Port shift challenged

Shifting the Port of Auckland to Northport makes little sense, according to the head the head of the country's biggest transport firm Mainfreight, Don Braid.

A feasibility study on moving some of the Auckland's port work to Northport, at Marsden Pt, was one of the concessions won by NZ First in its coalition deal with Labour.

"I think it's dumb to be quite honest, the rail network couldn't cope, and I don't think there's too much thought gone in to whether that can work or not," he said on Radio NZ.

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The Auckland port is the second largest in the country, but attempts to enlarge its wharves into the harbour have attracted strong opposition. The port company, which is totally owned by the Auckland Council, earlier this month issued a 30-year master plan on how it might operate ahead of a possible relocation.

Bus crash injuries
A bus crash in the Far North resulted in seven passengers suffering minor injuries yesterday. A police spokesperson said police were alerted to the crash near Te Paki on Te Paki Stream Rd, abut 2.30pm. An ambulance was called to Waitiki Landing where the passengers were taken. No other vehicles were involved.

Keeping safe
Citizens Advice Bureau Whangarei is offering a free information session on keeping yourself safe in New Zealand. The information is targeted at new migrants learning survival strategies in a new country, but all are welcome. Whangarei Police officer James Calvert will present ideas on personal, family, home, car and business safety plans, with tips and tricks learned from policing over many years. The session is next Thursday at the CAB rooms, Municipal Building on Bank St, starting at 5.30pm with refreshments, and finishing by 7pm.

Epilepsy month
November is "Let's talk about Epilepsy" month and Epilepsy NZ is hosting a free Understanding Epilepsy seminar in Whangarei at the end of the month.
Up to 2 per cent of New Zealanders will develop epilepsy during their lifetime. The seminar aims to help people living with epilepsy and their family and colleagues to understand it better. Issues covered will include Defining epilepsy, causes, recognition of seizure types, first aid for seizures, seizure triggers, recording seizures, principles of anti-epileptic medication and lifestyle issues.
For more information email northland@epilepsy.org.nz.

Geoscience research opportunity
A Northland woman is heading to the United Kingdom this month to complete a year-long internship at the British Geological Survey. Kelsey Ferris, an ex-Whangarei Girls' High School student, has just completed her third year of a Bachelor of Science (Technology) majoring in biotechnology at the University of Waikato. Ms Ferris will be based in the British Geological Survey's inorganic chemistry labs in Nottingham and will work on a range of commercial and strategic projects linked to environmental geoscience research. Ms Ferris plans to take time to travel while she's based in Nottingham, including Anzac Cove on Anzac Day and ballooning in Turkey. She has a 12-month fixed-term contract with the possibility of extending it to two years.

Appeal for family
An appeal has been launched to help a Kaikohe family who lost everything they owned when their home went up in flames within minutes on Thursday morning. The solo mum and her kids - girls aged 9 and 7 and a boy of 2 - are staying with whanau but are in urgent need of bedding (blankets, sheets, pillows, pyjamas), towels, toiletries, clothing for mum and the kids, and kitchenware. Volunteers to help pick up donated items and deliver them to Te Hau Ora o Ngapuhi in Kaikohe are also needed. Call Louise on 022 658 0204 or Te Ropu on (09) 405 2647 if you can help.