The five things that shaped the news in New Zealand and around the world this week.


for his work on

The Muppets

. While Kiwis aren't strangers to the Academy Awards, Bret's win was something of a cause for celebration and back home everyone was right behind him.


The humble star was preparing a 'losing face' for the awards ceremony as he was so convinced he would miss out. But he's ready to milk his win to gain access to a few bars and open some Hollywood doors.

McKenzie touched back down in Wellington this week, a little jaded, but still his comical self. He planned to take a swim in Lyall Bay - but potentially this has been put on hold after the stunning welcome-home weather New Zealand managed to put on.


Global weather took a turn for the worse this week and it was felt close to home as well. Locally, we suffered the full force of a weather bomb with the North Island, in particular, south Taranaki feeling the brunt of it.

Many weekend events were cancelled as Kiwis chose to stay indoors and wait it out. There was a fair amount of damage but fortunately no fatalities.

The US wasn't so lucky with at least 38 people being killed by raging storms and tornadoes that ripped through the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes. Two towns were flattened and damage was widespread.

In New South Wales 3,500 people were evacuated after unprecedented levels of rain. For the first time in 14 years Sydney's drinking water reservoir reached capacity; Warragamba Dam spilled over causing quite a spectacle for those who chose to stay around and watch.


The tumultuous week in Syria ended with the Syrian government blocking a Red Cross convoy from delivering badly needed supplies to embattled Homs.


Attempts by countries to bring an end to the violence has had limited results with Assad's allies Russia and China vetoing proposals for a UN resolution. While Saudi Arabia and Qatar have discussed military aid, the US and others are yet to advocate arming the rebels, in part out of fear it would create an even more bloody and prolonged conflict.

Eight foreign journalists have been killed in the last four months in Syria, most recently were Sunday Times correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik who were killed in a rocket attack on a makeshift media centre in Baba Amr.

The UN estimates over 7,500 people have been killed since the anti-Assad struggle started in March 2011, spurred by uprisings toppling the regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.

We can expect more bloodshed in Syria as rebel fighters and international forces struggle to end the violence.

The week started with a turquoise protest to launch Christie's Law campaign aimed at toughening New Zealand parole laws. The protest was in response to the tragic case of Auckland teenager Christie Marceau who was murdered at the hands of a man who was on bail, facing a charge of kidnapping her.

Christie Marceau's case is not the only one. Charlie Borrell, the father of teenager Augustine Borrell, who was murdered in 2007, revealed his wife has to pass the house of their son's killer every day while he awaited trial on bail.

"The man who murdered my son was released on bail and placed within 1km of our home and across the road from my youngest one's school. My wife and child had to pass that house every day," he said.

John Key informed the Marceau family and the Sensible Sentencing Trust that the Government was not opposed to looking at their recommendations.


Two different cases of sex offenders teaching in New Zealand schools hit the headlines this week. The first case saw a convicted sex offender retrain as a teacher and get employment in a New Zealand school, then it was revealed he was also advertising himself as a potential adoptive parent on an international website. The man has identity suppression, but managed to evade the Teachers Council, police and corrections authorities to potentially put students at risk.

Another alleged sex offender was caught working as a volunteer at a breakfast programme in a decile 1 South Auckland school. He had previously been charged with sexual offending against children going back several years.

These cases have led to calls for fingerprints or DNA samples to be provided by teachers to ensure convicted sex offenders cannot simply give a false name and then work in schools.