Jet boat irritates

Complaints about a jet boat hooning on the Oruru River near Taipa have prompted a reminder from authorities about the waterway's 5 knot speed limit. Northland harbourmaster Jim Lyle said given the number of incidents on the water at this time of year staff were unable to get to Taipa immediately but were still seeking information about the jet boat and its owner. By law boats were not permitted to travel at more than 5 knots within 200m of land, which applied to the entire Oruru River. However, overall behaviour on the water so far this summer — including by jet ski riders, usually a frequent source of complaints — had improved markedly since last year. ''Just think about other people. It [travelling at speed near the shore] is dangerous for others who want to use the water at this time of year,'' Lyle said.

Water use curbed
Dry weather over Christmas and New Year has reduced the amount of water available for the Kawakawa-Moerewa water supply to low levels. In response, the Far North District Council is introducing further water restrictions for households and businesses, banning the use of garden hoses, sprinklers or any irrigation devices. Water blasting and filling swimming pools from the mains supply are also banned. The council said restrictions were aimed to protect the drought-sensitive stream providing raw water for the towns. Reducing water usage now should help ensure continuity of water supply through summer.

Child Cancer appeal
Child Cancer Foundation is calling for volunteers to help with its annual street appeal on February 28-29. The charity doesn't receive any government support and depends on the support of volunteers nationwide to collect funds. Child Cancer Foundation provides practical and emotional support throughout a child's cancer. Last year, 600 volunteers collected $232,913. For more information and to register, visit or call 021 235 9968.


ArtBeat is back
Whangārei's biggest free interactive arts festival is back again this year on February 1.
This year marks the 24th ArtBeat and the event - which attracts more than 8000 people each year - will once again be held in Cafler Park from 10am to 4pm. There will be a plenty of free activities for families in the seven zones which include the Interactive Art Zone for the creative kiddies; Neverland - where fairy tales come to life; the Youth Zone for tech-savvy teens; the Entertainment Hub with live, local acts throughout the day; the Community Zone to meet local organisations; beautiful handmade works in the Arts and Crafts Market; and delicious food on Eat Street. Visit for more information.

NorthTec open day
Northlanders interested in studying at NorthTec will be able to find out more at an open day next week. The polytechnic said with 25,000 new job openings in Northland expected by 2024, people will be able to find out how they can upskill. The open day next Thursday will include interactive activities and a chance to meet tutors and student navigators to talk about career planning, how to enrol, and financial advice. It will run from 10am to 2pm at the Interactive Learning Centre, Gate 1, NorthTec Raumanga Campus.

Reward for tractor
A $5000 reward is being offered to anyone who has any information leading to the recovery of a tractor stolen in the Far North. The John Deere registration A7HCT was stolen from the Sweetwater Farms Depot on Sandhills Rd on December 20. Now the owners are taking to social media to spread the word and are offering a reward. Anyone with information could also contact police on 0800 crime stoppers 0800 555 111.

Return of the ring
Thanks to a member of the public and social media Northland were able to reunite a man with his wedding ring. The man, who got married last year, was kiteboarding at Waikaraka Beach just before Christmas when he lost the ring. Later, an eagle-eyed member of the public spotted the gold ring on the beach and handed it to police. Police staff took a photo of the ring showing a small part of the distinctive inscription on it and posted it on the Northland Police Facebook page. Within hours, the ring's owner saw the post and recognised it. He had also filled out a police report and collected the ring earlier this week. The very grateful owner thanked the person who found the ring for doing the right thing.