Stories making headlines across New Zealand at noon on Monday include a new "evil" drug being sold at the corner dairy, a shepherd witnesses a shocking event and Sammy the seal pup sneaks a snooze away from heavy seas.

Just when you thought they had been banned, a new 'synthetic cannabis' is being sold in dairies which doctors describe as "evil", citing two cases of patients suffering psychotic episodes in Oamaru in the past week alone.

In his first job less than a month, 17-year-old shepherd Hamish Pollock was rounding up rams when he spotted three lying in the boggy paddock with gas rising around them. When his dog Grace moved in to inspect, she dropped dead.

When Geoffery Clark wasn't looking, Sammy the sneaky seal pup heaved himself up into his Westshore garden for a snooze.


Paul Riordan transformed a "clunk of brick" into a classic and sophisticated Matua home.

During a gang confrontation in Rotorua, a man had his nose torn from his face, was left visually impaired in one eye, had a fractured skull and crushed fingers.

Ethan Russell and Cameron Wilson saved Angel the bulldog from a fiery death.

A nurse found guilty of behaving inappropriately toward two student nurses has been identified.

In Wanganui they are busy holding "Banish the Beast" town meetings. But there are claims of double standards when it comes to banishing beasts in the town.

One of the world's most exciting designers is flying direct from working on the London Olympics to speak at Spark week.

Squash players competing in Mid Canterbury interclub finals matches watched in horror as a player collapsed and died on court.

More than 50 people turned out in bitterly cold conditions yesterday to join ex-All Black Tane Norton plant trees in Ashburton.

Otago is in for more heavy rain as well as snow to low levels.

An intoxicated 18-year-old Oamaru man kicked in the door of a bed shop to get some sleep on Sunday morning.

A family who run a St Kilda dairy were left shaken after a man with a knife entering their lounge connected to their shop and started demanding money.

A controversial aerial 1080 poison drop around the Hokitika water supply has been completed, with little ado.

Top trending topics on Twitter in NZ at noon included: #ThingsThatKeepMeAwakeAtNight, #closingceremony, #FamousLinesAtSchool, Spice Girls, Olympics, #5BandsIWantToSeeLive, #askfaydee, #laughing, #London2012 and Jay.

-Herald Online