7 Aug 2016

Top reads: Polar blast, politics and a payout

9:55 pm on 7 August 2016

From Helen Clark's UN bid to the Hurricane's historic victory, and some particularly chilly weather in between, here are a selection of RNZ's most read stories of the week:

The big freeze that has swept the country this weekend has been very popular with readers.

Azharia Martin (red jacket) Samantha Skurr (blue jacket) and David Skurr enjoy the snow at Egmont National Park.

Azharia Martin (red jacket) Samantha Skurr (blue jacket) and David Skurr enjoy the snow at Egmont National Park. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Antarctic weather shrouded parts of the country in snow, with roads closed and hundreds of power poles down in central and eastern parts of the North Island.

Power was cut to 40,000 households in the depths of the cold snap and black ice made roads treacherous in many parts of the South Island. People were cold nationwide but some managed to make it out to frolick in the snow.

28072016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Stock image illustrating loneliness, depression, isloation in men, for Insight

Isolation is often a risk factor in suicide Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Everyone's pain - hundreds die by suicide

Insight put the spotlight on New Zealand suicide rates, which remain appallingly high despite of years of prevention plans and strategies. In 2013 suicide was the country's third highest cause of death, after heart disease and lung cancer.

Toby & Toby on post-truth politics

Opinion - Toby Morris and Toby Manhire weighed in on a new era of post-truth politics.

David Bain takes a payout in lieu of compensation

David Bain's long-running battle for compensation came to an end with his acceptance of a government payment. Long-time supporter Joe Karam said he despaired at continuing the fight when the cards were stacked against him.

Joe Karam, left, and David Bain

Joe Karam, left, and David Bain Photo: POOL / RNZ

Clark's prospects slide for the UN's top job

Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox said her party did not support Miss Clark, for decisions that cast doubt on what kind of Secretary-General she would be, including her government's 2004 foreshore and seabed law, its refusal to sign the UN Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Tuhoe raids of 2007.

Dover Samuels, Helen Clark, Marama Fox

Dover Samuels, Helen Clark, Marama Fox Photo: RNZ

Stripper's revelations over Chiefs function

Claims by one stripper of sexual harassment against the Chiefs rugby team at an end of year function were matched by revelations of similar behaviour last year.

After the incident was reported, RNZ's Kate Newton explored how little had changed since Greg McGee wrote Foreskin's Lament more than 25 years ago.

Chiefs CEO says takes stripper allegations seriously: RNZ Checkpoint

Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman says he takes the allegations seriously: RNZ Checkpoint Photo: RNZ / YouTube

Saatchi boss sacked over gender comments

Saatchi & Saatchi chair Kevin Roberts had to make an early exit after claiming gender bias in the advertising industry did not exist.

Mr Roberts told online newspaper Business Insider the debate over gender was finished. He said many women did not have a "vertical ambition" and instead had only a "circular ambition to be happy".

Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts Photo: Supplied

Would-be homeowners' pain

Modelling suggested most Aucklanders wouldn't be able to afford to buy new homes built under Auckland's Unitary Plan.

The research said of the 247,000 new homes planned within Auckland's urban area, only 15 percent would cost less than $800,000 and less than 2 percent would be priced under $600,000.

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Photo: Pixabay

Canes cane South Africa's Lions

Jubilant players celebrated their 20-3 win over South Africa's Lions in the Super Rugby final, the first in the 21-year history of the competition.

Hurricanes captain Dane Coles with the Super Rugby trophy following the win over the Lions in Wellington.

Hurricanes captain Dane Coles with the Super Rugby trophy following the win over the Lions in Wellington. Photo: PhotoSport

And finally ... the launch of our Olympics page, with contenders, stunning successes, pivotal moments and more.

New Zealand's Amber Hearn celebrates her goal during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games first round Group G women's football match Colombia vs New Zealand at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on August 6, 2016.

Amber Hearn celebrates her goal against Colombia with her teammates at the Rio Olympics. Photo: AFP