New Zealand

Gold for Sophie Pascoe

Pascoe finished nearly a full second ahead of Bianka Pap of Hungary and Alice Tai of Great Britain.

She went into the final having qualified fastest in the heats.

Pascoe regained the title she lost in London four years ago, but says she found the final pretty tough.

"I went out in the first 50 metres pretty much towards race plan and then the last 50 metres was hard and they came back in the last 25 [metres]," she said.

"It was just about guts and digging deep. Tonight was about coming out and getting the gold medal and that is exactly what I have done.

NZ wins first gold at Rio Paralympics

The Dunedin 18-year-old sat in the minor placing through her first five rounds before recording a distance of 5.62 metres with her last jump in the T47 category.

It was her third personal best of the day and took her ahead of a Cuban athlete.

The last medal New Zealand won in Paralympic field events for women was a bronze in the Long Jump B3 from Leslie Mancktelow in 1988 and New Zealand's first Para-athletic medal since 2004 when Peter Martin won two golds and a bronze medal at the Athens Games in 2004.

Photo: RNZ

   

New Zealand MP Nikki Kaye diagnosed with breast cancer

The 36-year-old Auckland Central MP issued a statement saying the news was devastating for her and her family.

On her Facebook page, Ms Kaye said she informed Prime Minister John Key on Friday and would be taking leave of absence from her ministerial roles.

"I feel so lucky to have such an amazing family and group of friends who are giving me buckets of love and have been so strong helping me work through this," she wrote.

"I also want to acknowledge the PM who has been hugely caring and supportive."

Australia wins netball Quad Series

The two sides were level pegging throughout the match with the world number one Australians only pulling away in the last couple of minutes.

Australia led 17-14 at quarter-time, it was level at 30-all at half time and 44-43 to Australia at three quarter time.

Australia shot 88 percent, while Bailey Mes and Ameliaranne Ekenasio shot only 77 percent for New Zealand.

Ekenasio shot 32 goals and Mes 23.

The Ferns had more intercepts and turnovers but were unable to turn that into an advantage on the score board.

More large earthquakes could follow East Cape quake, GNS warns

The 7.1-magnitude quake has already been followed by a magnitude 6.2 aftershock and there will be more, GNS warns.

The first quake struck at 4.40am and was 130km north-east of Te Araroa and 55km deep. Since then there have been dozens of aftershocks.

Civil Defence earlier issued a tsunami warning, which has now been cancelled.

GNS Science seismologist Bill Fry said there was an increased chance of other big earthquakes striking near the region.

Todd set to put Olympics behind him

Just a couple of weeks after their disappointing fourth place finish at the Rio Olympics, Sir Mark Todd and Tim and Jonelle Price are competing for the 114 thousand dollar first prize, along with Andrew Nicholson, Caroline Powell, Dan Jocelyn and Blyth Tait.

Todd says the Olympic disappoinment still hurts, "It's going to be sore for a wee while I think, it is just another competition and sure it was an important one that we'd had four years buildup to, but like you say you've just got to get on with it and today's another day and this is another competition."

Negotiations on PACER Plus Concluded

PACER Plus aims to create jobs, raise standards of living and encourage sustainable economic development in the Pacific region. 

2000 same sex weddings in three years

The bill legalising same-sex marriage passed its final reading in Parliament in April, 2013, and came into effect on 19 August, 2013.

Snow causes power woes and cold set to continue in parts of NZ

RNZ reports about 400 homes in the Taupo district and parts of Hawke's Bay are still without power after the weekend snowstorm brought down about 200 power poles.

Hawkes Bay was worst-hit, but freezing temperatures have created treacherous conditions on roads across the country.

And MetService says there's no reprieve from the cold yet - a high-pressure ridge coming across the country over the next few days will bring fine weather to the South Island, but more sub-zero temperatures with it.

Panama Papers: New Zealand to tighten trust laws after being named in leaks

     

New Zealand has announced it is tightening rules surrounding foreign trusts after numerous documents in the Panama Papers leak referenced the country.

Officials in Wellington said the changes would improve the disclosure and registration of foreign trusts, as well as strengthening anti-money laundering rules.

"The changes to the foreign trust rules are a matter that the Government intends to move quickly on," Finance Minister Bill English said.