Families invented 12 children for booking so they could have a hut all to themselves and a viral video of happy hens making the most of their freedom are just two of the stories making headlines around the regions today.

A group of trampers have been blasted after 12 phantom children were booked into a North Island forest park hut to give the three families exclusive use of the building.

A video showing thousands of free-range hens rushing out to large open paddocks in Northland has gone clucking mad online with almost 1.2 million views.

Stray cats are putting a "huge" strain on the resources of local animal charities in the Hastings area.

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Frustration is slowly turning to anger for residents at Lake Rotoiti who say lakeweed is ruining the lake and not enough is being done about it.

A Northland woman becomes the first person in the country to receive publicly-funded medical cannabis to control severe epilepsy.

A self-employed Masterton man has been left without the tools of his trade after burglars made off with thousands of dollars' worth of equipment from his Ngaumutawa Rd storage shed.