Northland police are appealing for sightings of the digger pictured above, the only item of machinery still missing after a $250,000 ram raid at Broadspectrum's Puketona Quarry last weekend.

The brand-new, bright-orange Hitachi ZX17U-5A mini-excavator was not located at either Whakataha Rd in Waimate North or Waiotehue Rd, south of Kaitaia, where the rest of the spoils were recovered in the days after the heist.

If you know where the digger is call Detective Sergeant Chris Fouhy at the Kaikohe station on (09) 405 2960 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Read more: Police recover vast haul of machinery stolen from Puketona Quarry


The thieves tried to torch a stolen truck in an Okaihau gravel pit on Monday morning when they realised it had a GPS tracking unit.

One person, an 18-year-old from Waimate North, has been arrested. Police also seized three guns.

Police chase ends in custody

A man involved in a 45-minute police chase near Whangarei has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance.

Matthew Cook, 21, from Massey in Auckland, appeared in Whangarei District Court on Wednesday on charges of failing to stop, driving without a licence and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

The charges relate to a police pursuit that began after a four wheel drive vehicle was stolen from a central city car park on Tuesday.

Officers spotted the vehicle on Riverside Dr and began a pursuit. The stolen vehicle was driven to Pataua then did a u-turn and was stopped back nearly at the same spot the pursuit started 45 minutes later. Cook will appear again March 12 via a video link.

Youth talks event

The Minister of Youth and the Children's Commissioner will visit Northland next week for youth talks.

Whangarei Youth Space Talks 2018 is a chance for anyone working within the youth sector, or who has a passion for supporting young people, to hear from youth and keynote speakers at the event on Monday, March 12 which kicks off at 1pm.

Youth Minister and Northlander Peeni Henare will be speaking first and will be followed by Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft. Young people will also be sharing their stories at 3.45pm. Visit for more information.


In case you were stumped by the questions on p4 in yesterday's paper (Bookworms impress in Kids Lit Quiz), the answers are: Which Spanish knight thought windmills were his enemy? Don Quixote. What special power do the Jedi use? The Force. Who had a round table so his knights wouldn't fight? King Arthur.