new zealand

Expanding the Super Rugby competition to include countries such as Argentina and Japan will be discussed at a series of meetings next month. New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive, Steve Tew, has confirmed the prospect of expansion beyond Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and also new methods of broadcasting will be on the table when South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby (Sanzar) officials negotiate their model beyond 2016.

The first same-sex weddings have taken place in New Zealand after the country became the first in the Asia-Pacific region and 14th in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. Thirty-one same-sex couples had been due to marry on Monday, according to the Department of Internal Affairs. It comes after New Zealand's parliament passed a bill in April amending the country's 1955 marriage act.

Pouring vodka down the drain is one thing. But boycotting the Sochi Olympics because of anti-gay legislation passed by Russian lawmakers? That just hurts the wrong people, says one gay Olympic athlete.

An Auckland-based Samoan Tongan poet has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to write creatively about cultural diplomacy for three months in Hawaii. Leilani Tamu is this year’s recipient of the 2013 Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s Residency. She told Sara Vui-Talitu her inspiration for the residency will be to write about one of the last heirs to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Princess Kaiulani.

Political leaders in central and south America are looking to Maori as a way to enhance their own traditional communities. Federation of Maori Authorities' chair Traci Houpapa visited a number of countries in Latin America earlier this year with the prime minister. She was asked by leaders there why Maori have become so economically and strategically sophisticated, and how they can empower their first nations peoples.

A five-way agreement between New Zealand and Chinese agriculture-related institutions will help develop China's sheep farming and pasture growth, New Zealand Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said Friday.

Tjanara Talbot will be travelling to Canada this month as part of an artist residency program between Parramatta and Montreal called the Urban Indigenous Artist Exchange Program. She will stay at the Darling Foundry in Montreal for three months, fully paid. To date, three artists have taken part in this work program which developed with the idea of expanding Indigenous artistic practice internationally.

‘Cultural diplomat’ awarded writing residency in Hawai‘i Former diplomat, magazine columnist, Pacific historian and poet Leilani Tamu from Auckland will spend three months in Hawai‘i writing about "Cultural Diplomacy" for a book of the same name, as recipient of the 2013 Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s Residency.