website are being re-directed to a site that includes a photograph of Microsoft' />

Visitors to the website are being re-directed to a site that includes a photograph of Microsoft boss Bill Gates with pie on his face.

The site usually carries news stories.

However hackers have changed the name servers which means that visitors to the site are redirected to the hackers' website.

The photograph of Bill Gates was taken after French anarchist Paul Godin hurled a pie at Mr Gates in April, 1998.

The hacked website also carries the banner: "Microsoft New Zealand Hacked by Peace Crew" and includes the words: "STOP THE WAR ISRAEL".

MSN have responded by issuing a short statement from MSN business manager Liz Fraser this afternoon.

"The cause of this discrepancy has been identified and we are currently working with our Microsoft technology and security teams in the US to resolve the matter as quickly as possible today.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused," the statement said.

Ms Fraser also said that not all visitors were being directed to the hacked website.

The company who handles the domain name for MSN is Domainz.

Sales manager Matt Dobbs said he has staff looking into the problem.

He said the name servers had been changed on the site but they did not know how that had occurred.

Mr Dobbs said email could also have been disrupted but he could not say whether or not it had.

The hacker group, calling themselves "Peace Crew", have also hacked other high profile websites, according to the BBC.

Earlier this year, the US Army website, and the Nato Parliamentary Assembly's website were hacked by the group.
The group replaced pages with white space and a photograph of a boy throwing stones at an Israeli tank in Gaza.

The hacked sites also carried pictures of the Israeli, American and British flags with a red line through them.