Whangārei will soon be getting new murals painted by artists from around the world as an international street art festival kicks off this week. Street Prints Manaia is the fourth international street art festival organised by Mount Maunganui-based charity Pushing Arts in New Zealand Trust (PAINT) and the first held in Whangārei. The event — which starts on Thursday and runs until Monday, January 28 — will bring together local artists — including Bryce Williams, Earnest Bradley, Melinda Butt and Mike Tupaea — together with Kiwi artists and international artists including— Askew One from Auckland; 2Alas from Miami; Dourone from Belgium; Fin DAC from Ireland; and Paola Delfin from Mexico. In addition to the live mural painting happening around Whangārei CBD, there will also a pop up art exhibition in Rathbone St, and plenty of workshops including ones in Māori design, illustration and graffiti. For more information, including dates and times, visit www.facebook.com/pg/streetprintsnz/events/.

ArtBeat returns

Whangārei's biggest free interactive arts festivals is back again next weekend. The annual ArtBeat, which usually brings around 8000 people to Cafler Park, will be held on Saturday, February 2 from 10am to 4pm. There will be several different "zones" at this year's event including a food zone; an entertainment hub — which will feature a range of live performances from cultural dances, singing and theatre; the interactive zone —where there will be various creative activities for kids and families; Neverland — where kids can go for face painting; an arts and crafts zone; the community zone; and a youth zone, which is a new addition to ArtBeat.

Extras for promotional film sought

Have dreams of becoming a famous actor? Now is your chance to shine. Bay of Islands – Fullers GreatSights is looking for people who are available Thursday and are interested in being extras in a new promotional film. Successful applicants will spend the day cruising around the Bay of Islands with a film crew. The video will be played globally. Anyone can sign up, whether you're a local or a tourist, young or old, single traveller or with your family. The company needs people from 8am to 4pm. Lunch, and a prezzy card to say thank you, will be provided. If you're interested head to facebook.com/FullersGreatSights and send a message.


Gunshots lead to arrest

Police responding to reports of a gun being fired in the Twin Bridges area, on Mangakahia Rd, south of Kaikohe, about 10.30am on Saturday. They stopped a car connected to the incident at Waitangi about 12.50pm. The male driver was arrested and a firearm was seized. The investigation is continuing.

False alarm in garage

Police were dispatched to a Kaitaia address last week after a body was reportedly found in a vehicle in the garage. It turned out to be a pile of happily composting household rubbish.