Tag Archives | New Zealand

World’s Biggest Insect Found In New Zealand

No word on whether it is available for adoption. Via the Daily Mail:

Mark Moffett’s find is the world’s biggest insect in terms of weight, which at 71g is heavier than a sparrow and three times that of a mouse. The 53-year-old former park ranger discovered the giant weta up a tree and [it] has now been declared the largest ever found. The creepy crawly is only found on Little Barrier Island, in New Zealand, although there are 70 other types of smaller weta found throughout the country.

insect

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Lucifer Banned In New Zealand

Devil2Yup, that’s right, you can’t name your child (or yourself, presumably) “Lucifer” in New Zealand, per this report in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Naming your new bundle of joy Lucifer has been effectively banned by New Zealand’s names registrar after three parents had the odd request knocked back.

The country’s Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages has been cracking down on mothers and fathers getting too creative with their children’s names, ruling out punctuation marks such as . (Full Stop), * (Asterisk) and / (presumably ”Slash”).

The list of 102 names rejected in the past two years includes Baron, Bishop, Duke, General, Judge, Justice, King, Knight and Mr, all deemed too similar to titles.

Messiah was also turned down, as was 89, and the single letters, C, D, I and T, although Q and J were accepted after being queried.

It’s a new hard line for the agency that made headlines in 2008 when it was revealed to have approved a series of strange monikers, among them Benson and Hedges, twins named after the cigarette brand, and Violence and Number 16 Bus Shelter, both for boys…

[continues in the Sydney Morning Herald]

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New Zealand Truck Driver Nearly Pops After Getting Air Hose Lodged In …

Photo: Andrew Magill (CC)

Photo: Andrew Magill (CC)

Michael Sheridan writes in the NY Daily News:

A truck driver in New Zealand nearly popped after an air hose accidently got lodged in his buttocks.

Steven McCormack says he is “lucky to be alive” after the bizarre accident on Saturday landed him in intensive care at a hospital in Whakatane, on the North Island’s east coast.

“I felt the air rush into my body and I felt like I was going to explode,” he told 3News in New Zealand on Tuesday.

The 48-year-old was at Waiotahi Contractors where he worked, standing on the rigging between his truck and the trailer when he slipped and fell.

He landed on the hose connected to the semi’s airbrakes and broke it. The nozzle pierced his left buttocks and air from the tanks pumped into his body at 100 pounds per square inch.

“I was blowing up like a football,” he said.

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New Zealand’s Lost ‘Eighth Wonder Of The World’ Found Deep Underwater

110203124824-largeKiwi scientists have discovered portions of the Pink and White Terraces, a natural wonder which was ravaged by a 19th century volcanic blast. Sadly, the remnants are buried at the bottom of a lake, meaning they will remain hidden away from the eyes of humans. Science Daily reveals:

They were called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Until the late 19th century, New Zealand’s Pink and White Terraces along Lake Rotomahana on the North Island, attracted tourists from around the world, interested in seeing the beautiful natural formations created by a large geothermal system. But the eruption of Mt. Tarawera on June 10, 1886, buried the terraces in sediment and caused the lake basin to enlarge, engulfing the land where the terraces stood. For more than a century, people have speculated whether any part of the Pink and White Terraces survived the eruption.

This week, scientists from New Zealand’s GNS Science, in collaboration with engineers and scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and NOAA-PMEL, located portions of the long-lost Pink Terraces.

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Alien with Size 440 Shoe Among New Zealand’s Recently Declassified UFO Sightings

New Zealand AlienNew Zealand’s military has made public hundreds of documents dating back to 1954 of UFOs, include drawings of flying saucers and alleged samples of alien writing. My favorite so far has been reported in the Telegraph:

A man who in 1995 met the giant alien with size 440 shoes says the being told him that on dying humans ascend as hydrogen atoms. “You will remain in hydrogen form for 150 years. Then it will change to sodium.”

Looking forward to my post-death atomic experience. Turning into hydrogen sounds pretty cool but I don’t know how I feel about sodium.

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Explosion Traps Dozens Of New Zealand Miners

Again? Hopefully this time the miners won’t have to wait 2 months to see sunlight again. The New York Times reports:

At least two dozen men were trapped underground after an explosion on Friday rocked the country’s largest coal mine in a mountainous region in the country’s South Island.

Authorities said it was too early to determine a cause of the explosion, and said no deaths had been reported from the accident. Local media reported two people had been pulled safely from the collapsed mine, located near the town of Atarau near the west coast of the South Island.

Earlier in the day Pike River Coal, the company operating the mine, said 27 people were in the mine, but it was not clear whether the two men who had emerged were included in that figure. The New Zealand National Police was unable to confirm the exact number missing.

Rescue teams were assessing the safety of the mine before beginning their descent, trying to make sure vents were clear and that gas would not build up in the mine, local media reported.

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NZ TV Host Resigns After Ridiculing Sheila Dikshit

Sheila Dikshit. Photo: Jackbandjack (CC)

Sheila Dikshit. Photo: Jackbandjack (CC)

No doubt he and his mates thought he was being really funny — right up until he got fired! From Reuters:

A New Zealand television host has quit after sparking a diplomatic row when he ridiculed the name of Sheila Dikshit, the chief minister of the Indian capital, New Delhi.

Television station TVNZ came under heavy criticism after its “Breakfast” show host Paul Henry mispronounced Dikshit, despite being told by the lead anchor that it is pronounced “Dixit.”

India summoned New Zealand’s high commissioner on Thursday to formally protest against what it said were “racial remarks” involving Dikshit who was asked last month to take charge of the floundering Commonwealth Games preparations.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on Monday that Henry had resigned after several hundred complaints to the broadcaster regarding his Dikshit comments and questioning whether the nation’s Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, who is of Indian descent, was “even a New Zealander.”…

[continues at Reuters]

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NZ Quake Creates New Faultline

usgs nz quake mapThe Earth is looking increasingly unstable — is this a sign of crustal displacement? From the Daily Mail:

The earthquake that devastated a city in New Zealand tore open a new 11ft faultine in the Earth’s surface.

The 7.1-magnitude quake which hit Christchurch, the country’s second-largest city, destroyed about 500 buildings and caused an estimated £930million of damage.

But hundreds of lives were saved by tough building rules, it was claimed. Only two injuries were reported.

The quake was caused by the continuing collision between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates, said Professor Mark Quigley, of Canterbury University.

‘One side of the Earth has lurched to the right … up to 11ft and in some places been thrust up,’ he said. ‘We went and saw two houses that were completely snapped in half by the earthquake.’

The quake cut power across the region, roads were blocked by debris and gas and water supplies were disrupted…

[continues in the Daily Mail]

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Controversial ‘Joseph and Mary In Bed’ Billboard Ad Ruled Not Obscene

I can’t see this flying in America. Hats off to New Zealand. Reports CNN:

A billboard showing a somber Mary and Joseph laying in bed together with the caption “Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow,” is controversial, but not obscene, according to a decision by New Zealand’s Advertising Standards Authorities.

Joseph And Mary In Bed

The billboard, posted outside St. Matthew-in-the-city Anglican Church in Auckland, New Zealand, sparked outrage and vandalism by locals who “consider the sexually and suggestive illustration of the nativity to be degrading to individuals and Christian groups,” according to a complaint filed with the ASA regarding the billboard that was posted before Christmas last year.

The debate led to a slew of complaints being filed with the ASA over the nature of the billboard, to ensure it was not put up again. “I consider it inappropriate for a child’s perceptive of Christmas to be distorted in a perverse and sexual manner,” the complaint said.

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‘Bottled Ghosts’ Sold in New Zealand Auction

Bottled GhostsVia BBC News:
Two glass phials said to contain the ghosts of an old man and a young girl have sold for NZ $2,000 (U.S. $1,395 / £935) in an online auction in New Zealand. The auction attracted more than 200,000 page views on the Trade Me website. Avie Woodbury said the ghosts had been captured in her Christchurch house by an exorcist and stored in holy water. The top bidder, an electronic cigarette company, said it was looking for ideas on what to do with the ghosts. Ms Woodbury told bidders she had experienced "bizarre activity" in her home. "I would get things like the jug boiling itself, touching on the back of my neck, voices from other rooms, and items going missing then turning up in weird places," she said.
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