Pile-up blocks route

A five-car pile-up during rush hour in Whangārei blocked a main arterial route for about 20 minutes yesterday morning. Acting Sergeant Marie Holden, of the road policing team, said the crash on Kamo Rd happened about 8.30am when a car travelling towards the central city collided with a stationary vehicle. That caused a chain reaction involving another three cars which were also stationary because of the morning traffic congestion. The pile-up was just before the Ratana Church and blocked one lane for about 20 minutes. Holden said no one was injured and the two rear vehicles were towed. Police were considering whether to lay charges.

Falling pine cuts power

A falling pine tree not only closed a Far North road yesterday, but it also cut power to more than 160 households. The large tree came down just before 2pm, blocking Kaitaia-Awaroa Rd at Herekino and knocking the Herekino high-voltage feeder line. Kaitaia fire chief Craig Rogers said volunteer firefighters, a Top Energy crew and a resident used chainsaws to cut up the tree and clear the road. The power was still out in Herekino at 4pm yesterday.

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New cases at border

There were two new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand yesterday and once again both are people who have recently returned from overseas and are in managed isolation facilities.
They bring the number of active cases in New Zealand to 22. Both of the new cases are now in quarantine in Auckland.

Dargaville woman killed
The woman killed in a crash on State Highway 14 at Wheki Valley was 43-year-old Joana Salisbury, from Dargaville. Police released her name yesterday following the crash last Friday, 21km southwest of Whangārei about 7am. Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson said the woman was the sole occupant in a car heading towards Whangārei when she collided with a logging truck travelling in the opposite direction. The truck was empty and was carrying a trailer on the back. The driver was not injured but was extremely upset as a result of the crash. He stopped the truck about 50m from where the car ended up on the side of the road. The death would be referred to the coroner.

Fire force's new wheels

The Karikari Rural Fire Force has taken delivery of a new Isuzu four-wheel-drive appliance, straight from the factory in Wellington. Chief Fire Officer Thomson Lawrence, who said the machine has had a good "going over" by the team, said everyone was very happy with it, and, according to the Karikari Panui, reckoned "it'll do."

Chase ends in beating

The owner of a shop in Kaitaia's main street, who chased and challenged an alleged glasses thief on Sunday afternoon, was severely beaten, according to police. Her injuries included a bite on one hand. The glasses were recovered and the alleged offender was found nearby. She was arrested and held in police custody to appear in the Kaitaia District Court. The alleged offender, originally from Kaitaia but currently living in Auckland, was also found to have outstanding warrants for her arrest on other matters.