Police are appealing for information about a campervan break-in early yesterday morning. Sergeant Kevin Milne, of Mid North police, said the crime took place on Richardson St about 3am on Friday. The owner was a visitor to the Bay of Islands and away on a sailing trip so police did not yet know exactly what had been stolen. The van had been moved to a secure location until the owner returned and was able to repair the damage. A forensic examination had been carried out. Police want to hear from anyone with information about a dark-coloured station wagon seen in Opua around the same time. The three men in the vehicle were also seen walking near the general store. Call the Kerikeri station on (90) 407 3287 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 with any information.

Civic Award nominations open

Whangārei District Council staff are eagerly anticipating a rush of Civic Honour Award nominations as the May 1 deadline for this year's awards looms. Sandra Boardman, general manager of the council's Community, Strategic Leadership Team, said every year those making nominations tend to use up all the time available to make sure they put together the best nomination they can. In the past nominees skills have covered a vast array of services and interests including music, surf lifesaving, working with young people, getting women into outdoor pursuits and looking after an island. With a few days left to get nominations in, punters can find out how to put someone's name forward by visiting wdc.govt.nz. Boardman said nominations must be supported by at least two people and should include as much detail as possible.

Civil Defence the topic of forum

The experiences of high-profile emergencies throughout New Zealand will come under the spotlight at Northland's annual Civil Defence Emergency Management Forum in Whangārei next week. The event is being held at Forum North and attendees include members of the emergency services, welfare agencies, lifelines utilities, councils and community civil defence groups. It is also open to interested members of the general public, at no cost. Kim Abbott, Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group spokesperson, said the keynote speakers this year include Wally Mitchell, who had only relocated from Northland three weeks earlier to take up his new role as Canterbury district operations manager for St John Ambulance when he found himself co-ordinating the emergency medical response to the Christchurch terror attacks; Michele Poole, who had a key role in public/media communication during the Pigeon Valley Fires in Nelson; and Damian Southorn and Julian Young of Refining NZ on the response to the rupture of the jet fuel pipeline to Auckland in 2017. The lineup also includes a range of other local speakers. The event runs from 9am to 1pm. Although it is free, people intending to come along need to register in advance at www.nrc.govt.nz/cdemforum

Lego creations on show

It's called the Whangārei Brick Show but this event isn't talking about the stuff used to build houses, well, at least not the kind we live in anyway. It's about the tiny little blocks which can be used to build smaller houses and a whole lot more - Lego. Tomorrow and Sunday Lego exhibitors from around Auckland will be displaying some fantastic creations, some made especially for this event. The Whangārei Brick Show is not affiliated with The Lego Group but there will be everything from released Lego sets and new and old to MOC's (my own creations) at the event. So if your kids (or you) like Lego, you'll want to head to Whangārei Girls' High School today between 9am and 5pm or tomorrow between 9am and 4pm. Entry is $5 for adults and $3 for children with all money raised from the show helping the Whangārei Girls' High School Cambodia Expedition.


Alpaca open days

Alpaca owners will be celebrating the animal and the joys of owning them with open days around the country next week, and there's one in Whangārei. Lallybroch Alpacas, located at 655 Ormandy Rd in Mangapai, will be having an open day on Sunday, May 5 to celebrate National Alpaca Day. Visitors are welcome to head along from 10am until 3pm to see the alpacas and their cria (babies).

Only one tavern arrest

A 25-year-old Whangārei man remains the only person arrested in relation to the aggravated robbery of the Tikipunga Tavern. The man who was held by the patrons required medical treatment and spent a few days in Whangārei Hospital after the incident on April 17. A second man who fled the tavern got into an altercation with a staff member, who received a minor wound as a result. Police said it is possible the second suspect got into a waiting vehicle and left the area. Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information can contact police at (09) 430 4500 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Rockquest on Friday

Smokefreerockquest kicks off for 2019 in Nelson next Friday and will return to Whangārei for another year in a few weeks. Entering its third decade this year, Smokefreerockquest is recognised as the launching pad for many great Kiwi musicians, with a legacy that includes names from Kimbra to Waipū's Alien Weaponry, and from Marlon Williams to Broods. The Northland heat of the competition will be held at Tikipunga High School on Sunday, May 19 and the final will be at Forum North on June 11. The Smokefree Tangata Beats competition, which recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa and the South Pacific, will also be held at Tikipunga High School on May 19. Move over Selwyn Toogood, Lockwood Smith and Louise Wallace.

Schools quiz

Kiwi quizmaster Wayne Mills will be at Kerikeri Primary School next week to begin the next round of New Zealand heats for the Kids' Lit Quiz. The literary quiz recently got under way in New Zealand for another year with 14 regional competitions that started in Southland on March 8 and run through to May 21. Kids' Lit Quiz was started by Mills in a Hamilton community hall 30 years ago and it has grown to become the world's largest literary event for children. Schools enter a team of four students who read their hearts out to prepare for their regional final. The teams are asked questions from all forms of children's literature, ranging from classics to the contemporary, from nursery rhymes to comics, and from folk tales to myths. The Northland regional competition will be held next Tuesday at Kerikeri Primary School from 10am to 1pm. The winning team goes on to compete in the national final held on May 26, and the national champions compete against 10 other countries in the world final n Singapore on July 12.