Blaze near home investigated

Fire investigators are still trying to establish the cause of a blaze that threatened a Far North home and swept through 5ha of pine slash and forest. Firefighters were called to Whangape Rd, on the west coast south of Herekino, about 12.20pm on Tuesday. The fire was on steep terrain and difficult to reach from the road so about 20 volunteers from the Kaitaia and Ahipara brigades concentrated on protecting the house while helicopters using monsoon buckets managed to contain the fire by 4pm. Investigators from the Northern Rural Fire Authority were at the scene yesterday looking for clues.

Groups plan Christmas tree display

From December 6 -24 there will be a festive display of more than 40 Christmas trees decorated by community groups in Whangarei. The display will be open from 10am-1pm and 6.30pm-9.30pm daily at St John's Golden Church, 149 Kamo Rd. Each Friday morning there will be a cafe amongst the trees.


Racing festival to return

The Interislander Summer Festival will be galloping on to the Ruakaka Racetrack again on January 6, with grassroots racing action, live music and all-day kids entertainment.
A firm favourite, the 2016/2017 summer series features 36 events at holiday hotspots, from Ruakaka in the north, to Waikouaiti in the south. Whangarei Racing Club spokeswoman Rebecca Swords said the annual festival has kept growing in popularity. "The Interislander Summer Festival has carved out a loyal following in Whangarei over the past 11 years, and we're gearing up for another successful event."

Guest soloist for carol service

The Waipu Carol Service will be on December 18, with local performer, Hayden Tee, who is home visiting family for Christmas, as the guest soloist. Tee, from Maungaturoto, has forged a successful theatrical career overseas, most recently starring in the main role of Inspector Javert in Les Miserable on Broadway, and all set to perform the role again in London's West End in January. The night of carols will be in the Celtic Barn from 8pm.