Latest Bulletin: 3 pm Thursday 24 April

Top stories

Defence Force to help storm damaged region

Blown away  - a Whataroa farm garage demolished during the Easter storm.

New Zealand Defence Force personnel are being sent to clean up damage in South Westland from Easter's severe storm.

Updated 3 minutes ago

Otago sawmill closing, jobs to be cut

Timber sawmill.

A troubled timber company is closing a South Otago sawmill, cutting almost 80 jobs. Southern Cross Forest Products went into receivership seven weeks ago. A troubled timber company is closing...

Updated 39 minutes ago

Dotcom seeks frozen Hong Kong assets

Kim Dotcom.

Kim Dotcom is attempting to reclaim millions of dollars in assets frozen by the Hong Kong government.

Updated 19 minutes ago

Mortgage rates on rise, OCR lifted

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A major bank has signalled higher home loan rates following the Reserve Bank's announcement of another rise in the Official Cash Rate.

Updated about 1 hour 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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Young soldiers experience Gallipoli

Trenches reconstructed at Canakkale on the site of the Battle of Chunuk Bair.

The leader of New Zealand's contingent at Gallipoli for Anzac Day says the 34 young military people attending services will gain empathy for what their forebears went through.

New food safety council set up

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The Government has established a new food safety council to give it independent advice on food safety and risks. The Green Party said the new council is not in fact independent.

Google adds 'time travel' feature

The Crowne Plaza Hotel in 2008.

Google has launched a new feature that allows users of its Google Maps website to travel back in time.

Updated about 1 hour ago

New bank law raises privacy fears

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Attempts by the country's banks to comply with new American tax legislation are raising fears about customers' privacy.

Anzac memorials planned nationwide

Dawn services will be held throughout the country followed in many places by civic services.

The spirit of the Anzacs will be alive and well as racing cars take to the track at Pukekohe for the New Zealand round of the Super V8s on Friday.

Nicholson eyes riding's grand slam

Andrew Nicholson.

New Zealand's Andrew Nicholson is eyeing an elusive equestrian grand slam after being handed the Burghley title that has officially been stripped from compatriot Jock Paget.

Regional News

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Makara victim tells police of shooting

The man shot on Wellington's Makara Beach over the long weekend has spoken to the police from his hospital bed about what happened.

Gisborne man faces murder charge

A 42-year-old Gisborne man has been charged with the murder of a man in the city last Sunday.

Mayor backs anti-legal highs strategy

Synthetic cannabis and a pipe.

Whangarei mayor Sheryl Mai supports a strategy by local retailers to keep legal highs out of the city.

World News

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Malaysia plane link ruled out

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Australian authorities do not believe material found on a Western Australia beach is connected to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

PLO and Hamas announce unity pact

Palestinians demonstrate in the Gaza Strip in support of the new attempt at reconciliation

Rival Palestinian factions PLO and Hamas have announced a reconciliation deal, saying they will seek to form a unity government in the coming weeks.

Duchess of Cornwall's brother dies

Mark Shand was in New York organising fundraising for his conservation charity.

The Duchess of Cornwall's brother Mark Shand has died from a serious head injury sustained in a fall in New York.

Political News

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'Harder job' after Jones' departure

Shane Jones.

Some senior Labour MPs say the party has a much harder job on its hands to win back the support of its core traditional voters with the departure of Shane Jones.

Labour vows veteran pension change

David Cunliffe.

Labour leader David Cunliffe says the party would extend the veteran's pension to all war veterans, scrapping the disability requirement, if elected to Government.

Overseer of spy operations appointed

Cheryl Gwyn has been appointed the new overseer of New Zealand's spy operations.

Te Manu Korihi News

More Te Manu Korihi news

Working party to consider kohanga reo future

Kohanga Reo National Trust HQ in Wellington.

Some submissions made after a hui on kohanga reo are calling on the Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board to stand down.

Tribe wants a halt on Tuhoe law

Taken by Rosemary Rangitauira 22 March 2013 Wellington

A tribe in the Ohope area of Bay of Plenty wants a freeze put on the Tuhoe Treaty settlement legislation.

NZ First refuses to name tribes

NZ First leader Winston Peters.

New Zealand First is refusing to name the tribes it says have been cut out of Crown settlements at the top of South Island.

Business News

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Kiwi lifts against US dollar

The New Zealand dollar has strengthened against the greenback, despite the Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler's attempt to talk it down after hiking the official interest rate again on Thursday.

Updated 39 minutes ago

Chorus to drop $6m of its profit

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The Commerce Commission has moved to fix an anomoly in the pricing of Chorus' copper wires which will reduce Chorus' operating profit this year by up to $10 million.

Updated 19 minutes ago

Health insurers set to pay $1 billion

Health insurers will pay out $1 billion this year.

For the first time ever the country's health insurers are set to pay $1 billion in claims this year.

Rural News

More Rural news

Croppers urged to help a neighbour

Growers are hoping for a window of fine weather to bring their crops in.

Growers in Canterbury are being encouraged to get in touch with their fellow cropping farmers to see if they need help with harvesting as the industry tries to limit crop losses.

Sheep meat volumes down, prices up

Sheep meat prices are up while volume is slightly down.

The latest sheep meat export figures show a rise in lamb prices has offset the smaller volume of the meat exported so far this season.

Wet April leaves croppers in a hole

High value crops such as linseed have been worst affected.

Relentless rainfall in Canterbury is playing havoc with the harvest of the arable industry's most valuable crops and farmers there say its getting worse by the day.

Royal Tour 2014 News

More Royal Tour 2014 news

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.