Tauranga motorists will soon be able to pay for parking via a smartphone app, and a 350-plus strong crowd turned up for a Mayoral Debate in Hastings. These are just two of the stories making headlines around the regions today.

Tauranga motorists will be able to pay for parking via a smartphone app from next month, a move that could save residents more than half a million dollars in a year.

The southerly blast did not stop people flooding through the door to watch the battle of the Hastings mayoral candidates last night as Mayor Lawrence Yule, Councillor Adrienne Pierce and Guy Wellwood fronted a 350-plus strong audience.

Northland police have the blues with staff feeling over-stressed and lacking recognition for their efforts.

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A fallen tree blocking a State Highway lane near Kawerau caused a backlog of traffic this morning.