A Whangārei man seriously injured by a gas explosion has had his first round of surgery and is reported to be talking while he is awake.

Although those close to him say it will be a long recovery for Simon Culina, a 34-year-old father.

Culina had been creating a garden at his Onerahi property and develop an area for walk through gardens and a meditation place.

A gas leak in the portacom where he had been living caused an explosion, destroying his home and leaving him with severe burns to a large portion of his body on January 22.


He has been in Middlemore Burns Unit since then. A Give a Little account has seen $5425 has been donated by 53 generous donors in 20 days.

If you would like to help go to https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/help-simon-rebuild-his-life

Wanted man
Northland police are appealing to the public to help find wanted man Levi Hemana.
The 25-year-old, with gang links, is wanted to arrest in relation to serious assault matters.

Levi is described as 173cm tall and medium build and can be identified by the tattoo "West Auckland" on his right forearm.

He is considered dangerous and should not be approached. If you see him please call 111.
He is believed to be in the wider Auckland region but also has links to Whangārei.

Call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800555111 or send Northland police a private Facebook message.

Dog investigation
Whangārei Distict Council have confirmed the dog control unit are investigating the killing of 33 sheep by a roaming dog.

Dog control officers were speaking with the owner of the dog as well as the farmer who has his stock killed. Ian Galpin, of Ngunguru Ford Rd, said 33 sheep had been killed with some of them dying as a result of trying to flee and falling into a river last week.


He said the deaths were grizzly with sheep having their "throats ripped out or their faces caved in" during the attacks last Thursday.

Mobile bank
On Friday, February 14 at 2.30pm in Kaikohe BNZ will be launching a Mobile BNZ in Northland.

Mobile BNZ is a motor home converted into a BNZ branch with specially trained staff on board delivering face-to-face services for our customers.

It will be on the road, visiting the areas where sometimes it's not always easy to see a banker, a loan worker or someone to help with your finances.

Specific to our Northland BNZ will be the opportunity for customers to access BNZ and Good Shepherd New Zealand's Community Finance.

Mobile BNZ will also visit Kawakawa, Paihia, Rawene, Opononi, Coopers Beach and Mangonui and attend local events.