North Island

Sharks and swimmers mingle on the Coromandel

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, the sharks have reappeared - and just metres away from unsuspecting swimmers.

But as the temperatures soared around the country yesterday, reports that up to 20 sharks were swimming in shallow waters weren't enough to deter holidaymakers from taking a dip at Matarangi Beach.

Man drowns in boating accident

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A man has drowned in a Coromandel boating incident and police say his death was avoidable. The man and a friend were in an 18-foot runabout which sank in heavy seas about 7.20 last night.

A woman was able to help the sole survivor ashore and call for help. Local boaties soon found the second man, but revival efforts were not successful.

Reader's first hand report being in hurricane force winds in NZ

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Hurricane force winds often batter Castlepoint - the eastern tip of Wairarapa.  On Christmas Eve winds reached hurricane force (over 120km/h) with gusts close to 200km/h for a time. reader Stacey Martin shares their adventures into these incredible winds.

Fifty Wairarapa homes without power

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About 50 households in the Wairarapa remain without power this morning after strong winds cut electricity yesterday.

Radio New Zealand reported that Powerco expected have power restored to all the affected homes by midday.

Mt Maunganui beach closed following shark sighting

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Mt Maunganui beach has been closed after a shark sighting but will be reopened in a few hours if there is no sign of the animal

A shark sighting has closed Mt Maunganui beach in the Bay of Plenty.

Surf lifeguard Michael Lord says the shark was spotted by a surfer just south of the beach near Rabbit Island.

Jellyfish sting dozens of BOP children

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Blue bottles are the latest threat swarming Bay of Plenty beaches.

NewstalkZB reporter Briony Sowden says thousands have been washed ashore on to Papamoa beach because of strong winds recently.

Director of surf life saving at Papamoa, Shaun Smith, says they're posing a real danger to swimmers, and people need to keep a watchful eye for what's around them.

Auckland's humidity set to ease

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For Aucklanders - and others in the northern half of the North Island - the humidity has been almost unbearable for some over the past two weeks, but by Friday night it's expected to ease. says that a cold front will pass over the upper North Island during Friday and behind it will be cooler, less humid, sou'westers.

Photos (2): Last night's Lunar Eclipse

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Last night's rare full Lunar eclipse, as captured here by Johnny Pieters from Christchurch.

If you have photos of the eclipse, upload them directly here.

Heavy rain causes surface flooding; but misses others

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Heavy rain in the North Island has caused surface flooding in Taranaki this afternoon.'s New Plymouth reporter Greg Taylor says there has been a lot of surface flooding in the city today.

Farmers welcome rain

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Rain, sometimes heavy, fell across much of Northland yesterday - and while it wasn't enough to break the drought it was certainly enough to bring smiles to many farmers in the dry region. says unofficial reports of up to 50 millimetres of rain were reported around Kaitaia, with rain mainly in the north, west and south of Northland.