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The road over the Kaimai Ranges is closed following a car crash.
Police believe victim of fatal fire in Invercargill is a 45-year-old woman but add that a passerby probably saved many other lives.
Armed police surround Wellington pub after reports a man was inside brandishing a gun.
Pipers piped, drummers drummed and leprechauns leaped as St Patrick's Day hit Auckland early.