Hard work for kiwi

The summer heat is having an impact on native wildlife species, with reports that young kiwi might struggle to dig their beaks deep enough to the hard ground to find grubs and worms. The good news for the Bream Head Conservation Trust is that the dense canopy of trees in the valleys and on the south side of the Whangārei Heads reserve is helping retain moisture in the leaf humus and soil. This translates into a better survival chance for invertebrates which provide vital food and moisture for others further up the food chain, such as kiwi, head ranger Adam Willetts said. Other good news is the annual average residual tracking index for rats over 2018 stayed at 1.3 per cent. Rat, mouse and weasel catch totals were much higher than in 2017. Willetts said that is down to 123 new snap-e rat traps set at the reserve's northern boundary, and intensified possum and feral cat traps on that line.

New ECE graduates

Eighteen local early childhood teachers are graduating from Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand's Whangārei teaching base tomorrow. Whangārei Leader Education Delivery, Pikihora Brown-Cooper, said the graduations are a celebration of the commitment and dedication of each graduate. Most of the Te Rito Maioha programmes require students to be working, at least part time, in an early childhood centre - enabling them to 'earn while they learn'. Te Rito Maioha has 11 teaching bases across New Zealand, from Whangārei to Dunedin, and over the next month more than 150 early childhood teachers will be graduating from Te Rito Maioha teaching bases throughout the country.

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Snell Point clean up

For Our Real Clean Environment (F.O.R.C.E.) will be hosting the Love Whangārei Monthly Clean Up on March 9, meeting in the Memorial Hall carpark on Ngunguru Rd at 1pm. In celebration of Seaweek, which is taking place from March 2 to March 10, this month's clean up will be taking place in the mangroves, estuary and beach around Snell Point in Ngunguru. This area catches rubbish washed into our waterways providing an opportunity to get it out of the environment before it reaches the ocean. Gumboots or waders are recommended and gloves, high vis, water, sunscreen and hand sanitiser will be provided. In February the group removed 820kg of rubbish and separated recycling from the bush and roadside around Mackesy Rd.

Whangarei DC rated AA positive

Whangārei District Council has again achieved the highest credit rating available to a public organisation in New Zealand. International credit rating agency Standard and Poors has changed the Government's credit rating from AA stable to AA positive, which means a step up for WDC's credit rating to the same rating. Chief financial officer Alan Adcock said S&P considers the council's credit profile to be stronger than that of the government, however a local government's official rating can only be as high as central government's, so effectively the council is capped. Adcock said AA Positive is a rating that only seven councils in the country hold.