a green man signal, on her way to a dairy. We should note the driver apparently stopped immediately to help. The girl is said to be in a serious condition in hospital. [more]

The Wireless

Bulletin: The Sydney Siege
The Martin Place siege lasted 16 hours and resulted in three deaths. But for Australian authorities, the saga is only just beginning. [more]

Signing on for the beat
As a kid, Luke Ronaki never imagined he'd join the police force. Now he's on the beat and armed with a valuable tool. [more]

The Pencilsword: Revenge of the beach bod
Toby Morris has a confession to make: He's not as skinny as he draws himself. [more]

Upbeat

Stan Woodhouse
Melbourne-based New Zealand singer and guitarist from Skyscraper Stan and the Commission Flats [more]

Gunter Herbig: Cuban inspired guitar
Upbeat guitar music contributor explores works by, and inspired by,Cuban players and composers. [topic] music [location] Cuba [more]

William Shakespeare 450

Sonnet No 142: Love is my sin and thy dear virtue hate...
Read by Jennifer Ward-Lealand Music details: Dowland: What If A Day (Glossa GCD 920 109). [more]

World & Pacific News

2:29pm Pacific Regional News for 18 December 2014
The latest Pacific regional news. [more]

4pm Pacific Regional News for 18 December 2014
The latest Pacific regional news. [more]

8pm Pacific Regional News for 18 December 2014
The latest Pacific regional news. [more]

8pm Pacific Regional News for 18 December 2014
The latest Pacific regional news. [more]

6am Pacific Regional and Sports News for 19 December 2014
The latest Pacific regional and sports news. [more]

7am World, Pacific and Sports News for 19 December 2014
The latest world, Pacific and sports news. [more]

8am World, Pacific and Sports News for 19 December 2014
The latest world, Pacific and sports news. [more]

9am World, Pacific and Sports News for 19 December 2014
The latest world, Pacific and sports news. [more]

10am World, Pacific and Sports News for 19 December 2014
The latest world, Pacific and sports news. [more]

11am World, Pacific and Sports News for 19 December 2014
The latest world, Pacific and sports news. [more]

News stories:

Council to help pay for runway
Wellington City Council has voted to contribute almost $2 million to help pay for the resource consent to extend the runway at the city's airport. [more]

Lawyer expects prison officer in court
The lawyer for convicted murderer and paedophile Phillip John Smith thinks a prison officer could be in court early next year charged with helping him get away. [more]

Military plans for Papua a worry
The head of the newly formed United Liberation Movement for West Papua says the nature of Indonesia's deployment of security forces to the Papua region indicates it's a war zone. [more]

Valuation key to Maori land rates
A Far North iwi leader says valuation is the key to deciding what rates councils should be charging for Maori land. [more]

HNZ skirts blame over Kainga Whenua
Housing New Zealand is not taking the blame for the small number of loans issued to Maori who want to build houses on their shared land. [more]

Ashley-Cooper heading to France
The veteran Wallabies utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper has ended the chase for his signature, announcing he'll join French side Bordeaux after next year's rugby World Cup. [more]

Mystery swimmer arrested in Vanuatu
People from Torres in Vanuatu's north have reportedly arrested a white man whose surprise arrival aroused suspicion. [more]

Rena report released today
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission will today release its final report on the grounding of the container ship Rena. [more]

Pyne Gould tops off year with fiery AGM
Pyne Gould has topped off the year with a fiery annual shareholders meeting, where the issue of transparency and accountability were front and centre. [more]

Fiji TV alarms media watchdog
The departure of two leading executives from Fiji TV is raising concerns at the Pacific Freedom Forum, a regional media watchdog, about more interference in Fiji's media. [more]

Sport: PNG Hunters expecting trio to flourish in NRL
Papua New Guinea Hunters boss Brad Tassell doesn't expect to see Wartovo Puara and Thompson Teteh at the club in 2015 [more]

Petrol falls below $1.70 a litre
Petrol has dipped below $1.70 a litre in some areas as competition between oil companies heats up, but the discount will end at midday today. [more]

Zespri optimistic over gold kiwifruit crop
Kiwifruit marketer Zespri says the industry is on track to complete its recovery from the Psa disease disaster, with a big lift in gold kiwifruit production expected next year. [more]

Fines a warning for smaller family farms
Federated Farmers says stiff fines for not wearing helmets on quad bikes is a warning for smaller family operated farms that may not have strict policies in place. [more]

Fonterra milk supply forecast questioned
A dairy analyst thinks Fonterra may be erring on the conservative side in its prediction that milk supply was expected to be about the same as the 2013-2104 season. [more]

Sheep theft alert for farmers
The police are warning farmers in Akaroa that thieves who have slaughtered sheep and stolen wool from three local farms could strike again in the holiday period. [more]

Samoa brings in supplementary budget
Samoa's prime minister, Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi, who's also the minister of finance has tabled a supplementary budget. [more]

Call to ban alcohol ads in sport
The Justice Minister says the Government needs to understand the full implications of banning alcohol sponsorship of sport. [more]

LATEST: San Lorenzo leading 1-0 over Akl City at halftime in Club World Cup semi-final
LATEST: San Lorenzo leading 1-0 over Akl City at halftime in Club World Cup semi-final [more]

Lawyers rally to fund social worker
Auckland lawyers are rallying to keep a court social worker in her job after her position was axed by a community organisation. [more]

Bougainville has new police barracks
Papua New Guinea's autonomous region of Bougainville has new police barracks. [more]

LATEST - San Lorenzo score a second goal, now 2-1 up against Auckland City in extra time
LATEST - San Lorenzo score a second goal, now 2-1 up against Auckland City in extra time [more]

Tonga and American Samoa sign deal
A Tonga government owned vessel will begin making regular trips to American Samoa bringing cargo to and from the island kingdom. [more]

Noise complaints force flight path change
Proposed flight-path changes into Auckland airport have been altered after complaints from residents that planes were too noisy and flying too low. [more]

FOOTBALL LATEST - San Lorenzo beat Auckland City 2-1 at end of extra time in Morocco
FOOTBALL LATEST - San Lorenzo beat Auckland City 2-1 at end of extra time in Morocco [more]

BREAKING NEWS - Christchurch City Council regains right to to issue building consents
BREAKING NEWS - Christchurch City Council regains right to to issue building consents [more]

BREAKING NEWS - Ex-ambulance officer Christopher King jailed for 14-and-a-half years for sexual offences
BREAKING NEWS - Ex-ambulance officer Christopher King jailed for 14-and-a-half years for sexual offences [more]

Black Caps win 4th ODI
The Black Caps have levelled the one-day cricket series against Pakistan with captain Kane Williamson's century helping lift the tourists to victory in the fourth match. [more]

League Cup semi-finalists found
Tottenham Hotspur strolled into the League Cup semi-finals with a 4-0 rout of Newcastle United, while Liverpool scored a 3-1 win over Bournemouth. [more]

FIFA investigator resigns
FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia has resigned, a day after his appeal over a decision by ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert was ruled inadmissible. [more]

Vijay puts India in charge
The Indian batsman Murali Vijay struck a memorable century but later admitted to being unaware of reaching the milestone in the second Test against Australia at Gabba. [more]

Adams wins Lonsdale Cup
The IAAF world female athlete of the year Valerie Adams has won the New Zealand Olympic Committee's Lonsdale Cup. [more]

Smith edges Haddin for captaincy
Steven Smith will captain the Australian cricket side for the rest of the series against India, the 25-year-old replacing the injured Michael Clarke to become the country's youngest Test captain since 1979. [more]

Police sorry for 'Irish tourist' kayak mistake
Police have apologised to anyone of Irish descent after a man with a kayak lying sideways across his car's roof was stopped and presumed to be from Ireland. [more]

Fiji TV Chair says sackings done to extend licence
The Chairman of Fiji TV says the sacking of senior executives is to ensure it has a better chance of getting its licence extended. [more]

Sport: Fiji women pull out of World Hockey League, men still in doubt
The Fiji women's hockey team will not compete at the World League tournament in India due to a lack of finance, while the men's team have been given three weeks to rustle up some funds to pay for their trip to Singapore. [more]

Australian aid cuts immoral - NGO
The head of World Vision Australia says recent aid cuts by the Australian government are immoral, absolutely historic in their devastation and will cost lives. [more]

Missing tourist Celine turns up
A French tourist who was unaccounted for near Arthurs Pass has been found, police say. [more]

Fiji in catch-22 on land issue, says academic
A New Zealand-based academic who specialises in Fiji land issues says Suva appears to be caught in a difficult situation when it comes to regulating land sales in the country. [more]

New Caledonia's Gomes labelled absolute monarch
The head of New Caledonia's collapsed government, Cynthia Ligeard, has singled out Philippe Gomes over the demise of the government just six months into its five-year term. [more]

PNG teachers angry over missing leave fares
Hundreds of teachers in Papua New Guinea's Morobe province have stormed the provincial administraton building in Lae, demanding their leave fare entitlements. [more]

Papua powerless against Jakarta
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua secretary-general says the Governors of West Papua and Papua provinces have no political power when it comes to facing Indonesia's government. [more]

GDP rises, driven by primary sector
The pace of economic activity has risen, according to official figures released this morning. [more]

Dropping 200m from Olympics ridiculous
The six-times Olympic champion Usain Bolt says reports suggesting the 200 metres is among five athletics events that risk being cut from the Olympic programme is "ridiculous" and must not happen. [more]

Business Briefs
A round-up from Radio New Zealand's business reporters - TruScreen signs Austrian deal, Cooks Global Foods gets Chinese purchase go ahead, Serko joins with Expedia. [more]

Group reapplies for clearance of takeover
The consortium led by the businessman Mark Stewart has re-applied for regulatory clearance to take over Acurity Health. [more]

Fed may raise short-term interest rates
The United States central bank has indicated it may raise short-term interest rates next year, but is cautious on exactly when. [more]

NZ Defence Minister says Fiji keen on officer training
New Zealand's Defence Minister says Fiji has signalled it wants to resume some officer and command training in New Zealand. [more]

Climate comments unpolitic - Maori Party
The Maori Party says the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group has some housekeeping to do in order to preserve its relationship with the Government. [more]

Farmer contracts not taxing water-take
Contracts signed so far to take water from Hawke's Bay's Ruataniwha dam and irrigation project added up to only about 13 percent of the commitment needed to make the scheme commercially feasible. [more]

Farm forester challenges minister's claim
A farm forester has taken issue with Climate Change Minister Tim Groser on New Zealand's options for reducing or off-setting its greenhouse gas emissions. [more]

Queenstown cop behind racist rant quits
A Queenstown police officer who racially abused a taxi driver has resigned. Jenny McNee told the man to "go to India and eat your curry". [more]

New tool to test sheep meat quality
A international project testing the eating quality of sheep meat using DNA measurements will enter its final stage next year, with the tool developed set to be tested on commercial flocks in New Zealand. [more]

Christchurch regains right to issue consents
The Christchurch City Council has the right to issue building consents again, after regaining accreditation. [more]

Samoa PM gets backing over women comment
A prominent businesswoman in Samoa says the Samoa Prime Minister is a strong supporter of women getting into politics. [more]

Kiribati says no to media reform
An attempt in Kiribati to stop government control of public media has failed as the opposition had been pushing for amendments to the Broadcasting and Publications Authority Act. [more]

Council budget cleared for consultation
The Auditor-General has given the green light for the Auckland Council to put out its contentious 10-year budget for consultation after last-minute changes. [more]

Floods, courts and pay scandals
Some of New Zealand's biggest stories over the past 12 months came out of Canterbury and the West Coast - as Conan Young reports. [more]

Health Benefits gone, but tensions remain
The controversial Health Benefits Limited (HBL) group is gone but its proposals remain - and are tipped to create further debate in 2015. [more]

Dollars come home to roost in Auckland
As the year ends, Todd Niall considers the flipsides of rising house prices and the cost of tackling traffic congestion in the country's largest city. [more]

Solomons still without finance minister
The Solomon Islands government is shepherding emergency legislation through parliament this afternoon to ensure it has funding available for the next three months. [more]

Stormy year for top of South Island
The top of the South Island saw a busy start to 2014 with holidaymakers drafted to help with whale strandings - and an eventful year followed. [more]

Fiji military says overseas ties help against internal threats
Fiji says strengthening ties with overseas defence forces will help the country defend itself against any internal security threats. [more]

BREAKING NEWS - Three charged with murder of Lower Hutt man Matthew Stevens
BREAKING NEWS - Three charged with murder of Lower Hutt man Matthew Stevens [more]

Warriors off to Wellington again
The Warriors will play a game in Wellington again next year, when the Auckland rugby league club hosts St George Illawarra in early August. [more]

Documents released to Nicky Hager's lawyers
A High Court judge has today ruled on which documents police have to disclose to author Nicky Hager's lawyers relating to a raid on his Wellington home in October. [more]

Air collision near-perfect storm - coroner
A coroner wants changes to the rules for smaller aerodromes, following the deaths of three men when a light plane and helicopter collided over Paraparaumu. [more]

Girl hit by car in West Auckland
An eight-year-old girl is fighting for her life after being hit by a car in West Auckland. She is in Starship Hospital with critical injuries. [more]

Auckland reverend jailed for tax evasion
An Auckland Assembly of God minister has been jailed for three years for failing to pay more than a $1 million in tax. [more]

Plant-based compound helps smokers quit
A plant-based chemical compound found to be more effective than nicotine replacement therapy in helping smokers quit is also found in kowhai, a researcher says. [more]

Murder charges over Hutt man's death
Three people have been charged with the murder of Lower Hutt man Matthew Stevens. His body was found next to his car near Paekakariki, north of Wellington. [more]

Bali accused's family appoint lawyer
New Zealander Antony de Malmanche, held on suspicion of drug-smuggling in Bali, has a prominent Tauranga lawyer to represent him. [more]

Timaru polytech considers Chch merger
Timaru's Aoraki Polytechnic is considering joining forces with Christchurch Polytechnic. The polytechnic suffered a $3 million loss last year. [more]

OMV gets consent to continue drilling
International oil and gas company OMV has been granted a marine consent to continue drilling in the South Taranaki Bight despite ongoing opposition from west coast hapu and iwi. [more]

Ngati Porou maps coastline for claims
Tairāwhiti tribe Ngāti Porou is applying for customary marine title for a "reasonable" stretch of the coastline in its territory, as it seeks to protect its beaches, it says. [more]

Australia provides more education aid in PNG
Australia is to provide infrastructure kits for 30 schools in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. [more]

Greens say Australia robbing neighbours
Australia's Greens say more aid cuts announced this week mean Australia is effectively robbing its neighbours. [more]

American Samoa pleas for US fisheries help
American Samoa's governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga wants U.S. Department of Interior support on fisheries issues because its tuna canneries are under threat. [more]

Vanuatu to chair key ACP body
Vanuatu is to take up the presidency of the Council of Ministers of the African Caribbean and Pacific group of nations that receive aid from Europe. [more]

Mystery still around foreign swimmer in Vanuatu
A mystery swimmer who swam ashore in northern Vanuatu has been identified as Thomas Sindbeg Erickson, who says he is a Dutch national. [more]

Ngai Tahu launches farming diploma
Ngai Tahu has launched a new Maori Farming Diploma it hopes will produce the country's future leaders in agriculture. [more]

Medic jailed 14 years for sex offences
A former Hawke's Bay ambulance officer's sexual offending has been described by a judge as some of the worst cases of its type to come before courts. [more]

Dunedin council car fraud totals $1.5m
An investigation into Dunedin City Council's missing fleet vehicles has found team leader Brent Bachop apparently responsible for more than $1.5 million of fraud. [more]

Info gap helped Smith escape
A new report into the escape of killer and paedophile Phillip John Smith has found he was able to exploit information gaps between several government agencies. [more]

Rena oversight lacking - TAIC
An official report into the Rena has found routine violations of procedures and insufficient oversight of safety on the ship before it grounded. [more]