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Banks plans appeal with 'watertight' evidence

John Banks after his sentencing in the High Court at Auckland.

Former ACT leader John Banks has been sentenced to community work for filing a false electoral return, but says he is innocent and will appeal against his conviction. (VIDEO)

Winds fanning big blaze near Alexandra

fire truck

Strong winds are battering parts of Otago, fanning a large fire south of Alexandra and tearing down power lines. The blaze is burning on two fronts, but no houses are in danger, police say.

Chinese sign deal to acquire NZ farm

dairy cow

Chinese group Shanghai Pengxin has signed a sale and purchase agreement for a 14,000-hectare farming station in the North Island. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Black Sticks push for final at Games

Anita Punt.

The New Zealand women's hockey team face England in a Commonwealth Games semi-final, while bowls, boxing and athletics all offer chances to increase the medal tally in Glasgow.

NZ donates more funds to Gaza

Smoke rises from a building after an Israeli strike on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday.

The New Zealand Government has donated $250,000 in aid money to help with relief work in Gaza. It has condemned the ongoing violence and said it's likely to contribute more.

Retired Air Marshall farewelled

Funeral with military honours for Air Marshal Sir Richard Bolt.

A military funeral has been held for retired Air Marshal Sir Richard Bolt, who flew Lancaster bombers in World War II and later took command of NZ air and defence forces. He was 91.

Israel, Hamas agree to truce in Gaza

A Palestinian girl receiving treatment at a hospital near the shelled UN-run school.

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in their conflict in the Gaza Strip though it appeared Israeli ground forces would not withdraw. (AUDIO)

Gold just what Villumsen needed

Linda Villumsen, centre, with silver medalist Emma Pooley, left, and Katrin Garfoot who took bronze.

The New Zealand cyclist Linda Villumsen says after missing out on past glory, gold is everything to her, following her women's individual road time trial win at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Council considers $400m asset sale

Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

The Christchurch City Council is considering selling $400m of assets to address a nearly $1b shortfall in financing the city's rebuild. Mayor Lianne Dalziel doesn't want to raise rates.

Sixth party registered for Fiji election

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Fiji's Registrar of Political Parties has approved the application of the Fiji United Freedom Party.

Big cash boost for Tainui marae

A Tainui marae at Awakino

Waikato-Tainui marae are set to receive their share of a $15 million grant, as part of the first distribution of its $70 million cash top-up from the Crown. Sixty-six marae will benefit.