Wild weather on its way to Northland

Northland's weather could take a turn for the worse on Sunday with MetService saying there's a chance of severe gales and heavy rain in the region. Tomorrow, , a ridge of high pressure will move away eastwards, allowing a moist northeast flow to gradually spread onto the country. On Sunday, there is the chance of severe northeast gales from Northland to Bay of Plenty and Taranaki. MetService said this will coincide with king tides, possibly affecting low-lying eastern areas. There is also moderate confidence that rainfall accumulations will meet warning criteria - 100mm in 24 hours - over Northland, Coromandel Peninsula, and parts of Auckland.

M. bovis tests planned

Northland dairy stock will soon undergo Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) second round of nationwide milk testing for Mycoplasma bovis. Milk samples from every New Zealand dairy farm will be taken shortly after the start of calving when cows are most likely to be shedding the bacterium. Samples will be collected from each farm about four weeks after the start of milk supply. Mycoplasma bovis is difficult to test for as animals can carry the bacteria but not appear ill or show evidence of it in their blood or milk.
Testing when cows are early into lactation and under some physical stress will yield the most accurate results. Farmers won't have to do anything as all test samples will be collected as part of the standard on-tanker test process.


Tracks closed for upgrades

Tracks along the Kauri Coast, on Northland's west coast, will be temporally closed while they are upgraded to prevent the spread of kauri dieback. The Department of Conservation (DOC) is upgrading the tracks between July and December this year. The work includes installing new gravelled tracks, boardwalks, stairways, handrails and a viewing platform. Tracks will be temporarily closed while they're being upgraded to ensure the safety of the public and the contractors. DOC will be working with contractors on the following tracks: Kauri Bushman's Track; Tokatoka Track; Pakotai Track; Yakas Walk; Hauturu Highpoint Track and Waiotemarama Loop Track

Frozen vegetable 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.