Manslaughter accused to stand trial

A Northlander accused of causing the death of a Kaikohe man has elected a jury trial.

Patrick Dennis Tarawa, 21, entered a plea of not guilty to one charge of manslaughter when he appeared for a callover in the High Court at Whangarei yesterday.

He allegedly wounded Christopher Vujcich in Kaikohe on January 19 during what is believed to have been a road-rage incident. The 58-year-old died in the Bay of Islands Hospital the next day. Tarawa's trial will start on November 19.

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Ngati Manu commemorate signing of treaty

Members of the Bay of Islands hapu Ngati Manu will today commemorate the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi by their ancestor Pomare II at Opua 178 years ago to the day.

This year's celebrations of Te Ra o Pomare II (Pomare II Day) start with a powhiri at 9am at Karetu marae and include a waka ride on the Taumarere River, sharing history and planting native trees. The hapu will also host a delegation from Taiwan led by MP Kola Yotaka, a member of one of the island's 16 indigenous tribal groups.

North Hokianga A&P show cancelled

The 104th North Hokianga A&P show, which was to have taken place at the Broadwood showgrounds today, has been cancelled due to heavy rain earlier this week. Organisers said more than 400mm of rain had fallen at Broadwood over the past six weeks, reducing parts of the grounds to a quagmire. Some areas were under several metres of water on Tuesday. It is thought to be more than 25 years since the show was last cancelled. Entry fees will be refunded.

Backpack thieves top appear in court

Two opportunistic thieves tried to run off with backpacks but were caught a short distance away. Two people placed their backpacks on a park bench in the rose gardens, behind the Whangarei Library and stepped about 10m away to sit down about 4.30pm on Wednesday.

A male and a female approached the park bench where the bags were located and one offender uplifted both bags from the bench. The victims called police immediately and two people were apprehended a short distance away. An 18-year-old female faces two charges of demands with intent to steal and will appear in the Whangarei District Court on February 26.

Applications for Hauora Maori Scholarships open

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. Details are available on the Ministry of Health website.

Seaweek is here

It's time to show your local beach some love as a part of Seaweek in March.
Schools and community groups can grab a free kit by going to the Northland Regional Council and registering online.

The kit contains a beach clean-up guide, gloves (if required), sunblock, rubbish bags, tide tables, posters and more. Register your school or community group by March 9. Beach clean-ups can take place outside of Seaweek.

Whangarei Girls High School presented with Enviroschools Bronze

NRC Deputy Chairman David Sinclair presented Whangarei Girls High School with a framed certificate and colourful sign to mark their achievement of Enviroschools Bronze on Wednesday. This school community is carrying out a variety of learning and action for a sustainable future including pest control, sustainable business, recycling and working with the Bream Head Conservation Trust.

Male appears in court after robbery

A male youth has been arrested following the aggravated robbery of a Whangarei dairy. He will appear in the Whangarei Youth Court. The robbery on Monday saw two people go into the Daffodil Dairy on Maunu Rd and demand cigarettes and cash. It's believed a hammer was involved. Police are making inquiries to find the second person involved in the robbery.