5.3 aftershock - Christchurch hit hard again

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Besieged Christchurch was struck by a 5.3 magnitude earthquake last night - the latest in a series of powerful aftershocks.

The quake struck shortly after 10.30pm, 10km west of Akaroa and at a depth of 12km.

Volcanic ash returning to NZ, flights cancelled in OZ

The ash cloud from Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano is set to return to New Zealand tomorrow as flights in Australia have again been affected.

Thousands of travellers in Australia will have their plans disrupted today with airlines cancelling flights to and from Adelaide because of the return of the volcanic ash cloud which is now making its second lap around the globe.

Ash casts cloud over ski operators

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Industry sources are warning that the volcanic ash cloud's impact on the tourism sector will be serious if the disruptions continue much longer.

And the boss of this country's biggest skifield operator, NZSki, says that if the problem drags on it could create enough uncertainty to make people think twice about travelling to this country to hit the slopes this winter.

Your photos (9) - Lunar eclipse over New Zealand

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A full lunar eclipse was underway this morning - but two problems, cloud blocked the view for many while the moon setting before the full eclipse occurred cancelled the chances of a full viewing for most New Zealanders.

Warm weather plays havoc with ski season

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Balmy weather is being blamed for delaying the start of the ski season in many South Island ski fields.

In Central Otago, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and the Snow Park have all suffered from warm temperatures keeping the snow away.

Coronet Peak was due to open on June 4, the Snow Park last weekend and the Remarkables this weekend, but all have had their plans thwarted.

Ash latest: Tracking up SI's east coast

The new ash cloud passing over New Zealand is at a much lower altitude than previous ash plumes reports, as a result Air NZ has cancelled a number of flights to the South Island.

See the full story on which flights are affected here.

Ash cloud stops Air NZ

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Air New Zealand was last night forced to start cancelling flights because of volcanic ash from Chile - and the flight plans of thousands of passengers today are uncertain.

Ash cancels Air NZ flights

Air New Zealand's been forced to cancel some flights tonight due to the Chilean Ash Cloud.

As a result of increased volcanic ash activity in the south of the South Island it's cancelled a number of flights in and out of Dunedin.

Air New Zealand will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update the situation again tomorrow morning.

Southerly change hits Christchurch

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Arriving a couple of hours earlier than expected an icy southerly change is currently moving into Christchurch and other Canterbury centres as we head towards Wednesday evening.

First quake also revised up

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The size of Monday's two biggest earthquakes has been revised upwards, as scientists revealed which areas around Christchurch were hit hardest.

The two aftershocks were revised up to magnitude 5.6 and magnitude 6.3 by GNS scientists as more data was incorporated into their analysis.