Dog attack charges

A Moerewa woman has appeared in court charged with owning dogs that attacked two children on their way to school. The attacks, on Otiria Rd, Moerewa, on June 6, left an 11-year-old girl in hospital with extensive injuries to her legs, buttocks and arms, while a 15-year-old boy was treated for bite wounds at a local medical centre. Te Awhina Palmer appeared in the Kaikohe District Court on Tuesday charged with two counts of owning a dog that attacked a person and is due back on September 24. The charges were laid by the Far North District Council. It is believed the dogs are being held in the council's temporary pound at Horeke until the outcome of the court case is known. The grandmother of the injured girl said painters who were working nearby heard her screams and had to prise the dog's jaws off her.

Two-vehicle crash
One person was taken to hospital after a ute and a school van carrying special-needs children to a riding lesson collided near Ohaeawai yesterday. The crash occurred about 9.50am on State Highway 1, just north of the township, as the Moerewa School van was heading to the Riding for the Disabled arena at Waimate North and the Ford Falcon ute was pulling out of a driveway. Okaihau fire chief Andrew Graham said firefighters checked the children and helped remove an adult passenger from the van who was complaining of chest pains. She was taken to Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa as a precaution. The children were unhurt and their main concern was that they would have less time with the horses. Firefighters also cleared the debris from the highway, one lane of which was blocked for about half an hour. The driver and sole occupant of the ute had a minor cut to the head while the van driver was uninjured. Police are investigating.

Marae hosts P-addiction hui
Whatuwhiwhi's Haiti-Tai-Marangai Marae will be the venue for a "P addiction" hui on Saturday, with the powhiri at 9.30am. Speakers will include members of the police meth harm reduction team and Far North Pou Whanau connector Frazer le Noel.

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Earthworks bylaw discussed
The Far North District Council is due to meet in Kaikohe today to discuss a proposed new Control of Earthworks Bylaw. The old bylaw, from 2009, was one of seven which had accidentally been allowed to lapse. A grand total of one submission, calling for amendments to the proposed fees and exemptions, was received.

Fetal alcohol workshop
The Northland District Health Board is holding a workshop as part of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Month in September. FASD is the leading cause of preventable intellectual disability in New Zealand. Up to 3000 children are born each year suffering effects from parental drug and alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Symptoms can include physical, behavioural and learning problems. The DHB invites carers and people working with women of child-bearing age. The workshop will be held in Kaitaia on September 11. Contact TaniaH@farnorthreap.org.nz for registration.