Santas running

Anyone whose idea of Christmas-related fun is running around in a Santa suit can register for the Great New Zealand Santa Run, to be staged all around the country, including in Whangārei and Kerikeri on Wednesday.

The event will start on the Kerikeri Domain and the Whangārei Canopy Bridge at 6.30pm, with the courses kept easy so all Santas can finish with minimal training.

Every entrant will receive a Santa suit (trousers or skirt, top, hat, belt and beard) in return for their entry fee. Kids under 13 will get a Santa hat.

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In past years runners have embellished their costumes, or made their own.
Go to www.santarun.co.nz to register or for more information.

Talking up vanlife

Living up the travellers' line that where there's a Kombi there's usually a Kiwi, the latest Lonely Planet guide is all about ''vanlife''. The company's latest offering is The Vanlife Companion, in which Northland and the Bay of Islands feature, along with the Southern Alps Circuit, among 20 of the world's best long-distance driving routes.

Campervan life is hardly new — ask any traveller, hippy or surfer from the 1960s and '70s — but there is a whole new expectation of a van trip. Section one of The Vanlife Companion offers practical advice on choosing and fitting a van, section two profiles 10 trailblazing vanlifers, their vehicles and experiences, and section three is all about today's best roadtrip routes. The book will be on sale from next week.

Police help online

Northlanders can make reports of lost property and property damage online through a new reporting tool on the police website. The offering is being run as a trial, though police plan to expand the service so people can make other non-emergency reports online.

"Online reporting is part of our plan to transform the services we provide to the public," says the Assistant Commissioner Service, Jevon McSkimming. "We want New Zealanders to be able to connect with us anywhere, any time. Digital technologies present new opportunities for us to provide new and improved ways to access and receive policing services." The public will still be able to make reports through their local police stations or over the phone. To access Online Reporting go to www.police.govt.nz

Herekino School Gala

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The Herekino School Gala is on this Saturday from 10am to 2pm offering activities, food and entertainment including chair-o-plane rides, bouncy castle, rock climbing, mini jeeps, hammer nail drive, gumboot throw "and much more...".