NZ at Noon: Hobbit hopes and a spooky auction

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The hopes of the New Zealand tourism industry appear to be resting on the shoulders of Bilbo Baggins.
The hopes of the New Zealand tourism industry appear to be resting on the shoulders of Bilbo Baggins.

Stories making headlines across New Zealand at noon include the hopes of our tourism industry appear to be hanging on a hobbit, a psychic who says George the Ghost doesn't want to move to Auckland and the consequences of making hand gestures at police.

If George the Ghost really was in this jar he probably would have just flown through the glass and escaped if his captivity wasn't for such a good cause.

After previous expensive 100% Pure commercials apparently gave the world the impression New Zealand was a deserted paradise with nothing to do, the future of tourism in this country now appears to be hanging on a hobbit.

A bloke seen making various hand gestures at armed police out the window of his Fordlands house was later observed leaving the property illuminated by a small red dot from a telescopic rifle sight.

His mates who jumped in a car had lots of guns pointed at them as well.

During a visit to a Hawke's Bay Pac'nSave a woman apparently started stuffing her shopping up the shirt of her pre-schooler.

Bay of Plenty lawyers are preparing what is expected to be the country's biggest environmental claim.

Did you know Great Barrier Island is a tropical paradise where you could meet the man or woman of your dreams?

Here's an in depth video from Gisborne examining "cars and power poles".

A logging truck has crashed and lost its load near Katikati.

How do you get your music?

Papamoa man David Leslie Nelson has wrecked another family.

Allie is being overlooked for cute young kittens.

About 70 hardy souls splashed into the freezing sea at Omanu Beach this morning.

Sorry kids, Stratford's school holiday programme has been cancelled. Meanwhile in Wanganui the Smokefreerockquest appears to have had its day.

And Wanganui is trying to ban gang patches again.

Over in Hawke's Bay the fallout from the collapse of South Canterbury Finance continues.

Two "young and somewhat vulnerable" female nursing students at Masterton Hospital's mental health unit realised something was wrong when a male nurse started talking about rape and sex and tried to touch them.

Meanwhile in Mauriceville they are worried about losing their rubbish tip.

Five weeks ago 10-year-old Carterton girl Grace Yeats left her St Mary's School classroom with a headache. Today, she is in Starship Hospital unable to talk or move.

When a half-asleep mother and her two boys first heard the smoke alarm they thought "go away".

Ashburton's Liam Kennedy-Clark, 14, won the Waimate Competitions Society Junior-Intermediate Country Music Awards at the weekend.

Cars were sliding over Dunedin Roads this morning and school was postponed until 10am. Meanwhile there's a big debate about where to put the word "Toitu", if anywhere at all.

Check out Oamaru's new Blue Penguin Colony viewing platform.

In South Westland, there has been an immediate cull of four-legged "timebombs".

Top trending items on Twitter in NZ at noon were: Spice Girls, #thingsnottosaytoawriter, #FatBands, Wellington, Facebook, London, Auckland, and Twitter.

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