Cause of house blaze points to fireworks

A fire that caused extensive damage to a Maunu home might have started with fireworks, said Fire and Emergency risk management officer Roy Brickle. While he was unable to determine exactly how the fire started on Sunday night the most likely possibility was fireworks. Smoke alarms alerted a couple in time to get out of the house.

The fire was mainly contained to the roof and ceiling but smoke badly damaged the rest of the house. It is also unclear what caused a fire at an Aratapu house near Dargaville, but two young boys have been credited with keeping the blaze under control until firefighters arrived by throwing buckets of water on to the external wall.

Youths arrested after burglary


Footage from a personal security camera worn by a security guard pieced together with more from community street cameras has led to the arrest of two male youths in Dargaville. The youths are alleged to have broken into the Anzac Theatre, on Hokianga Rd, about 3.30am on Saturday.

A security guard went to the theatre as part of his rounds and discovered the youths, one allegedly armed with a knife. Police said the footage allowed them to identify the youths and one was arrested on Tuesday and the other yesterday. Both have been charged with burglary with a weapon. They have been referred to the Youth Aid section.

Student wins poster contest

A Te Kāpehu Whetū student has won a national poster competition designed to increase awareness about antibiotic resistance and the importance of hand washing. The Health Quality & Safety Commission partnered with ACC and the Ministry of Health for Patient Safety Week to raise awareness about infection prevention and control, and the importance of good hand hygiene.

As part of Patient Safety Week a poster competition was run in schools nationwide last term for pupils in Years 5 to 8. The aim was to increase awareness about antibiotic resistance, and the importance of frequent hand washing to prevent minor illnesses. The best regional entry was won by Te Kāpehu Whetū student Melody Brown, who received a special edition speed+ Micro scooter as her prize.

Whangārei car chase causes a stir

There was a bit of excitement in Whangārei yesterday when officers were in a pursuit with a stolen Mitsubishi Galant about 1.30pm. The chase went through Western Hills Drive, Rust Ave, the CBD, then on to Hātea Drive where it was decided the safety of the public was more important than continuing.

Some smart detective work led police to a stolen car abandoned behind a house on a Kensington St soon afterwards. Police have a good lead on who the driver was, but would love to know if anyone who saw the chase took any photos or video footage.If you can help please email it to


Phantom coming to Whangārei
The Phantom of the Opera will be the major stage show produced by Whangārei Theatre Company next year. The musical by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber tells the story of the Phantom, who hides in a shadowy existence far beneath the splendour of the Paris Opera House, and the love he has for his beautiful protegee Christine.

The show contains many well-known and highly memorable songs. WTC president Barbara Trimmer said she is delighted the company is producing another big show in Forum North. Auditions were held last weekend. WTC would like to hear from anyone who is keen to help back-stage.