Australia


Floods send vege prices soaring

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The Queensland floods are being blamed for a massive increase in the cost of tomatoes, capsicums and cucumber during June.

The latest Statistics New Zealand Food Price Index shows food prices were up 1.4 per cent, led by a 12.2 per cent increase in the fruit and vegetables subgroup.


Melbourne shaken by 4.4-magnitude quake

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A 4.4 magnitude earthquake has struck near Melbourne, Australia, authorities have reported.

Geoscience Australia said it was centered near Korumburra, Victoria and struck at 1.32pm New Zealand time.

Residents turned to Twitter to share their experience of the jolt.

"Earthquake here in Melbourne, very short and sharp..minor tremblor," Andrew Moss wrote.


Weather Video: Stormy 10 days ahead

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Philip Duncan and NZHerald.co.nz bring you the latest on a stormy 10 days ahead.  A deep low in the Southern Ocean will combine with a large high over western Australia - and NZ is smack bang in the squash zone.

Off and on for the next 10 to 14 days NZ will be hit by strong to gale westerlies (mainly central and eastern areas) and heavy rain in the west.


Weather Video: Ash update plus windy week next week

Philip Duncan and NZHerald.co.nz update you on the ash cloud near New Zealand and what the weekend holds (hopefully clear skies for flying!).

We take a look at the incoming sub-tropical low and how it may affect Gisborne and East Cape early next week.


Ash Cloud - Track it LIVE

UPDATED 5:40pm Friday ---  Q&A if you are travelling on Jetstar, Qantas or Air NZ.

Where is the ash cloud now and where will it be throughout Friday and the Weekend?
Finally some positive news - the ash cloud has cleared NZ and isn't expected all weekend.


Ash cloud remains at "safe level for flying"

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WeatherWatch.co.nz head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the ash cloud over the South Island today remains at perfectly safe levels for flying, despite Qantas and JetStar again claiming safety reasons for cancelling flights.

Air New Zealand is continuing to operate all domestic and transtrasman flights as per schedule.


Video: Ash cloud latest, plus wintry weather update

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NZHerald.co.nz and Philip Duncan team up to bring you the latest forecast for New Zealand as a wintry change pushes in.  We track where the rain clouds and showers are (mostly eastern areas of the North Island) and where the cold air is blowing (mostly the North Island).


Queensland's calm, dry, June finishing wet and windy

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The month of June is finishing on a wet and windy note in Queensland, in contrast to the last fortnight and the month as a whole, which has been calm, clear and dry.

The end to the month will not be extremely wet or windy but the change will be quite noticeable, at least in the east of the state.


Ash Cloud returns to lower SI, flights cancelled

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Just two days after we gave the all clear for trans-Tasman flights to resume the ash cloud has reappeared and is currently clipping the lower South Island.

The incoming cloud has a base of 20,000 feet which is the same as last week. 


Ash cloud 'an excuse' - aviation analyst

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Qantas and Jetstar played the safety card in blaming ash clouds from a Chilean volcano for grounding all flights, but in reality the decision not to fly came down to earnings, an analyst says.

Air New Zealand, which continued to fly, says it is considering investing in an ash-detecting aircraft.