Paddle crab warning

The Northland Regional Council is urging the public to keep an eye out for the Asian paddle crab, which it says is an aggressive predator that out-competes and displaces native species, and as highly detrimental to recreational and commercial shellfish stocks.

The crab's larvae arrive via heavy boat fouling or in sea chests and ballast water, and are spread widely by tides and currents. The crabs are relatively large - up to 12cm across, with paddle-like hind legs.

They range from pale green or olive-green to a deep chestnut-brown, with purplish markings on the shell. They are typically found in sandy or muddy estuaries. Anyone who has seen or suspects the presence of species should contact the council immediately. Call the council's toll free 24/7 Environmental hotline is 0800 504 639.


Parua Bay Arts, Craft & Food show returns

The Parua Bay Arts, Craft & Food show is back again on Queen's Birthday Monday, for the 13th year. Having now grown too big for the local kindergarten and school, Jodie Hannam of Northland Events was asked by the school to "take it on" to ensure that it stays in the community.

Jodie has previously helped run the event four times so is an old hand at putting it together, although she admits to "being a bit nervous to be doing it on her own without all the help of wonderful parent volunteers we've had in previous years".

Parua Bay Arts, Craft & Food Show is on June 4 from 9pm to 3pm at Parua Bay Community Centre, with over 100 stalls of unique handmade products and foods and plenty of family fun and entertainment.

Learner driver leads police on chase

A 17-year-old learner driver was arrested after allegedly leading police on a short pursuit in Dargaville. The teenager was allegedly driving a stolen Toyota Land cruiser about 9.30pm on Saturday and tried to fill up at Mobil in Dargaville but was refused. Acting Senior Sergeant Ryan Gray said the vehicle was located by police about an hour later on River Rd and a pursuit ensued. The driver was arrested after he ran out of petrol on Pouto Rd. He's expected to appear in the Whangarei District Court today on charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and failing to stop.

Aucklander wins $1m Lotto

An Aucklander is $1 million richer after winning Lotto First Division on Saturday night. The winning ticket was sold on MyLotto. Powerball was not struck and has rolled over to Wednesday night, where the jackpot will be $8m. Strike Four also rolled over and will be $200,000 this Wednesday. The winning Lotto numbers were 2, 13, 1718, 36, 37 with Bonus number 40 and Powerball 9. The Strike numbers were 13, 36, 02 and 37.


In a story in Saturday's Advocate (Power pole crashes prove expensive) it said the $60,500 bill for damage and repairs to a Maunu power pole and transformer hit by a driver was sent to the driver. Lines company Northpower said while it seeks to recover costs it is not as simple as billing people and they did not bill that motorist. The $60,500 is the cost of repair following the damage. ''We seek to recover costs where-ever possible but often it's down to the court system and insurers if the incident is deemed to be an accident,'' a Northpower spokesman said.