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New Zealand to tax tourists as influx grows

Wellington - Tourists to New Zealand are to be charged a special tax, under new government plans announced Friday to deal with the growing influx of holidaymakers coming from overseas.Visitor numbers have surged by nearly a third in the past three years to 3.

New Zealand R&B and pop star Janine talks new album '99,' Drake Special

New Zealand artist Janine chatted with Digital Journal about her new album "99," which was released via Atlantic Records.

Ex-sex worker made a dame in New Zealand honours list

Wellington - A former sex worker was made a dame in the Queen's Birthday honours list in New Zealand on Monday, in recognition of her services to the sex industry.

New Zealand's 'first bloke' fends off angry shark

Wellington - New Zealand's "first bloke" Clarke Gayford revealed Thursday how he fought off an angry shark with a pole while diving off Auckland.

New Zealand PM reveals maternity leave arrangements

Wellington - New Zealand's pregnant Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday revealed her government's plans for running the country after she gives birth and takes six weeks maternity leave.

Monster ocean wave sets southern hemisphere record: scientists

Wellington - Scientists have recorded what is believed to be the largest wave ever in the southern hemisphere, a 23.8 metre (78 foot) monster the height of an eight-floor building.

New Zealand sinkhole reveals glimpse into 60,000-year-old volcano

Wellington - A new sinkhole on a North Island farm as deep as four double-decker buses and almost the length of two football fields has grabbed the attention of New Zealand volcanologists.

Top N. Zealand navy officer accused of hiding camera in embassy toilet

Wellington - One of New Zealand's top naval officers is accused of hiding a camera in the toilet of the country's embassy in Washington in a bid to obtain intimate footage of people using the bathroom, court documents showed Friday.

Vanuatu island to evacuate again as volcano erupts

Wellington - Villagers on the Vanuatu island of Ambae were facing their second evacuation in seven months Friday after a volcano rumbled back to life and rained ash on their homes.

New Zealand halts new offshore oil and gas exploration

Wellington - New Zealand is halting all new offshore oil and gas exploration to become a global leader in the fight against climate change, the centre-left government said Thursday, but opponents accused it of "economic vandalism".

Power down as fierce storm hits Auckland

Auckland - Up to a quarter of homes in Auckland were without power Wednesday after a wild storm packing winds of more than 200kmh (125mph) lashed New Zealand's largest city.The storm hit the city of 1.

Op-Ed: China building bases in Pacific nations

Sydney - China is discussing building a military base with the government of Vanuatu. This is seen as a further move by China to expand its global and regional projection of power. The question is exactly where this strategy is going.

New Zealand passes law to quash historic gay convictions

Wellington - New Zealand's parliament has passed legislation to erase historic convictions for engaging in gay sex, saying the bill would help right past injustices.

Safety line undone when ocean sailor lost overboard

Wellington - A missing British round-the-world sailor unclipped his safety tether before a swinging boom knocked him into the churning Southern Ocean, likely rendering him "unconscious before he hit the water," his crew-mates revealed Thursday.

New Zealand says it can't find Russian spies to expel

Wellington - New Zealand said Tuesday it would like to expel Russian spies in retaliation for allegedly poisoning an ex-agent in Britain -- only it can't find any Moscow operatives in the remote South Pacific nation.

Mapfre leads Volvo fleet into inhospitable waters

Auckland - Spanish entry Mapfre led the seven-yacht fleet out of Auckland Harbour on Sunday as the gruelling Volvo Ocean Race resumed with its toughest leg across the tempestuous Southern Ocean.

Samoa creates huge shark sanctuary

Wellington - The island nation of Samoa has declared its waters a shark sanctuary, joining a string of other Pacific countries in protecting the marine predators.Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele said the move would help sustain a vital part of the ocean's ecosystem....

New Zealand spy papers reveal 1981 bid to kill Queen

Wellington - A mentally disturbed teenager tried to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II during a 1981 visit to New Zealand and police covered up the botched attempt, according to official documents released Thursday.

Text of revised Pacific trade deal released

Wellington - Details of a revamped cross-Pacific pact aimed at slashing trade barriers were released Wednesday amid a renewed push for the United States to rejoin the 11-nation deal.

Former New Zealand PM Bill English resigns

Wellington - Former New Zealand prime minister Bill English announced his retirement Tuesday after failing to retain office in last year's "Jacinda-mania" general election.
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