Quiet Guy Fawkes night in Northland

Poor weather during the weekend contributed to an unusually quiet Guy Fawkes night for Far North firefighters. Muriwhenua area fire commander Wipari Henwood said there were plenty of calls but whenever firefighters responded they found bonfires which were well under control, which was pleasing.

Concern remained, however, because people may have held on to their fireworks to set them off at a later date, possibly when the fire risk was higher.

The late equinox winds buffeting the district mean vegetation would dry out quickly, negating the effect of recent rain. "We ask people to be vigilant, not light bonfires when there are strong winds and be responsible about lighting fireworks," Mr Henwood said.

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Some public fireworks displays went ahead as planned; others, including at Springbank School near Kerikeri, were postponed. The Springbank event will now be on November 25.

Break-in targets cigarettes

Thieves targeting cigarettes smashed their way in to Okaihau Dairy and Takeaways between 11pm on Friday and 4am on Saturday. CCTV footage showed three offenders smashing the front door and heading straight for the cigarette cabinet, emptying the trays of cigarette packets into bags before fleeing in a car. Call the Kerikeri police station on (09) 407 9211 with any information.

Crime wave in Kaikohe

Police are urging Kaikohe residents to be extra vigilant about security after a series of burglaries and thefts from cars during the weekend. Most of the crimes were around Hillcrest Rd, Harold Ave and Tui St.

In one case, about 10.50pm on Saturday, an intruder tried to enter a bedroom window while the occupant was asleep inside. The noise woke her up and she managed to scare the offender away. Sergeant Ross Laurie, of Mid North police, urged residents to secure their properties, keep their cars locked and not leave anything of value in vehicles.

Tots' cultural day

Tiny tots at Whangarei's Smiths City Childcare Centre will be performing cultural programmes for their parents and teachers on November 14. Teacher Anju Diwan said even though the cultural day was not a huge event, it meant a lot to the staff and parents.

Ministry testing new alerts

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management will hold a nationwide public test of the new emergency mobile alerts system on November 26. The system will complement existing information channels and the test will go to all cellphone networks nationwide.

It will be in daylight hours and everyone will be notified in advance. Before the test, the ministry is asking for people to check their phones are capable of receiving Emergency Mobile Alerts. Check at http://www.civildefence.govt.nz.

In Northland the Emergency Mobile Alerts will be used to notify the public in the most serious emergencies. The system is the one that upset people on October 4 when it sent texts to thousands of New Zealanders at 1.32am.