Nominations for the upcoming local government elections closed at noon yesterday. The list of candidates was released after edition time but as of Friday morning eight people had put their hands up to be Far North mayor while 27 nominations had been received for the Far North District Council and 25 for the Far North's three community boards. In the Kaipara two nominations had been received for the mayoralty and nine for council. Figures for Whangārei were unavailable.

Weka back breeding
Weka are breeding in Opua Forest in the hills behind Paihia for the first time in 50 years, conservation group Bay Bush Action says. The volunteer group said a pair of weka with three chicks were spotted in the spring and has now been seen again with another young chick. The flightless birds' return was put down to the group's pest control work in the forest, which had included trapping 202 stoats and weasels and 141 feral cats so far. Weka were once common in Northland but had all but disappeared by the 1940s. Today the North Island weka is rarer than the kiwi and survives only in the Russell area and in the Bay of Plenty.

Candidates' meeting
The Puriri Park and Maunu Residents Society is hosting a meet the candidates standing for mayor and council in Whangārei District's Okara Ward on Sunday, August 18. The event will be held at the Whangārei Bowling Club, 2 Second Ave, from 2pm.

Stadium named
The venue previously known as Toll Stadium will soon be known as Stan Semenoff Stadium. The Stan Semenoff Group has secured the stadium's new naming rights. Northland Events Centre Trust (NECT) chairman Alistair Wells said the trust is pleased to be working with a Northland company with a strong history of many years of community support, particularly for sport. Long time local businessman and former Whangārei mayor Semenoff said he is proud of his companies which started from small beginnings and slowly grew over the years, thanks to the hard work of staff and supporters of Northland communities.


Day for dads
A Dad's Day at Whangārei Museum/Kiwi Northland could be just the thing for kids to take their parent along to on September 1. Whangārei Dad's Day offers fathers and children free entry and asks for a gold coin donation from everyone else. That will provide entry to the museum, the Kiwi House and all rides including on tractors and the miniature train. Other fun events will also be happening on the day, from 10am to 1pm.

Car drives into house
A house was damaged in Russell on Friday when it is believed a driver's foot slipped off the clutch and sent his vehicle through a fence and into a dwelling. The incident occurred about 2.15pm on Wellington St. The elderly driver was unhurt.