The new Commissioner of Police, Andrew Coster, received a wero during a powhiri at Waitangi last week. He was escorted on to the marae by the Māori Anglican Bishop of Tai Tokerau, Te Kitohi Pikaahu (of Paihia).
It was the Commissioner's second visit to the Far North. At the invitation of the Chinese community he went to the blessing of the Ventnor monument at Opononi in April.
Coster became Commissioner of Police in April 2020 and his police career spans more than 23 years.
Before being appointed as Commissioner he was acting Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and Partnerships. In this role he led the coordination for the police's largest IT project of the decade, the replacement of the organisation's HR and payroll system.
Immediately after the terrorist attack in Christchurch he oversaw the development of the Government's firearms reforms including the bank on semi-automatic weapons.
Coster has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Auckland and a Master of Public Management from Victoria University of Wellington. He has been a solicitor in the Office of the Crown Solicitor in Auckland.
His father is Professor Gregor Coster, the former Dean of the Wellington Faculty of Health.
New manager for Pompallier Mission
The new manager for the Pompallier Mission in Russell brings a considerable touch of France.
"It's like coming home," said Delphine Moise-Elise. "When I first walked into the printery it smelled like my grandparents' home in the Alps and the old Pise buildings I lived in when I was studying in Lyon."
Built in 1842, Pompallier Mission originally housed a printery where church texts were translated from Latin to te reo Māori by French Marist brothers under the leadership of Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier, then printed and bound.
Today the printery stands as New Zealand's oldest industrial building, and distinctly French in style.
Moise-Elise is a French national and was born in the French Alps. She spent her childhood in Provence, growing up surrounded by history and tradition in a family of storytellers. After moving to Australia in her early 20s she has spent most of her working life in the Northern Territory of Australia.
With a strong professional background in cultural heritage management, Moise-Elise's experience spans strategy development in a bicultural context, oral history, governance and mediation as well as communication, film-making, organising and curating exhibitions and international cultural exchanges.
Her most recent role was in the Northern Territory where she supported the creation of the Knowledge Keepers Committee, a network of prominent cultural leaders in Arnhem Land to oversee the development of research protocols.
"This region is the cradle of the most ancient rock art in the world," she says.
Moise-Elise has also worked as a researcher for Aboriginal organisations conducting land claims, native title claims, oral history research and protection of sacred sites; and developed a Cultural Heritage Strategy for the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
She has connections to New Zealand too. Her tamariki are Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa. She has also worked in this country with Treaty claims, research and documentation, cultural mapping and recording oral history on video, as well as kaupapa Māori health initiatives.
Summertime kaitiaka rangers praised
A kaitiaki ranger programme which ran from November last year to Easter has been praised by Far North District Council chief executive Shaun Clarke.
"I'm happy to report that their input helped reduce the number of complaints about visitor behaviour and raised awareness about the environmental and cultural importance of the Far North," he said.
The programme was funded through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Around 30 rangers patrolled Karikari Peninsula, Ahipara, Kaimaumau, Russell and Kawakawa educating campers about protecting and respecting the environment.
They were key in providing regular updates about summer water restrictions and sharing Covid-19 information.
They also helped collect rubbish from holiday hotspots and provided tourists with information about activities and events in the community.
Public toilets open and shut
Two public toilet sites at Haruru Falls and Waitangi were blessed ahead of construction work last week.
The toilets, including the new Waitangi toilets, are funded partly by Far North District Council and partly by the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
The toilets at Waitangi will take longer to complete because of sensitivity of the nationally significant site.
A spokesman for the Far North District Council said they are working closely with iwi and archaeologists and anticipate the three-cubicle building will be open by Christmas.
The public toilets at Te Tii Bay, opposite the roundabout at Puketona and Marsden Rds, are now closed for up to two weeks for refurbishment. Two portable toilets have been installed nearby in the meantime to cope with residents and dog walkers.
Russell on a Covid roll
The first two days of Covid vaccinations in Russell resulted, in theory, in nearly half the population being vaccinated.
Having the jab last week were 485 people. That however, includes some people from Paihia, Kawakawa and Kerikeri, who made the most of the appointment opportunity that wasn't available in their own area.
The Russell vaccinations programme is a collaboration between Ngati Hine Health and St John. Ngati Hine Health provide the staff and St John provides the facility and volunteers to assist.
Already, 300 people are booked for vaccinations on June 23 and 24, including those who are having their first shot and those who are having a booster shot.
Diane Smith, who heads up the Russell committee of St John in Russell said they are pushing to get those over 60 years old to fill the few remaining spaces available at the end of June.
"Then we will start pushing for everyone who is 16 years and over. The younger people are coming forward now."
Virtual travel expo promoting the Far North
In a first, Tourism New Zealand is holding a virtual trade event in collaboration with Events AIR on June 16.
It will provide an opportunity for representatives of the New Zealand tourism industry to educate and establish business relationships with frontline travel agents, online travel sellers, wholesale agents and product managers from Australia.
The event connects the New Zealand tourism industry to Australian travel sellers and distributors and is also open to accommodation, activity and transport operators.
Northland Inc is participating. Tania Burt, general manager of destinations, says it's just like a trade show in person.
"People will make an appointment and come and visit our virtual booth. We talk to them about the region and any new product that has come on board."
Nearly all the new Northland product is in the Far North. Destinations such as Footprints of Kupe on the Hokianga, Ngawha Springs at Ngawha, Te Aroha Museum at Waitangi and Te Ahurea (formerly Rewa's Village) in Kerikeri will be promoted.
Up and coming destinations include the Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whangārei.
• Email Sandy Myhre at email@example.com if you have any news you'd like to see in Bay News.