Fewer out of work

Northland's unemployment rate has dropped by 0.2 per cent from the last quarter down to 5 per cent, with an increase of the working-age population. The number of Northlanders who are of working age rose from 135,600 two years ago to 140,400 in September this year. The unemployment rate had reached a high with 7.2 per cent in March 2019. The national trend shows an increase from 3.9 per cent in June, up to 4.2 per cent in September.

Tobacco sting
A recent compliance test by the Northland Ngā Tai Ora Public Health Northland showed retailers continuing to sell cigarettes to minors. Ngā Tai Ora conducted a controlled purchase operation in the Mid-North/Hokianga area earlier this month, testing 15 retailers. Three retailers were found in breach of the Smokefree Environments Act 1990, which prohibits the sale of tobacco to under 18-year-olds. Any person selling tobacco to a minor could be fined up to $1000. Details of retailers who sold cigarettes to a 17-year-old have been forwarded to the Ministry of Health for a decision on further action, which may include prosecution of the retailer.

Tidy Kiwi school
A Northland school has won a national competition which is all about being a tidy Kiwi. Te Kura Taumata o Panguru, in Hokianga, was one of nine schools around the country to win a set of bins for its innovative video pledges to put litter in its place which pupils shared with their whānau and friends on social media as part of the "BINfrastructure" competition. The competition is part of a partnership between The Packaging Forum, which promotes the Government's Love NZ brand, and Be A Tidy Kiwi.


Kai Ora award
A Northland initiative has been recognised at the Economic Development NZ Awards. The Kai Ora Fund – an initiative supporting projects that enable people to grow and eat nutritious, sustainably grown local food in Northland – was given the Commendation for Inclusive Growth award at the EDNZ Conference over the weekend. The fund is a partnership between Te Tai Tokerau PHO, Manaia Health PHO (now collectively Mahitahi Hauora), the Far North District Council, Whangārei District Council, Kaipara District Council, Te Puni Kōkiri, Northland District Health Board, and Northland Inc.

Cheeky Charlie giveaway

We have six books to give away.
We have six books to give away.

The Northern Advocate has six copies of the latest children's book Cheeky Charlie to the Rescue, based around the Northland Rescue Helicopter crews, to give away. The book follows the service's new chopper, Charlie, on his first day on the job when an unexpected rescue call comes in. The new helicopter will be operational later this year and is one of two new choppers joining the service's fleet. Fans of the story book series will recognise brother and sister duo Ollie and Tia from previous books. No strangers to getting themselves into trouble, this time they encounter a friendly stingray who goes by the name of Tipene while out exploring the mighty Mangawhai on an old tyre tube. The book has been released to help raise funds for the Northland Rescue Helicopter. To win a copy email your name and phone number to competitions@nzme.co.nz by midday Monday.