Fatal crash case
The case of a man charged with drink-driving causing death after a fatal crash in Whangārei will be called for a jury trial callover on July 30. Michael Gardyne, 34, is charged with driving with excess breath alcohol causing death. Gardyne was driving a Jeep Cherokee on Whareora Rd, Whangārei, on August 11, 2018 when it collided head on with a van being driven by Geoffrey Johnston Pearson, 58, who died at the scene. Gardyne is on bail.

Simmonds murder trial
The jury trial of a Northlander accused of murdering 43-year-old Bridget Odelle Simmonds will take place in June next year. Samuel Hemuera Pou, 57, of Otangarei, is charged that between February 23, 2019, and March 14, 2019, he murdered Simmonds. He also faces a charge that, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, he wounded Simmonds on February 14, 2019. Pou also faces three charges of injuring another woman between December 2016 and March 2017. He appeared via audio visual link in the High Court at Whangārei yesterday and entered not guilty pleas to all charges. His trial, scheduled to start on June 8, 2021, is expected to last three weeks.

Kerikeri planting bee
Volunteers are needed to help plant 660 native trees and shrubs on the Wairoa Stream walkway in Kerikeri. Planting will start at 9am on Sunday, July 12. Volunteers should gather at the carpark next to Cobham Rd bridge, bring a sharp spade, gumboots or sturdy footwear, and dress for the weather. The event is organised by Vision Kerikeri and Friends of Wairoa Stream with the seedlings funded by Matariki Tu Rakau, part of the One Billion Trees programme.

This crash in Ruawai brought down power lines and left a man and two young children with minor to moderate injuries. Photo / supplied
This crash in Ruawai brought down power lines and left a man and two young children with minor to moderate injuries. Photo / supplied

Car crash closes road


A man and two children were injured when a car hit a power pole in Ruawai just before 3pm yesterday. All three — a male aged 60 and children aged 3 and 6 — were able to get out of the vehicle unaided. Their injuries were described as minor to moderate. The crash brought four 400V lines down onto State Highway 12, forcing closure of the road. Police reported the highway was still closed at 4.30pm. A Northpower crew made the scene safe and replaced the wooden pole. Only two homes lost power and were expected to have it restored by 8pm. The cause of the crash was not known at edition time yesterday.

Family's lockdown in photos
A Waipapa photographer was one of 30 worldwide invited to take part in a photo project exploring lockdown during the Covid-19 crisis. Claire Gordon's photo essay, called "We're all in it together", was based on her family's experience of isolation. Gordon said the lockdown situation was unique, but feeling isolated and alone was not. "We don't even need to be 'alone' to feel isolated. My family certainly had our moments in our bubble as we dealt with the contagion of fear (or fear of contagion?). Between us we had compromised immunity, an essential worker, and then there was me, the mediator in the middle. Each of us had our moments of uncertainty and loneliness, but eventually we settled down, found our way, adapted, and settled into a new harmony." You can check out her photos at flashgordon.co.nz/isolation.

Book sale
The Doubtless Bay Christian Centre is holding a monster book sale from 9am-1pm on July 11 at the centre, 7 Mill Rd, Mangonui. There will something for everyone to buy and read, said organiser Margaret Foster.