site.news_by_theme New Zealand

Middle Earth mania for Hobbit debut
Middle Earth mania for Hobbit debut

Huge crowds swarmed central Wellington on Wednesday for the world premiere of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit", an event that sparked Middle Earth mania and brought a touch of Hollywood to New Zealand.

Middle Earth mania for Hobbit debut
Director Peter Jackson (C) and some cast members of the film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey".
Hobbit was almost filmed in Britain, director reveals

"The Hobbit" director Peter Jackson on Tuesday said the low point making his Tolkien epic was when the production almost moved from his native New Zealand to Britain because of a union dispute.

Hobbit was almost filmed in Britain, director reveals
Photo courtesy of new-zealand-nz.net
Mount Tongariro volcano erupts in New Zealand

A New Zealand volcano used as a backdrop to "The Lord of the Rings" films erupted on Wednesday, sending a column of ash two kilometres (1.2 miles) above the North Island.

Mount Tongariro volcano erupts in New Zealand
Photo courtesy of bikyamasr.com
Hobbit producers deny animal cruelty

The producers of "The Hobbit" movies on Tuesday rejected allegations that animals died due to mistreatment during the making of Peter Jackson's highly anticipated Tolkien trilogy in New Zealand.

Hobbit producers deny animal cruelty
New Zealander admits Prince Charles manure plan
New Zealander admits Prince Charles manure plan

An elderly New Zealand anti-royalist planned to hurl manure at Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla during their visit to Auckland.

New Zealander admits Prince Charles manure plan
Australian Climate Minister Greg Combet. ©Photo courtesy of abc.net.au
Australia to sign up for Kyoto 2

Key greenhouse gas emitter Australia on Friday said it will sign up for a second round of the Kyoto Protocol environmental protection treaty, but New Zealand opted out.

Australia to sign up for Kyoto 2
Sir Ian McKellan. ©REUTERS
Gandalf actor chides New Zealand PM over gay 'joke'

British actor Ian McKellan has criticised New Zealand Prime Minister John Key for using the word "gay" to mock a radio host's attire, saying the term should not be casually used as an insult.

Gandalf actor chides New Zealand PM over gay 'joke'
Photo courtesy of desktopro.com
Jewish gravestones desecrated in New Zealand

Vandals defaced Jewish gravestones in central Auckland with graffiti including Nazi swastikas, New Zealand police said Friday, in a crime the Israeli embassy condemned as "vile desecration".

Jewish gravestones desecrated in New Zealand
©REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
New Zealand team edges closer to allergy-free milk

A team of New Zealand scientists claimed to be a step closer to producing allergy-free milk Tuesday, using a genetically-modified cow for their medical breakthrough.

New Zealand team edges closer to allergy-free milk
US lifts ban on New Zealand naval ships
US lifts ban on New Zealand naval ships

The US has lifted a ban that prevented New Zealand naval ships visiting US ports or bases since the 1980s, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday, hailing a "new era" in relations between the two nations.

US lifts ban on New Zealand naval ships
Photo courtesy of brooksbrotherspi.com
New Zealand 'runaway millionaire' jailed for theft

A New Zealand man who fled to China after a bank mistakenly deposited millions of dollars into his account was jailed for four years and seven months Friday.

New Zealand 'runaway millionaire' jailed for theft
©REUTERS/Natallia Ablazhei
New Zealander jailed for ostrich egg assault on wife

A New Zealand man who assaulted his wife with an ostrich egg after her pet pig ran amok has been jailed for six months.

New Zealander jailed for ostrich egg assault on wife
Long-dormant New Zealand volcano erupts
Long-dormant New Zealand volcano erupts

A New Zealand volcano has erupted unexpectedly after lying dormant for more than a century, spewing an ash plume that disrupted flights and closed highways.

Long-dormant New Zealand volcano erupts
Possum. Photo courtesy of keywordpicture.com
N. Zealand school criticised for dead possum show

A New Zealand school that staged a morbid fashion show in which children were encouraged to dress possum corpses in colourful costumes has come under fire from animal lovers.

N. Zealand school criticised for dead possum show
Computer game aims to zap teen depression
Computer game aims to zap teen depression

Long viewed as a contributing factor in teenage isolation, computer games are now being used to treat adolescent depression in an innovative New Zealand programme.

Computer game aims to zap teen depression
New Zealand parliament to vote on gay marriage
New Zealand parliament to vote on gay marriage

New Zealand lawmakers will hold a vote on allowing gay marriage after a proposal to change the law was listed on parliament's agenda Thursday.

New Zealand parliament to vote on gay marriage
Megaupload N. Zealand extradition case delayed
Megaupload N. Zealand extradition case delayed

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom's extradition case against US authorities has been delayed until next year amid legal wrangling in New Zealand over evidence disclosure.

Megaupload N. Zealand extradition case delayed
Jesse Owens. Photo courtesy of runrun.es
Olympics: Champions suffer bitter twist of fate

Olympic Games medallists don't always live happily ever after.

Olympics: Champions suffer bitter twist of fate
South Korea to start 'scientific' whaling
South Korea to start 'scientific' whaling

South Korea said Wednesday that it planned to start whaling through a loophole that allows the killing of whales for scientific research, following the lead of Japan's controversial expeditions.

South Korea to start 'scientific' whaling
Sergey Lavrov, Russian Federation's Minister of Foreign Affairs. ©RIA Novosti
Customs Union sings free trade zone treaty with New Zealand by year end

Free trade zone treaty could be signed between the Customs Union (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus) and New Zealand by the end of 2012.

Customs Union sings free trade zone treaty with New Zealand by year end