Expected storm shifts and postpones events

By Hannah Norton

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A lot of passionate people are happy the Relay for Life event will still take place this weekend. Photo / Ben Fraser
A lot of passionate people are happy the Relay for Life event will still take place this weekend. Photo / Ben Fraser

The Cancer Society Northland's Relay for Life is going ahead this weekend, despite the forecast of a battering from Cyclone Lusi, but other events have been cancelled.

Cancer Society Northland fundraising events co-ordinator Leann Smedley said the event had been shifted from Otaika Sports Park to the LJ Hooker Athletics track in Kensington, and had been reduced from 24 hours to 9.5 hours.

"We've got quite a lot of passionate people who still want to see it go ahead," Mrs Smedley said.

Doors to the event will open at 11am tomorrow, with the opening ceremony at noon.

The survivorship lunch will now be held at the Marist Club Rugby Club, Park Avenue, Kensington. The candle-light ceremony will be held at the Athletics Park from 8pm, with the event coming to a close at about 9.30pm.

Mrs Smedley said she did not think the changes would hugely affect the level of fundraising made from the event.

All relay teams were sent an email with the updates yesterday afternoon, she said. For more information contact Daffodil house 09 4375593 or go to Cancer-Society-Northland Facebook page or www.relay.org.nz.

Circus Aotearoa, a travelling circus performing in William Fraser Memorial Park, has had to cut its show short by two nights, and is packing up the circus tent today.

"With the high winds and a big tent - it'd be crazy to leave it up," said circus director Damian Gordon.

He said people who had purchased tickets could come to William Fraser Memorial Park today and tomorrow to receive refunds. "We just have to suck it up. It's part of being in business, part of being a circus," he said. "It's a shame to leave. The whole Northland tour's been great."

The Outward Bound 3km Fun Run at the Whangarei athletic track tomorrow has been cancelled.

"Due to extreme weather warnings for the Northland area, and advice from Civil Defence, we've made the decision to cancel our Whangarei Fun Run," said Outward Bound spokeswoman Lisa Joe. "Even though Outward Bound encourages people to push their limits, safety is always the first priority."

Details on refunds can be found at eventfinder.co.nz.

The organisers of the Te Houtaewa Challenge - a series of sporting challenges on Ninety Mile Beach tomorrow, including a gruelling 62km ultramarathon - will decide tonight whether to proceed. Contestants will be informed via radio and Facebook (look for Te Houtaewa Challenge). The race has not been cancelled in its 23-year history.

In Waimate North, inland from Kerikeri, the Historic Places Trust is hosting Opera in the Park to commemorate the 28th Maori Battalion and the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino. Singers such as Whangarei's Luke Bird will perform songs with love and family as themes.

The event is due to start at 3pm tomorrow in the grounds of Te Waimate Mission on Te Ahuahu Rd. If the forecast bad weather hits the event will be shifted indoors to the Turner Centre on Kerikeri's Cobham Rd. Door sales will still be available.

Kerikeri Cruising Club had planned a fishing tournament this weekend but it has been postponed. In Paihia, St Patrick's Day festivities planned at 35 Degrees South from 11am-5pm on Sunday will move indoors if the event of bad weather.

Things to do:

The authorities are saying stay indoors tomorrow, given that there's a storm a brewing. Here are five weekend activities for indoors out of the storm.
*Go to the cinema: Oscar-winner 12 Years a Slave and family film Frozen are both showing.
*Visit Kiwi North: See the kiwi and check out the Whangarei Museum collections.
*Visit local art galleries, or Whangarei Art Museum.
*Puzzles, boardgames and reading always pass the time indoors.
*Make your own cinema by making some popcorn and watching a DVD at home.

- Northern Advocate

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