Relocated kiwi in Pukenui Western Hills

A kiwi sitting on an egg in the Pukenui Western Hills has undergone intervention after a previous egg he sat on until full term failed to hatch. That egg had never been viable. No-one is criticising the parenting skills of first time dad Waimarie, but Pukenui Western Hills Forest Trust rangers have taken the second egg to be incubated at the Whangārei Bird Recovery Centre at Kiwi North.

The decision came after concerns about the length of time Waimarie had been sitting on eggs. Male kiwi do the majority of egg minding. Chuckles, another male among 12 birds released in the hills on Whangārei's edge in March, successfully saw his first offspring hatch in late October.

Marlin Hotel goes smokefree

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A well-known Whangaroa Harbour pub may be the first in Northland to go completely smokefree although smoked marlin is still allowed on the menu. The new owners of the Marlin Hotel closed it for renovations when they bought it in August and have reopened as a family friendly hotel and restaurant. Smoking doesn't fit with the new look and feel, chef and manager Paul Condron said. As well as tobacco, the bar leaners and pool table have also gone in the switch to a less pub-like atmosphere. The Marlin Hotel joins 34 other premises offering smokefree outdoor dining in Northland.

Teen arrested for robbery

A 15-year-old has been arrested in relation to an aggravated robbery of a dairy on Broadway, Kaikohe, in which shop staff were allegedly threatened with a filleting knife. The incident occurred about 12.30pm on Sunday, less than 24 hours after an unrelated armed robbery at Waipapa Superette. Police used CCTV to identify the offender's clothing, and the clothing he switched into outside the dairy, then found him during a search of the area. They also located a 13-year-old who was involved in the clothing swap. The 15-year-old appeared in the Kaikohe Youth Court on Monday while the younger boy was referred to Youth Aid. Police recovered the knife and some of the cash. The rest was apparently shared out among friends.

Housing repair grants given

Four Northland iwi providers are among 24 to receive grants for house repairs from the Māori Housing Network, totalling $5.8 million nationwide. The grants to Tai Tokerau groups are $350,000 to Ki A Ora Ngātiwai Trust, Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa $230,000, He Iwi Kotahi Tātou Trust $240,000 and Te Rūnanga A Iwi O Ngāpuhi $180,000. The Minister of Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, announced the funding at the National Māori Housing Conference in Waikato yesterday.