Whale carcasses buried

The whales that washed up at Taupō Bay this week have been de-boned and buried according to Māori protocol, the Department of Conservation says. The initial plan was to allow the tide to wash out the pygmy right whales, a female about 5m long and a calf of about 2m. But when the whales were still on the beach on Tuesday a group from He Manu Taupunga, led by Ngāti Wai's Hori Parata, helped local hapū Ngāti Rua flense the whales and bury the remains. A DoC spokeswoman said the operation went well and was done in accordance with tikanga. The whales were of a type so rare they have been recorded at sea only about 30 times.

Robbery arrests
Two men charged with the aggravated robbery of the Whangārei ANZ Bank have appeared in court. Junior Mau, 25, labourer of Raumanga, is jointly charged with Te Roa-Paha Zodiac Toa Tuhiwai-Hemara, 23, that they were armed with a sawnoff shotgun and robbed the ANZ Bank of $9360 on March 22. Yesterday the duo did not enter a plea to the charge and were remanded in custody until July 23. At their next appearance in the Whangārei District Court they will apply for bail.

Navy ship's new role
A former navy dive ship called in to Opua yesterday on its way to Australia to start a new role recovering oil from World War II shipwrecks. The former HMNZS Manawanui, commanded by Whangārei's Muzz Kennett, was handed over to Australia's Major Projects Foundation on July 2 and renamed MV Recovery. It will be used to remove oil and fuel from corroding warships, mostly in Melanesia. The ship was built as a North Sea oil tender in 1979 and bought by the navy in 1988. The Manawanui has previously been used to clear unexploded ordnance, also left over from World War II, around the South Pacific.

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Kauri dieback feedback
Anyone interested in having a say in the future management of kauri dieback disease has until 5pm next Monday to make a submission. People who did not attend three recent hui in Northland organised by the Ministry for Primary Industries can have a say as well as those who took part. The consultation document, the current vision and work of the Kauri Dieback Programme, more information about a proposed Pest Management Plan and a voluntary questionnaire are available on www.kauridieback.co.nz/consultation
Foot chase ends in arrest
A 32-year-old man who eluded police in a foot chase around Kaitaia, after taking to the riverbank behind Matthews Ave, on Tuesday was apprehended later in the day found hiding in a car about be to be driven away from a North Rd address. He was held to appear before the Kaitaia District Court yesterday, where police opposed bail, on 19 dishonesty, driving and drug charges. Police were still looking for an alleged co-offender yesterday.

Frozen vege recall
A frozen vegetable range that could prove deadly is being recalled, with people advised to check their freezers. Greenyard Frozen UK is recalling all batches of Bell Farms brand Steam Veggies carrot, corn, and broccoli due to the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes. The products have been associated with 47 cases of listeriosis and nine deaths overseas. The product is sold in Countdown, SuperValue and FreshChoice supermarkets. Customers should return the products to the retailer for a full refund.