Three helicopters were brought in to help contain a large scrub fire that started in sand dunes behind the Ruakākā Camp Ground.

Emergency services were called about 1.30pm yesterday and six appliances from Ruakākā, Waipū, Marsden Pt and Mangawhai responded.

The fire spread quite quickly over 1.5 hectares and there were houses quite close to the fire but none were threatened.

The fire was brought under control about 4.30pm. It's not known how the fire started.


Crash victims named
Police have named the three people who died in a crash on Whananaki North Rd, near Whangārei, early on Sunday morning.

Maurice Kareko, 35, Rhiannon Walters, 11, and Alec Walters, 5, died after a car crashed into a tree at around 2.15am.

Another child remains in Whangārei Hospital in a serious condition, while a fifth occupant of the vehicle received minor injuries.

The road was closed overnight while emergency services conducted a scene examination.
Police haven't been able to confirm what caused the incident and investigations are ongoing.

Lotto winners
Two Northlanders are among 23 Lotto players who will be enjoying a boost to their bank account after each winning $24,158 with Lotto Second Division in Saturday's live Lotto draw.

The Northland winning tickets were sold at the Otaika Lotto & Post and the Onerahi Dairy in Whangārei.

Three lucky players also won Powerball Second Division, taking their total winnings to $37,493.

The winning Powerball Second Division tickets were sold at Clendon Foodmarket in Auckland, Mataura Four Square in Mataura, and Wyndham Four Square in Wyndham.


The Powerball jackpot on Wednesday night will be $42 million.

The winning numbers from Saturday were 8, 15, 22, 36, 40, bonus number 31; Powerball 10.

Applications closed
More than 70 people applied for the Northland Regional Council's inaugural Tū i te ora Scholarship programme.

NRC is offering four $3000 scholarships to support students studying or training in areas that align with council's focus and mission of working together to create a healthy environment, strong economy and resilient communities.

The scholarships aim to build Māori capacity within Northland and provide opportunities for further education, with two earmarked for Māori who whakapapa to the region.

Roughly three-quarters of the applicants were Māori.

Judging will take place mid-March with winners expected to be confirmed later in the month.

All applicants will be informed of the results.

Whitebait consultation
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.

Submissions were due to close on March 2 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday, March 16 after Minister Sage received feedback from the public and iwi that they need more time to submit on proposals in the Improving Whitebait Management discussion document.

The proposed changes aim to ensure that whitebait numbers flourish, while maintaining a healthy fishery long-term.

The ministry has received more than 2000 submissions already.

People can provide feedback on the whitebait management proposals online or by mail.

Visit for more information.