Maritime New Zealand, the government agency coordinating the disaster response, estimated that 350 tons of heavy fuel oil had leaked into the ocean by Thursday, creating what the government has described as the nation's worst marine environmental disaster.
"No one should underestimate the significance of the challenges that we face," Prime Minister John Key said at a briefing on Wednesday.
Driven by an adventurous national spirit and blessed with an extraordinarily rugged landscape that calls to adrenaline addicts like a jungle gym calls to children, New Zealanders and visiting foreigners have pioneered an impressive range of commercial adventure activities over the past few decades. The list includes jet boating, Zorbing (that hamster ball), cave tubing (black-water rafting), Shweeb (monorail biking), river boarding, fly by wire, canyon swing and, most famously, bungee jumping.
New Zealand is one of the world's most beautiful countries, with climates from tropical in the north to Antarctic in the south. And the friendly residents are a major part of the appeal. Every autumn a national bridge congress is played in Hamilton, 66 miles south-southeast of Auckland.
In New Zealand, it's being called "Marmageddon."
The island nation is facing a dwindling stock of the beloved Marmite spread after recent earthquakes in Christchurch forced the manufacturer to shut down the only factory producing the stuff.
A spokesman for Sanitarium, the maker of the salty breakfast spread, says it has now run out of Marmite and it can't make any more until July at the earliest. That's caused a run on Marmite at markets all around New Zealand -- and reports of panic among customers who love the spread.
New Zealand, a wealthy Pacific nation, is dominated by two cultural groups: New Zealanders of European descent, and the minority Maori, whose Polynesian ancestors arrived on the islands around 1,000 years ago.
Agriculture is the economic mainstay, but manufacturing and tourism are important and there is a world-class film industry.
Scientists say they recently captured “supergiant” deep-sea crustaceans nearly a foot long – the likes of which have rarely been seen – in an ocean trench off New Zealand.
The seven amphipods measure about 28 centimeters (about 11 inches) long, which is 10 times the length of normal deep-sea amphipods and nearly three times the size of what are considered giant amphipods, Scotland’s University of Aberdeen said Thursday.
New Zealand is finally yielding to the rest of the world when it comes to its unique set of road rules, after decades of confounding drivers from overseas.
For nearly 20 years, New Zealand has been the only place on Earth to force vehicles hugging a turn at an intersection to yield to traffic making a wider arc across the intersection. New Zealanders drive on the left, but in the U.S. it would be like making right-turning traffic yield to left-turning traffic.
New Zealand is a land of diverse and gentle beauties, from the semitropic grasslands and steel-blue lakes of the north to the magnificent fiords, mountains and waterfalls of the cooler south. Life, too, tends to be placid for New Zealand's 2,590,000 inhabitants. Cradled in the arms of a welfare state, they have practically no unemployment, easily buy houses on government loans and are cared for with "womb-to-tomb" government benefits.
Australia and New Zealand are drifting apart. The larger nation is buoyant and rich, while the smaller one is in a funk. The gap in average incomes between the countries has widened significantly in recent years to approximately 30%, drawing Kiwis across the Tasman in large numbers.
Two of New Zealand's most cherished articles of national pride are her champion rugby football team and the amity with which her 2,000,000-plus white settlers and the archipelago's 150,000 brown-skinned Maori (rhymes roughly with dowry) people live side by side.