Today's Morning Rush is brought to you by Patrice Dougan.
Good morning and welcome to today's edition of Morning Rush. Everything you need to know, including the latest, breaking news, sport, entertainment, traffic, travel and weather information. Share your news tips and photos at #MorningRushNZ or email@example.com
The top things you need to know this morning:
• Swimmers have amazing close encounter with a shark.
• A truckie was pulled to safety by other drivers after his lorry crashed into a river last night.
• The clean up begins in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay after yesterday's heavy rain and flooding.
9.01am: Ok folks, I'll be wrapping up the blog now. Stay tuned to nzherald.co.nz throughout the day for all the latest news and updates. We'll be keeping you up-to-date with the latest on the flooding situation in Gisborne, and the fatal west Auckland fire. Have a great Tuesday.
8.58am: Singer Sam Smith has released a teaser for his new James Bond theme song, for the latest movie Spectre. Fans will have to wait four more days to hear the full thing.
8.55am: A breakdown on the North Western Motorway city-bound after Rosebank Rd onramp is blocking the left lane, NZTA says. Drivers should merge right with care, and expect delays.
8.52am: Everyone trapped on Mt Ruapehu in blizzard conditions who wanted to get off the mountain has managed to do so. Snow groomers yesterday helped families come down the road from Whakapapa in winds screeching up to 120km/h. Anyone still on the mountain have chosen to be there, Ruapehu Ski Club's club captain Liza Fitzsimmons says.
8.48am: Veteran broadcaster Duncan Garner has revealed the story that keeps him awake at night - and whether his name appearing on the Ashley Madison site caused any conflict at home.
8.45am: Here's cartoonist Rod Emmerson's take on the reaction to All Black Richie McCaw's yellow card:
8.42am: Aucklanders can expect scattered showers today, with a few heavy and thundery showers and small hail this afternoon and evening - particularly in Eastern areas.
8.41am: Bad news for those emerging from the flooding in Hawkes Bay this morning - there's more rain on the way for the east coast, MetService says.
8.37am: An experienced big cat keeper who had worked with the woman killed in a tiger attack at Hamilton Zoo thinks the animal should be moved overseas so her family and workmates don't have to walk past the killer animal everyday.
8.33am: In other brilliant 'JK Rowling-on-Twitter' news, the Harry Potter author has made it clear she doesn't condone children living under the stairs after discovering a trend inspired by her boy wizard to turn cupboards into bedrooms....
8.31am: There's a road snow waning for Lewis Pass, with MetService forecasting 1cm-2cm of snow could accumulate about the summit up to midday today.
8.28: There are reports of a crash city-bound on Onewa Rd, near Park Ave, causing delays in Birkenhead, Auckland Transport says.
8.26am: A severe weather watch has been issued for eastern Marlborough for possibly heavy rain from tonight through to tomorrow evening, MetService says.
8.21am: Shocking news for all you chocolate spread fans out there - we've been pronouncing Nutella wrong all our lives! The official way to say it is "new-tell-uh" - not "nuh-tell-uh", Italian manufacturer Ferrero says. Devastated.
8.16am: Chef Geoff Scott has described his first day on the Live Below the Line challenge as "an awesome feeling". He's planned his meals, including Weetbix and barley. See the photo he took of his pearl barley casserole - only 75c a helping.
8.12am: Three teenagers led police on an overnight chase through the Bay of Plenty after robbing a taxi driver of his van in Hamilton.
8.08am: Rising floodwaters trapped a family with two young children "in the middle of nowhere" in the Wairoa District, forcing them to spend a cold, wet night in their car, the Hawke's Bay Today reports. Luckily they had provisions with them, and authorities said they were not in immediate danger.
8.05am: The number of active blood donors around the country is declining, according to the New Zealand Blood Service's annual report.
Just over 109,000 people donated blood last year, compared with more than 128,000 in 2010.
8.01am: An update for Wellington commuters - the traffic lights at SH1 Acheron Rd in Mana are now back up and running.
7.56am: A group of swimmers were shocked to discover they had a close encounter with a shark while swimming at Bondi Beach - after they uploaded their underwater pics. Check out the image below which shows them diving to the shark nets barely metres from the deadly creature.
7.50am: The crash city-bound on Auckland's Southern Motorway near Greenlane has now been cleared, but the area is congested, NZTA says.
7.46am: Some roads are still closed after flooding caused mayhem in and around Gisborne yesterday.
SH38 from Waikaremoana to Frasertown remained closed due to flooding at multiple sites, and SH2 from Wairoa to Ohinepaka was also off-limits, the NZTA says.
SH2 between Opotiki and Gisborne is open today, but drivers are advised to take "extra care" as flooding subsides.
The road from Gisborne to Tolaga Bay is open this morning.
7.44am: A crash has blocked two lanes city-bound on the Southern Motorway near Greenlane, NZTA says. Drivers should merge left, and pass with care. Expect delays.
7.42am: In my head this is playing out like something out of a cartoon - Auckland animal control is trying to catch a couple of dogs beside city-bound traffic on the Southern Motorway at Princes St. Motorists in the area are urged to drive with caution.
7.40am: Clear and fine conditions in Christchurch this morning, and no traffic incidents to report, Transport for Christchurch says.
7.38am: The truckie that was pulled out of his lorry after crashing into a river was seriously injured, St John Ambulance says. Paramedics rushed him to Palmerston North Hospital.
7.35am: The clean up will begin in Gisborne today as council staff assess the damage caused by yesterday's floods. Low-lying homes and basements by the Waipaoa River have been flooded and residents from Te Karaka had to be evacuated overnight.
7.32am: Good news for skiers - both access roads to Mt Ruapehu ski fields are now open. Both Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields will be open today, after more than 30cm of snow fell overnight.
It comes after people had to be escorted off the mountain on Sunday in blizzard conditions, though some hardy snow bunnies - some would say crazy people - chose to stay.
7.26am: All Black Conrad Smith has conceded he "made a mistake", and has apologised to the team after getting a yellow card during yesterday's first game of the RWC.
7.23am: Aucklanders are set to endure a "five-year nightmare" of construction chaos as work on a raft of major jobs starts, including the New Zealand International Convention Centre.
7.19am: Commuters in Wellington are being urged to take care if they're travelling on SH1 through Mana, as there's a traffic light fault at Acheron Rd.
7.18am: Travel times in Auckland from Oteha Valley Rd to the CBD currently 43mins, Auckland Transport says.
7.16am: Catch up on everything you missed from the Rugby World Cup overnight here.
7.14am: Are you or someone you know stuck on Mt Ruapehu because of the snow? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
7.10am: TV presenter Petra Bagust and her family are set to live on $2.25 a day on food and drink each for the Live Below the Line challenge. Money raised will go towards rescuing victims of trafficking and prosecuting the perpetrators.
7.07am: Read Steve Braunias' take of what went down at Kim Dotcom's extradition hearing yesterday.
7.03am: Travel times into Wellington this morning still looking good:
7.01am: The Springboks have dropped to 6th in the world after their stunning defeat to Japan at the weekend - falling to their lowest world ranking in 12 years. Don't worry NZ is still number one. #blacktoblack
6.58am: Sex offender Michael Andrew Bell was arrested on the tarmac of Heathrow Airport on the suspicion of a historic rape after being deported from Dunedin and flown to the UK with NZ police officers.
6.53am: The cleanup effort in Gisborne this morning will focus on the areas worst hit by flooding, Gisborne Civil Defence emergency manager Louise Bennett told Newstalk ZB. Workers will work on clearing the roads, there's been some sewer overflows, and there's debris around Gisborne's bridges.
6.49am: Wairoa copped the worst of the heavy rain and flooding in the Hawke's Bay yesterday, with 260mm of rain falling in Pukeorapa and up to 150mm in other areas.
6.48am: State Highway 2 north of Gisborne has reopened after being closed overnight due to flooding. The Gladstone Bridge is also open again.
6.45am: Twitter is still having a field-day with the bizarre claims from the UK over PM David Cameron's, we'll politely call it, 'pig incident'. #piggate
6.42am: This is a compelling read - A convicted fraudster who says he is dying of brain cancer is urging people to look beyond his criminal past and help fund a "wonder-drug" treatment that could extend his life. Read the full story here.
6.38am: Don't forget to share your morning photos or videos with us, let us know what the traffic or weather is doing in your area by emailing email@example.com or tweet us at #MorningRushNZ
6.34am: Quiet in Wellington this morning, looks a little damp too.
6.30am: A person was rushed to Northland Base Hospital in a moderate condition after a crash in Tamaterau around 12.40am, St John Ambulance says.
6.26am: There are reports that a number of people are still stuck up Mt Ruapehu this morning, hunkered down in Whakapapa club houses, as they wait out the storm. Roads from the top of the mountain remain closed because of the snow.
6.25am: Fierce winds at Mt Ruapehu over the last couple of days have created blizzard conditions and dumped more than 35cm of snow.
Check out this Vine of the storm:
6.20am: Another family is waking up to tragedy this morning, after a man died in a west Auckland house fire as he tried to rescue children from the blaze.
6.15am: A judge says repeated alcohol sale breaches by supermarket heavyweight Countdown suggests "systemic issues" with the Australian-owned grocery chain, as three stores were busted for selling alcohol to minors.
6.09am: A young Kiwi traveller has died after taking part in an ancient Amazon "cleansing ceremony" while holidaying Peru. Now the father of Aucklander Matthew Dawson-Clarke, 24, is warning others to be aware of the dangers of the ayahuasca ritual so "other families do not have to go through what we're going through".
Read the full story here.
6.05am: A truck has come off SH1 north of Mangaweka and into the fast-flowing Rangitikei River this morning. Several other truckies have come to the driver's aid, broke his cab window and pulled the driver to safety.
6.02am: Good morning folks! Another damp and slightly chilly start, so let's get that kettle on and get started.