New Zealand

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Whale That Washed Up on Beach Could Be World's Rarest

Precious little is known about the spade-toothed whale

(Newser) - Spade-toothed whales are the world's rarest, with no live sightings ever recorded. No one knows how many there are, what they eat, or even where they live in the vast expanse of the southern Pacific Ocean. However, scientists in New Zealand may have finally caught a break, reports the...

New Zealand Asks for Help Solving Mystery of Vanished Family

Dad, 3 kids disappeared in 2021

(Newser) - New Zealand authorities offered a reward and immunity from prosecution Tuesday to anyone who can help their search for three children who have been missing since their father vanished with them from a remote rural community more than two years ago. The December 2021 disappearance of Tom Phillips and his...

Man Fined for 'Shocking, Stupid' Behavior Around Orcas

'This really could have ended horribly'

(Newser) - A New Zealand man is lucky his "stupid and shocking" behavior around two orcas didn't result in an immediate lesson in why they are also known as killer whales, authorities say. The 50-year-old was fined 600 New Zealand dollars (roughly $367) over a video posted on Instagram video...

This Feather Is Worth 40 Times Its Weight in Gold

Feather from extinct huia sells for $28K, becoming most expensive feather ever sold

(Newser) - Someone just paid nearly $30,000 for ... a feather. Granted, it's a rare and pretty feather, but still one worth more than 40 times its weight in gold. The most expensive feather ever sold, it comes from the long-extinct huia, "the largest of New Zealand's wattlebird species,...

Ram Kills New Zealand Couple
Ram Kills New Zealand Couple

Ram Kills New Zealand Couple

'Never trust a hand-reared ram,' neighbor says

(Newser) - An elderly couple in New Zealand were killed by a rogue ram, authorities say. Family spokesman Dean Burrell, a police officer, says Alfred Helge Hansen, 82, and Gaye Carole Hansen, 81, were found dead in a paddock at their home in a rural area outside Auckland, the New Zealand Herald...

A Family Emerged From the Bush. Then the Mystery Began

Dan Kois delves into the disappearance of the Phillips family

(Newser) - A father and his three children vanished in New Zealand in September 2021. But it was only after they turned up 17 days later that "the real mystery started," writes Dan Kois in a lengthy piece for Slate . Tom Phillips had custody of his three young kids, then...

Whales Just Gained Personhood Here
Whales Just Gained
Personhood Here

Whales Just Gained Personhood Here

Polynesian Indigenous groups sign treaty they hope will lead to greater protections

(Newser) - Whales are people, too, according to the Indigenous leaders of New Zealand, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands, who've acted to bestow personhood on whales. New Zealand's Maori and other Indigenous groups from Polynesia signed a treaty that recognizes all whales as legal persons as part of an effort...

New Zealand MP Resigns Over Shoplifting Allegations

'I fell short,' says Golriz Ghahraman, a former UN human rights lawyer

(Newser) - Golriz Ghahraman had been a rising star in New Zealand politics, a former UN human rights lawyer who made history in 2017 by becoming the first refugee elected to parliament, per the BBC . However, the 43-year-old native of Iran resigned Tuesday after amid media allegations (complete with CCTV video) that...

Far From Land, They Investigated a Reflection and Saved a Life

New Zealand fisherman, who'd fallen overboard, rescued after 24 hours in ocean

(Newser) - A man who fell off his boat during a solo fishing trip off the coast of New Zealand and spent the next 24 hours in the ocean, during which he was reportedly visited by a shark, was rescued Wednesday after a chance sighting of the sunlight's reflection on his...

New Zealand Mayor Reassures Residents: Keep Pooping

Lower Hutt has a serious odor problem right now

(Newser) - There's good news and bad news for residents of a New Zealand city. The good is that their mayor confirmed on Tuesday that they can continue pooping. The bad is that the air will smell regardless. The city of Lower Hutt near Wellington has been dealing with a two-month-long...

New Zealand's Ambitious Smoking Ban Is No More

Nation's new government has nixed progressively rising smoking age, other anti-smoking measures

(Newser) - New Zealand's ambitious plan to eventually turn the nation smoke-free has itself gone up in smoke. The legislation passed in late 2022 mandated a progressively increasing smoking age that would effectively mean that anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 2009, would never be able to legally light up....

John Oliver Wrecked New Zealand's Bird of the Century Competition
New Zealand Was
Having a Nice Bird
Contest. Then
Came John Oliver

New Zealand Was Having a Nice Bird Contest. Then Came John Oliver

'Last Week Tonight' host wins with his viral campaign to get puking bird voted 'Bird of the Century'

(Newser) - Comedian John Oliver has succeeded in his campaign to have what he describes as a weird, puking bird with a colorful mullet win New Zealand's Bird of the Century contest. As the AP reports, he even managed to elbow out the iconic national bird, the kiwi. Conservation group Forest...

NZ Curling Team Moves Into a Canadian Retirement Home

New Zealand squad needed inexpensive lodging while training in Canada

(Newser) - The average age of residents in the Chartwell Colonel Belcher Retirement Residence in Calgary is 84, notes the New York Times . But if the home's four new temporary residents were factored in, the number would skew much lower. In an unusual lodging arrangement—and one that seems to thrill...

Company Found Guilty in Volcano Disaster That Killed 22

New Zealand company belongs to brothers who own the island on which the volcano sits

(Newser) - In the largest action of its kind brought by New Zealand's workplace safety regulator, a company that licenses tours to White Island was on Tuesday found guilty of violating safety laws in the 2019 volcano disaster that left 22 people, mostly tourists, dead and another 25 injured. Whakaari Management...

NZ Residents Plead for End to 'Siren Battles' With Celine
NZ Residents
Plead for End
to 'Siren Battles'
With Celine
in case you missed it

NZ Residents Plead for End to 'Siren Battles' With Celine

Residents petition town to stop youths from cranking the music from special speakers at night

(Newser) - They mean no offense to Celine Dion, but residents of the town of Porirua, New Zealand, have launched a petition to stop hearing her songs blasted through the night, reports the BBC . The petition takes aim at what are known as "siren battles," in which groups typically consisting...

Spy Chiefs in 5 Nations Sound Warning on China

Five Eyes intelligence chiefs say Chinese spies are operating at an 'epic scale'

(Newser) - Spy movies have taught us to suspect figures lurking around military bases and federal buildings, yet the focus of Chinese spying in the US looks quite different, according to the heads of spy agencies in the Five Eyes coalition—US, Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand—who gathered for an...

Musk: X Is Implementing 'Not a Bot' Fee

CEO of former Twitter says new users in 2 nations are being charged $1 to tweet, retweet, like posts

(Newser) - If you've been fearing the day would come when X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, would start to charge regular non-blue-check people for the privilege of posting, that day has come, for some. Fortune reports that the social media site began hitting new users only—and just those...

NZ's New PM: 'We Are Going to Restore Law and Order'

Ex-businessman Christopher Luxon, leader of conservative National Party, wins general election

(Newser) - Conservative former businessman Christopher Luxon will be New Zealand's next prime minister after winning a decisive election victory on Saturday. People voted for change after six years of a liberal government, led for most of that time by Jacinda Ardern. The exact makeup of Luxon's government is still...

Couple Gets Refund Over Stinky Dog on Flight

New Zealand pair say they had to move from premium to economy over the smell

(Newser) - A New Zealand couple who say they were subjected to a drooling, snorting, and farting dog on a long flight have gotten a $1,400 refund for their trouble, reports Insider . Gill and Warren Press say they asked to switch their premium seats midflight from Paris to Singapore because the...

Climber 'Exceptionally Lucky' After Fall From Summit

Warmer temps turned ice to snow, which cushioned 2K-foot fall on New Zealand's Mount Taranaki

(Newser) - A climber who reached the summit of a mountain in New Zealand descended a lot faster than anticipated but lived to tell the tale. The unidentified climber apparently lost his footing at the top of the challenging Mount Taranaki, slid down an astonishing 600 meters (about 2,000 feet), and...

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