Northlanders who love whitebait can rejoice - whitebaiting season has started again except for on the West Coast of the South Island. The Department of Conservation (DoC) handles whitebait. Whitebait are the juveniles of five species of native fish that grow into adults ranging from 10–60cm long. Four of the five species are categorised as either threatened or at risk. The shortjaw kōkopu is "threatened", while the giant kōkopu, kōaro and inanga are "at risk-declining". The banded kōkopu is not threatened. Whitebaiting season runs until November 30, except for on the West Coast of the South Island, where it runs from September 1 until November 14. During the season, whitebaiting is permitted between 5am and 8pm or between 6am and 9pm when daylight saving starts on September 28. The taking of whitebait at all other times is prohibited.

Mayoral moustache
A Far North man is calling on council chief executive Shaun Clarke to adopt the Mayor's luxuriant moustache to boost his leadership credentials. Submitting to the Far North District Council's Long-Term Plan, Peter Spants said there was no greater surety about a man's leadership credentials than a robust moustache. ''Clearly the prowess of one's moustaches is directly proportional to the strength of one's leadership and resolve, and the magnitude of one's intelligence and respect. A patriarchal lodestone of reverence if there ever was one.'' He urged Shaun Clarke to adopt the mayoral moustache ''in order to enhance the respect and leadership capabilities he already holds''. Spants, who could not be contacted for further details on his moustache proposal, also submitted on road dust, the Twin Coast Cycle Trail and plans for a civic hub on Kaikohe's main street.

Civic hub clarification
North District Council staff based in leased offices in Kerikeri will not have to move back to Kaikohe when a new civic and community hub is built at a cost of more than $11 million. A story in Thursday's Advocate said the hub, to be built on land on Broadway owned by Te Rūnanga-ā-iwi o Ngāpuhi, would bring all council staff under one roof, including about 100 employees currently based at the John Butler Centre in Kerikeri — which was the intention when the hub was originally mooted in the council's 2015-25 Long Term Plan. However, a council spokesman said the current plan did not include housing all staff in the hub or moving staff back from Kerikeri. ''No detailed planning has yet been undertaken so it is too early to say how many would transfer to the new site, if any, other than library and service centre staff.'' The focus of the current plan was on ''a shared community space that is not dominated by any one group or organisation''. The council and rūnanga have yet to respond to last week's requests for comment on the civic hub proposal.

Humpback in harbour
A whale spotted in Whangaroa Harbour yesterday could be the same one that was seen in Whangārei Harbour two days earlier, marine mammal expert Ingrid Visser says. The humpback was also spotted off Moureeses Bay, Whananaki, on Thursday, she said.


Movies at the library
It's free Movie Monday at the Central Library in Whangārei on Monday, August 27. People can choose between two movies on the day. Limited seats so let staff know you are going, email