Driver pleads guilty

An Okaihau man has pleaded guilty to two charges of careless driving causing death while under the influence of alcohol. Glen Stewart McGee, a house painter, appeared in the Kaikohe District Court yesterday in front of a gallery packed with the deceased's' friends and family members.

He was remanded on bail and is due back in court on March 23 for sentencing. McGee was driving a ute that pulled out of a side road on to State Highway 1 north of Ohaeawai on the evening of May 12 last year, colliding with another ute heading south. Two Auckland men, aged 23 and 28, were thrown out of the other vehicle. One died at the scene, the other in hospital.

Nights to get muggier

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Humidity levels in Northland are expected to get worse over the weekend. MetService meteorologist Claire Flynn said northeasterlies dragging warm, humid air from the sub tropics contributed to the humidity which could be as high as 100 per cent at times over the weekend.

Night temperatures in Northland would continue to be in the mid to high 20s while day temperatures would be 19C to 20C, she said.

Kidnapping admission

A Northland man pleaded guilty at the second day of his trial to a raft of charges, including kidnapping. The man, who has name suppression, entered guilty pleas in the High Court at Whangarei to two charges of wounding with intent to injure, three of threatening to kill, and single charges of kidnapping, injuring with intent to injure, common assault, and perverting the course of justice.

He kidnapped a man two years ago and subjected him to prolonged assault. He was remanded in custody for sentencing on April 10.

Bridge works progress

The establishment of the Taipa bridge site office, including the installation of sediment control measures, is nearing completion according to Fulton Hogan's stakeholder liaison manager Jenny Scott said.

The stripping of topsoil and removal of vegetation had begun, after which a start would be made on removing mud from the estuary and installing rock material to construct the causeway on the east side of the river.

That was expected to take about six weeks. The specialist bridge team was scheduled to arrive in April to begin constructing a temporary crossing immediately upstream from where the new Taipa bridge will be built, which will serve as the platform for a large cranes.

Scholarships offer

Applications for health scholarships designed to provide opportunities for Maori in the health and disability have opened. The Hauora Maori Scholarships range in value from $1000 to $10,000. Online applications close on March 28. For details are available on the Ministry of Health website.