Kayakers and other beachgoers are being asked to stay clear of the large number of godwits gathering at Ruakākā Estuary mouth's southern side. Extreme king tides wash over shallower roosting sites in Bream Bay and Whangārei Harbour and cause godwits to move to the higher sandbank at Ruakākā. Although the area is in the protected, high status Ruakākā Wildlife Reserve, people disturb the birds by getting too close, dragging kayaks on to the sandbank and other activities. The high king tides are expected to continue over the weekend.

Alleged thief caught

Gear stolen from a tourists' van parked at Cape Reinga was later recovered by police after the alleged thief was spotted at Te Paki Stream. Sergeant James Calvert said the tourists had left their van locked in the car park at the Cape about 2pm on Thursday. The driver's door was smashed and items taken. The van believed to have been used in the theft was spotted at Te Paki Stream and a 24-year-old man from Auckland, but with links to Northland, was arrested and charged. He appeared in the Kaitaia District Court yesterday and was remanded to reappear at Papakura District Court on February 4.

Councillors return in February

Far North District councillors are taking a break next month with their next full council meeting not scheduled until February 28. The meeting starts at 10am; the venue and agenda have yet to be confirmed. The Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board will hold its first meeting of 2019 at 10.30am on February 13 in the council chambers in Kaikohe while the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board will reconvene at 10am on February 25 (venue to be confirmed).

NZ Chinese heritage programme

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is running a school holiday programme with hands-on activities based around its current photography exhibition, Being Chinese in Aotearoa. Sessions are held from 10.30am to 1.30pm, Monday to Friday, from January 7 to 18 in the learning centre at Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi. Each day has a different theme as follows: January 7, fantastic fans; January 8, shadow puppets; January 9, cartoons; January 10, write your name in Chinese; January 11, design a dragon; January 14, lanterns; January 15, Chinese drums; January 16, create a book; January 17, the ancient art of paper cutting; January 18, Chinese flag and numbers. Free entry to day pass holders and Friends of Waitangi; children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

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Circus coming

The Biggest Littlest Circus will be making its customary appearance on Paihia's Village Green starting on New Year's Eve. Performances will be held daily from December 31 to January 7 at 2pm (Zane and Degge), 7pm (Biggest Little Circus) and 9pm (Dream Garden). The show is free to watch but koha is appreciated.

Crash victim transferred

An 18-year-old woman who was involved in a crash with a power pole has been transferred to Auckland Hospital. She was originally transported to Whangārei Hospital with serious leg injuries after the crash on Murdoch Cr about midday on Thursday.

Family not poachers

The occupants of the 4WD pictured on Page 3 of the Northern Advocate on Thursday ('Locals' poaching pāua) were not among those who were found to have breached the recreational fishing regulations. A family member said they had no pāua at all in their possession, but on Thursday received considerable abuse from people who incorrectly assumed otherwise.

Christmas charity giving rises

New Zealanders showed their generosity this Christmas, spending more than $100,000 on charitable giving instead of traditional gifts at NZ giving website The Good Registry. "It's been an incredibly generous and heart-warming Christmas," says The Good Registry co-founder and Chief of Good Christine Langdon. "It's just our second Christmas since we launched in November 2017 and we're blown away by the generosity we are seeing — and by how much joy people say that they're getting from helping good causes instead of from scented candles, mugs or socks." Check it out at www.thegoodregistry.com.