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A tailless humpback whale has been spotted off New Zealand.

The whale was first seen on March 14 off the coast of Kaikoura on the north-east coast of South Island.

It was not clear how it came to lose its flukes, said local Department of Conservation ranger Mike Morrissey, but “it could have been the result of entanglement” in fishing nets.

Despite what looks like a severe injury, the whale seemed to be doing fine.

Photo Department of Conservation

Photo Department of Conservation

Whales are sometimes caught in fishing gear, which can injure or kill them.

The tears appear to have happened at least a year ago, Mike Morrissey added, as the images show little sign of open wounds.

It is the first time anyone in the area has seen a whale like it, he added, but he held out hope it might return.

Humpback whales have begun their annual migration from Antarctic feeding grounds to breeding grounds in the South Pacific.

Anyone who spots the whale is asked to report it to the Department of Conservation on

+64 800 36 24 68, so it can be tracked.


Prince Harry had a Cinderella moment with a little girl during his visit to New Zealand on May 15.

Kensington Palace shared on Instagram the sweet moment.

Photo Instagram

Photo Instagram

The picture shows how Harry, 30, proves to be a true Prince Charming as he kneels down with the girl’s shoe and is ready to help her put it back on.

The young New Zealander had Prince Harry bending down to help her with her shoe which had fallen off.

The adorable moment came just days after Prince Harry admitted that he would love to settle down and start a family, adding it would be great to have someone to “share the pressure” of royal life with.

Prince Harry is currently on tour in New Zealand, following a month-long Army secondment in Australia, and has been larking around as he visits local charities and trusts.


According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, New Zealand is conducting mass surveillance over its Pacific neighbors.

Calls, emails and social media messages were being collected from Pacific nations, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The data was shared with other members of the “Five Eyes” network – the US, Australia, Britain and Canada.

Edward Snowden leaked a large cache of classified NSA documents in 2013.

The documents published on March 5 reveal that New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) used its Waihopai base in the South Island to spy on allies in the region.

Targets included Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Samoa, Vanuatu, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Tonga and French Polynesia.

Photo Bloomberg

Photo Bloomberg

According to The Intercept website, which published the documents in conjunction with the New Zealand Herald, the base was running “full take” interceptions, meaning it was retaining content and metadata of all communications rather than just of specific targets.

The data collected was then available to be accessed by analysts from the National Security Agency (NSA) via the agency’s controversial XKeyscore computer program, revealed during the original leak in 2013, the Herald reported.

New Zealand PM John Key said the reports contained errors and false assumptions, but did not elaborate.

John Key said the GCSB gathered “foreign intelligence that is in the best interests of New Zealand and protecting New Zealanders”.

“If I was a New Zealander and the New Zealand prime minister got up and told me we had a foreign intelligence service that wasn’t gathering some foreign intelligence, I’d ask him <<what the hell are we paying the money for? And what the hell are you doing?>>” New Zealand’s Stuff website quoted him as saying.

Andrew Little, leader of New Zealand’s opposition Labor party, said that he accepted the need for security agencies to protect the country but was “stunned at the breadth of the information that’s been collected”.

Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Andrew Little said GCSB seemed to be “hovering” up information and “supplying it to the United States”.

New Zealand has declared drought emergency on the entire North Island in what the government describes as the worst dry spell in 30 years.

Farmers are especially hard hit, with losses in agriculture expected to shave about 1% off economic growth.

New Zeland’s capital Wellington is said to have just 18 days of water left, and parts of the South Island could soon be hit.

But there is likely to be some relief over the weekend when the first decent rainfall in two months is forecast.

The scale of the drought can be seen from space: satellite images show how parts of New Zealand have turned from lush green to parched brown.

Farmers, who traditionally drive the nation’s economy, estimate that the drought has already cost them about NZ$1 billion ($820 million) in lost earnings.

They are now being offered financial assistance by the government to deal with the crisis.

New Zealand has declared drought emergency on the entire North Island in what the government describes as the worst dry spell in 30 years

New Zealand has declared drought emergency on the entire North Island in what the government describes as the worst dry spell in 30 years

“What we are telling our farmers is forget about this season, start concentrating on next season,” said Derek Spratt, the chairman of New Zealand’s Rural Support Trust.

Some scientists say the unusually dry weather could be a harbinger of climate change.

At the same time, many city residents are enjoying sun soaked days as they go eating lunch outdoors or spend evening on the beach.

And winemakers describe the current conditions as perfect.