Northland Inc and NRC welcome government announcement

Northland Inc and the Northland Regional Council have welcomed the Government's announcement that the Provincial Growth Fund will invest $20.39 million in the Kaipara District. Northland Inc chairwoman Sarah Petersen said the projects being funded are strategic for Kaipara and reflect important investment in the region. NRC and Northland Mayoral Forum chairman Bill Shepherd has welcomed the PGF investment in roading infrastructure for the Kaipara.

"Improved roading infrastructure has been clearly identified in the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan (TTNEAP) and by the Mayoral Forum, as an important catalyst for maximising Northland's economic and social growth opportunities," Shepherd said. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, with several senior ministers in tow, made the announcement at the Otamatea Marae in Kaipara on Sunday.

Medical event possible in death

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The death of a 60-year-old man at Mitimiti, possibly as the result of a tractor accident, has been referred to the coroner. Sergeant Dion Masters said the man, who he believed had retired to a small farm property, had gone out on a tractor at 7.30pm on Sunday to move stock. When he did not return his family assumed he was spending the night in a caravan on the property. At 7.30am on Monday he had still not returned, and his family, who could hear the tractor running, went looking for him. He was found lying underneath the machine, which was on its wheels. Masters said the cause of death was unclear, but the man may have suffered a medical event. "It was pretty steep, and I don't think anyone would have intentionally driven a tractor there," he said.

Onerahi Waitangi Day event

For those not attending Waitangi, Onerahi is hosting its own Waitangi Day event today. It starts at 10am and runs until 2pm. The event, hosted by the Onerahi Resource Centre, will be held at the Sherwood Rd skate park. It will feature live entertainment by FAT32, activities for children, food and an overall celebration of Te Tiriti.

Pine seedling group may form

A stakeholders' group could be set up to assess the problem of wilding pine seedlings' impact on Northland's coastal margins, dune lakes and rare gumland ecosystems. The Northland Regional Council is leading the push for the group to be set up, with assistance from Landcare Research. NRC biosecurity manager Don McKenzie said the council has rules requiring control of wilding pines along property boundaries, but not wider controls. He believes wilding conifers should be attributed the same pest status as other species like wild ginger. The NRC will convene a meeting later this month for key parties, including local and central government agencies, commercial foresters and iwi. While too early to say if central government funding could be applied to the wilding conifer issue, McKenzie said he would like to see an investment of about $900,000 annually over the next decade or so.