Sewing bee

Members of Whangārei's Kraken's Lair Steam Punk and other sewing groups are running two sewing bees next week to make joey pouches for rescued animals from the Australian bush fires. Organiser Vivienne Shepherd said the aim is to make at least 20 of the different types of pouches for wildlife rescued from the bush fires at the sewing bees, on Friday, January 17 from 4pm and Sunday, January 19 from 10am at Country Dawn, 55 Port Rd. These will include bat wraps, wallaby and kangaroo day and night pouches, micro glider rescue bags and pouches for koalas, gliders, possums, bandicoots and small carnivorous marsupials. Shepherd said the bush fire catastrophe is a wake-up call to the precarious nature of the world and the effects of climate change.

40 helpers needed
Heart disease is the single biggest killer of men and women in New Zealand, and the Heart Foundation is calling for Northlanders to show their big heart by volunteering as a street collector for its Big Heart Appeal on February 21 and 22. The foundation needs about 40 more people to help out in Northland. "While the Heart Foundation is committed to tackling heart disease in New Zealand, we can't do it alone. Our volunteers around the country make a huge difference in our ability to help," Heart Foundation medical director Gerry Devlin said. Every 90 minutes, one New Zealander dies of heart disease and the Heart Foundation's vital work funds research to save lives and improve the quality of life for the 180,000 New Zealanders living with heart disease. Visit heartfoundation.org.nz or call 0800 BIG HEART (0800 244 432) to sign up for the Big Heart Appeal street collection.

Home invasion
Police are investigating an aggravated robbery at Coopers Beach in the early hours of Sunday morning. A spokesman for the Kaitaia CIB said two men, with bandannas over their faces, forced their way into the home and assaulted the sole male occupant before taking a vehicle and a large sum of money. The victim was not seriously hurt but was admitted to Kaitaia Hospital.

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Vehicles stolen
Police recovered a stolen vehicle, taken with two dogs aboard, in Pukepoto Rd, Kaitaia, last week. One of the dogs had run home, while the other was still with the vehicle. Meanwhile, a stolen vehicle that was pursued at Ahipara was abandoned at Waimimiha, on Ninety Mile Beach. As many as four occupants disappeared, and with no police dog available, were not found.