Latest Bulletin: 3 pm Friday 18 April

Top stories

Storm moves south as others mopping up

A slip in Karori.

The South Island is being battered by strong winds and heavy rain, with the West Coast, Nelson-Tasman and Otago regions bearing the brunt, as others further north start cleaning up.

Updated 8 minutes ago

No progress in search of sunken ferry

Coast guard crew members at the sunken ferry.

Bad weather, murky water and strong currents are hampering the search for survivors of the South Korean ferry disaster. Divers have tried to enter the vessel more than 10 times.

Updated 44 minutes ago

Novelist Garcia Marquez dies

Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose novels put magical realism on the literary map, has died at his home in Mexico City. His masterpiece was One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Updated 44 minutes ago

Holiday road toll climbs to 3

The Easter holiday road toll stands at three on Friday afternoon, a day after the period began.

Updated 42 minutes ago

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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Fruit fly restrictions could be lifted soon

The Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni).

Restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables in parts of Whangarei could be lifted from Saturday.

Weather affects Poppy Day sales

Anzac poppy.

The Returned & Services Association says fewer poppies were probably sold on the street this year because of the rough weather.

Salmon industry expansion in doubt after ruling

King Salmon says the Supreme Court has put future industry expansion in doubt with a ruling that national coastal policy was not considered by a board of inquiry.

Withdrawal of ACC waiver form praised

The Privacy Commissioner is praising a decision by ACC to withdraw a privacy waiver form it had asked claimants to sign.

No sympathy from PM for drone victim

110314. Photo Diego Opatowski / RNZ. Prime Minister John Key announced that a referendum about a new flag will be held during the next parliamentary term.

The Prime Minister has blamed the New Zealand man killed during a counter-terrorism drone attack in Yemen last year for his own death.

3 killed, children badly hurt in crashes

The Easter holiday road toll stands at one on Thursday night after a three-car collision near Kumeu, north-west of Auckland.

Royal Tour 2014 News

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Soggy end to royals' New Zealand tour

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Thousands of people braved a wet Wellington day to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the final appearances of their New Zealand tour.

Prince pays tribute to Canterbury spirit

William and Catherine at Wall of Remembrance.

ROYAL TOUR 2014: The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to the resilience of the people of Christchurch and their desire to rebuild the earthquake-hit city.

Royal visit takes in cricket match

The royal couple inspected the 2015 Cricket World Cup trophy.

ROYAL TOUR 2014: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted by enthusiastic well-wishers and played cricket during their tour of Christchurch on Monday morning.

Regional News

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$3.8 million for museum's WWI displays

Auckland War Memorial Museum has won $3.8 million in funding to take its World War I commemorative displays into the community.

Warbirds over Wanaka event begins today

One of the highlights of the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow, which begins on Friday, is expected to be a World War I commemorative event featuring vintage aircraft.

More fish farms approved for Sounds

One of King Salmon's farms in Tory Strait.

The Supreme Court has given the go-ahead for three new fish farms in the Marlborough Sounds but rejected plans for a fourth site due to the area's outstanding natural character.

World News

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Ukraine deal reached in Geneva

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russia says a deal to calm tensions in Ukraine has been reached at talks in Geneva, where US, EU, Ukraine and Russian negotiators have agreed that all illegal military formations should be disbanded.

Queen presents money in Maundy service

The Queen distributes Maundy money during a Royal Maundy Service at Blackburn Cathedral.

The Queen presented purses of money to pensioners at the traditional Royal Maundy Thursday service at Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire. The service dates back more than 800 years.

Pope says church must be open to sick & homeless

Pope Francis speaks during Mass on Holy Thursday at St Peter's Basilica.

Pope Francis, starting four days of Easter, said the Catholic Church must always be a refuge for the needy and delivered a sermon on the need for priests to live a simple, poor life.

Political News

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POWER PLAY, with Brent Edwards

Brent Edwards, Political Editor

Voters deserve a rational economic debate from politicians in the lead up to the election in September, not polemic and rhetoric.

MPs approve haka legislation

The All Blacks perform the Haka meeting Australia in a Bledisloe Cup match in Dunedin last October.

Parliament has passed Treaty of Waitangi legislation that lays down conditions for the use of the Ka Mate haka performed by the All Blacks.

Labour reveals manufacturing policy

David Cunliffe.

The Labour Party has unveiled its manufacturing policy saying tax deferrals should be given to manufacturing companies that invest in new technology.

Te Manu Korihi News

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Rule to shield haka from misuse

The All Blacks perform the haka at an international test match against Ireland in Dublin last year.

Ngati Toa descendants have packed out Parliament's public gallery to witness the introduction of a law to protect their famous tribal haka, Ka Mate.

Historical claims settled in South Island

All historical Treaty of Waitangi claims in the South Island have been settled.

Case for kura 'dubious from start'

The secondary teachers union says it's not surprising a Northland charter school is having trouble getting staff.

Business News

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Bathurst Resources shares at new low

Bathurst Resources plans to mine this area of the Denniston Plateau.

Shares for the company that wants to mine the Denniston Plateau have hit a new low. Bathurst Resources share price closed on Friday at 7 cents.

Genesis shares open higher

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Shares in Genesis Energy have debuted on the stock exchange at a 17 percent premium above the price the Government sold them for. Bill English rejected a claim they were too cheap.

Sharemarket edges up

The sharemarket edged up on Thursday, with the Top 50 Index gaining 13 points to 5103.

Rural News

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Milk still being collected on W.Coast

Westland Milk Products says its tankers are still managing to collect milk despite slips and trees blocking many of the region's roads.

Fonterra products still banned in China

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Prime Minister John Key says there's nothing more the Government can do to convince Chinese authorities to again accept Fonterra whey powder and infant formula.

Concern over dam nitrogen restrictions

The site of the proposed Ruataniwha Dam.

There is growing disquiet among Hawke's Bay regional councillors about the Board of Inquiry's decision on Tuesday to approve resource consents for the Ruataniwha Dam.