As we head into the weekend we've selected some of the best stories you may have missed this week plus the stories most read by our online audience.

Click the headings to read the stories.

Happy Friday.

Best of the week

Georgia on his mind: Milton Haig talks coaching and the Rugby World Cup

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There was one moment during the 2017 Rugby World Cup that will forever remain with Milton Haig.

Former Wanganui rugby coach Milton Haig is currently head coach of the Georgian Rugby team. Photo/ Bevan Conley
Former Wanganui rugby coach Milton Haig is currently head coach of the Georgian Rugby team. Photo/ Bevan Conley

Legal and professional fees recovered in MWH settlement

An out-of-court settlement paid to the Whanganui District Council by MWH, the designers of the city's failed wastewater treatment plant, should remain a secret, the Ombudsman has ruled.

Whanganui boy's stolen Christmas bike recovered; charges likely

A Whanganui boy is overjoyed that his new BMX bike, a Christmas present from his dad, has been returned after it was stolen from his home.

Jansen Pears is thrilled to be back on his BMX and is offering to pay it forward with a donated mountain bike. Photo/ Bevan Conley
Jansen Pears is thrilled to be back on his BMX and is offering to pay it forward with a donated mountain bike. Photo/ Bevan Conley

Ruapehu chondolda project to provide big lift for snow area

A $30 million-plus chairlift/gondola to Knoll Ridge on Mount Ruapehu could make for a lot more all-season tourism jobs, Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron says.

Most read

Counting down the most read stories online
10. Sixty-eight years in the same Whanganui house for John Breton

From where he sits on his veranda John Breton can see parts of Whanganui Hospital, where he was born.

He's lived in the same house for all his 68 years - apart from an overseas trip of three months in the United States and United Kingdom.

9. Former Whanganui student killing it with design

The former Whanganui High School student started an online homeware boutique called Papier HQ, which is currently based in Auckland, and already she has been getting orders from as far afield as Canada and Germany.

Former Whanganui High School student Gabby MacDonald in her new office. Photo/ supplied
Former Whanganui High School student Gabby MacDonald in her new office. Photo/ supplied

8.

Loud noise in central Whanganui sounded like "an explosion"

Mystery surrounds the cause of a loud noise in central Whanganui, reported by people across the city.

7. Two-storey Whanganui classroom block to be demolished

A two-storey 1950s classroom block at Whanganui Girls' College has to be knocked down and carted away by the time school starts, principal Tania King says.

Contractor Central Demolition is poised to knock down unused classrooms at Whanganui Girls College. Photo/ Bevan Conley
Contractor Central Demolition is poised to knock down unused classrooms at Whanganui Girls College. Photo/ Bevan Conley

6.

Fickle weather has Whanganui gardeners, groundsmen and farmers reaching for answers

The fickle weather patterns over the past wee while has home gardeners, professional groundsmen and farmers alike reaching for answers.

5. Police seek information on vehicles stolen in Whanganui aggravated robbery

Whanganui police are appealing for sightings of two vehicles stolen in an aggravated robbery.

4. Country Cafe and Playland to open in former Whanganui garden centre premises

Town kids will get to experience a bit of country-style play in a new venture being set up in London St.

Michaela Carr and son Jake in what will become an astroturf area for ball games at Country Cafe and Playland in London St.
Michaela Carr and son Jake in what will become an astroturf area for ball games at Country Cafe and Playland in London St.

3.

Nicola Patrick: Going topless is not an invitation to touch

Starting the year topless. Nope, not me – sunbathing, topless or not, is no longer on my list after a skin cancer scare.

2. Woman slams man for leaving four-month-old baby in hot car

A woman is outraged after finding a four-month-old baby "cooking" in a parked car in Whanganui on Wednesday.

1. South Taranaki lads launch Rhythm and Pines NY festival

On a South Taranaki farm in Manutahi around 100 festival-goers saw the New Year in at the debut of Rhythm and Pines.