Do you know them? Hammer, bat and knife wielding robbers make off with goods from Hamilton dairy

Four people are being sought by police after the aggravated robbery of a Hamilton dairy early this morning.

Three people were captured on the store's CCTV each brandishing a different weapon, with one carrying a large knife, another a baseball bat and the third wielding a hammer.

Police say the robbers arrived at the Deanwell Superette around 7am in a stolen red Mazda Demio driven by a fourth person.

The store manager saw them arrive and locked himself in a back room, leaving the trio to steal a large number of cigarettes and other items.

The four fled the scene in the stolen vehicle which has since been recovered.

Anyone who has information that might help is being urged to contact Detective Sergeant Andre Kavanagh on 07 858 6200 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Three men wanted by police for the robbery of a Hamilton superette.
Three men wanted by police for the robbery of a Hamilton superette. Source: New Zealand Police

Vodafone providing free calls, texts to cyclone-hit Tonga, launches text donations

Telco Vodafone is providing free calls and texts to cyclone-ravaged Tonga for 48 hours and enabling text donations to a Red Cross Pacific Disaster Fund.

Vodafone Consumer Director Matt Williams says with Cyclone Gita being labelled the worst storm to hit Tonga in 60 years, it's important for the company to open up the lines.

He says with reports of widespread devastation, Vodafone doesn't want people with family and friends in Tonga worrying about how they have fared, so is making it as easy as possible for them to get in touch. 

From 5pm this evening, all calls and texts to Tonga will be free for 48 hours for all Vodafone customers. 

That includes all Vodafone mobile plans such as prepay, as well as business customers and home phones.

Call and text credits will be automatically applied to customers' accounts on the next plan cycle, Mr Williams said.

"We'd recommend texting for the time being, as this is a lighter load for networks to manage," he said.

Meanwhile, the Vodafone Foundation has moved to set up a Red Cross Pacific Disaster Fund text to donate campaign, to get aid to the region as quickly as possible.

Cyclone Gita hit Tonga overnight leaving widespread destruction including flooding and power outages. Source: 1 NEWS

Texting RED CROSS to 4644 will enable an automatic $3 donation to the Red Cross Pacific Disaster Fund, regardless of which mobile provider you are with. 

The Vodafone Foundation says its text to donate campaign will see 100 per cent of all money donated go directly to the disaster response. 

Follow 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of Cyclone Gita.

Kathryn Dalziel says you should only use your cellphone in a meeting when conducting business.
Source: Breakfast


CCTV footage captures terrifying moment group of youths attempt to rob Huntly liquor store

The owner of a liquor store in Huntly is blaming "synthetics (drugs) 100 per cent" for the actions of a violent group of youths that attempted to rob his store before stealing his cousin's vehicle and fleeing the scene.

CCTV footage captured the moment a gang of seven youths rushed toward the owner, his visiting cousin and two staff members on Friday night as they were closing the store in the Waikato town.

The video shows the youths running into shot and facing off with the liquor store owner and the others before the innocent parties back off and retreat to the safety of a vehicle.

"They timed it to perfection but failed because I decided to close the store five minutes earlier."

"I got the worst scare of my life," the owner who wishes to remain anonymous told the NZ Herald.

"No one got hurt luckily but they stole my cousin's car and damaged my ute by kicking it in badly."

The store owner went on to tell the NZ Herald he was "100 per cent" sure that synthetics were to blame for the attempted robbery.

Police are investigating the incident.