Watch: Jim Anderton's son sings Tom Petty's 'I won't back down' before farewelling father in Te Reo Maori

An emotional son of politician and former Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton has sung at his funeral in Christchurch giving a rendition of Tom Petty’s I won't back down.

A large congregation of mourners has gathered at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Addington to farewell Mr Anderton at a Requiem Mass this afternoon.

Among them is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and politicians from across the political spectrum.

Son Chris Anderton fought back tears as he spoke before singing, and he then farewelled his father in Te Reo Maori.

Mr Anderton became a Labour MP in 1984 but after falling out with leadership over economic policy, he established the new Labour Party.

Two new political parties followed Alliance and Progressive, and he retired from politics at the 2011 election.

Mr Anderton died in Christchurch last week aged 79.

The funeral of Anderton, a towering figure in New Zealand's political landscape, was held in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS


Rotorua makes it onto New York Times top places to visit in 2018 list

Rotorua has been named one of the top destinations in the New York Times 52 Places to Go in 2018 list.

Rotorua was the only New Zealand destination to make it onto the prestigious list, coming in at number 45.

Destination Rotorua chief executive Michelle Templer is excited about the possibilities appearing on the list means for the central North Island city.

"This will open the eyes of a new sector of travellers who may not have previously considered Rotorua as a destination."

The blurb describing Rotorua on the New York Times list states that it's a hub of Maori culture featuring sulphurous geysers and mineral-rich hot springs.

The New York Times has a readership of more than nine million people and a huge following on their travel Facebook page.

Pohutu Geyser, Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, Rotorua.
Pohutu Geyser, Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, Rotorua. Source: Getty



Giant burrowing bat fossils unearthed in Central Otago

The fossilised remains of a giant burrowing bat have been unearthed near the Central Otago town of St Bathans.

The remains, which are millions of years old, were found by a team of international scientists from the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. The find was reported in the journal Scientific Reports.

Details about the new fossil bat were released in a statement by Te Papa yesterday, Alan Tennyson from Te Papa was part of the team who made the discovery.

Bones and teeth from the extinct bat were extracted from 16 to 19 million-year-old sediments near St Bathans.

The bat was three times the size of an average bat and weighed in around 40 grams, this makes it the biggest burrowing bat found to date.

Burrowing bats are only found in New Zealand and are so called for the fact that they scurry about the forest floor on all fours to search for food as well as flying.

The new bat has been named Vulcanops jennyworthyae after the Roman god of fire and volcanoes, Vulcan and team member Jenny Worthy who discovered the bat fossils.

The fossil dig site at St Bathans, New Zealand, where the holotype of Vulcanops was found.
The fossil dig site at St Bathans, New Zealand, where the holotype of Vulcanops was found. Source: Trevor Worthy