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Disturbing video footage has come to light of a North Island greyhound trainer using live rabbits as bait during training session with his dogs.

The jolly fat man in the red suit visited the Canterbury provinces over the weekend.
South Today's northern reporters tracked Santa's progress, from Rangiora to New Brighton.

DNA analysis of droppings found on Whenua Hou have determined they are not from a rat.

Mosgiel businesses were unhapy about an unplanned power fault in the township yesterday.

Food businesses say they've lost potential income as they were not able to prepare food.

South Canterbury residents flocked to Waimate on Saturday for the annual Waimate Strawberry Fare.

Sunday afternoon saw firefighters battling burning scrub near Clyde.

Wanaka could be moving from a one supermarket town to a three, or even four, supermarket town in the next couple of years.

And dogging the steps of our earlier story on live baiting of
greyhounds... retired racing dogs enjoyed a big day out at a fundraising charity walk in Dunedin on the weekend...

Dunedin

  • A controversial law change allowing trading on Easter Sunday was passed today at a Dunedin City Council meeting.
    But unions feel the ruling will be detrimental to workers.

  • One person has died and three others were injured a car accident on State Highway 1 just south of Milton on Friday.

  • South Dunedin's status as a poster-child for climate change is the basis for a new action plan unveiled at the weekend.

    Greater South Dunedin Action Group's Ray Mcleod discussed the plan at a public meeting yesterday.

  • Dunedin might prefer to offer a "happy holiday" greeting.

    But over the hill in Mosgiel, they're all about Christmas.

  • Santa’s pixies are back in Dunedin for another year.

    The Pixie Town exhibition opened at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum today and remains there until January.

  • Joshua Perry is launching a website for disabled dating called Enabling Love, and he's currently looking for help to run it.
    Now a Dunedin woman who's heard his story wants to pitch in.

Invercargill

  • Invercargill locals didn’t quite make the cut for a new Guinness World Record yesterday.

    Community group South Alive attempted to form the longest human chain of people patting each other on the back, but missed the record by about 70 people.

  • The Invercargill City Library hosted its annual Chatter Christmas Party today.

    The weekly chatter group is made up of locals and immigrants who come together to improve communication skills and meet new people, and today they put on a show for library-goers.

  • The discovery of a potential rat dropping on the island Whenua Hou has sparked a full-scale incursion response by the Department of Conservation.

    The island, 3km off the coast of Stewart Island, is home to the Kakapo Recovery Programme, and specialists say a rat could “wreak havoc” on the island.

  • Another children’s hospital has benefited from funds raised by the Countdown Kids’ Hospital Appeal.

    Southland Hospital’s children’s ward received more than $80,000 on Thursday after 12 weeks of fundraising.

  • Southland is in the grips of its driest weather for twenty-seven years.

    Paddocks are cracking in the sun, water is being trucked to dairy farms and farmers are concerned at forecasts of even more dry weather to come.

    Sharon Reece reports.

  • Southland primary school pupils proved just how tough they are today at the Mitre 10 Mega Tough Kid event.
    40 primary schools from around the region came to Invercargill’s Rugby Park to take part in the gruelling challenge.

Business

  • The median house price in Otago has reached a new high of $296,000.

    That's a $16,000 jump compared to this time last year.

    Prices are mostly up in rural areas but down in Dunedin, and overall sales volumes have fallen 7% in the last 12 months.

    Otago is one of six regions in the country to hit a new record high median sale price.

    Smaller increases are also being reported in Southland and the Queenstown Lakes area.

    There has been a large jump in sales volumes in Gore and commentators say demand from first home buyers remains solid.

  • Organisers of the iD Dunedin Fashion Week are looking at ways to cut costs after reporting an almost $55,000 loss.

    The society in charge of the annual fashion week just publicly confirmed the deficit.

    In the 2015 financial year it enjoyed a net profit of more than $120,000.

    But that's turned into a net loss of just under $55,000 following this year's event.

    Income dropped and expenditure increased for the society, disappointing members.

    They're blaming lower than expected ticket sales and are now looking at trimming costs and boosting sponsorship.

  • Otago is the second fastest growing region in the country in relation to tourism, according to the latest statistics.

    It's second only to the Nelson region, which has had 11.7% growth in tourism expenditure.

    The figure for Otago is 9.6%.

    That equates to $3.2b for the year to August.

    Wanaka led the country for individual towns and cities, experiencing a $16.3% increase.

    Dunedin's also had a winter tourism boom, thanks in part to a new promotion enticing Australians and New Zealanders to the city.

  • Port Otago has generated $7.3m for parent organisation the Otago Regional Council in the last financial year.

    The company's just publicly announced its latest annual performance, reporting a group profit of just over $34m.

    There has been an increase in export container volumes and higher valuations on investment properties.

    But the log industry has declined slightly, as have import container volumes and cruise ship numbers.

    Port Otago's well into its planned $45m infrastructure upgrade, spanning several years.

  • The latest stage of the Cromwell town centre redevelopment is beginning to take shape.

    Work on the Big Fruit Reserve started in July and is on schedule to be completed by November.

    And locals are hoping it'll entice passers-by to stop for more than just a photo opportunity.

  • A two-month Enterprise Dunedin campaign to entice people to the city is costing stakeholders almost $100,000.

    The city council's footing half the bill, with partner organisations covering the rest.

    Those involved say it's money well spent but the project is attracting scrutiny.

Local Sport

  • New Zealand Cricket and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association have agreed that women's cricketers will be paid more.

    A new three-year Memorandum of Understanding will see 15 of the country's best women cricketers offered annual retainers ranging in value from $20,000 to $34,000.

    Previously, only the top 10 players received contracts worth more than $10,000.

    The New Zealand Cricket Association says paying our best women's players more fits in well with the organisation's commitment towards inclusivity and diversity.

  • Despite a season-ending loss to the Lions at the weekend, the Highlanders are celebrating success, having 7 players selected in the latest All Blacks squad.

    All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen named his side for the upcoming rugby championship, with the now expected contingent of Highlanders making the cut.

    He says he and his fellow selectors are very happy with the squad and combinations they had come up with.

  • The Kia Toa Tigers have been crowned this year's Otago rugby league champions after defeating the East Coast Eagles.

    The side won 32 to 18 at Forsyth Barr Stadium taking home the coveted William Johnston Cup.

    And while there were a few stand-out players, the Tigers captain says it was very much a team effort.

  • All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will retain his position through to the next Rugby World Cup in 2019.

    His previous contract was set to expire next year following the British and Irish Lions three test tour.

    The 57 year old has been involved in the side's two back-to-back World Cup successes in the past eight years.

    And he's lost just three of 57 All Blacks tests as head coach.

  • After almost 20 years, Kaikorai is once again at the top of premier rugby.

    The side defeated Dunedin 29 points to 22 in Saturday's final at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

    And despite a slow start to the season, the winning captain couldn't be happier with how it's finished.

  • More than 100 children are participating in a football school holiday programme at the Edgar Centre.

    The importance of growing the sport at a grass-roots level is one of the main drivers behind the four day event.

    And although the football season's winding down, there's no let-up in local interest.