Pikachu was out in force in Whangarei as the Pokemon Go phenomenon that is sweeping the world saw dozens of 'hunters' descend on the Town Basin to search for the creatures.

NorthTec yesterday hosted The Great Pikachu Hunt at the Whangarei Town Basin and more than 100 people of all ages turned up to take part, NorthTec promotion and events co-ordinator Juanita Cleaver said.

Pokemon Go is the latest tech phenomenon sweeping the globe - a smartphone app created by Niantic for Nintendo, based on the original Pokemon series launched in the 1990s. The game uses your mobile phone's GPS and clock to determine a player's location and the time. It then places Pokemon around the map of the area the player is in, and people must go out into the real world to find them.

But yesterday NorthTec had three people dressed as one of the game's creatures, Pikachu, hidden in various locations. Ms Cleaver said the contestants had to take a selfie with each Pikachu then return to the NorthTec base on the Canopy Bridge to receive a prize.

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"We really just wanted to have some fun out of the latest craze so organised a community event to get people out and about at the Town Basin. It was a fantastic event, with people of all ages, from young kids with their parents to teens and older adults taking part."