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Rolling Stones postpone tour after L'Wren Scott's death

The Rolling Stones have said they "are deeply sorry and disappointed" to postpone the rest of their tour of Australia and New Zealand following the death of Sir Mick Jagger's partner, the designer L'Wren Scott:

The band has said they are planning to reschedule the shows at a later date.


New Zealand faces flag change vote

The current New Zealand flag Credit: PA wire

New Zealand prime minister John Key has announced plans for a referendum on whether to change the national flag.

He said he wants a nationwide vote in the next three years.

The nation's current flag depicts the Southern Cross star constellation in red and includes Britain's Union Flag in the top left corner.

The 'Silver Fern' - one of the proposed options for an alternative New Zealand flag. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Key has said he favours a silver fern set against a black background, but opponents say that would associate the flag too much with sports teams, which often use it, and is too reminiscent of a pirate ensign.

Maori King scraps 'short' meeting with Kate and William

The Maori King has pulled out of a meeting with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their New Zealand tour.

His officials suggested the engagement was not long enough to do justice to the status of the royal visitors.

King Tuheitia Paki, wearing a tie, walks behind the coffin of his mother Credit: REUTERS/Nigel Marple

"They were offered a 90-minute slot, that was longer than pretty much any other engagement that they have, and King Tuheitia's people decided that wasn't long enough and on that basis they rejected him attending," New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said in statement.

The Cambridges were due to meet King Tuheitia, a former truck driver who ascended to the throne in 2006, on the country's North Island at Turangawaewae, his official residence and reception building.

The Maori King's office issued a statement which reportedly quoted a senior official who said the monarch was "not some carnival act to be rolled out at the beck and call of anyone, and nor should we be prepared to compromise our tikanga to fit into a pre-determined schedule".

New Zealand bans US rap group Odd Future

US rap group Odd Future have been banned from entering New Zealand after immigration chiefs decided the group posed a threat to public safety.

The group, also known as Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, were due to perform with Eminem in Auckland on Saturday.

Tyler the Creator, of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, will not be performing in New Zealand. Credit: PA Wire

Group member Tyler, The Creator expressed his frustration on Twitter: "They said we were 'terrorist threats and bad for the society' or whatever. Sick," he wrote. He later tweeted; "I love NZ tho."

Border operations manager Karen Urwin said authorities decided to decline visas to six group members after becoming aware of a 2011 incident in Boston in which some witnesses accused the Los Angeles group of inciting fans to attack police officers.

Man attacked by shark, stitches wound and goes to pub

A New Zealand man fought off a shark attack, stitched up his own wound and then went to the pub for a beer before eventually going to hospital.

The attack happened near Colac Bay, South Island, New Zealand. Credit: Google Maps

James Grant, 24, was spearfishing with friends near Colac Bay, South Island, on Saturday when he was attacked by what he believed was a sevengill shark.

The junior doctor was in two metres of murky water and felt a tug on his leg, which he initially thought was a friend playing a trick on him.

He told radio New Zealand: "I looked behind to see who it was and got a bit of a shock. [I thought] bugger, now I have to try and get this thing off my leg."

Grant, who already had a knife in his hand, stabbed at the shark before quickly making it on to the rocks on shore and then stitched up his wound.

He and his friends then went to a pub, where he was given a bandage because he was dripping blood on the floor, before heading to hospital. He was back at work on Monday.


Giant eagle falls in New Zealand airport after quake

An earthquake has caused a giant model eagle to fall from the ceiling at Wellington Airport in New Zealand.

The structure was being used to promote the Lord of the Rings films, which were shot on the islands.

The earthquake, measuring 6.3 magnitude, struck New Zealand's north island at 02:52 GMT on Monday, 640 miles south-east of the town of Palmerston, the U.S. Geological Society said.

Police 'confident' body found in New Zealand is UK hiker

Mountain rescuers searching for a British hiker in New Zealand have said they are "confident" the body they recovered at the bottom of a 100 metre cliff is him.

Andrew Ian Wyatt was last seen leaving a lodge in Nelson Lakes National Park near the city of Nelson in the country's south island on December 15.

Nelson Lakes National Park on the South Island of New Zealand. Credit: Google Maps

Search co-ordinator Constable Dave Cogger said Mr Wyatt, from Penryn, Cornwall, had an "unsurvivable" fall from Lake Constance Bluff.

"Police say they are confident the body recovered from Nelson Lakes National Park on Friday afternoon is that of missing British man Andrew Ian Wyatt," a New Zealand police spokesman said.

British hiker missing since December 15

Andrew Ian Wyatt was last seen leaving a lodge in Nelson Lakes National Park near the city of Nelson in the country's south island on December 15.

Mountain rescuers have recovered a body from below Lake Constance Bluff - part of Mr Wyatt's intended path.

Missing hiker Andrew Ian Wyatt was last seen leaving a lodge in New Zealand on December 15. Credit: Police handout

Wyatt arrived in New Zealand on November 21 with the intention of walking the Te Araroa Trail, a 1,860 mile tramping trail which links routes from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

On the day he went missing he left the Blue Lake Hut about 6am local time to walk to Waiau Pass.

The search coordinator Constable Dave Cogger said authorities were in daily contact with Mr Wyatt's parents in the UK who are extremely concerned for their son's welfare.

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