Downpour damages gallery

A Kerikeri business is still mopping up after Saturday's torrential rain brought down ceiling tiles and damaged artworks. Rain entered via the roof of Masterpieces Gallery, on the ground floor of the clocktower building at the corner of Kerikeri and Cobham roads, in at least two places.

Gallery owner Ian McConnachie said on Facebook he had been forced to close the business until the leaks could be repaired. The roof had been replaced just two weeks earlier, he said. He was overseas yesterday and couldn't be contacted but is expected back in Kerikeri late today. According to Niwa figures Kerikeri copped 96mm of rain between midnight and 6pm on Saturday, more than half its average rainfall for the entire month of June.

Chocolate roadshow in town

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The Cadbury Share the Taste road trip will be in Northland this week where the Cadbury team will be providing special stickers that people can use to personalise a block of chocolate for that special person they want to share it with. Cadbury will be keeping track of the most popular people Cadbury lovers choose to share their chocolate with and reveal the results on World Chocolate Day.

The roadshow will be at Kerikeri's Proctor Library today from 9am to 12 noon, then at Kawakawa Four Square from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. Tomorrow it will be at the Laneway, in Whangārei, from 9am to 12noon.

Bridges touring North

Opposition leader Simon Bridges continues his nationwide "connecting with communities" tour tomorrow with three stops in the Mid North in a day. From 10-11am he will host a public meeting at the Kaikohe RSA at 158 Broadway, followed by a public lunch at Amazing Thai, at 78 Marsden Rd in Paihia, and finally a public meeting from 3-4pm at the Kerikeri RSA at 37 Cobham Rd.

Weeding bee

Conservation group Living Waters is holding a working bee at Pipiroa Bay, near Russell, from 2-4pm tomorrow, June 7.

Volunteers are needed to help plant wetland plants on the western side of the bay (bring gumboots or footwear you don't mind getting wet), as well as removing weeds along the walkway such as ginger, tobacco weed, blue iris and pest vines. Bring a grubber, spade or sickle.

Meet at Pipiroa Bay, near the ferry landing at Okiato, at 2pm if you're keen to lend a hand.

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Broadband performance monitoring

The Commerce Commission is looking for 3000 households to be part of a nationwide programme to monitor and improve New Zealand's broadband performance.

The aim, Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said, was to provide consumers with independent information on broadband performance across different providers, plans and technologies, to help them select the best broadband for their household, while "shining a light on actual broadband performance" would encourage telco providers to compete on performance and not just price.

Volunteers were needed in all parts of the country, of all ages, and on all types of broadband technologies, plans and providers. They would be provided with a whitebox (similar to a modem) to plug in at home, which would perform automated tests on the home's internet performance at different times of the day.

It would not record any personal information or browsing history, or interfere with the internet service. Go to www.comcom.govt.nz/broadbandvolunteer for more.