New Zealand

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Matt Lauer: 'There Is Enough Truth in These Stories'

Fired NBC anchor issues statement apologizing as new complaints come out

(Newser) - Matt Lauer has broken his silence over the sexual misconduct scandal engulfing him. "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions," he says in a statement, per CNBC . "To the people I have hurt,... More »

It's a Very New Zealandy Kind of Driving Offense

Driver who got pulled over says he was playing the 'air bagpipes'

(Newser) - Cops in New Zealand were on the prowl for distracted drivers at a road checkpoint when one officer spotted an obvious offender. Weirdly, no phone was involved: "His fingers were going a million miles an hour," says a Dunedin cop, per Stuff.co.nz . "And I'm... More »

Envoy Scott Brown Is Warned After Remarks to Guests

Ambassador to New Zealand says he'll be more 'culturally aware' in future

(Newser) - The US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa is blaming the "blood sport" of politics for the kerfuffle he's in over comments he made while visiting the latter islands. Per the New York Times , witnesses told local media that former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown acted "obnoxiously" at... More »

Kiwi Party Learns Copying Eminem Song Was Wrong Move

New Zealand's National Party to cough up $415K, plus interest, for ripping off 'Lose Yourself' in ads

(Newser) - A New Zealand judge said Eminem's lyrics "You own it, you better never let it go" turned out to be prophetic after ruling that a political party breached copyright by using a song similar to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" in its campaign ads. High Court Judge Helen... More »

Journo Asks How to Say PM's Name, PM Answers

Jacinda Ardern picked up the phone

(Newser) - When an Australian journalist wanted to find out how to correctly pronounce the name of New Zealand's incoming prime minister, he—unwittingly—went straight to the top, reports the AP . According to the New Zealand Herald , Tiger Webb of Australia's ABC Radio called the New Zealand Parliament on... More »

NZ Leader Calls Pregnancy Questions 'Unacceptable'

Youngest-ever Labour leader grilled about plans to start family

(Newser) - The newest leader of New Zealand's Labour Party says it's "totally unacceptable" for women to be grilled in the workplace over whether or not they plan to have children after she faced similar questioning during multiple interviews in her first two days on the job. The BBC... More »

Wild Rabbits Surf on Sheep to Flee New Zealand Flood

'The rabbits had a jolly good try at staying on'

(Newser) - It was a woolly ride, but three wild rabbits managed to escape rising floodwaters in New Zealand by clambering aboard sheep and surfing to safety on their backs, the AP reports. Ferg Horne, 64, says he's been farming since he left school at age 15 and has never seen... More »

Researchers Say They've Found Lost Wonder of World

And they think New Zealand's Pink and White Terraces could see the light of day

(Newser) - They were considered the eighth natural wonder of the world and the greatest tourist attraction in the Southern Hemisphere in the mid-1800s—and then they were gone: The Pink and White Terraces of Lake Rotomahana in New Zealand's North Island spellbound visitors until June 1886 when Mount Tarawera erupted,... More »

Playboy Model's Photo Has the Maori Fuming

It's 'inappropriate' to pose nude on sacred Mount Taranaki, tribe says

(Newser) - Imagine someone parading naked on the grave of your relative. That's what the Maori of New Zealand accuse a Playboy model of doing atop Mount Taranaki, a volcano that the Maori consider an ancestor. New Zealand native Jaylene Cook, 25—who appeared in Playboy Mexico in January—climbed the... More »

Week's Oddest Suit: Eminem vs. New Zealand's Ruling Party

'Lose Yourself' copyright is at the heart of it all

(Newser) - They may not have lost themselves in the music or the moment but a judge and nine lawyers in a New Zealand courtroom did listen politely to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" as a copyright trial involving the country's ruling political party began Monday. The Detroit-based music publishers for... More »

NZ Paper Refers to New US Ambassador as 'Former Nude Model'

And former senator, but perhaps that's not as punchy

(Newser) - After losing his Massachusetts Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren in 2012 —and then failing to nab the New Hampshire seat in 2014 —Scott Brown appears to have again found a political post. President Trump on Thursday announced his intention to nominate Brown, an early Trump supporter, as ambassador... More »

NZ Kicks Out US Diplomat After Unexplained Incident

US refused to waive immunity

(Newser) - An American diplomat has been kicked out of New Zealand, taking a black eye and a broken nose with him and leaving a lot of questions behind. New Zealand asked the US to remove the man, an embassy staff member, after the embassy refused to waive diplomatic immunity when he... More »

Trainee Bomb-Sniffing Puppy Shot Dead at Airport

Grizz couldn't be coaxed off the tarmac, say officials

(Newser) - A trainee bomb-sniffing dog was shot dead at a New Zealand airport on Friday after he escaped his handler and caused 16 flights to be delayed. Officials say the 10-month-old bearded collie cross, named Grizz, was "spooked" around 4am and spent 3.5 hours loose on the tarmac as... More »

In World First, This River Now Has the Same Rights as You

Whanganui River granted legal rights

(Newser) - If this sounds like nothing you've ever heard before, that's because it is indeed a first: A river in New Zealand has been granted the same legal rights as a human being. The move ends a 140-year effort (called the longest-running litigation in Kiwi history) on the part... More »

'Avalanche' of Americans Applying for NZ Citizenship

Citizenship applications up 70% in 12 weeks after election

(Newser) - It's one thing to talk about heading for another country's hills when a new president is elected. It's another thing to go ahead and do it. But that's exactly what seems to be happening, at least in one distant corner of the world. In New Zealand,... More »

Bad News for Kim Dotcom From NZ Judge: Extradition

Judge upheld earlier court ruling that internet entrepreneur can be sent to US

(Newser) - A New Zealand judge on Monday upheld an earlier court ruling that flamboyant internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the US to face criminal charges. The decision comes five years after US authorities shut down Dotcom's file-sharing website Megaupload and filed charges... More »

Scientists Say They've Discovered an 8th Continent

Zealandia is two-thirds the size of Australia but 94% underwater

(Newser) - Every elementary school student knows there are seven continents. Or are there? After more than 20 years of investigation, researchers now say there is an eighth continent: Zealandia. The Christian Science Monitor reports Zealandia is 1.9 million square miles—about two-thirds the size of Australia—but is 94% underwater,... More »

Amid Wave of Beached Whales, Finally Some Good News

More than 200 animals refloat themselves amid mass strandings on New Zealand

(Newser) - Whale lovers in New Zealand finally got some good news on Sunday after more than 200 stranded whales managed to refloat themselves overnight and swim away, while volunteers managed to save another 17 whales at high tide, reports the AP . More than 650 pilot whales had beached themselves along Farewell... More »

After Whales Refloated, a Devastating Setback

240 whales from new pod now stranded on NZ beach

(Newser) - A new pod of 240 whales swam aground at a remote New Zealand beach on Saturday just hours after weary volunteers managed to refloat a different group of whales following an earlier mass stranding . In total, more than 650 pilot whales have beached themselves along a 3-mile stretch of coastline... More »

'Utterly Heartbreaking' Scene on Remote Beach

400 whales stranded; New Zealanders scramble to rescue survivors

(Newser) - Volunteers are scrambling to rescue scores of whales after one of the worst strandings in New Zealand's history. About 275 of the pilot whales were already dead when magazine writer Cheree Morrison and two colleagues found them early Friday on Farewell Spit, a remote beach at the tip of... More »

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