It's a fundraiser with a bit of a difference. It will require a bit of energy, but promises to be a lot of fun. Ruakākā Dog Rescue has organised Fun Fitness Challenges for all skill levels on September 8 to raise vital funds so it can carry on its work. Entry is $15 for adults and there will be kids games and activities, with the challenge running from10am to 12 noon at the Johnson Crawford Indoor Cricket Centre on Okara Dr, Whangārei. For more details go to

Anti-GE group backs council

GE Free Northland has welcomed the Far North District Council's recent unanimous vote to lodge an appeal with the Environment Court against Northland Regional Council over its decision on genetic engineering. The environmental group described the regional council's decision to leave precautionary statements out of its Regional Plan as controversial and lacking in transparency by not having independent commissioners consider the GMO issue. GE Free Northland said it will join FNDC and Whangārei District Council in legal action.

Reserve to get boost

The formalisation of the long relationship between Auckland University of Technology and a Whangārei Heads trust is expected take the restoration of the spectacular Bream Head Te Whara Scenic Reserve to a new level. In July, the university and the Bream Head Conservation Trust signed a memorandum of understanding about working together to advance environmental science research at the Bream Head reserve. Among other joint benefits, it will offer more educational experiences to students from primary school to post-doctoral level and allow the trust to take part in international best practice advances in pest eradication and better operational techniques.

North lucks out at Lotto

None of the big cash winning Lotto tickets from Saturday night's draw were sold at Northland outlets, nor were any that took one of the 30 extra Father's Day prizes. A lucky Strike player who bought a ticket at New World Waihi won $1 million in the Strike Be Won draw. Powerball was not struck and has rolled over to Wednesday night, where the jackpot will be $8 million. Meanwhile, two Lotto players won $500,000 each after buying tickets on the MyLotto site, one from Hamilton and the other from Queenstown Lakes. The Lotto's Father's Day promotion gave 10 new Fords vehicles and 20 prizes of $10,000 cash, though none were won in Northland.