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House Fire – Rat Poison – Rat Poison Spill – Southern Sting – Rescued Trampers – Maori Queen

- HOUSE FIRE: A house fire in the far North has claimed the lives of three children. The economy in the area is now being blamed, and questions are being asked about the safety of other homes in the region. A terrified girl saved two toddlers from the house as she escaped. But still inside were a 14 year old boy and two younger relatives. Police say while no adults were in the house, they’re not concerned – the 14-year-old boy had taken responsibility for the younger children. The fire is eerily similar to a fire that claimed three young lives four years ago. Tai Tokerau MP Dover Samuels has expressed concern about the standard of housing in the region. Some housing has been compared to shanty town accomodation, but spread out.

- RAT POISON SPILL: A huge spill of rat killer, caused when a truck crashed on the coast road spilling rat poison into the water, is causing major concern along the coast just south of Kaikoura. The road is now open, but it could be days before the extent of the environmental damage is known.

- SOUTHERN STING: A second day of extreme weather has closed roads in the South. In the deep south school was cancelled because of snow. For farmers it is a mixed blessing – precious water breaking the drought, but dry feed required because of the snow. A south Otago toddler who spent hours barefoot in the snow yesterday has been resting up in the warmth of home. His family have thanked everyone involved in the search.

- RESCUED TRAMPERS: Eight trampers are safely home tonight after being rescued from freezing, snowy conditions in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Some of the trampers suffered frostbite in the minus 10 degrees conditions.

- MAORI QUEEN: Maori from around the country, and visitors from the islands, paid tribute to the Maori queen today, who has now spent 35 years on the throne.

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