An emergency call reporting people stranded on an island off Northland's coast sparked a coastguard search at sea and a police search from land. The call for help came from a person at Matapouri, north east of Whangārei, saying people were stuck on an island near Matapouri but specific location in the bay was given.

Coastguard Tutukaka launched their vessel and searched the coast from Tutukaka to Sandy Bay, shortly after the call about midday yesterday, but found nothing. Officers used binoculars and from vantage points searched the coastline as well but were unable to locate people who looked stranded. A police spokesperson said it appeared it was a false report.

Plumbers awarded
Industry stalwart Jack Rogers and Masterlink apprentice George Steed from Rogers & Rogers in Kaitaia have both received recognition at the 2020 New Zealand Plumbing Awards, held online on Tuesday. During almost 50 years in the plumbing industry, Rogers has made a huge contribution to the industry and his community.

He firmly believes in social responsibility and provides sponsorship and funding for local sports teams, community activities and major fundraisers. He has trained more than 18 apprentices, given local Gateway students a taste for a plumbing career and helped run Plumbing World's Young Plumber of the Year events.


Rogers' 20-year-old apprentice George Steed has won one of three Plumbing World Scholarships. Steed is in the third year of his apprenticeship. He started his training at Rogers & Rogers after completing the Gateway programme through Kaitaia College.

Male drivers at risk
A new road safety education campaign in Northland encourages drivers to "Think" about what they are doing when it comes to getting behind the wheel. It's a continuation of the existing One Tear Too Many campaign that is visible throughout the region is targeted primarily at men aged 29 to 59 as their numbers continue to rise in Northland's road fatality and serious injury statistics.

Northland has seen thirteen road fatalities to date in 2020, with six of those aged between 29 and 59 years. There were 29 total fatalities on Northland roads during 2019.

Water restrictions relaxed
Water restrictions for Kaitaia and Paihia are being relaxed from now, although conservation measures applied to other Far North District Council water supplies will remain

The reductions will see tough level 4 restrictions in place for Kaitaia since February reduced to level 3. This means households and businesses can now water gardens and wash cars, buildings and paved areas from a bucket. Commercial car cleaners can also operate high-pressure and recycled water systems. A ban remains on the use of all outdoor hoses and irrigation systems. Filling swimming pools also remains banned.

In Paihia, Opua and Waitangi level 3 restrictions are being reduced to level 2. This allows households and businesses connected to Council supplies to use handheld hoses to water gardens, and wash cars, buildings and paved areas. Swimming pools can also be filled from the mains supply, although a ban on automatic irrigation and sprinkler systems remains in place.

Family on TV
A Northland family with a different approach to growing produce will feature on television this weekend. PermaDynamics, organic permaculture farm on community trust land in Matapōuri, will feature in an episode of Country Calendar Sunday, May 24 on TV1, 7pm.
It shows how the family lives and runs their farm and business, including banana growing, market gardening, mushroom growing, fermentation, orchards, earth building, food forests and goats. They promote community, food and climate resilience.

165 jobs for Northland
The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by Covid-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced yesterday.


Northland receives $9.51 million for various local roading projects including roadside and vegetation clearing, maintenance and construction work. About 165 jobs will be created.
The funding comes from the Government's $100 million worker redeployment package, announced in March, to create employment for people who have lost their jobs.