Stories making headlines across New Zealand at noon include terror in Wanganui, gnomes going missing in Masterton and Italians ripped off at Jerusalem.

Police say they do not have the numbers to attend all the criminal incidents in Wanganui, which included one moment of "terror" when many thugs armed with knives and bottles tried to smash into a flat.

Meanwhile two wasted blokes from Masterton apparently decided it was a good idea to kidnap garden gnomes.

Members of a group of 48 Italian tourists staying at Jerusalem marae have been ripped off by thieves.


A 16-year-old walking down a rural road wearing combat clothing and carrying a BB gun after doing some eeling ended up with the armed offenders squad rushing to the area.

Walking down the red carpet at the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with the glitterati will be 15-year-old Tessla Grunwald from Wanganui.

Meanwhile groups in Queenstown and Middlemarch are preparing to cash in on the trilogy.

Raewyn Binnie and her little dog Tinka have won an apology from New Zealand Post.

Don't tell anyone but Lake McLaren in Bay of Plenty has just been stocked with heaps of trout.

Wairere Boulders, near Horeke in South Hokianga, ranks number 16 on this year's AA "101 must-do's for Kiwis" ahead of Milford Sound, Waitomo Caves and Te Papa. Pineapple Lumps beat Aoraki Mount Cook on the full list here.

After losing her home and possessions in a fire, Rosie Waiapu wept following a random act of kindness.

One "unlucky'' driver slammed into a tree that fell across State Highway 30 early this morning.

Rotorua rafting company Kaitiaki Adventures has been given until next month to settle its debt to Inland Revenue.

Two gang members died when their motorcycles were involved in a crash with a car on the Lindis Pass.

Deer stalkers are suspected of starting a large scrub fire on Te Tuhi Track Rd.

A Gisborne family with no smoke alarms was woken by the dog barking just before 10pm to find their house totally ablaze.

Meanwhile at the Great Gisborne Terrier Races.

A Napier business identity alleged misused more than $10,000 of a charitable grant to buy chairs for his business.

Hastings woman Pat Berry has delivered thousands of hot meals to the doorsteps of people who need them the most for the past 34 years.

A man left paralysed after he was shot by police in Central Hawke's Bay last year has been sentenced to home detention.

Napier is apparently as safe a city as any but young people out at night need to ensure they have companions with them.

What'll it be Wanganui? The money or the bag!

Wairarapa mayors are confident they can go it alone.

Meanwhile, for the time being, it is probably not a good idea to stand near the clock tower in Carterton in a powerful earthquake.

How expensive do cigarettes have to be before you give up?

This 'gorgeous' baby will never get to meet dad.

In Dunedin and planning to wash your car or water your garden tomorrow or Thursday?

Meanwhile over on the West Coast, rats are being blamed for a Taramakau house burning to the ground.

And Kumara stepped back in time.

Top trending topics on Twitter in NZ at noon were: #LPshoutout, #reasonstostayalive, #twitknit, #ascilite2012, #ausvsa, The Hobbit, New Zealand, Christmas, Xmas and #ttrttpt.