Maori researcher honoured

Ngapuhi academic Aroha Harris has been awarded the inaugural Royal Society Te Aparangi Early Career Researcher Award in Humanities for her contribution to the award-winning Maori history, Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History.

Dr Harris, a senior lecturer in history at Auckland University, co-wrote the book with Atholl Anderson and the late Dame Judith Binney. She was lead author of the final section, exploring the sociocultural history of 20th-century Maori.

"This award is a wonderful recognition of Maori history. I'm very proud," she said. Dr Harris (Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa) has been a member of the Waitangi Tribunal since 2008 and president of the New Zealand Historical Association since 2015. This year she became president-elect of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.

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Thieves target vehicles

Thieves have stolen or tried to break into 11 vehicles in a week in the Whangarei suburbs of Kensington, Tikipunga and Kamo.

Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe urged people to follow simple crime prevention advice and remove valuable items and lock all vehicles. He said most of the crimes were at night and the vehicles had been parked both on private property and on the street.

Outrageous oyster antics

Judges will be looking for genuinely bad eating habits at an oyster-eating competition at the Oyster Festival, at the Old Packhouse market in Kerikeri, on Saturday.

Past contenders have eaten oysters from the ground, off a shoe and through a beard. There will also be other oyster-related activities, a magician, helicopter rides (weather permitting), prize draws and Leonard Cohen tribute band Imperfect Offering, from 9.30am to 1pm. Competitions will be at about 11am.

Blaze wrecks rural home

A house has been destroyed by fire in a remote part of Northland. The blaze, in a small, single-storey dwelling on Motuti Rd, in North Hokianga, was reported about 4.15pm on Tuesday.

No one was home at the time. Firefighters responded from Kohukohu, Broadwood, Ahipara and Kaitaia, but with the Kaitaia brigade facing an hour-long drive and the others not much less, there was little left to save.

A fire investigator was at the scene yesterday. The house was a short distance from Motuti Marae and St Mary's Church, resting place of Bishop Pompallier.