A photographer visiting the Kaipara region has captured the hearts of locals with his spookily beautiful shots.
Brian Dean, an award-winning photographer from Queensland, Australia, is currently holidaying not far from Dargaville on Northland's west coast.
Dean says he can't help taking photographs of the region because, "everywhere I turn, every corner there is another incredible view."
The retired former construction manager is humble about his work and says he's just an amateur photographer, but admits to having won a few awards for this work.
He says the area with its raw natural beauty has inspired him to capture an array of images, including some spooky ones, which he has since shared with locals via social media.
"I particularly enjoyed photographing the old Te Kopuru Hospital and the old wharf there, as well as the dock in Dargaville."
His work has been well received by locals who have liked and shared his work hundreds of times, since posting them to Facebook in the last few days.
Dean said he tried to give the photographs of the hospital in Te Kopuru a spooky abandoned look and based on the feedback online, everyone agrees he nailed it.
Elaine Blitvic said she use to work at the Te Kopuru annexe, "I think people live in that building, great photos".
Millica Llewell said it would be the perfect place for a movie.
Many others said it was a shame the historic buildings were just falling apart.
Glen Stott said they were cool photos, but what a shameful waste of great buildings.
Annekke van der Putte said, "they do look spooky and abandoned."
Others reckoned they could see ghost-like figures in the images.
Dean also captured what many described as stunning shots of the coastline and he says he is looking forward to continuing his holiday in the country.
"We've plans to continue travelling and hopefully capture more of the region."
Grassroots Funding in the Kaipara
Kaipara charities have come out on top thanks to Grassroots Funding.
Every year the Northland Grassroots Fund is made available to charities and organisations working with the local community to provide services and support all over Northland.
This year, with just over $91,000 available to distribute, applications were received from 34 organisations that amounted to $ 410,032 worth of requests in total.
The Northland Community Foundation's Grant Panel, made up of volunteers from around the region, had the difficult job of selecting 13 organisations to be the recipients of this year's available funds.
However, out of 13 organisations to have been awarded grants, seven or just over half were awarded to charities based in the Kaipara.
Grassroots Allocation Committee chairwoman Debbie Evans said: "We know the funds will be used to benefit the community and make a real difference in people's lives".
This is the third year that Dargaville Early Years' Service HUB has received a grant from the Northland Grassroots fund, contributing to their rent and utilities bills and the salary of their co-ordinator, who manages the HUB. In the past year, the HUB has supported more than 500 vulnerable children and their families.
The Northland Grassroots Fund is kindly supported by the Tindall Foundation and is boosted by donations to Northland Community Foundation's Northland Community Fund.
The fund provides grants between $1000 to $15,000 for local initiatives that aim to improve the lives of Northlanders in the long-term under the families category. Donors who are interested in supporting their local community are encouraged, as it will make a direct contribution towards improving the wellbeing of people living in Northland.
You can gift directly to the Grassroots Fund and receive a 33 per cent tax credit. Visit the Foundation's donate page at http://northlandcommunityfoundation.org.nz/donate/ to donate by credit card or through your bank account, choosing the Grassroots Fund. Alternatively, you can call 021 558 224 to find out more and discuss your interest.
Health Shuttle Service Expands
Dargaville's Kaipara Community Health Trust health shuttle service has an additional function to help keep families together in their time of need.
The popular van service, which already takes locals to their Whangārei-based medical appointments, now also offers the opportunity for Kaipara folks to visit their loved ones in hospital.
Kaipara Community Health Trust (KCHT) CEO Debbie Evans says that by utilising extra available seats in the large shuttle van to keep whānau close when loved ones may be seriously ill, "makes sense".
"The shuttle currently offers to pick up people needing treatment directly from their homes, but those who wish to travel to visit hospital-bound relatives and friends are encouraged to call in advance, as people needing treatment must by necessity be a priority.
"However, by offering spare spaces to those lending moral and spiritual support to family and friends in treatment, the health shuttle is also promoting better mental health, reducing isolation, fear and anxiety," said Evans.
"The KCHT has had a long association with transport, and helping people access services they may not have otherwise been able to reach," said Evans.
The Health Shuttle leaves central Dargaville for Whangārei Hospital most days, so those with loved ones in hospital care are encouraged to call 439 3013 to enquire as to the schedule in advance.