Whangārei Boys' High School and Whangārei Girls High School will be hosting the 2019 Te Tai Tokerau Secondary Schools' Kapa Haka Festival. The 44th annual non-competition event brings together secondary schools from around Northland for a day of kapa haka and whanaungatanga (connecting). The festival, which will be held at Whangārei Girls', begins on Wednesday April 10 at 10am and continues until Thursday evening.

Hurled Coke bottle injures

A man who allegedly threw a full 1.5 litre bottle of Coca Cola which hit a 10-year-old girl has been charged with assault with a weapon. Whangārei police Senior Sergeant John Fagan said the incident happened at the Ōtangarei shops on William Jones Dr last Wednesday at 6.30pm. Police believe there was a confrontation between the male and another group and a 1.5 litre bottle of soft drink was thrown towards the group. The bottle has missed its intended target but struck a 10-year-old female who fell backwards which was witnessed by her father and other members of the public. She required medical treatment from Ambulance staff at the scene. A 37-year-old male has been arrested and charged with assault with a weapon and is to appear in the Whangārei District Court on March 18.

Ngāpuhi claim discussion

A hui is being held this weekend to discuss options for the progression of Ngāpuhi's Treaty of Waitangi claims. Ngā Hapū O Te Ramaroa are hosting the second hapū hui for group Kia Anga Mua Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi - formed by the 31 hapu who voted to evolve Tūhoronuku's mandate to negotiate Ngāpuhi's Treaty claims - at Moria Marae in Whirinaki today from 10am. The purpose of this hui is to continue discussing options moving forward concerning progressing negotiations for redress of Ngāpuhi Te Tiriti o Waitangi grievances.

Taking keys from diver earns charges

It's alleged a driver involved in a low-speed crash took the car keys of the other vehicle involved and now faces a charge of theft. Last Wednesday a car driven by a teenager rear-ended another vehicle at the pedestrian crossing on Kamo Rd, about 3.30pm. There was minimal damage to both vehicles after the car in front stopped suddenly to let a pedestrian cross. The car behind didn't stop quickly enough. It is alleged the driver who was rear ended got out of his car took the keys out of the other car. Passers-by called police and a 28-year-old man has been charged with assault and theft. He will appear in the Whangārei District Court on March 18.


Teachers' pay dispute continues

Education union NZEI Te Riu Roa will take new offers from the Ministry of Education to primary principals and teachers at paid union meetings which start in Dargaville on March 18 and continue in Northland until Friday, March 22. Primary teacher Tute Porter-Samuels, a member of the primary teachers' negotiation team, said while she's pleased to finally be able to bring a new offer back to members, she's disappointed with how little the Ministry was willing to move. She said the negotiation teams made it clear to the Ministry that the new offers are disappointing and said they do not adequately address the urgent need for more time and more pay to attract and retain new teachers. NZEI and the Ministry of Education returned to negotiations for the primary teachers' and primary principals' collective agreements last month. It came after primary and intermediate school teachers and principals took strike action twice last year.