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

An inaugural national golf tournament, the NZ 9 Hole Masters, will be staged at the Bay of Islands Golf Club in Kerikeri later this year.

The championship tournament will be held over three days and 27 holes, and will be open to men and women aged over 40. About 200 golfers from around New Zealand and possibly overseas are expected.

The event, on November 6-8, will be played on Stableford points with age and handicap divisions.

Mayor John Carter said the tournament was in keeping with the council's policy of encouraging events that brought visitors and economic benefits to the Far North.


"These people are going to be in the Far North for a minimum of three days and possibly longer. It provides a great opportunity to showcase the district and encourage longer stays before and after the actual event," he said.

The tournament has been endorsed by NZ Golf and has the support of the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board, which granted $3000 in seed funding.

President Maurice Penney said the club hoped to capitalise on growth in player numbers in higher age groups by holding a championship event which was challenging but less physically demanding than the traditional 18-hole format.

National events previously hosted by the club include the 1995 Men's Freyberg Masters Tournament, the 1998 Women's Interprovincial Tournament and the 2007 Women's Masters Tournament.

Going, gone ...

A Kerikeri 12-year-old has raised more than $2000 for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ by pledging to shave her head.

Jenna Hetaraka, 12, has raised more than $2200 for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ by offering to cut off her hair. PHOTO / PETER DE GRAAF
Jenna Hetaraka, 12, has raised more than $2200 for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ by offering to cut off her hair. PHOTO / PETER DE GRAAF

Jenna Hetaraka will go under the clippers at Hair By Chris, near the Hobson Ave roundabout, at 10am this Saturday.

Her goal was to reach $750 but as of Monday evening her total on the Shave for a Cure website stood at $2280.

Jenna said she wanted to take part in the fundraiser last year but didn't have long enough hair then.

She confessed to being a little nervous about losing her locks but said she wanted to help people who needed it.

Her dad had boosted her fundraising effort by cajoling his workmates on Nauru into donating. Mum Deborah Wallace said she was proud of Jenna.

"It's a big deal for a 12-year-old to willingly shave her hair off," she said.

Focus refresher

Focus Paihia is holding a public meeting from 6.30pm today to refresh its Paihia Masterplan and discuss the group's future priorities. The meeting will be at the Scenic Hotel on the corner of Seaview and MacMurray Rd.

Bazaar returns

The popular Riverview School bazaar is returning on Sunday, September 14, with new adventure activities for the kids including a chance to race around a track inside a large inflatable ball called a Zorb.

Extreme fisherman Matt Watson gets a dunking at last year's Riverview School bazaar. PHOTO/PETER DE GRAAF
Extreme fisherman Matt Watson gets a dunking at last year's Riverview School bazaar. PHOTO/PETER DE GRAAF

Auckland company Go Vertical will also bring its bungy trampolines, a maze obstacle course and "Extreme Cannonball Blasters".

The bazaar is known for its food hall, which will this year offer hamburgers, lamb on a spit, curry, nachos, sushi, salad, waffles and ice cream sundaes. Hangi packs can be pre-ordered for $10 from the school office.

Other attractions will include a silent auction, a "Tunnel of Doom", face painting, a police radar race, water dunk and second-hand stalls offering clothing, books, kitchenware, outdoor equipment, toys and furniture.

The bazaar, the school's main fundraising event, will run from 11am to 3pm on Kerikeri's Riverview Rd. It will be opened by the school kapa haka group at 10.45am on the grass area by the new classroom block. Come dressed as a pirate to be part of this year's theme.

Kaikohe expo

A seminar aiming to help businesses combat shoplifting was such a success in Kerikeri earlier this month it will be repeated in Kaikohe.

No date has been set as yet for the Kaikohe expo, but it is expected to be in the next month, Far North police Senior Sergeant Chris McLellan says.

The Kerikeri expo, a joint initiative by police and the Kerikeri Business Association, drew about 50 people representing everything from one-man businesses to national retail chains. It was even attended by a West Auckland community patrol group who read about the seminar on the Advocate's website.

Mr McLellan said the topics covered included shoplifting trends, detection techniques, technology and tips for preventing theft.

Two shoplifters were nabbed in Waipapa last week after they were spotted by store staff who had attended the expo.

Offenders help

Offenders serving community-based sentences in Northland were among those helping clean up after July's storm.

Community Corrections centres at Kaikohe and Kaitaia worked with the Far North District Council to collect debris from Paihia beaches, remove rubbish and a downed tree at Ahipara Golf Club, and clean up a marae near Mangonui and the green at Coopers Beach Bowling Club.

Probation manager Pauline Hopa said it was a chance for offenders to take responsibility for their actions and contribute in a way that benefited the whole community.

Kerikeri's champ

A young Kerikeri fitness fanatic has claimed a world championship following her performance at an international crossfit challenge in the US.

Alannah Rihari, 16, took out the junior varsity division of the Teen Gauntlet Gathering in San Diego, emerging victorious after three gruelling days of crossfit challenges.

Representing Kerikeri Crossfit Konka, Rihari claimed the title from a field of about 50 contestants from around the world.

Trainer Stern Arama, who accompanied Rihari to the US, was unequivocal about his charge's performance at the event.

"She was awesome. Since she's come back, it's almost like she's seen the light. She was pretty focused before she left, but it's like now she's become inspired to train harder."

They formed part of a 40-strong New Zealand contingent including 13 athletes taking part in various crossfit events and conferences.

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