Crashes involving cars, motorcycle

A car which police were attempting to pull over allegedly sped through a red light and crashed into another vehicle on Bank St in Whangārei late on Saturday night. The fleeing driver received moderate injuries and one person in the other vehicle received serious injuries in the crash at the intersection of Manse and Bank Sts around 11.20pm. The Serious Crash Unit examined the scene. Earlier, just before 7pm, a motorcyclist on Whangārei Heads Rd near McLeod's Bay crashed into the driver's side of a car which was heading in the other direction. The motorcyclist was taken to Whangārei Hospital with serious leg injuries. Although shaken, the motorist was not injured.

Aggravated robbery charge

A 25-year-old man will appear in Whangārei District Court today charged with aggravated robbery after a knifepoint hold-up at the Moerewa Food Market on Friday. The man entered Moerewa Food Market about 3pm, pointed a large knife at staff and made off with a quantity of cigarettes. Police immediately launched an appeal for sightings of a Subaru station wagon in which the man fled. Shop staff were shaken but not injured in the ordeal. No further details about the arrest were available at edition time.

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Fees-free horticulture courses

All horticulture programmes will be fees-free at NorthTec as part of a 2019 pilot, targeted to boost the number of trained workers entering the sector. Horticulture, especially fruit production, is one of Northland and New Zealand's largest industries and a major exporter and there is an ongoing demand for skilled workers. With training programmes fees-free this year, NorthTec aims to increase the flow of people moving into the industry with the skills sought by employers. Details: www.northtec.ac.nz or phone 0800 162 100.

Invasive seaweeds found

A Japanese seaweed that is established in other parts of New Zealand's coast was found by Niwa divers working in Parengarenga Harbour late last year. While not confirmed in Northland before, the seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, has been detected in many places from Auckland south. A second invasive weed species was also confirmed at Parengarenga Harbour after a member of the public rang the 0800 pest and disease hotline and submitted a bryozoan sample later identified as the non-indigenous Watersipora subatra. Although also widespread around New Zealand, it was previously detected only as far north as Opua.

Lotto winners

No winning tickets in Saturday's Lotto drawer were sold in Northland. Three players from Rotorua, Picton and Christchurch each won $333,333 with Lotto First Division. Powerball was not struck and has rolled over to Wednesday night, when the jackpot will be $6 million. Strike Four also rolled over and will be $500,000 on Wednesday. The winning Lotto numbers were 9, 17, 19, 20,29, 33 with Bonus 14 and Powerball 2.