Stories making headlines across New Zealand at noon include fake detectives, the logical explanation for Whangarei's unusual lights and a purse snatching.

A woman posing as a store security detective came up and demanded money being collected to support dying cancer patients.

Meanwhile the chairwoman of Environment Southland has been posing as struggling mum of two "Ruby" to harangue Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt on a TV phone-in show.

The mystery surrounding unusual lights over Whangarei may apparently have a logical explanation.


A 71-year-old lady was wandering along with the aid of her walking stick when a teenager riding past on his bike snatched her purse.

A 12-year-old boy was shot with an air rifle at a Napier school.

Teresa Taylor got one arm stuck in a post box and was desperately trying to summon help from passing motorists with the other.

Apparently marketers know how to make parents feel guilty at this time of year.

A man was towing skateboarders behind his car for fun when a 14-year-old fell off, was knocked unconscious and broke his collar bone.

Jaime Clare Hyde was selling drugs from a central Rotorua Lotto store.

They may be fluffy and cute but any wallabies seen and caught will be destroyed.

Have you lost your tinnie boat? Meanwhile there's been a string of boat thefts from Whangarei.

Faced with the work of vandals, the good folk at the Bardowie Retirement Complex in Napier vowed not to let the hoodlums win.

Two Hamilton schools demonstrated community spirit this week.

Meanwhile a large seat, erected last weekend high above the Arapuni dam on the Waikato River, has a special significance for the south-Waikato region.

Freedom campers are apparently welcome in Napier as long as they're not setting up home and working from their campervans.

Kiwi dub-reggae act The Black Seeds will headline a new music and food festival set for Whangarei next Easter.

Hobbit-mania has not spread to Rotorua.

Ahuriri will be the permanent home for Te Matau A Maui which has just completed a 140,000 nautical mile return journey across the Pacific using just the stars as its navigational chart.

Smoking really can be deadly around the skate ramp near Lake Waro Reserve.

The Big Bake bakery has donated $7500 worth of drink products to the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal.

Wesley Turner has turned 12 on 12/12/12. So has Olivia Thorburn. When Raoul was asked if he felt extremely special turning 12 on 12/12/12, he said he "sort of did".
Biblical principles do not justify violence towards children and women.

A Mongrel mob member is on trial in Gisborne for attempted murder for allegedly firing a sawn-off rifle at a group of people in the city centre.

Ruatoria's St Francis Anglican will be demolished.

A woman has died in a Wanganui house fire.

The Beach Rd pumping station in Wanganui really smells at the moment.

The Wairarapa SPCA is worried animals may be drowned or shot because their owners don't want to pay a surrender fee.

A Christchurch man had been attending a daytime wedding before he backed into the Rangiora Lodge Motel office.

A Clyde youth allegedly ''branded'' a crescent shape on the faces of two teenagers with a heated cigarette lighter while they were asleep at a party.

''If a person wants to put his hands among 20,000 lights, and take the chance of not getting his fingers fried ... it is really not a bright idea."

Meanwhile Queenstown Lakes District Council has spent $55,000 in legal fees alone trying to get a dangerous pitbull cross destroyed.

Ongoing vandalism at the Friendly Bay playground will now be captured on security camera.

Meanwhile in Cobden, Jim Grant's faithful 14-year-old labrador Cindz took a packet of slug pellets from the shed and ate some and now he is heartbroken.

Meanwhile the best place in New Zealand to avoid getting a parking ticket would appear to be Hokitika.

Top trending topics on Twitter in NZ at noon were: #popartist, Demi Lovato, Christmas, #celebrityjudge, #OneOfMyFavouriteMovies, #laugh, #FollowMeLuke, New Zealand, Xmas and Twitter.