Top 10 stories this week: April 26 - May 2

Here are the most read news stories this week.
Shane Harrison (see no. 1)
Shane Harrison (see no. 1)

1. Art or insult? Accused killer in show

The family of a young father are disgusted his alleged killer will be "immortalised" in a photo exhibition at an upmarket Auckland art gallery.

They say including the accused man in the exhibition is "unacceptable" and have called for his portrait to be withdrawn. However, the gallery will not budge.

The victim's family is set to meet the photographer this weekend.

2. Too qualified to live in NZ

An Indian national with a master's degree was declined an opportunity to apply for residence as a skilled migrant, despite being more qualified than was required.

Kiran Kumar Kalamraju, 38, had lodged an expression of interest for permanent residence under the occupation of computer network and systems engineer, which is on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skills shortage list.

But he lost points towards his application because his bachelor's degree in commerce was not related to computing. However, he holds a first-class master's degree in computer applications.

3. Film damns 'Middle Zealand'

New Zealand has been insulted in a hit animated kids' movie produced by the Hollywood studio given a $67 million tax break to film The Hobbit trilogy here.

The Lego Movie, which opened in Kiwi cinemas 11 days ago, has wowed critics with its slick production, in jokes and star-studded voiceover cast, which includes Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Channing Tatum and Morgan Freeman. It has grossed $514m at the worldwide box office.

But some of its humour has fallen flat with Kiwis - though The Lego Movie writersand directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller say they were satirising Middle Earth and the Middle Ages, not New Zealand.

4. Sonny Bill Williams wedded in secret

Footy superstar Sonny Bill Williams has secretly married a stunning 20-year-old Muslim girl he met and fell in love with last year, Sydney's Sunday Telegraph reports.

The Roosters heartthrob, 28, wedded part-time model Alana Raffie in August after a six-month relationship.
Immediate family and a handful of his closest friends, who were sworn to secrecy, attended the ceremony as he was preparing for last year's NRL finals.

5. Kiwi tourist slain for his bag


The friends of Nicholas Heyward were distraught after the killing.

Nicholas Heyward died after trying to fight off two teenagers on a motorbike who tried to steal his backpack in Argentina. He was shot four times and died at the scene.

The shooting happened just before 4pm local time in a park near the World Cup stadium, in the city of Mendoza, where Mr Heyward was staying.

6. Maurice Williamson resigns as a minister


Donghua Liu (left) and Maurice Williamson (right). Photo / NZPA. NZ Herald

Maurice Williamson has resigned as a Minister.

His resignation followed Herald revelations he contacted a top ranking police officer after a wealthy businessman with close ties to him was arrested on domestic violence charges.

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7. Farmer sits on $13.6m land profit

A large chunk of residential land for sale will enable the building of hundreds of new homes as the Auckland Council tries to solve the city's housing crisis.

The 61ha site in Flat Bush - the country's "largest and most comprehensively planned new town" according to the council - is expected to contribute to projections of the area reaching a population of 40,000 by 2025, a similar size to Wanganui.

8. Farmers warned to prepare for the worst

Farmers are being cautioned to prepare contingency plans amid early signs of a large El Nino climate event this year.

In New Zealand, the ocean-driven system typically brings cooler, wetter conditions, bringing higher rainfall to regions that are normally wet, and often drought to areas that are usually dry.

The National Institute of Water and Atmosphere has given a 50 per cent chance of an El Nino developing over winter, while international forecasts have put the probability of one arriving by the end of the year as high as 80 per cent.

9. Prince Harry splits from girlfriend


Photo / AP

Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas have ended their two-year relationship after she struggled to deal with the attention of being the girlfriend of the Prince, sources have confirmed to The Daily Telegraph.

10. 'Stunning' electric trains launched

Auckland's gleaming new electric trains launched into business at 5.48am today - and quickly experienced delays.

Much fuss was made this morning as the first trains to enter passenger service headed out of Onehunga with regular commuters outnumbered by transport officials, politicians and journalists on the 72-metre train.

However a combination of driver nerves and possible problems with the retraction of the door steps meant trains were running up to 25 minutes late on Monday.

- nzherald.co.nz, NZ Herald, APNZ, Daily Telegraph

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