Latest Bulletin: 11 pm Sunday 1 March

Top Stories

NZ troops could opt out of Iraq

The Defence Force is allowing troops to opt out of being deployed to Iraq if it is in the interest of the troops and the mission.

Ko wins NZ Open again

World number one Lydia Ko has won her second New Zealand Women's Golf Open title in Christchurch.

Five schools to get new principal allowance

Five schools have been given approval to offer up to $50,000 to help recruit a principal with the right skills to meet significant challenges at their school.

Threat to behead politician

A terror-style death threat has sparked a security alert at the office of an Australian politician in Canberra.

Morning ReportMidday Report and Checkpoint set the news agenda, and there is news every hour.

Insight and Focus on Politics provide in-depth coverage of current issues.

National News

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Agreement aims to recoup unpaid student loans

A new agreement to try and recoup millions of dollars in unpaid student loans from New Zealanders in Australia will not apply to Australians living here.

Differing rugby coaching styles revealed

The differences between southern hemisphere rugby coaches have been revealed in a Canterbury research project.

Genetic testing standards should help patients

Leading pathologists are recommending standards for the analysis of genetic testing, to ensure more consistent and accurate information is provided to patients.

Average house price passes $500k

The average price of a house has gone past half a million dollars for the first time, up from $489,000 in January, according to the latest monthly data.

Chinese 'not taking over formula industry'

An Auckland dairy company says Chinese businesses are competing aggressively but are not taking over the New Zealand infant formula industry.

Culture 'to blame for alcohol-related violence'

A British anthropologist says alcohol-related violence in New Zealand is not caused by drunkenness but by the country's macho culture. (AUDIO)

Regional News

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Body recovered - likely to be missing tourist

A body, believed to be that of a missing Malaysian tourist, has been recovered in Tolaga Bay, north of Gisborne.

Man dead after mountain biking accident

A 58-year old man has died after a mountain biking accident near Queenstown.

Four in hospital after crash near Tauranga

Four women are in hospital after a crash in Lower Kaimai near Tauranga this afternoon.

Political News

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Abbott dismisses leadership threat

The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has dismissed speculation his leadership is under threat, saying he believes he has the full confidence of his colleagues.

Labour set to become government-in-waiting

The new president of the Labour party says his priority will be to sell the opposition as the government in waiting.

National selects by-election candidate

The National Party has selected Mark Osborne as its candidate for the Northland by-election.

Sports News

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'Pulsating one-day cricket'

New Zealand's dramatic one-wicket Cricket World Cup win over Australia has had the scribes reaching for the superlatives.

Breakers book grand final spot

The Breakers charged into the ANBL grand final with a comfortable 94-83 win over Adelaide, sweeping their semi-final series 2-0.

Phoenix finally get Victory in Melbourne

The Wellington Phoenix have come from behind twice to beat the Melbourne Victory 3-2 away and climb to fourth place in the A-League football competition.

World News

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Mass Gold coast rescue after sandbar collapse

Eighteen people have been rescued on Queensland's Gold Coast after a sandbar collapsed in a strong rip which carried some swimmers 100 metres out to sea.

Thousands expected to march in Moscow

Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of Moscow to honour opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead on Friday.

Muslim Brotherhood members sentenced

An Egyptian court has sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood's top leader, Mohamed Badie, to life in prison, along with 13 other leading figures.

Pacific News

More Pacific news

Pacific aid donors grapple with China's rise and influence

The traditional external powers in the Pacific Islands are still coming to terms with China's increasing level of engagement with the region.

Number of children living on PNG streets increasing

Papua New Guinea's government is hoping revised child protection laws will put a halt to increasing numbers of children forced to fend for themselves on the streets.

After 15 years without, a bank branch is to open on Nauru

Nauru's government says Australia's Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has signed a deal to set up an agency on the island.

Cricket World Cup 2015 News

More Cricket World Cup 2015 news

Live commentary: Pakistan vs Zimbabwe

Cricket World Cup action: Pakistan take on Zimbabwe in Brisbane today. Follow live commentary of the match here.

Afghans jubilant over debut win

Cricket fans were dancing in the streets in Kabul and celebrating in Dunedin after their team's historic win in their maiden World Cup in Dunedin.

Sri Lanka thrash England

Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara both scored centuries as Sri Lanka posted a nine-wicket victory over England in their World Cup Pool A clash in Wellington.

Te Manu Korihi

More Te Manu Korihi news

20th anniversary of Whanganui's Pakaitore

It's 20 years since the noho of Whanganui's Pakaitore, or Moutoa Gardens - a protest that lasted for 79 days. (AUDIO)

$50,000 grant for Marae study

An Auckland researcher has been awarded a $50,000 grant to investigate how Marae-based learning can be developed.

Christian camp fails to block wāhi tapu status

A campground north of Wellington has lost its fight to stop land being declared wāhi tapu - or sacred to Māori.

Business News

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Biopure gains entry to Chinese market

An Auckland infant formula manufacturer has secured registration to export its product to China, something which has proved impossible for other small players.

Building consents fall in January

An economist says the second successive month of falls in the number of consents for new houses and apartments is surprising.

Delegat's first-half net profit falls 45%

Delegat's first-half net profit has fallen 45 percent, dragged down by falls in asset values, though the underlying result rose two percent.

Rural News

More Rural news

Scientists work to stamp out fruit fly

Scientists in New Zealand are working with their Australian counterparts to discover ways to stamp out the Queensland fruit fly population.

Farmers call for bigger Fonterra payout

Dairy farmers think Fonterra should be increasing its dividend this season, especially in view of the low milk price.

New partnership to make NZ pest free

The dairy industry is joining forces with environmental groups to build on work already underway to make New Zealand pest free.

Questions remain over Iraq deployment

Powerplay with Jane Patterson - Why is New Zealand responding to atrocities in Iraq, when several other countries are practising human rights abuses?

Partnership or separatism?

Is the formation of race-based wards an example of how to work together with Maori, or does it drive a wedge? Insight investigates. (AUDIO)

New UN rep quizzed by MPs

Just two months after joining the UN Security Council, diplomats say New Zealand is fully engaged in the council's debate on the world's most intractable issues.