ArtBeat a finalist

ArtBeat has been announced as a finalist in the Best Community Event category at the NZEA Event Awards for 2018. The annual free interactive art festival, organised by Creative Northland, is the only finalist from Northland in this year's awards. It is up against Hawke's Bay Christmas at the Park run by Kaisen Charitable Trust, HighLight: Carnival of Lights 2017 run by Hutt City Council, IRONMĀORI Taupō-nui-a-Tia 2018 run by Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board and Light Up Bike Spectacle by the Whanganui District Council for the crown. All category winners will be announced at the NZEA Event Awards function to be held in Auckland on 26 March 2019 at Shed 10.

Woman critical after crash

A 32-year-old Japanese national is in a critical condition in Auckland City Hospital after a two-car crash on Ngunguru Rd near Glenbervie School at 6.30pm on Thursday. Police said they are working with the Japanese consulate to support the family of the woman, who has been in New Zealand on a working holiday since March. Three others were injured in the crash - one received serious injuries and two others had minor injuries.

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Charged for hitting cows
A Northland sharemilker who allegedly violently and repeatedly hit cows will appear in the Whangarei District Court on Monday. The 61-year-old is facing six charges under the Animal Welfare Act relating to alleged ill treatment of animals at a farm in Mangapai, 19km south of Whangarei. The animals were seen on surveillance footage being hit on the head and legs with farm tools and weapons, including a steel pipe. MPI reinvestigated the matter after an earlier inquiry was dropped because of a lack of evidence.

Stars in your eyes

Anyone fancying a Tour of the Zodiac, or a wander through the celestial calendar, is welcome to the final event of the year at Planetarium North tonight. The Northland Astronomical Society hopes the weather behaves so people can also see the comet 46P in the telescopes. Stargazers say expect it to look like a fuzzy blue/green object without a tail. Tonight's Tour of the Zodiac starts at 8pm, $10 for adults and $5 students. Book online or pay at the door. Age restriction is 8 years and older.

Sentencing deferred

Sentencing for a Northlander who has admitted his part in the aggravated robbery of a service station has again been adjourned. Hori Lawrence, 24, of Raumanga, appeared in the Whangarei District Court yesterday for sentencing that could not proceed as he needed more time for treatment at Odyssey House in Auckland. Lawrence robbed the Gas service station in Ruakaka in April. He will reappear on March 15 when his rehabilitation will be reassessed.

Ngāpuhi vote on Treaty plan

Ngāpuhi hapū have been holding and attending hui around Northland as they vote on whether or not to support a new plan to negotiate Treaty claims. The evolved mandate — a plan on how Ngāpuhi's Treaty of Waitangi claims will be negotiated — has been up for vote since November 9. There is both an individual vote and a hapū vote. The individual vote closed yesterday and the last series of hui for hapū to vote are being held this weekend. Before moving to the negotiation phase there would need to be support from 65 per cent of hapū and 75 per cent of individuals. So far all the Whangārei hapū have rejected the evolved mandate.

Scooter death in Rarotonga

A Northland man has died in a scooter crash in Rarotonga. Michael Kemp died on Sunday following a scooter accident on the island. Kemp, who lived in Auckland, was believed to be holidaying on the island as part of the George FM event Spring Break Experience Rarotonga. Cook Islands Police confirmed Kemp had died over the weekend.