Sculpture construction starting

The concrete floor for Whangārei's newest public art installation - the camera obscura sculpture - will be laid on Monday. The community-led project is to construct an 8m spiral steel sculpture within which is a camera obscura room. Five years on from the initial concept, construction has begun on the edge of the Hatea River. On Monday, main contractor Harnett Builders will pour the foundations and floor of the sculptural structure with concrete donated by Firth Industries Whangārei. With support from Creative Northland, the project got the final funds needed from the Provincial Growth Fund.
The public will be able to enter the free-to-view experience, journey into the spiral to arrive in a light-proof room with the image of Te Matau a Pohe bridge, Hatea awa, sky and visitors projected all over the walls, floor and ceiling though a simple hole in the wall. For more info, visit www.cameraobscura.nz.

Wearable art entries sought

Entries are being sought for this year's 10th Anniversary Waipū Museum Wearable Art Contest and Show Art'nTartan. Artists and designers will be vying for a prize pool of around $15,000 over four main categories and the popular mask section for kids. The only criteria that covers all the garments is that they contain an element of visible and obvious tartan - painted, stitched, welded, engineered, embroidered or woven - no holds or materials barred. The closing date is April 24 and forms can be downloaded from the Waipū Museum Website or from the front desk of the Museum. Check the Waipū Museum Art'nTartan Facebook page for updates or contact artntartan@gmail.com for details.

Fatal shooting investigated

Tawhirimatea Leevi Jershon Tahere, 17, was fatally injured in a shooting in Kaikohe on Monday. Police were called to the property, at the corner of Hongi St and Heke St, at 8.45pm on Monday when members of the public reported a firearm had been discharged.
Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff McCarthy said police continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death. "We are continuing to make a number of inquiries surrounding Tawhirimatea's death and have been speaking to a number of people as part of the investigation." Police have recovered the firearm involved. A 22-year-old man has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. He has appeared in the Kaikohe District Court and is due to reappear next month. A youth has also been referred to Youth Aid for unlawful possession of a firearm. McCarthy could not rule out further charges being laid.

Teen arrested

A teenage boy has been arrested after an alleged scuffle in central Whangārei. A 13-year-old has been charged with assault with a weapon after the alleged incident at the Whangārei Town Basin, about 11am, on Thursday. The boy was helping police with their investigations which would include looking through security camera footage from the area. A teenage girl alleged she was hit over the head and struck in the back by another teen wielding a white fence paling. About 15 teenagers were spoken to by police. A St John Ambulance was called and staff checked a 10-month-old baby boy as a precaution. At the time there were a number of parents with their children at the playground, people playing petanque and tourists filming the incident.

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Car parking changes postponed

Whangārei District Council's plan to roll out car parking changes around the central city to simplify parking zones from 16 to 4 has been delayed because of Covid-19. "The impact of coronavirus on shipping means there is a shortage of signage materials, and as a result local printers haven't been able to get our new car park signs ready in time for our planned changeover date of February 28," WDC's strategy and planning manager Jeff Devine said. The changeover is now planned for the weekend of March 14-15, subject to the signage delivery.

DoC Community Fund round open

The regular Department of Conservation Community Fund round is open now and has about $4.6 million available. Funding for established conservation hubs has up to $1m available. Funding will be directed towards projects that restore the diversity of native plants and wildlife, including pest control, habitat restoration and weed management. Community groups, private landowners, iwi and non-government organisations can apply. Applications close on March 24. For more information, visit www.doc.govt.nz/doc-community-fund/