Stories making the headlines around the regions today include endangered wekas, the Hobbit and cannabis trades.

Brighton resident Alli Cunningham was driving along McIntosh Rd when a weka ran in front of her car and was killed on impact, raising the possibility a remnant population of the threatened native species is living in the city outskirts.

Michael Humphreys was surprised when he was offered two bags of marijuana as a trade for his car.

Cam Mitchell got a fax from Sir Peter Jackson wishing him a happy 40th birthday.


A Rotorua petrol station employee, known as Michelle, said she and at least three others witnessed five glowing orbs move slowly across the road just before dark. Here's a video of a blinking UFO object.

Forensic breakthroughs have resulted in arrests for two historic crime cases in Gisborne.

Hawke's Bay, Gisborne and Wairarapa differ from Taranaki when it comes to fracking apparently, having different geology, greater use of aquifers and a lot more seismic activity.

A young Whangarei Heads filmmaker has won the top prize in a national film competition.

A teenage girl was beaten and robbed in Kaitaia's main street leaving her with a suspected broken arm.

Meanwhile Canadian oil and gas company Apache has just sent in its resource consent application to explore for oil at Punawai inland from Te Karaka.

The driver of this car narrowly escaped death by electrocution.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says she left a meeting with hunger striker Sam Kuha with respect for the man.

Former prison guard Perive Matuaitofiga was earning a bit of cash on the side smuggling cannabis and tobacco into Spring Hill prison.

Water restrictions have been introduced in Hamilton and the Waikato.

Meanwhile the Waikato and King Country community have a brand new rescue helicopter but now need funds to operate it.

The coastal settlement of Taiwhakaea was cordoned off yesterday.

Reece Joseph Reid was "an experienced forestry worker".

Filthy Few Motorcycle Club member Dennis Michael Pederson, known as Deano, has been remembered as "a bloody nice guy".

A Bay of Plenty amputee says if it were not for synthetic cannabis he would have to take 27 pills a day for chronic pain.

Local travel agents say passengers should not let news of a violent tummy bug outbreak stop them from taking their places on Voyager of the Seas.

Police have warned people in Mangatapu to be aware of what is outside their window.

A man is in a serious but stable condition in Hawke's Bay Hospital after the vehicle he was in plunged about 200 metres from Te Mata Peak in Havelock North.

The Napier council has sprung into action after fleets of buses have been hogging prime parking spots near the information centre during the summer cruise ship season.

They are lawyering up in Wanganui over proposed course changes at the Wanganui campus UCOL.

A 6-year-old girl recovering from a brain tumour is $1100 closer to going on a Gold Coast holiday with her family after a piece of Prince Charles' birthday cake was auctioned.

Meanwhile around 9200 wheelie bins are unaccounted for in the Christchurch red zone.

The Southern District Health Board has refused to release a report it commissioned that identified $30 million in health savings.

Over on the West Coast, National Party list MP Chris Auchinvole plans to relocate his electorate office from Greymouth to Hokitika.

Top trending topics on Twitter in NZ at noon were #CoolThingsAboutNewZealand, #ReeceToNelson, #hobbitplaylist, #20ThingsIDontLike, #5ThingsIFindAttractive, Courtenay Place, Done, Wellington, LOTR and Welly.