Across the Ditch: Australia radio’s Peter Godfrey and’s Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin Across the Ditch. This week Weather + Headlines + Cyclone Debbie Downgraded but the deluge has drenched New Zealand.

Weather + Headlines

ITEM ONE – Debbie Deluge Hits New Zealand

New Zealand has been whacked by what is left of Cyclone Debbie, with heavy rainstorms and gales causing havoc mainly in the North Island.

– Landslips occurred in Auckland suburb Kohimarama, initially sparking fears two people were buried under metres of mud. Residents of apartments in the area want to know if the cliffs around Auckland’s eastern city suburbs are stable and safe.

– On Auckland’s North Shore, some homes with multimillion dollar views on the cliff’s edge were in danger of slipping into the sea. A resident reported Wednesday that he woke up to realise half of his backyard was gone and had collapsed into the Hauraki Gulf.

– Flooding occurred in Whanganui on the Central North Island’s west coast.

It is the second time in two years that a supposed one in two hundred year storm has caused floods and a state of civil emergency in that region. The Whanganui River has come close to breaching its 9 metre banks. People have been evacuated from their homes.

A woman driving beside the Waikato River near Ngaruawhahia, about an hour south of Auckland, had her car slide into the river.

She managed to get out and get to the river bank before her car was submerged. Sadly, Police said, no one came to her aid and one person Stodden there filming the woman’s plight on their cellphone.

ITEM TWO – Art Ram Raid Heist

Two art works depicting Maori portraits and valued at around $1 million combined, were stolen this week during a ram raid on an Auckland international art dealership shop.

It’s an interesting story that has caused local Maori to question whose relatives were the subjects in the portraits.

  • Here’s a link to the article in the NZHerald.
  • Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 25 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn is former co-founder of 36th Parallel Assessments ( and has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.