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This year was another huge one for Local Democracy Reporting, with reporters at the forefront of uncovering some of the biggest stories in their regions.
A radical shake up is being proposed to address plummeting voter turnout and a lack of diversity around council tables.
A survey of all 291 mayoral candidates reveal there's little love for the government's Three Waters reforms.
A mayoral candidate survey undertaken by Local Democracy Reporting has found nearly half of respondents believed Māori wards were an effective way to increase Māori participation.
The father of the youngest person to die at Pike River says the possible discovery of his remains has brought him solace.
Foreign nationals could be using fraudulent vaccine exemptions to get out of having a jab before entering the country - and there are worries health authorities might not be awake to the problem.
A series of investigations is underway into a Kaiapoi GP who's been filmed handing out fraudulent vaccine exemption certificates at her clinic.
The 50-year-old was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope on New Year's Day in 1998.
The West Coast of the South Island has seen a surge of interest from players large and small in gold prospecting.
A group of Afghans fearing for their lives because of help their relatives gave to New Zealand's defence forces could soon be able to come here.
Footage showing bodies inside the Pike River mine was what loved ones of the 29 men killed in the disaster had been waiting for - but it was coupled with knowledge that none would be recovered.
The biggest party of the year in Christchurch went ahead on Tuesday, despite a ban on spectators at Addington Raceway.
After years of slow growth, property prices in Christchurch are all of a sudden surging ahead and fast catching up with the rest of the country.
People spoken to around Ōtautahi last night expressed a mixture of confusion and anger at news Covid had re-appeared in their community for the first time in almost a year.
The amount councils are spending on keeping in touch with Cantabrians has gone up by as much as 82 percent in the past six years.
New Zealand has jumped in boots and all replacing high carbon emitting coal boilers with cleaner ones powered by wood pellets.
As daily Covid-19 cases continue to climb in Auckland, there are rumblings of rebellion in the South Island and a call to break away from the team of five million.
It is probably just a matter of time before Covid-19 spreads to the South Island, which hasn't had widespread transmission for 18 months, experts say.
The West Coast is behind the rest of the mainland when it comes to uptake of the Covid vaccine, down as low as 71 percent for first jabs, compared to 80 percent in the rest of Te Wai Pounamu.
It's been four months since the Ashburton District was slammed with a one-in-200-year flood and still the clean up continues.
A distraught family says it was given 30 minutes to choose a handful of belongings from a Kāinga Ora house after a roof repair botch-up contaminated it with asbestos.
The conclusions of a Fonterra-sponsored study into nitrates in drinking water are being questioned by leading experts.
The latest population estimate for critically endangered Māui dolphins has fallen by 14 percent in the past five years, according to a report leaked to RNZ.
Around the South Island, resignation, optimism and frustration greeted the lockdown, with most spoken to by RNZ convinced of the need.
A leading GP blamed an underestimation of how many doses would be needed for group 1 to delays in the Canterbury DHB vaccine rollout through June.