As the Kiwi dollar edges closer to the Aussie, the value of New Zealand news stories about animals and tomfoolery continues to rise. Don't concern yourself with the New Zealanders in Australia, working to repay their student loans; they made their beds and can lie in them with their irrationally sized coins.
But before we begin, an important announcement for the people of Auckland: there are no monkeys on the loose. Repeat, there are no monkeys on the loose. Please go about your business as usual.
While Australia's greyhound racing community is embroiled in a live-baiting scandal, Canterbury has had its own controversial animal attack story when a dog attacked and killed a miniature horse. It is unclear how miniature the horse actually was, but here's hoping it got a send-off as fitting as Li'l Sebastian's.
In space news, a Queenstown man who did not previously believe in UFOs has photographed what he believes to be an unidentified flying object. The helicopter-shaped object was snapped flying near the Humboldt Mountains and has the photographer baffled. Also, Kiwis can look to the stars now that an Auckland man has been shortlisted to be part of the first colony on Mars. Not chosen to go on the mission was Nick from Shortland Street.
The Rere Rockslide—already famous amongst Gisborne locals—is tipped for worldwide fame after Trip Advisor awarded it a Certificate of Excellence. Described by reviewers as "worth the trip", "basic NZ fun", and "free", the locals are awaiting an influx of tourists armed with inner tubes and fadges.
Two fishermen survived a boating accident in a truly Kiwi way— by clinging to their chilly bin in lieu of any other safety equipment. The Tauranga men held on for three hours while trying to swim three kilometers to shore. They described the distance as, "a long way, a bloody long way".
Back on land veteran rockers Don Henley and Glen Frey of The Eagles visited Waiheke Island this month. Eyewitness reported that when their taxi failed to show up, Frey said "where's our bloody taxi". We don't tolerate that kind of diva behaviour in this country, so luckily no one heard overheard their expletives when the local vineyard was booked out for a wedding.
Since they were implemented last year, new drink driving laws are pretty much all anyone can talk about in New Zealand. Drinking establishments have taken a hit as people no longer pop an Oddfellow and take the back roads after a sesh. Sports clubs have also taken a hit as it turns out no one can soberly tolerate rugby or cricket.
On top of all this, one New Plymouth club has been hit with a $5000 loo tax. The New Plymouth Old Boys club are calling for the council to "wipe" the toilet tax, arguing that because people already pay tax at home, "it doesn't matter if you go at home or at the club, you've already paid for it." The club's spokesperson continues, "it's not like they are producing any more product, shall we say."
If you've been wondering about the best place in the country to pick up, we have bad news for you, because it's Dunedin. The land of the great-unwashed student is the best place to find someone to keep you warm on those icy South Island winter nights as it has the highest proportion of singles. The same study also reveals that while man-drought is rife in certain urban corners, there's an overflow of men in rural areas if you're willing to overlook "unkempt hair and stubbies." But some singles still seem to struggle even when they're on the right side of the odds. Ricky Davis, a single man in the lady-abundant Hamilton says: "I'm a pretty good looking guy but it's a lot harder than I expected. Some girls don't even look your way and others say they'll call and then they don't and I'm waiting by the phone day after day". Can't think why Ricky is having trouble.
Follow Carolyn Wadey-Barron on Twitter: @wowcat9