New Zealand

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Luckless Hitchhiker Throws 'Hissy Fit,' Ends Up Arrested

Cedric Claude Rene Rault-Verpre did not have a good time in Punakaiki

(Newser) - It's admittedly not the optimal place to become stranded: a New Zealand community that just 70 people call home year-round, and one with no grocery store. But after a 27-year-old French hitchhiker found himself unable to thumb a ride south from Punakaiki after four days of trying, police say... More »

After Partner Dies on Trail, Woman Survives Month Alone

New Zealand authorities say she was trapped by snow

(Newser) - A bizarre story of survival out of New Zealand: Authorities say a woman survived for a month in a remote cabin after her partner was killed during a wintry hike in the mountains, reports the Guardian . Police say the Czech couple, in their late 20s or early 30s, began hiking... More »

NZ, US Runners Win Fair Play Awards

D'Agostino, Hamblin helped each other finish race

(Newser) - One of the most touching moments of the Rio Olympics has been rewarded with this year's Fair Play Awards. American runner Abbey D'Agostino and New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin, who helped each other finish the race after falling during a women's 5,000-meter heat, were given the... More »

NZ Plans to Kill Every Rat, Feral Cat, and Possum

In the world's 'most ambitious conservation project'

(Newser) - New Zealand could soon be the envy of New York. The country has announced a "world-first" project to exterminate all non-native pests, including possums, stoats, feral cats, and rats by 2050, reports the Guardian . Why? Well, the pests, which the government says cost $2.3 billion per year, also... More »

See the Calmest Way Possible to Foil an Armed Robbery

How does this New Zealand eatery owner stay so chill?!

(Newser) - The owner of a New Zealand kebab eatery kept calm and carried on as a robber-wannabe waved his gun and demanded money—as in, the owner carried on serving his customers while ignoring the gunman, the BBC reports. In a video posted by the Canterbury Police on Facebook , Said Ahmed... More »

In New Zealand Town, Dozens of Cats Go Missing

Owners threaten local police with a protest

(Newser) - When New Zealander Ashleigh Hicks couldn't find her cat, Moses, last Thursday, she set up a Facebook closed group called #freethefurbabies—and quickly learned that her case appears to be far from the only one in Timaru. She says some 50 cats seem to have gone missing in similar... More »

Inside a Sparkly Horse Head, NZ's Biggest Coke Bust Ever

$14M worth of cocaine found crammed into statue's neck in Auckland

(Newser) - Go big or go home—or, in the case of a bunch of drug smugglers nailed in what New Zealand is calling its biggest drug bust ever, to the big house (aka prison). Per the BBC , New Zealand police found 77 pounds worth of cocaine bricks—with a street value... More »

Want a Job and a Cheap Home? This Town Wants You

NZ town has 1K vacant jobs, $160K homes

(Newser) - "So many of the things Kiwis value, such as owning your own home and providing for your family, have become an impossible dream"—but not in the tiny town of Kaitangata. Bryan Cadogan, mayor of the Clutha district, which includes Kaitangata, on New Zealand's South Island, says... More »

New Zealand's Weird Crime Wave: Avocado Theft

Shortage sends prices soaring to $5 each

(Newser) - Thieves have sparked a crime wave in New Zealand targeting … avocados. There have been at least 40 large-scale thefts of avocados since January, with thieves stealing onto farms in the middle of the night, raking trees, and loading vehicles with the fruit to be sold at road-side stalls and... More »

Lord of the Rings' 'Mount Doom' May Erupt

Volcanic alert level raised at Mount Ruapehu

(Newser) - Mordor's "Mount Doom" may be about to erupt for the first time since 2007. Lake temperature and volcanic gas output have spiked in recent weeks at New Zealand's Mount Ruapehu, featured in the Lord of the Rings movies, leading officials to raise the volcanic alert level from... More »

Stranded Hikers Spell 'HELP,' Get Rescued

Mom and daughter were in the wilderness for 5 days

(Newser) - Rachel and Carolyn Lloyd set off on what should have been a six- to eight-hour hike in New Zealand's Tararua Forest Park Tuesday, but they got lost and then Rachel, 22, got hurt. She slipped in a creek, hitting her head on a rock, and couldn't walk. Temperatures... More »

Couple Married in World's First Pastafarian Wedding

May the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless the happy couple

(Newser) - The wedding rings were made of pasta, the ceremony was held on a pirate boat, and when it came time for the kiss, the bride and groom slurped up either end of a noodle until their lips met. The AP reports the world's first Pastafarian wedding, conducted by the... More »

Octopus Breaks Out of National Aquarium

So long, suckers

(Newser) - At New Zealand's National Aquarium, workers thought Inky the octopus had settled in nicely after he was brought in by a fisherman who found him in a lobster pot in 2014. Turns out he was just biding his time. Staff at the Napier aquarium believe that after the lid... More »

Why a School Told Girls to Wear Longer Skirts

New Zealand school riles students, feminists

(Newser) - A New Zealand high school is telling girls to wear longer skirts so they don't "distract" teachers and male students, the Guardian reports. School official Cherith Telford called about 40 teenage students into an assembly at Henderson high school in Auckland and warned that any skirt that doesn'... More »

School's Sweeney Todd Play Goes Bloody Wrong

2 boys taken to hospital with cuts to their necks

(Newser) - If you're going to have a prop mishap, you'd hope it wouldn't be during a play about a barber who uses a razor to slit his customers' throats. But that's what went down during the opening night of Saint Kentigern College's production of Sweeney Todd... More »

Dads Claim They're Stuck in 'Hellhole' With Surrogate 'Triplings'

Couple say they were ripped off, have no money to get home; others would beg to differ

(Newser) - Ask David and Nicky Beard about their time in Mexico to bring their newborns home to New Zealand, and they'll tell you they're stuck in a "dangerous ... hellhole" and "third-world" nation they say has left them $190,000 in debt and abandoned by the Cancun surrogacy... More »

New Zealand Rejects New Flag

Kiwi majority votes in favor of keeping old flag

(Newser) - New Zealand has voted to keep its current flag by 57% to 43% in a nationwide poll, the AP reports. More than 2 million people voted in the ballot to decide whether to keep the British Union Jack on their flag or replace it with a silver fern. The results... More »

Domino's Now Has a Pizza- Delivery Droid

Meet DRU

(Newser) - Self-driving cars seem nice, but an Australian tech startup that usually builds robotic targets for live-fire military training has just announced what we've really been waiting for: a pizza-delivery robot, courtesy of Domino's, reports Engadget . Meet DRU (Domino's Robotic Unit) , an autonomous 3-foot-tall delivery vehicle (currently in... More »

No One Wants This $267K Job With 3 Months of Vacation

Maybe because it's a grueling gig in the middle of rural New Zealand

(Newser) - Dr. Alan Kenny is offering a fellow doctor a $267,000 annual salary, three months of vacation, and a half-share of his New Zealand practice, the Guardian reports. And with 6,000 patients, his business in rural Tokoroa is booming, to the point where Kenny can't take time off.... More »

Wave of 'Trash' Applicants Now Want $267K Doctor Job

NZ doctor has few real candidates, is getting bashed by residents

(Newser) - Dr. Alan Kenny hoped getting the word out about a half-share in his medical practice in rural New Zealand—which comes with a $267,000 annual salary and three months of vacation—would result in a candidate that could help ease his stress. Instead, it's left him in "... More »

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