Families invented 12 children for booking so they could have a hut all to themselves and a viral video of happy hens making the most of their freedom are just two of the stories making headlines around the regions today.

A group of trampers have been blasted after 12 phantom children were booked into a North Island forest park hut to give the three families exclusive use of the building.

A video showing thousands of free-range hens rushing out to large open paddocks in Northland has gone clucking mad online with almost 1.2 million views.

Stray cats are putting a "huge" strain on the resources of local animal charities in the Hastings area.


Frustration is slowly turning to anger for residents at Lake Rotoiti who say lakeweed is ruining the lake and not enough is being done about it.

A Northland woman becomes the first person in the country to receive publicly-funded medical cannabis to control severe epilepsy.

A self-employed Masterton man has been left without the tools of his trade after burglars made off with thousands of dollars' worth of equipment from his Ngaumutawa Rd storage shed.