Highway down to one lane

State Highway 11 past Lemons Hill, between Kawakawa and Opua in the Bay of Islands, will be reduced to one-lane traffic during the day next week. The road will open to one lane under stop/go traffic management from 7.30am to 6pm from Monday to Friday. Road crews will be installing kerbing, channelling and a safety barrier as well as carrying out minor road repairs.

The closure signals the end of five months of work on Lemons Hill after a big slip came down over the road on February 13. The hillside has been stripped of about 50,000 cubic metres of loose material and trees.

There are now five big benches or steps cut into the hillside and new grass and native bush have been planted to aid regeneration. Next week, a specialised concrete-forming machine will be used to build a safety barrier along the roadside. The barrier will keep vehicles away from the edge of the hillside and stop any loose material that washes down the slopes from going onto the road.


Rain and wind watches

Heavy rain and strong wind watches are in place for Northland tomorrow, with up to 70mm of rain possible in 12 hours. MetService has issued the watches as a deep low is forecast to approach New Zealand from the north, directing a strong and moist northeast flow over the upper North Island. MetService said there is a possibility of a deep low moving southeastwards over the upper North Island during Sunday, delivering severe gale easterlies to exposed parts of Northland, Auckland including Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula.

The heavy rain watch is from 6am to 6pm tomorrow, when rain accumulations may reach short-duration warning amounts during this time of 70mm in 12 hours or less. The wind watch is in place from 6am to 9pm with easterlies possibly rising to severe gale in exposed places during this time. King tides and large northeast swell are forecast.
No community board candidates

So far no one has stepped forward to contest an upcoming Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board byelection with nominations due to close at noon on Thursday, July 19. The vacancy was created by the resignation in June of Robert Cassidy, one of two South Hokianga representatives. The board is allowed to appoint a new member if no nominations are received. Nomination forms are available from the council website, www.fndc.govt.nz.

Green videos screened

Whangārei Greens will be screening two Project Drawdown videos on July 25, from 6.30pm at 116 Bank Street, Whangārei, as part of its Green Movie with a Bite series. Project Drawdown was established by a group of scientists and climate change activists, led by Paul Hawken and Joy Ravenhill. The screenings will be followed by a general discussion on how we can find practical solutions locally linked to the June Tai Tokerau Climate Change Action Conference.

Plates open for bids

The bidding is now open for the online auction of items in this year's Northland Craft Trust Great Plate fundraiser and exhibition. More than 80 renowned and emerging artists have donated plates and other artworks for the annual event which raises funds to support Whāngarei art and artists. The Great Plate exhibition opened at the Yvonne Rust Gallery yesterday at 5.30pm and online bidding started on Trade Me at the same time. The auction closes on July 23. The reserve price on the plates is $55. The artists' profiles can be viewed on the Quarry Arts Centre Facebook page, and bids for the works made on www.trade.me/greatplate