Road surface delay

Expected bad weather has forced a delay in the start of work to resurface State Highway 1 through the Mangamuka Gorge in the Far North. The work, which was due to begin this weekend, will not now start until Saturday, February 17, at the earliest.

The original plan was for full-width resurfacing of a number of separate areas through the gorge. The new plan is to close the highway between Mangamuka and Kaitaia from 7am to 6pm daily on February 17, 18 and 19. Two further three-day closures, planned for the following weekends, will be required to finish the resurfacing.

These dates will depend on the weather and will be confirmed closer to the time.

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Threatening to kill

A Whangarei painter has been remanded in custody on charges of carrying a pistol and threatening to kill. Michael Te Nana, 32, appeared in the Whangarei District Court yesterday on charges of possession of a pipe for smoking meth, unlawfully carrying a firearm and threatening to kill.

The alleged incidents occurred in Kamo on January 29.
Te Nana will reappear for a bail application on February 14. He has yet to enter pleas.

Adding polish to your pen

A writing workshop for beginners is being held in Whangarei tomorrow. The workshop, which is also a fundraiser for the Northland Branch of the NZ Society of Authors, will be led by award-winning author, experienced tutor, mentor/assessor for NZSA (PEN Inc.) Diana Menefy.

It will be held at the Motel Sierra on Western Hills Dr from 9am to 4.30pm. Spaces are limited and bookings are essential. To book or for more information contact: Suzanne Chappell on suzanne@achesaway.co.nz.

Public-bought reserve opens

A 112 hectare native Northland forest that was bought through a public fundraising to stop it being developed will have a formal public opening next month. Thanks to the generosity of the public last year, the Native Forest Restoration Trust bought 112 hectares of important native forest in the Wekaweka Valley, in South Hokianga. The area is now protected and the official opening of the Wekaweka Valley Reserve will be held on March 17. The event will start at 11.15am at 1198 Wekaweka Road, Waimamaku. Spaces are limited so those wanting to attend, or for more details, can email Sue at admin@nznfrt.org.nz.

Hunt for water leak
The Whangarei District Council is working to identify the source of a large water leak on Pohe Island, in the vicinity of Dave Culham Drive. Staff isolated the water near the public toilets yesterday morning in a way that maintains water to the toilets, but may affect the water supply to the dog park and the old recycling building. No other premises are affected. Work on identifying the leak is continuing .