Horticulture New Zealand's Board has appointed Northlander Dr Bruce Campbell as a director.

Campbell is experienced in governance, innovation, talent development and the future development of a wide range of horticulture sectors and was, until 2018, the chief operating officer at Plant & Food Research. He has a particular interest in building partnerships with Māori to create new food businesses and also in growing career pathways to get talented people into horticulture.

HortNZ president Barry O'Neil said Campbell is a welcome addition to the board.

Bridges progressing

The NZ Transport Agency says the Matakohe Bridges project in Northland is well on the road to completion, with the final seal laid on the largest of the two bridges - Te Piringatahi - on State Highway 12.

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"That means speed restrictions have been lifted along the entire length of the new 2.5km alignment, so motorists can now enjoy the full benefits of this new stretch of SH12," NZTA's Northland system manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult said.

Te Piringatahi Bridge – which means "bringing together as one" – is 191m long and stands 15m above the Matakohe River. It has six spans, each made up of five concrete supertee beams and is Northland's longest supertee bridge. It replaces the old one-lane Hardies Bridge. The second bridge in the project, Te Ao Marama Hou, which effectively translates to "moving from the past into the future" spans Parerau Stream and replaces Anderson Bridge. It is 54.8m in length.

Donate blood

Tomorrow is World Blood Donor Day and New Zealand needs 55,000 new blood donors to ensure it can keep up with demand.

The NZ Blood Service said New Zealand has 110,000 amazing donors, but needs 55,000 new donors to roll-up their sleeves and join its lifesaving team.

The service will be at Kaikohe War Memorial Hall tomorrow from 8.30am to 12pm.
Those interested in becoming a blood donor should visit www.nzblood.co.nz or call 0800 448 325 for more information.

Alt Ed Soldiers speak

How the "Wellbeing Budget" will impact on the poorest and other vulnerable Northlanders was the subject of a seminar held by Whangārei Child Poverty Action Group.

A group of students in Alternative Education at Far North REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme) told the health and social aid workers at Manaia Health yesterday about their own experiences of poverty, addiction and abuse. Aged between 13 and 15, the students who called themselves Alt Ed Soldiers said they had gone from having no hope to all having plans to learn trades or professions. Alternative Education schools takes excluded students and others with problems. WCPAG spokeswoman Ngaere Rae ran through ways the 2019 Budget might help them and other people in need. Rae said that while there was some good in it, the Budget ''just tinkers around the edges''. A fuller article about the meeting and WCAPG's Budget 2019 analysis will appear in the Advocate on Saturday.

Religious iconography in art

Fine art photographer and printmaker Virginia Guy opens her much anticipated solo exhibition, Noir Lumiere, at MD Gallery, in Whangārei, tomorrow.

Throughout her life Guy has found solace in religious iconography as symbols of hope.

Through photography and printmaking, including imagery of western religious icons overlaid with local graffiti, Guy has created a substantial body of work illuminating her faith in humanity and the peace that can be found on the other side of chaos. Her more than 25 years experience working in the mediums includes involvement with the Te Kowhai Print Trust Studio in Whangārei.

Noir Lumiere opens at MD Gallery in Rust St on Friday between 5-7pm.