Fish bin on fridge causes fire

Bins full of fish on the back of a refrigerated unit were damaged in a fire that caused extensive damage to the truck. Fire and Emergency were called to the eight-wheeler truck parked on Bounty Pl, Whangārei, about 9.40pm on Tuesday after a flurry of 111 calls by people who could see the flames in the night sky. The truck belonged to a contractor who delivers fish to Leigh Fisheries. Bins of snapper destined for export markets were damaged. A forensic company had been employed to look over the scorched truck to see if the fire was suspicious. Two teams of firefighters from Whangārei station were at the scene and left at 11pm.

Teen charged with arson

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with arson after what was reported as a kitchen fire at a house in Kaitaia on Friday. No major damage was done. A police spokesman said the youngster had been placed in the custody of Oranga Tamariki.

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Anaesthetic technicians to strike

Northland anaesthetic technicians who are members of APEX will strike for 72 hours. The technicians will strike from 7am on Tuesday, February 26 until 7am. The strike is a result of Northland DHB rejecting a recommendation for settlement of their collective agreement from the Employment Relations Authority. Northland technicians have already undertaken seven 24-hour strikes. APEX advocate Luke Coxon said if the matter was not settled it was likely the strike would result in the avoidable and unnecessary cancellation of elective surgery.

Woman on drugs charges

A 36-year-old local woman who allegedly tried to smuggle cannabis and methamphetamine to a man in the Kaitaia District Court cells last week has been charged with supplying both drugs. The cannabis tinnies and meth point bags were allegedly found concealed in the lining of a hoodie that the woman asked to be given to the prisoner when it was examined before being passed on. The woman, described by court security as heavily pregnant, then presented a transport problem, with security staff refusing to take her in the prison van because of her condition. She was pronounced fit to travel after a medical examination. She was subsequently flown to Auckland by rescue helicopter. It was not clear whether she was delivered to the police or a hospital upon her arrival. The woman was due in court yesterday to apply for bail.

Horeke fire still lingering

A fire at Horeke that started on January 25, burning 65ha of scrub and pine plantation, is still not fully extinguished. Firefighters continue to carry out regular patrols to dampen down hotspots. Principal Rural Fire Officer Myles Taylor said 100mm of rain would be needed to finish the job. The site where the fire started had been identified, but not the person who lit it.