Tsunami info boards

Whangarei beachgoers can now boost their tsunami readiness using new information boards at popular district beaches. Nine tsunami information boards have been put up at the Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving Club carpark, Mair Road carpark and Ruakaka racecourse beach access, One Tree Point boat ramp and Marsden Cove marina, the Uretiti Beach carpark near the Department of Conservation campground and Tip Road carpark, Tutukaka boat ramp and Ngunguru estuary near the shops. The large information boards, in distinctive civil defence blue and yellow colours, are part of a six-month pilot with more expected to follow. They contain large colour-coded maps showing people in each area where to head to if a tsunami is coming.

Santa Parade on December 2
Kaitaia's Santa Parade, Carnival and Christmas in the Park will be held on December 2. Santa will be back and ready to travel down the main street as the star of the parade. The Far North Avocado Festival Trust has been working for several months to plan a fun-packed family day with events for all ages. Early in the day there will be basketball and skate competitions, as well as a bouncy castle, and other rides and entertainment at Jaycee Park and Te Ahu. The parade will kick off at 1pm, where community and business groups are invited to enter floats. Santa will be spreading Christmas cheer and taking wish-lists from children at Te Ahu, with two sessions available for a free digital Santa photo, 10am-11am and 2pm-3pm. A revitalised Kaitaia Christmas in the Park will be at A&P Park from 5pm.

Theft prompts donation
An Opua business owner has donated to a charity for sick kids to make up for the theft of a donation box. On October 4 a Kidney Kids donation box containing an estimated $50 was stolen from the counter of Kerikeri Sushi Gallery. Thanks to CCTV footage and information from the public a 34-year-old Kerikeri man was arrested a few days later but neither box nor money was recovered. The incident prompted Reece Hesketh, of Opua, to donate $50 to Kidney Kids via the fundraising site Givealittle to make up for the loss. ''When you see an injustice like that you want to do something to undo the injustice ... Plus I have a total dislike for stealing, especially from a charity,'' he said.

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Files to be scanned
The Far North District Council plans to scan and store electronically about 50,000 property and resource consent files, which are at its Kaikohe headquarters. The council is scanning the files, which comprise 6 to 7 million pieces of paper, so they are easier to access and more secure. About 50,000 property files and resource consents will be unavailable for 10 days in November while the major project to scan and electronically store them is carried out.