Roundabout works start

Work has begun on the $15 million roundabout on the State Highway 10/11 intersection at Puketona Junction, that was declared in 2010 to be the most dangerous intersection in Northland. A road assessment report (KiwiRAP) released the following year said SH11 from Kawakawa to Puketona - which includes the Puketona Junction - had on average 11.8 fatal and serious injury crashes every year. The road was rated at the time as the 10th most dangerous in the country and the riskiest stretch of road in Northland. The job is due for completion in April.

Ecommerce scholarships
A Māori ecommerce programme working with global online sales giant Shopify has handed out $15,000 in scholarships to Northlanders Moanaroa Ashley and Kawiti Waetford. Two scholarships worth $7500 each have been awarded to the pair for the 12-week bootcamp in ecommerce and digital marketing, run by social enterprise Te Whare Hukahuka. Te Whare Hukahuka developed the programme as part of its mission to improve the lives of 10 million indigenous people. It has partnered with Shopify and Te Puni Kōkiri to offer 65 scholarships worth $487,500 for the online learning programme. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise also contributed toward scholarships for iwi and Māori businesses.

Support for author
Kerikeri writer Jo Danilo has been granted mentor assistance from the New Zealand Society of Authors. She was one of 13 offered a detailed assessment of a manuscript from one of the country's leading writers and follow-up support. Her novel, Foxfires, is a historical fantasy set on the Yorkshire Moors, covering the pre-Roman period through to World War I.

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Missing man found
Northland Police say the 63-year-old man reported missing on Tuesday has been found safe and well. Bruce Heap was reported missing early on Tuesday from an address in Pipiwai Rd and police made a public call for help finding him. Heap was found yesterday morning near Kamo. Police would like to acknowledge the public's assistance in this matter.

Two more cases
There were two new cases of Covid-19 reported in NZ yesterday, both in managed isolation. It has now been 89 days since the last case of Covid-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source. There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for the virus. NZ's total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is now 1209.

Drop in burglaries
Police in Kaitaia have been attending fewer burglaries than they would normally expect of late. Senior Sergeant Russell Richards attributes the slowdown to one or two individuals having been taken out of action by the justice system and others not venturing north from "down the line". Kaitaia did not have a lot of active burglars, he said, but one or two could have a significant impact on a small community.