New Zealand

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New Zealand 'Wins Christmas' With Nationwide Secret Santa

A warning: It involves 'light stalking'

(Newser) - Some 2,000 Kiwis will receive holiday gifts this year—from complete strangers. A New Zealand man came up with the idea for a nationwide Secret Santa exchange in 2010, in which Twitter users were assigned another user for whom they were to buy. New Zealand Post has taken the... More »

Warships Come to Rescue of NZ Town Cut Off by Quake

Trump called PM to pass on sympathies

(Newser) - New Zealand military leaders say they have almost completed the evacuation of more than 700 tourists and residents from a small coastal town, two days after a powerful earthquake cut off train and vehicle access. The magnitude 7.8 quake left two people dead, triggered a small tsunami, and brought... More »

Cows Stranded by Quake Rescued

NZ farmer had to dig a track to them

(Newser) - Three New Zealand cows whose predicament captured the interest people around the world after they became stranded on a small island of grass following a powerful earthquake have been rescued, the AP reports. The two cows and a calf were rescued after a farmer and some helpers dug a track... More »

Crazy Quake Aftermath: 3 Stranded Cows

They're stuck in New Zealand

(Newser) - It's one of the strangest post-earthquake images you'll see: three cows stranded on a small patch of grass after the earth all around them has fallen away. The scene is out of New Zealand, where a 7.8 magnitude quake has left at least two people dead and... More »

NZ Plans to Rescue 1K Tourists Stranded by Quake

At least 2 dead after 7.8 quake

(Newser) - New Zealand is planning to send in military helicopters and a navy ship to rescue about 1,000 tourists and hundreds of residents who remain stranded in the coastal town of Kaikoura after a powerful earthquake on Monday cut off train and vehicle access. The magnitude-7.8 quake struck the... More »

NZ Quake 'Just Kept Going and Going;' Tsunami Strikes

Wasn't as violent as 2011 quake, but lasted at least 3 minutes

(Newser) - A powerful earthquake struck New Zealand's South Island early Monday, shaking awake residents, damaging buildings, and prompting emergency services to warn people along the coast to move to higher ground to avoid tsunami waves. The magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck in a mostly rural area close to Christchurch, reports the... More »

7.8 Quake Hits New Zealand; Tsunami Warning Issued

People belatedly advised to move to higher ground

(Newser) - A powerful earthquake has struck New Zealand near the city of Christchurch, with strong jolts felt over 120 miles away in the capital, Wellington. There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries, reports the AP . The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at first reported that there was no risk... More »

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 »

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