Heavy rain forecast

A heavy rain watch has been issued for Northland as a front, preceded by a moist and strong northerly flow, is forecast to move north across central and northern New Zealand today. The warning relates to Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Taupo. MetService was predicting heavy rainfalls between 6am and 6pm with localised downpours measuring between 25 and 35mm/hr.

Rescue chopper busy
The temperatures might have dropped as winter hits but demand for the Northland Rescue Helicopter team has risen. Half way through the year and statistics show the rescue teams have been busier than ever, with 438 rescues completed from January to May compared with 400 for the same period last year. A team of engineers has been working hard behind-the-scenes to get the trust's two new helicopters up and running. The first new Sikorsky helicopter, Charlie, is due to be rolled out and operational in August. The second, Oscar, should be ready to go shortly afterwards.

Car driver injured
One person was flown to Auckland Hospital with serious injuries after a crash involving a logging truck in Northland yesterday morning. Whangārei police Sergeant Mohammed Atiq said the crash happened at an intersection on Pouto Rd with Guy Rd about 7.30am. The driver of the car was flown directly to Auckland about 9am while two others, aged 16 and 17, were taken to Whangārei Hospital by St John ambulance. Atiq said initial reports were the logging truck was empty and as a result of the collision had rolled into a ditch.
New cops for North
Northland will get six new constables after their graduation from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. A total of 78 new cops are graduating and with more than 30 different career options within police, these new cops are looking forward to varied and exciting careers. The new constables will have a one-week break before starting duties in their districts. The wing is being dispersed with Northland getting 6, Waitematā 7, Auckland 4, Counties Manukau 9, Waikato 9, Bay of Plenty 7, Eastern 4, Central 10, Wellington 8 and Tasman 1.

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Meth lab inquiry
Police continue to investigate who could be linked to a methamphetamine lab discovered in a hut in Northland bush. Police were called to the rural location off Nelson Rd, near Hukerenui, on Saturday after a family reported a 52-year-old man had gone missing in Russell State Forest. During their search for the man officers discovered the established lab. It took police two days to complete a scene examination and carry out items of interest.

SH1 roadworks
Overnight works on State Highway 1 north of Warkworth will start on Sunday. The work, between Christine Place and Sheepworld, will be completed over two nights from Sunday, July 7 between 7pm and 6am. Weather permitting, it will be finished by 6am Tuesday, July 9, Northland system manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult said. Traffic management crews will put out road cones from 7pm and a stop-go lane closure will start from 8pm, while contractors install more steel barriers along the roadside so work can continue on the safety improvements.