NZ at noon: Cop-cat, car chases and an undie dash

Purrfect: Quake refugee Penny, also known as Bobby, with Constable Pamela Cox.
Purrfect: Quake refugee Penny, also known as Bobby, with Constable Pamela Cox.

Stories making headlines across New Zealand at noon include a heart-warming story about a four-legged Christchurch earthquake refugee, car chases and a chance to dash around in your undies.

New Brighton police have a new four-legged staff member but before officers install a cat flap for their cop-cat they want to try to find the earthquake refugee's original owner.

In Oamaru locals are getting ready to celebrate the weird and wonderful world of steampunk.

Meanwhile in Northland a group of local residents are celebrating after taking on the local council over plans to develop a noisy motorsport park in their neighbourhood but a decision to go ahead and build a Hundertwasser building in Whangarei has not been met with such enthusiasm.

A film about Rotorua's mountainbiking lifestyle is picking up speed worldwide, topping iTunes' doco charts in Australasia and charting in the US and Canada.

Also in the Bay, a young man was left scratched, broken and bruised after he was bashed, pulled from his driver's seat of his girlfriend's car and pushed 4m down a bank of gorse bush. What followed was a high-speed police pursuit through Te Puke township.

Holly Atkins from Hastings recalls her horrific cycle crash which left her with a broken pelvis and smashed cheek bones. The plucky 16-year-old says she is determined to get back on her bike as quickly as possible.

And two Wairarapa fishermen are in hospital after their ute went off the road, crashing down a bank and into a tree.

A Hamilton doctor who was struck off for enrolling patients without their consent, breaching patient privacy and allowing his unqualified wife to perform medical procedures is trying to reopen his clinic.

A Rotorua bank, opening today, is touted as New Zealand's first bank with bilingual signage in English and Maori. Staff include te reo speakers as well as some who you converse in Korean, Hindi or Mandarin.

Meanwhile, a winter festival in Rotorua will see hundreds donning their favourite undies for a 1km fun run and obstacle course. The organiser says it will make an excellent spectator sport, but thankfully there will be "no mankinis allowed".

And in Wanganui, a man who said he had agreed to allow two women to borrow his car for a week-long road trip in return for sex with both of them has been acquitted of rape. The encounter "was quickly over, and all three went back to sleep".

Topics trending on Twitter at noon include Pacific Music Awards, Jaime Ridge, Rosie and KFC.

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