Central government is engaging with the public to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand as four of six native whitebait species – giant kōkopu, shortjaw kōkopu, kōaro and īnanga – are in decline. Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage said whitebait was facing significant pressures through degraded habitats, poor water quality, obstacles to fish passage and heavy fishing. Proposals include phasing out the export of whitebait. There will be a public consultation in Kaitaia at Te Ahu Kaitaia, January 30, 2-4 pm; and in Whangārei at the Whangārei Public Library, May Bain Room, February 4, 10 am-12 pm. Or visit doc.govt.nz/whitebait-management to provide feedback.
Young Māori leaders programme
Young Māori keen to make a difference in the Far North are being urged to apply for the Tuia Rangatahi Leadership Programme. Two young Māori leaders from Te Tai Tokerau will soon be selected to participate in the national programme during 2020 with applications open until February 7. The programme focuses on Māori youth development and is open to young people aged 18-25. Participants will attend a series of four wānanga held across Aotearoa during the year with costs paid fully by the Far North District Council. The mentors will be councillors Moko Tepania and Rachel Smith. To apply, visit fndc.govt.nz/Your-District/Community-Development#section-3.
Northland home consents down
The number of new homes consented reached 37,010 in the year ended November 2019, the highest in a year since the mid-1970s, according to Stats NZ. However, numbers in Northland are down to 1148 in 2019, compared to 1158 the previous year, following the same trend as Nelson and Marlborough regions. There were 37,919 new homes consented nationwide in the year ended September 1974, while the overall record is still 40,025 in the February 1974 year. The population of New Zealand in the mid-1970s was around 3 million, compared with about 4.9 million today.
Fritter Festival line-up
An extraordinary line-up of roots, funk, hip-hop and rock artists will perform at the Bay of Islands Music Festival on one massive day.
Roots reggae band Katchafire will headline the popular Whangārei Fritter Festival in March. As the name suggests, the festival features a range of delicious fritters made by Northland eateries as well as other food and drinks and a line-up of good music to keep crowds entertained.
The line up for this year's festival, held on March 28 at Semenoff Stadium, include White Chapel Jak, ManaLion, RSB, Tempist Fujit, Caged Whangarei and Neopolitan.
The eighth annual event will run from 11am to 7pm.
Visit www.facebook.com/fritter.festival for more information.
NZTA email scam
New Zealand Transport Agency are warning vehicle owners to not fall for an email scam asking for a vehicle licence (rego) renewal. NZTA said to check emails details carefully. The agency's emails will always include the nzta.govt.nz suffix and specify details about the owner's vehicle. If you've received an email without specific vehicle details, do not complete the online renewal transaction form linked inside the email.