Snow in south, thunder in north

Snow in Heddon Bush, Southland.

10:33 AM  Severe weather hits country with snow and ice in the south and severe thunderstorm risk for the north.

Your Kiwi winter wonderland

Murderer 'kidnapped' - lawyer

Phillip John Smith at his court appearance after arriving back in New Zealand following his escape to Brazil

12 min ago  Lawyer for murderer Phillip John Smith claims his client effectively "kidnapped" when deported from Brazil.

'Violent, opportunistic' offender

Dinesh Lal at the Auckland High Court.

10:16 AM  Illegal immigrant tied up an elderly woman and beat her unconscious in daylight attack.

Harbour victim couldn't swim

Finbarr Clabby at the Mornington Golf Club in 2011. He was named on Monday as the man whose body was found in Wellington Harbour on Sunday.

Man found drowned in Wellington harbour on Sunday had ticket to Super Rugby final in his pocket.

Why are NCEA results up? video

NCEA grade inflation graph

Dramatic increases in NCEA pass rates "clearly indicate grade inflation".

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crime

Murderer 'kidnapped' - lawyer

Phillip John Smith at his court appearance after arriving back in New Zealand following his escape to Brazil

13 min ago  Lawyer for murderer Phillip John Smith claims his client was effectively "kidnapped" when deported from Brazil.

'Violent, opportunistic' offender jailed

10:16 AM  Illegal immigrant tied up an elderly woman and beat her unconscious in daylight attack.

Teddies and torches for abused children

Witherlea man facing over 50 charges

politics

Govt 'complacent' on economy

Winston Peters speaks to a packed audience at the Globe Theatre in Palmerston North on Friday.

9:07 AM  Opposition parties are accusing the Prime Minister of complacency over the state of the economy, after John Key said there was no need to hit the panic button.

EQC Act gets shake up

Insurers are backing a proposal for major changes to the Earthquake Commission Act.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English has released the latest Government score card, showing reduced crime and welfare dependency.

Fewer kids in welfare families

The number of children living in benefit-dependent households drops 42,000 in three years.

education

Teaching pleasure in sex ed

Including pleasure in sexuality education makes for a more balanced view, Family Planning says.

9 min ago  If you think having a sex talk with your own kids is awkward, imagine it with a room full of teenagers.

Editorial: Schools should avoid courts

Schools should seek to resolve threats of litigation through mediation rather than the courts.

Nelson College for Girls teacher Sarah Johns, left and Nayland College teacher Gaye Bloomfield are researching how to make devices engaging and effective in the classroom

Funding boost for Nelson schools

10:13 AM  Nayland College and Hampden Street School included in $10m fund to encourage innovative teaching practices.

health

Drinking while pregnant is 'common'

Female smokers are much more likely to drink alcohol when pregnant, a new study shows.

10 min ago  Between 20 and 80 per cent of expectant mums drink alcohol at low levels, new study shows.

All in your mind

The trendy cure-alls of meditation and mindfulness can come with a few downsides.

New MidCentral DHB chief executive Kathryn Cook at Palmerston North hospital.

DHB budget blowout disappoints

9:32 AM  Members were "disappointed" as MidCentral DHB budget blowout extends to $3m.

Women of Influence

'It's a huge privilege'

"I think today women still have to make a decision about career and taking time out to have a family and how much time," says Jo-Anne Wilkinson.

Jo-anne Wilkinson was the joint winner of the Women of Influence 2014 award for Social Enterprise.

On being Women of Influence video

Some of our Women of Influence alumni on what being a Woman of Influence means to them.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark, home from the United Nations to accept the Kea World Class New Zealander Supreme Award.

'I'm a role model for NZ women' video

Helen Clark's handshake is still cast iron strong; the self-confidence still supremely intact.

farming

Gay marriage hasn't hurt NZ trade

Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce believes gay marriage could affect his country's trade with Asia.

New Zealand's trade with Asia has increased since same-sex marriage was legalised, rubbishing Aussie minister's claim.

Woman killed in farm accident

A 32-year-old woman has died after an incident on a Southland farm.

PGG Wrightson chief executive Mark Dewdney addressing the company's annual meeting in 2013.

Livestock division investigated

PGG Wrightson has been investigated by the Commerce Commission for breach of the Commerce Act.

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