A weekly round-up of news snippets, events and oddities from the Bay of Islands and Mid North.

Teddy treasure

The person who donated a teddy bear to Kerikeri's St John op shop may have given away more than he or she intended.

The distinctive green teddy bear was bought as a pet toy, but while the dog was playing with its new toy the owner discovered a small treasure hidden in the bear's back pocket.

The bear is now a little worse for wear but the treasure is intact, police Constable Judith van de Lande says.


"We're looking for the previous owner who took this teddy to the St John shop. You probably didn't didn't mean to give your beautiful treasure away," she said.

If you are the owner please call into the Kerikeri police station or call (09) 407 9211 on work days between 8.30am and 4.30pm.

St John exercise

Passers-by could have been forgiven for thinking they'd stumbled on a horrible crash on Kerikeri Rd on May 24.

In fact they were witnessing a group of Kaikohe youngsters learning the skills required to volunteer for the emergency services.

The teens have spent a weekend with each of the Far North's emergency services, including fire, St John, Coastguard, Civil Defence and Search and Rescue.

In this case, the Youth in Emergency Services trainees were getting a taste of the work done by the Red Cross, practising triage and personnel welfare procedures as delivered by similar teams after the Canterbury earthquakes and recent floods in the Solomon Islands.

They spent the day at the Red Cross service centre on Butler Rd and helping at the scene of a mock car crash next to BP on Kerikeri Rd.


The programme culminates this Saturday with a major emergency simulation at a rural property near Ngawha Springs.

Robins' return

The reintroduction of toutouwai (North Island robins) to Moturua Island in the Bay of Islands is being helped by the pupils of Russell Primary School.

The Year 7 and 8 pupils marked International Biological Diversity Day by making more than 20 carrying boxes for the mid-June release of up to 50 toutouwai.

The release of the small, friendly birds is another step in Project Island Song, which seeks to restore the wildlife of the eastern Bay of Islands. The birds will be caught in Pureora Forest, near Taupo, where they are plentiful.

Year 8 pupil Albert Clendon liked the idea of returning the birds to the pest-free islands.

"I think it's really important to be part of helping to increase the robin population on Moturua."

Another Year 8 pupil, Wiremu George, also enjoyed making the boxes.

"It was fun to make the boxes so that the toutouwai can come up to the islands, especially as there aren't many of them left up here anymore."

Year 6/7 teacher Lyn Macmillan said hands-on, practical activities like box building were invaluable.

"And the outcome, birds back on the islands, is worthwhile in terms of future generations."

Cash collected

Shoppers at New World in Kaikohe have donated $2500 to two worthy charities: Hospice Mid Northland and Wipe Out, a graffiti removal and education programme.

Shoppers were asked to donate 50c at the till to either cause. The 5000 individual donations added up to $1500 for Hospice and $1000 for Wipe Out.

Eric Rush, a former Rugby Sevens star and now the owner of Kaikohe New World, said Hospice would use the money for new linen and materials for their "Special Time" day therapies in which patients and family could get pampered at a difficult time in their lives.

"Until you use Hospice services, you don't really realise or appreciate what they do for people and their family," he said.

The funding for Wipe Out, previously known as Tag-Off, will help keep the programme going. Wally Te Huia, Kaikohe police youth worker, said the aim was to involve the community in looking after and beautifying the town. "We need to get the message to young people that graffiti and vandalism hurts the people around them," he said.

Entries closing

Entries for the TrustPower Far North Community Awards close at 5pm on Friday.

To nominate a volunteer group or organisation, collect an entry form from any council service centre or www.trustpower.co.nz/communityawards, or call 0800 87 11 11.

More than $5000 is up for grabs, as well as a chance to represent the Far North at the nationals later this year.

* Do you have news or an upcoming event you'd like to see in this column? Send it to us, including your contact details, to: baynews@northernadvocate.co.nz