The driver of a high-performance Italian sports car that lost control at high speed north of Whangārei on New Year's Day has been ordered to pay nearly $2000 in fines. Amos Treiguts, 41, pleaded guilty in the Whangārei District Court to three driving charges. The 2004 Maserati Quattroporte he was travelling south on State Highway 1veered on to the left-hand shoulder, over-corrected and skidded sideways for about 50m before hitting a barrier arm on a bridge over the Waiotu River. The impact demolished two barrier posts and tore off the wheels, doors and most of the panelling on the car's right-hand side. The Maserati then slid a further 160m with two missing wheels until it stopped on the wrong side of the road. Treiguts suffered only minor injuries. He was fined $800 for drink driving, $600 on the charge of failing to stop, and a further $500 for dangerous driving and disqualified from driving for seven months.

Beauty clinic robbed
The owner of a Whangārei beauty clinic is calling on people to be on the lookout for people selling distinctive Pure Fiji gift packs stolen from her Norfolk St business premises. Bellissimo Skin and Body was broken into between 11.15pm and 11.30pm on Friday and cash and health and beauty products were stolen. Owner Imogen Billington said thieves tried the back door first before entering the premises through a window.
She said Pure Fiji gifts packs retailed around $70 each.

Arborists in Onerahi
Contractors will be trimming and removing some trees on Onerahi Hill from today until February 21, between 9am-3pm. The Whangārei District Council asks commuters to follow the speed limits in place. Two lanes will be open and motorists should expect occasional stops for all traffic while the larger trees are felled.

Preventable fires
Firefighters in the Far North are urging their communities to take the current fire prohibitions more seriously. All open-air fires have been banned across Northland since the start of 2020, with dry conditions making fire risk extreme. But since the prohibited fire season declaration, crews across the Far North have attended more than 100 preventable fires. Principal rural fire officer Myles Taylor said small fires could easily get out of control, and crews were regularly being called to fires – especially to rubbish fires – that should never have been lit in the first place. "It seems like some in our communities are choosing to blatantly ignore the risks," Taylor said. Over the weekend preventable fires were to blame for the loss of three caravans, while several houses were also threatened.