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News of Zealand: Christmas Edition

It's almost Christmas, and in New Zealand we're celebrating with nudity, STDs, and UFO sightings.

Image by Ben Thomson

With the family fun of Christmas in the Park now over, and only days to go until the pukeko settles into the ponga tree, let us rejoice once again in all things Kiwi. A sidenote to the NZ Women's Weekly during this holiday period: gingernuts are funny enough already without making them peen-shaped.

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Here's a really good reason for remembering "no glove, no love" this holiday season. An untreatable sex superbug (a strong new strain of gonorrhoea) is currently cutting a swathe through the randy unprotected youth of Auckland. Not to be left out, Gisborne is currently the "clap capital" (clapital?) of the North Island. Meanwhile, Hamilton has earned the honour of becoming the Chlamydia Triangle.


In news that will come as a surprise to those who think of New Zealand as having a colonially repressed sensibility, it turns out that many polite New Zealanders have been dying to get some air around their bits. A Timaru man was recently stopped in the middle of the afternoon while cycling nude. Weirdly he was fined for not wearing a helmet and escaped any charges relating to free-balling. This has alerted journalists to the popularity of jay birding all around the country, including one serial offender who has been charged for running, gardening, and mowing, all while in the nuddy. On reflection, you couldn't think of any activities that would leave your parts more vulnerable than the aforementioned past times.

Managing to put a Kiwi-positive spin on it, Wilderness Magazine has reported that New Zealand is one of the best places to hike naked. The authority on the subject,, points out that there is in fact no statute on being naked in public in NZ, and offers great advice on how to make the most out of being a naturist: mostly revolving around not looking like you are skulking and not littering. See you on the beaches this summer, nudists, and don't forget to slip, slop, slap.

NZ can now compete with the US on the world stage for something other than the America's Cup: we also have really fat babies. A baby boy born recently in Hamilton weighed in at an eye-watering 6.85kg (15lb 1oz). This is double the weight of the average Kiwi newborn—we're talking babies, not birds—and the Daily Mail helpfully points out that it is the equivalent of nearly seven 1kg blocks of cheese.


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Putting the nation's finest brains to an important task, researchers at Auckland University have solved the age-old problem of why magazines left in the doctor's waiting rooms are always shit. Like magpies swooping on Kim Kardashian's shiny bum, people steal the glossy gossip mags and leave the more serious publications behind. While stories of ridiculous medical studies are always headline fodder, this particular one, titled "Exploration of the basis for patient complaints about the oldness of magazine in practice waiting rooms" seems particularly facile given that patients just beyond the waiting room could also have benefitted from some medical research. Perhaps the researchers also got distracted by Hollywood gossip and didn't make it beyond reception.

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In Tauranga, 400 words were dedicated to discovering that the truth was out there when a Plummers Point woman thought she saw a UFO. After a lengthy description of what the moving lights looked like, the mystery was solved when the Tauranga Astronomical Society announced they were most likely Chinese lanterns. Mrs Arnold should probably stay inside after weddings from now on and should certainly not travel to Thailand for New Years Eve.

Things are awfully tough for students these days, as proven in this video from Dunedin of youths moving a sofa. Clearly unable to fit the couch in the hatchback and too poor to afford trailer hire, these plucky Scarfies begin by dragging the sofa (by the looks of it, a third-generation antique from Big Save) behind the car, before flipping it onto the roof, and securing it only with the thin arm of a half-starved Second Year BCom hanging from the window. Come on John Key, look how thin that arm is. The nation's future leaders need our help.

Follow Carolyn on Twitter: @wowcat9