Six teenagers and their teacher who were killed in a river gorge in New Zealand when flood waters suddenly surged down on them had little chance of escape, their principal said on Wednesday. New Zealanders were deeply shocked by Tuesday's tragedy, which devastated a high-school expedition that was supposed to build team spirit.
A magnitude-4,8 earthquake rattled a New Zealand city on Saturday after it was hit by a powerful temblor earlier this week that resulted in millions of dollars in damage. Thursday's 6,8-magnitude quake wrecked an apartment building and two shops in the port city of Gisborne, 50km from the quake's epicentre.
New Zealand television network C4 apologised on Thursday for showing an episode of South Park that featured a bleeding statue of the Virgin Mary, and pledged not to repeat the episode. Roman Catholic bishops and church members condemned the decision to air the show, and on Thursday dismissed the channel's ''so-called sincere apology'' as ''self-serving''.
The first shipload of aid for thousands of Vanuatu villagers forced from their homes by an erupting volcano arrived on Saturday at this remote South Pacific island. It arrived as some refugees began complaining of ill health at the largest evacuation centre.
Vanuatu's erupting Mount Manaro volcano burst into spectacular life on Thursday -- shooting steam and toxic gases 3 000km into the skies above remote Ambae Island. Huge columns of dense white steam and muddy ash spewed above the South Pacific island to reach the greatest height seen since it began erupting on November 27.
New Zealand's ruling Labour Party seems set to form a new minority government after the Electoral Office confirmed on Saturday it has the biggest number of seats in the nation's Parliament. Labour took 50 seats in the September 17 election, two more than the main opposition National Party, final election results show.