Medals for NorthTec students

Three NorthTec apprentice students have excelled at the WorldSkills New Zealand national competition held recently at Hamilton's Wintec.
Automotive engineering students, Morgan Lovelace and Scott Pattenden, gained silver and bronze medals respectively, while welding student, Justin Caldwell-Smith, also bagged a bronze.
WorldSkills New Zealand is an independent, non-profit charitable trust founded in 1986, dedicated to encouraging young people to excel in vocational skills.
There are several categories within the competition including cooking, robotics, automotive engineering and welding. Gareth Edwards, NorthTec Automotive Tutor, was one of the judges at the nationals and said winning the medals would open doors for the students.
From the nationals, one competitor from each category is then selected to go on to the International WorldSkills competition which this time will be held in Russia in 2019.

Ute, van collide

Several people were lucky to escape with only minor injuries when a ute and a van collided near Haruru on Thursday. Paihia fire chief Rex Wilson said it appeared a ute coming down the hill on Puketona Rd, near Kaipatiki Rd, had failed to take a slight corner about 5.30pm and ploughed into the side of the Paihia Mountain Bikes van towing a trailer. There were a few people in the van but no one was badly injured, he said. ''They were very lucky. With summer coming up and the roads getting busy, people really need to pay attention and drive with care.''


Kerikeri auditions

Kerikeri Theatre Company is holding auditions this weekend for its summer production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The show will be outdoors at Kainui Rd Vineyard in March, with auditions at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri from 2.30-4.30pm on Sunday.

Mitimiti mussel festival

The tiny west coast settlement of Mitimiti is celebrating all things related to mussels today with its famous Kutai Festival. The event, which is organised by Te Kura o Matihetihe (Matihetihe School), will be hosted by comedian Pio Turei, whose mum hails from Mitimiti, and Tupu Campbell. Apart from masses of kai moana, taniwha burgers and chowder pies, the festival will include kutai-shelling competitions, tug of war, mirimiri (massage), raffles and a silent auction.

Kawakawa principal named

Bay of Islands College in Kawakawa has named Edith Painting-Davis, current head of the school's Reo Rua bilingual unit, as its new principal starting in January 2019. Board of trustees chairwoman Del Bristow said she would replace John Paitai, who had tendered his resignation in May for a ''much-deserved rest'' after 48 years in education, the last five at the college. His service would be acknowledged later this school year. Bristow said Painting-Davis was well-known in the local community, was born and schooled in Kawakawa, studied at Waikato University, and had taught in Whangārei, Auckland and Kawakawa. She would bring high energy and high performance to the role, she said.

Criminal justice consultation

The Government's Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – will visit Northland next week as part of its nationwide consultation to gather information on the criminal justice system.
This is the fourth of 14 visits being held across New Zealand before Christmas to hear from people who have experienced the criminal justice system, as victims of crime or those who have committed crimes, and the groups who work in or with it every day.
The Advisory Group will be in Kaitaia and Kaikohe, on Monday, where it will hold discussions with community groups and others.
The group will also hold a public drop-in clinic in Whangārei on Tuesday at Whangārei Central Library, 5 Rust Avenue, from 1.30pm-4pm.
The Group has been appointed to support the Hāpitia te Oranga Tangata Safe and Effective Justice Programme, which the Government has established to create a more effective criminal justice system, and a safer New Zealand.