Watch: Amazing new images of orcas emerge from Antarctica's 'Whale Highway'

Spectacular new pictures of killer whales have emerged from Antarctica, as a group of scientists from the University of Canterbury return home from the frozen continent.

The orcas put on a show for the cameras as they made their way south along what's known as the "Whale Highway" in the Ross Sea.

"It's their home, they're wondering what we're doing and within ten minutes they started showing up and checking what we're doing," Dr Regina Eisert from the University of Canterbury told 1 NEWS.

The team has set up underwater acoustic recorders and time-lapse cameras, with the data allowing scientists to trace the orcas' movements and match their sounds to identify individuals.

"We know nothing about them basically. We don't know how many there are and we don't know how they'd be affected by fishing," Dr Eisert said.

Skin samples are also being taken to analyse the killer whale's diet and DNA.

The study also hopes to help maintain the protected status of the Ross Sea region.

Canterbury University scientists are back home after a month on the ice. Source: 1 NEWS



NZ pledges further $1.5 million to Pacific Islands Cyclone Gita relief

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will contribute a further $1.5 million to help with the emergency response and early recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

The money is on top of the $750,000 that the Government has already contributed to the relief efforts.

"This additional funding will be directed to Tonga, Samoa and Fiji which have all felt the impact of the cyclone," said Mr Peters.

The storm also pounded Fiji's southernmost islands. Source: 1 NEWS

"A picture of the extent of damage caused by Cyclone Gita is emerging and it is clear a big response and clean-up job lies ahead. We are here to help our neighbours get through this," he said.

This latest funding will be used to replenish New Zealand Red Cross relief supplies in Tonga and provide up to $750,000 for New Zealand NGOs to deliver ongoing emergency relief and early recovery activities in Samoa and Tonga.

Today's announcement brings the total funding allocated for the New Zealand response to Tropical Cyclone Gita to $2,250,000.

Jane Foster said Oxfam is still waiting for contact to be re-established with two of Fiji's southern Lau islands, after the edge of Gita brushed them yesterday. Source: Breakfast

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Body found in Motueka estuary

A body has been found in Motueka, in the Tasman District, today.

Police say the body was found in Motueka estuary. They were called to the scene at 5pm.

They say the body appears to have been there for some time.

The body has not been identified and police are urging anyone with information that might help them identify the person to contact Nelson Police on (03) 546 3840.

Source: 1 NEWS