Ruakākā's Sunniva Hunt claimed gold at the National Junior Surf Championships in Tauranga last weekend, working hard for first place in the under-13 female beach sprints.

Hunt, Ruakākā's sole competitor at the competition, won her race in the heats, won her quarter-final, placed third in her semifinal then won the final, all within 90 minutes.

The previous day she competed in the under-13 beach flags competition, finishing 9th out of 100 girls. Hunt, a Tauraroa Area School Year 9 student, won both events at the Northern Region Championships last month.

Roadside piper refreshed

Check out the wooden piper who stands facing south alongside State Highway 1 showing the way to Waipū – after vanishing for a few weeks, he has reappeared this morning looking revitalised.

The "Arty Farty Ladies" giving Waipu's piper a makeover: Maggie Wistrand (left), Pat Hadlee, Megan Toole, Lynne Stewart, Lenore Potier. Photo/Sue Welford

Waipū resident Pat Hadlee and her art group - the "Arty Farty" ladies spent several weeks giving a complete makeover to the wooden piper they dubbed Jamie after the main character in the well-known Outlander series.

They scrubbed 30 years of dust, dirt and algae from Jamie before giving him a new coat of paint.

He now has a new livery and stunning red tartan accessories, thanks to paint and sealer donated by Waipū ITM.

The group are also giving a fresh new look to the small piper who sits on the corner by the Waipū Pizza Barn.

A night of Celtic music

Northland's only pipe band Northcal will stage a concert at the Coronation Hall Waipū on March 23 to showcase their talents before heading to Dunedin for the New Zealand Championships on March 29 and 30.

Head along for a brilliant night of Celtic music. Door sale tickets are $10, children under 12 free. Doors open at 6.45pm for a 7pm start.

The Coronation Hall is in the main street opposite the carpark and museum and is a great venue for the band to play their well-rehearsed programme.

Trainee lifeguards tested in rough conditions

Nine lifeguards from Waipū Cove Surf Life Saving Club braved the West Coast swell at Piha on Saturday.

Waipu Surf Club members at Piha: Jack Boakes (left) Jacob Buckle, Mark Flannagan, Hayden Bartlett, Brandon Peck, Josh Baker, Jaine Curran, Emily Stolwerk, Caleb Anderson and (front) Charles Lawson from Karekare. Photo/Kath Manning
Waipu Surf Club members at Piha: Jack Boakes (left) Jacob Buckle, Mark Flannagan, Hayden Bartlett, Brandon Peck, Josh Baker, Jaine Curran, Emily Stolwerk, Caleb Anderson and (front) Charles Lawson from Karekare. Photo/Kath Manning

Seven lifeguards passed their IRB drivers exam which involved a theory test, rescuing single patients, multiple patients, driving the boat without a crewman and following signals from the examiner on the beach.

Two new lifeguards also passed their crewman test at Piha. The swell was 2.5m, with a 17-knot wind.

The exam took Bailey Hudson half way to completing his IRB instructors award, and Tim Manning half way to becoming an IRB Examiner.

Celebrity boost for gala

Some special guests will visit this year's Ruakākā School Gala on March 23 – Art Green and Matilda Rice from The Bachelor New Zealand TV programme will be there to judge some of the competitions and share healthy eating ideas.

There will be something for everyone at the Fall Harvest Gala Day – rides, activities, food, competitions and a bake off, plus raffles and the giant auction.

Gala planning is well under way now, but helpers on the day and some items are still required – small toys for the lucky dip, second hand goods, clean icecream containers with lids, sacks, milk bottle tops.

Drop items off to the school office between 8.15am and 4pm and add yourself to the helpers' list if possible.

Te Reo cafe starting again

Waipū's Te Reo Cafe, which ran last year at McLeod's Pizza Bar & Barn, will start again later this month, 6pm to 8pm on March 28.

Organisers plan to run the group, which is aimed beginners and anyone wanting to practice Te Reo Māori, to the end of the year on the fourth Thursday of every month except for June, when the Pizza Barn closes for a month.

For more information, call Mary Love 027 486 8535 or Jan Francis 027 452 9584.

Doggy do is now doggy don't

There's no excuse to let your dog leave a mess on the beach when you visit Waipū Cove beach – two dog poo disposal bins (with plastic bags) now sit at each end of the Cove's public reserve, one near the boat ramp and the other at the northern public accessway.

The bins were purchased by the Waipū Cove Reserve Board.

Junior golf open

Entries are now open for the Top of the Harbour Junior Golf Open at Waipu Golf Club on April 26.

Entry forms and information are available on the club website:

Entry is $30 for 18 holes with two divisions for boys and one for girls – limited entries for each division. The Kiwi course (nine holes) is $15. Tee off is at 9.30am and prizegiving 4pm.

The next day, April 27, is the club's 85th Anniversary Tournament, a mixed open competition.

Calling women rugby players

If you are keen to play women's rugby, call Bron Hames on 027 425 8046 – Otamatea Hawks are entering a team in the Northland women's competition this season and are looking for women who have played rugby before as well as those new to the sport.

Training is at Kaiwaka Sports Association, 6.30pm Monday and Thursday.

* Email Julie Paton at if you've got Bream Bay news to share with Northern Advocate readers.