Death investigated

Police are investigating an unexplained death which occurred in Waima, in South Hokianga, during the weekend. Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston said the death of the man, aged in his 60s, could have been accidental but police were investigating to ascertain whether there were any suspicious circumstances. Officers had conducted a scene examination on Sunday and carried out interviews yesterday. They were also awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination in Auckland yesterday to establish the cause of death. Police would not comment on how the man died or where he was found at this stage.

Trio faces meth charges

Police made three arrests on methamphetamine charges at Awanui last week, less than two months after the eight-month Operation Ghost culminated in 24 arrests around Northland, six of them in the Kaitaia area. Those charged last week appeared before Judge Greg Davis in the Kaitaia District Court on Thursday. They were Michelle Subritzky, 32, charged with eight counts of supplying methamphetamine, 11 of offering to supply it and two of possession for supply; Teina Marie Subritzky, 49, six charges of supplying, one of possession and one of possession for supply; and Ivan Frederick Tomars, 57, three of offering to supply. All but the simple possession charge carry maximum penalties of life imprisonment. All three were remanded in custody without plea, and will appear again on Tuesday next week to make bail applications.

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Learning support staff strike
Around 40 Northland learning support workers are among 900 nationwide on strike today. NZEI Tai Tokerau field officer Peter Hughes said the workers would be picketing on Riverside Dr in Whangārei from 7.30am to 9am. They were planning another event in central Whangārei at 11am. He said the specialist workers included psychologists, early intervention teachers and language therapists who work with children who have behavioural, psychological and physical issues. He said the workers are raising concerns about the lack of staffing and funding to support the children who need their help.

Kidnapping charge
A 17-year-old girl escaped from a moving vehicle after she was pulled into it while walking along a Whangārei road. Detective Senior Sergeant John Clayton said the girl was walking on Manapouri Rd near Corks Rd when she was pulled into a vehicle about 1pm on Sunday.The girl was able to free herself and escape from the vehicle, a black ute, while it was still moving. A driver who saw the girl jump from the ute stopped to help her. Police would like hear from this driver. Police also believe the black ute may have been involved in an altercation outside the Tikipunga shops at the intersection of Kiripaka and Spedding Roads later the same day. A man has been arrested and charged with kidnapping but police would like to hear from anyone who has information about either incident. Contact Detective Bradshaw at Whangārei Police on 09 4304500, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with any information.

Column by Shane Reti
Correction
The fortnightly column in last Thursday's Whangārei Report was incorrectly attributed to Mayor Sheryl Mai. It was in fact by Whangārei MP Dr Shane Reti. Yesterday's letter from Sue Robertson quoted the same column attributing comments to Mayor Mai, these were from Dr Reti's column not Mayor Mai's. Our apologies for any confusion caused.