Police graduation

Ninety-eight recruits celebrated the start of an exciting and rewarding career at the Wing 318 graduation today. Wing 318 patron Laulu Mac Leauanae, chief executive for the Ministry of Pacific Peoples, will be at the graduation. Other recruits will go to Waitemata 15, Auckland 8, Counties Manukau 16, Waikato 9, Bay of Plenty 5, Eastern 4, Central 7, Wellington 10, Tasman 1, Canterbury 12 and Southern 6.

Court workers march
About 30 court employees marched in central Whangārei yesterday over stalled pay negotiations for female employees. They are members of the Public Service Association whose roles include court security, registry, collections, Family Court co-ordination, court reporting for the national transcription service, and court services. The staff waved placards outside the court building and marched down Bank St and on to Rathbone St for two hours between 10.30am and 12.30pm yesterday. Dargaville, Kaikohe and Kaitaia were also taking action. The PSA has 77 members working in Northland courts.

Break-in alert
The good news for the couple whose suspicious behaviour was reported to the police in Kaitaia was that it was their own van they were trying to break into with a crowbar. The bad news — the man had two warrants to arrest, which were executed.

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House fire reminder
The fire that gutted a house on Puketotara Rd, between Kerikeri and Ōkaihau, on Saturday evening was most likely caused by heat from a fireplace igniting something combustible, according to fire safety officer Jason Goffin. The blaze, he said, served as a reminder of the 'metre heater rule' — that anything combustible must be kept at least a metre from any heat source, including, as in this case, an enclosed wood burner.

New training building
The R Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust will move into its new, two-storey premises at the end of the Opua wharf at 9am on Sunday. The building replaces a single-storey shed the trust outgrew long ago.

Speech competition
Entries have opened for a speech competition all about inspiring youth to reflect on Waitangi Day. Waitangi Treaty Grounds is holding its Waitangi Day Speech Competition and this year the theme is "what does Waitangi Day mean to me?" The winning student will receive return travel for two to the Bay of Islands with Air New Zealand, accommodation in Paihia courtesy of Westpac NZ, and VIP attendance at
Waitangi Week functions on the February 5 and 6. The winner also will also get a certificate, a taonga and a carved trophy for their school to display. Entries to the competition close on September 28. For more information visit waitangi.org.nz/education/speech-competition .