Hercules makes an appearance in Northland

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Yep it was a plane — a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules in fact. The plane was seen flying low over Dargaville about 1.30pm yesterday. The aircraft was on a routine low-level training flight. The suspicions of people in Dargaville were roused when the aircraft was spotted flying low over the river and town. Some said they saw smoke coming out of its tail but others disagreed.

Rahui decision

A decision on when a rahui will be put in place over the Mermaid Pools at the northern headland of Matapouri is yet to be made. Te Whanau a Rangiwhakaahu hapu chairman Aperahama Edwards said discussions were under way between hapu members and other agencies on how best the environment was preserved while the rahui was in place. The pools have become degraded due to overuse over the years. The decision to place a rahui over Mermaid Pools has garnered support from environmentalists, community groups and civic leaders across Northland.

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Chinese spring festival

The Northland Chinese Spring Festival will be held at Forum North in Whangārei this Sunday. Organised by the Northland Chinese Association, the event will celebrate the Year of Pig and guests will enjoy traditional Chinese food, singing, dancing, instrumental performance, lucky prize draw, Chinese traditional opera and painting exhibition. Doors open at 5pm for dinner and the show starts 7pm. Tickets (dinner included) are $20 for adults, $10 for association members and students, while kids under 5 are free, available from the Forum North ticket office, Ticketek under 2019 Northland Chinese Festival, or at the door.

Fruit fly traps

The Queensland fruit fly find in Devonport has not seen increased surveillance and monitoring for the pest in Whangārei. The fruit fly find has sparked a major biosecurity operation in Devonport as the insect has the potential to devastate New Zealand's export fruit industry. The Queensland fruit fly has been detected six times before in northern New Zealand, including three times in Whangārei - twice in 2014 and once in 2017, with the latter find costing almost $1.6 million. As a result there are a series of fruit fly traps around Whangārei, but MPI, which is leading the response, said at this time there is no requirement to increase surveillance anywhere else in the country. Any suspected sightings can be reported to MPI's pests and diseases hotline 0800 80 99 66.

Engineering role

Northlander Jo Brosnahan is among three people appointed as independent directors of New Zealand-owned professional engineering and design consultancy, Harrison Grierson. Brosnahan is a well-known and highly regarded chairwoman and board director. She is currently chairwoman of Northpower Fibre and of Maritime New Zealand, a member of the Auckland Museum board and principal of Leaders for the Future.

She is the founding chairwoman of the Taitokerau Education Trust in Northland. A former chairwoman of Landcare Research, a director of Housing New Zealand Corporation and HLC, Brosnahan has also been CEO of the Northland Regional Council and of the Auckland Regional Council. Brosnahan is an advisory trustee of Leadership New Zealand, which she founded and chaired for more than a decade. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, of which she was national president.