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News of Zealand: Dead Sheep, Fire Alarms, and Seabird of the Year

In another big week of New Zealand news the country proved it had the politest men, cutest bird, and dumbest hedgehogs.

by Carolyn Wadey-Barron
01 December 2014, 11:20pm

​Image by ​Ben Thomson

Welcome to this week's News of Zealand. When we're not succumbing the to siren call of the terrifying (and vaguely paedophilic) Whitcoulls Sa​nta, our favourite pastime is celebrating all the things that will eventually be immortalised as tourist friendly fridge magnets. 

Success for one Kiwi is success for all Kiwis, especially if that Kiwi is overseas, so 3 News was chuffed to run a story about a New Zealander who is now ​wor​king at BuzzFeed. While Tessa Gould is sadly not part of the team who creates online quizzes and therefore will be unable to make a listicle called "17 Ways that Russell Crowe is a Kiwi, not an Aussie", or a quiz to answer "Which Billy T James Are You", she does offer advice on how to emulate her career trajectory (depressing spoiler alert: it involves never working in NZ). 

Our nation's bravest recently made a daring rescue in Nelson, ​saving the life of a hedgehog with a McDonalds​ cup stuck on its head. The patrol released the spiky wanderer from its plastic prison and moved it safely to the side of the road before a truck came along.

Sometimes a news story comes along that warms you to the cockles of your heart while simultaneously making you say, what the actual fuck? One such story is the recent news ​of a Raumati teenager​ who had surgery to attach his foot backwards on to his leg so it could work as a knee. Say what? Before you think, maybe it's like ​my old friend Mr McGreg​, the surgery was done totally on purpose after the kid lost his knee to bone cancer. His foot was reattached backwards so that his ankle joint can work as a replacement for his knee. Sources could not confirm if any Number 8 wire was used in the surgery, but locals have raised over $20 000 for the kid's rehab. Nice one New Zealand, you're alright. 

In the livestock roundup, hopefully soon to be sponsored by Roundup, the focus this month is, unsurprisingly, on sheep. Sheep rustling is on the rise in the lead-up to Christmas and trampers and ​locals in Foxton, Otaki and Palmerston North have made grisly discoveries​ when rustlers have discarded sheep guts in the bush. ​Christmas recipes from the NZ Women's Weekly confirm that lamb is indeed still popular on Christmas Day,​ but there are also some daring foreign invaders on the menu. Blinis, couscous, and cannelloni all make an appearance next to roast turkey and ​pavlova​—let's see what Aunty Pat makes of this foreign muck on the 25th.

In other sheep news, surf met turf when a s​heep escaped from a farm near Gisbourne and headed straight into the sea​. Luckily a local surfer was nearby and paddled in to save the sheep. It is unclear if the sheep had seen the Women's Weekly menu and was trying to make a break for it to start a new life in South America.

In a scene that could have been taken directly from a certain Alanis Morrisette song, a woman ​who was sentenced for falsely activating a fire alarm set fire to her court documents after her sentencing​. Setting off the alarm because she was tired of waiting at a CYF office to drop off clothes for her daughter, the woman's lawyer told the court that she had been over-using her asthma inhaler and this had impaired her judgement—though at the time of her arrest she told police that it had been "​worth it to see the look on their faces​".

While in a distinctly more patient frame of mind, three nursing students in ​Whangarei camped overnight outside a new Kmart in the hope of winning vouchers​ for the store. After camping for 14 hours in the wet and cold, and peeing into bottles, the three were handed two $5 vouchers to share between them. "Bubbles" remained upbeat though, saying that while it was disappointing, she had had fun and would do it again.

Hamilton Police saved a rare bird when an officer stopped at an ATM in Chartwell and noticed the native on the road. Although unable to confirm what kind of bird it was, other than native, rare, and maybe a boy, DOC rescue were able to pick the bird up from the station to take over the recovery effort. Oh also Hamilton officers ​found a bushwalker who had gone missing in the same storm that blew the rare native bird from its nest​.

The catcalling video that showed a woman in New York City being subjected to near-constant harassment was re-staged recently in Auckland ​with very different results​. Only two men spoke to the woman; one asks for directions and the other sounds "European" so clearly doesn't understand the social mores of the land. Proof then that NZ men are ​thoroughly nice and unthreatening​ unless they are lost or foreign. It's difficult to ascertain if she walked around for as long as the woman in NYC (who walked for ten hours) though it appears she did walk the full route of ​The Link.​

Forget about The Block and X Factor, the most hotly contested competition of 2014 was ​Seabird of the Year​. The fairy tern, slaying the competition in the swimsuit section of the pageant, won with 1882 votes. The fairy tern wishes to thank his campaign manager and God, and asks you not to drive on the beach this summer.

If the seabird contest has awakened in you a competitive fire, maybe look into finding a baby you can enter into the ​2014 Baby of the Year​. If it's good enough for North West then it is good enough for your little angel so put some bronzer on that kid and get snapping to be in to win $300 worth of vouchers.

Finally, we take a moment to remember the greatest news graphic ever produced in this fair country, the classic ​'Bruno 4 - Tyres 0'.

​Follow Carolyn on Twitter: @wowcat9

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