The Warehouse is quashing rumours being spread on Facebook community notice boards that its store in Waipapa will close down in January. A spokeswoman for the company said there was no truth to the rumours, and the company's only current activity in the Mid North was the renewal of its lease in Kaikohe.

Ride Waitangi launched

Waitangi Mountain Bike Park has launched a new website, www.ridewaitangi.nz. The new site is designed to be more visually appealing and easier to navigate with a more streamlined process to Register to Ride online. Donations via Register to Ride help pay for trail maintenance and park operations.

Rush on snapper tickets

The rush on tickets for next year's Ngai Takoto 90 Mile Beach Snapper Bonanza accelerated last week. As of Friday morning there were 68 tickets left, falling to 34 by mid-afternoon, and by Saturday the last one had gone. Organiser John Stewart said demand for tickets for next year's tournament (March 17-21) had been unprecedented, although late last month he had expected the sold out sign to go up around Christmas. There was now a waiting list, he said yesterday, with more than 30 names on it.

Restricted fire season

The Karikari Rural Fire Force is reminding locals and visitors that fires are restricted throughout the peninsula. Most fires require a permit (go to www.checkitsalright.nz), the exceptions being hangi fires. Gas and charcoal barbecues, braziers and chiminea are also permitted, but check the website for conditions. Permits are free. There is also a fireworks ban on the peninsula.

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Iwi avocado planting starts

Far North Iwi, Te Runanga o NgāiTakoto, has started planting its new 20ha avocado orchard, Rakau Ora, in Kaitaia. The project is the result of four years of planning in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries and key businesses in the horticulture sector. "The orchard is a means to achieve our aspiration of using our Treaty settlement assets to build a strong economic base for our people," NgāiTakoto chief executive Rangitane Marsden said.