Body identified

Police have confirmed the body found at a rural Northland property is that of Bridget Simmonds who was reported missing more than a year ago. On Monday, a post mortem was carried out and the formal identification process has been completed. The remains of a body were found last week on a Wilson Rd property, Parakao, 40km west of Whangārei.

Simmonds, aged 42, was last seen at Countdown on February 23 and was reported missing on March 6, 2019, after all communication with her family stopped. A 57-year-old Northland man appeared in the Whangārei District Court and was granted interim name suppression last Friday. He faced a charge of possession of cannabis on June 9 and a second charge of wounding a woman with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on February 14, 2019.

No charge for dumping
The Far North District Council won't pursue the property owner or residents of a Haruru Falls address at the centre of an illegal dumping incident because the six-month statutory timeframe for prosecution or fines has passed. In July 2019 a truckload of commercial and domestic waste was dumped at Bledisloe lookout in Waitangi Forest. A Haruru Falls man was ordered to pay a $400 fine and $572.65 in clean-up costs after his name was found on documents in the trash, but that was waived when he maintained rubbish disposal had been organised by his flatmates and the property owner. It is now too late to pursue anyone else in relation to the illegal dumping.

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NZ First candidate
Former Northland Inc CEO David Wilson is to stand for NZ First in the Whangārei electorate in September's general election. Wilson, who unsuccessfully stood for NZ First in Te Atatu in the 2017 election, was confirmed as the party's Whangārei candidate yesterday. Shane Jones stood for the party in Whangārei last election and is this year standing in the Northland electorate for NZ First.

Tree planting
The Friends of Rangikapiti will be planting more trees on Sunday, and all willing helpers will be welcomed. Everyone will meet in the carpark below the pa, at 9am, winding up at 11. Contact tracing and physical distancing will be observed.

Coresteel wins award
Coresteel Buildings Northland was named Franchise of the Year at the annual Coresteel Buildings National Conference, held in Fiji. The team is thrilled to receive the coveted Franchise of the Year Award earlier this year and contribute the win to the hard work put in by the entire team. In addition to this win, Northland also secured Coresteel's Regional Marketing Award, as recognition for their successful marketing efforts, sponsorship and community engagement.

Classical concert
Live classical music is returning to the Turner Centre in Kerikeri next month. Vesa and Friends - six principal players from NZ Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) - will be playing Beethoven and Mozart at the centre on July 16 from 7pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear NZ Symphony Orchestra principals led by the concertmaster.