Defence Force training

A team of New Zealand Defence Force personnel are making the most of Northland's coastline to fine tune their nautical skills. The week-long maritime training exercise had phases in the Tutukaka and the Bay of Islands areas. A spokesperson said the team were using two rigid hull inflatable boats and focused on surf negotiation, maritime navigation and diving. The exercise finished yesterday. The team said they appreciated the support of the communities where the training was carried out.

Vintage Machinery Club Crank Up

Vintage farm machinery will roar into life during a spectacular display of tractors, bulldozers and old machinery in Whangārei. On Sunday the Northland Vintage Machinery Club will roll out the gear in a paddock at Kiwi North, Maunu, a good old-fashioned "Crank Up" display. There will be a hay-making demonstration, firewood cutting and splitting, and tractor trailer rides. Entry is $5 for adults and children under 5 are free. The action starts at 9am and runs until 3pm.

Cracked pipe responsible

A cracked pipe in a Whangārei street was mostly likely caused by the ongoing dry spell affecting Northland. Residents in Isola St, Raumanga, reported the water leak on Monday evening and contractors were in the street shortly after to make repairs. Whangārei District Council's water services manager Andrew Venmore said the ground drying up and moving had cracked some of the older pipes. In November, 18 pipe breaks were reported and in January that jumped to 34 breaks. Venmore said it was not surprising for this time of year but the number had increased because of the long dry spell.

Pavilion set for demolition

Kerikeri Domain's fire-damaged pavilion is about to be demolished. The council closed the pavilion in June 2016 after a deliberately-lit fire left it unsafe to use. It resolved to demolish the building, including the grandstand, which had become a barrier to improving the domain, in June 2019, and has now contracted Whangārei firm NPM Remediation to do the job over an eight-week period. NPM has already erected a temporary safety fence around the pavilion and half the nearby basketball court. Other work will include disconnecting the power and water supplies, erecting scaffolding, and removing asbestos, cladding and salvageable items. Demolition, which is scheduled to take four weeks, is due to begin on March 16.

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Rail investment 'fantastic'

Northland Inc CEO Murray Reade has welcomed the Government's decision to make further significant investment in the region's rail infrastructure, saying it is "fantastic news" for the region. The latest investment of $109.7 million through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), follows last year's $94.8m outlay for much-needed work on the line between Swanson and Whangārei, and will enable hi-cube container freight to be transported by rail through Northland for the first time. "Good infrastructure is essential for economic development, and this announcement will have a significant impact in helping to keep the region travelling forward. It is fantastic news and further proof that this is our time in Tai Tokerau Northland," Reade said.