Cats in need of rescue
There are about 30 cats in need of rescue or adoption from the Bay of Islands Animal Rescue Centre.
The centre is based in Kawakawa, but that's mostly for dogs and puppies. Sam Stewart, who runs it, has a couple of catteries on her property and all are waiting rescue or in need of a foster home.
"All our cats come desexed, vaccinated, microchipped, they are treated for parasites and all are registered on the NZCat website," she said.
There is a kitten "season", which starts about September-October and runs to March or April. But it never really stops, says Sam, and points to the advantage of homing an older cat.
"Their personalities are developed, they are a lot more laid back and they are not as hyperactive as kittens."
For the time being, the cost for housing a cat is koha.
Contact https://bayofislandsanimalrescue.org.nz/ or phone Sam Stewart 022 613 2317.
Council review of speed limits
Far North District Council is seeking feedback on the speed limit changes proposed for mostly rural roads.
It's part of a region-wide review of district road speeds being undertaken by Northland councils. FNDC applied the new speed limits to more than 50 roads between Kāeo and Ōhaeawai in January. Mayor John Carter said it's the second review for the Far North.
"Because we have so many roads in our district, we are reviewing speed limits area by area.
"Those areas with the highest crash risk are being reviewed first and statistics show that roads north of Hokianga Harbour, and around Awanui and Moerewa, have a high rate of serious crashes."
He said many roads in the Far North are unsealed, narrow and winding but have a default speed limit of 100km/h.
"That is a problem. Between 2016 and 2021, travelling too fast for the road conditions contributed to nearly a third of fatal or serious injury crashes in the Far North."
He says there were 8183 crashes recorded in Northland between 2016 and 2021, with 3224 occurring in the Far North. Sixty-nine of those resulted in one or more fatalities.
For a full list of roads under review, as well as maps of the review areas and to make a submission, go to www.fndc.govt.nz/haveyoursay or pick up the full proposal from council service centres and libraries.
You can also call 0800 920 029 to have a proposal posted to you.
Three schools achieve Enviroschool status
Two Northland schools and a kindergarten have achieved Green-Gold status through the national Enviroschools programme, which recognises their schools' approach to sustainability.
Ruawai Kindergarten, Kerikeri's Riverview School and Oruaiti School near Mangonui have all reached Green-Gold in recent months, the first time three Northland Enviroschools have all been recognised with the status within a 12-month period.
The regional council introduced the programme to Northland in 2004, and there are now more than 130 schools, kindergartens and early childhood centres in the programme region-wide.
The last Northland Enviroschool to achieve the coveted Green-Gold was Comrie Park Kindergarten in 2018, and the latest recipients bring to 10 the number of Enviroschools to have achieved the status Northland-wide.
Council chairwoman Penny Smart says becoming a Green-Gold Enviroschool is a significant milestone in a school's sustainability journey.
"At Green-Gold level an Enviroschool feels like a living ecosystem, learners take the lead in their action and the wider community is supported with skilled gardeners, beekeepers and pest controllers."
She says Enviroschools' recognition comes in three bands, from the most-often-awarded Bronze, through to Silver and the rarest, Green-Gold.
Susan Karels, the council's Enviroschools regional co-ordinator, says among the three Enviroschools' key strengths are an unfailing whole school dedication to sustainability, evidenced by a wide array of initiatives from creating kai forests and keeping bees and ducks, to awa and wetland restoration.
All three schools worked closely with local tangata whenua, and incorporate a Māori world view into their daily operations.
Kerikeri Youth Theatre enrolments
Kerikeri Theatre Company is accepting enrolments for its Youth Theatre. The first class was on Monday, July 26, and the classes will run until the end of the third term. There is room for latecomers.
In charge is Wiremu "Willi" Henley who is prominent in the KTC productions as an actor.
"It's for youth who are aged between 5 and 16 years, and we explore our limits and extend ourselves with drama games and theatre exercises to build the theatrical craft."
He said the students are "bursting with creative energy".
Shows the Youth Theatre have been involved with include Peter Pan, Oliver Twist, Bugsy Malone, and, lately, The Sound of Music, all at the Turner Centre, Kerikeri.
Classes go for an hour and are held on Monday afternoons at the Kerikeri Theatre Company studio at 17 Sammaree Place.
For more information: kerikeritheatrecompany.com
Haruru Falls rongoā clinic keeps growing
Rongoā Māori practitioners Mini and Ualesi Vaega spent two years building a space for wānanga, healing, and wellbeing.
The couple were inspired by a vision and design for a rongoā clinic and were told if they built it, people would come. Which they did, and it has continued to grow.
The view from the whare looks over the Waitangi River mouth, which Ualesi said is fitting considering its history.
"The purpose of this whare is for healing and wānanga, and we know that during the early colonial years, this land hosted many wānanga where hapū leaders would gather to share, to learn, and plan."
Wooden beams were cut from trees from the land, bricks were handmade from clay and crystals placed under the floorboards.
"The word whakarongo means to listen, but within that word is rongo, which means peace," he said.
"When we slow down and take time to really listen to our bodies, our environment and our spirits, we can be guided to find peace."
As Minni says, rongoā is not about treating symptoms but is a complete way of living.
The Rongoā clinic is open to the community at the Haruru Falls Clinic on Thursdays, 9am-3pm. It is delivered by the Taonga Hauora Trust in collaboration with the Northland DHB, which funded the rongoā pilot.
Water safety signs for Doubtless Bay beaches
In April, the coroner recommended Far North District Council install water safety signage at Doubtless Bay beaches after the fatal drowning of a Palmerston North man at Cable Bay in 2018.
FNDC has now installed bilingual (te reo Māori and English) water safety signs that meet Australian-New Zealand standards at beaches at Cable Bay, Coopers Beach and Taipā.
They have installed the signs as close as possible to existing surf lifesaving equipment and, alternatively, on the main approaches to beaches. They have also attached warning symbols to existing reserve signage as an extra precaution.
FNDC is working with Surf Life Saving New Zealand to identify other beaches where water safety signage is needed. The information about water safety hazards at those beaches will be on the Visiting the Far North section of the FNDC website by the end of July.
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