Dargaville may be the Kumara Capital of New Zealand – but does that mean you'll pull a sweet deal on the price of those sweet potatoes?
Photos posted to social media show "Dargaville" kumara being sold for as little as $1.49 a kilo at markets in Auckland and in the Hawke's Bay they were being sold for $3.50 a kilo. Locally they are being sold for between $2.50 and $5 a kilo.
However local growers said kumara being sold outside of the region are lower grades.
President of the Northern Wairoa Growers Association Doug Nilsson says it will most definitely be a lower or mixed grade or unwashed older stock, "the sort we wouldn't sell, they're usually used for stock food or processing".
"I'd say the product being sold lacks the added value of having been graded and washed and the expense of being processed through a packhouse."
Nilsson said it costs growers $1.20 a kilo just to farm Kumara before taking into account the added costs of washing and transporting them.
However, a price comparison between Dargaville and supermarkets in Auckland also showed that prices in the big smoke were cheaper.
Pak'N Save Auckland was selling red and orange kumara for $1 cheaper at $3.99 a kilo versus $5 a kilo at the Dargaville Countdown.
Director of Vegetables New Zealand Andre DeBruin said local farmers do not set the price of kumara.
"The grower has no say in that regard, once we've sold it to the supermarket… we can sell it to them, but we don't have the ability to tell them how much to sell it for."
The Northern Advocate visited three roadside stalls selling kumara between Ruawai and Dargaville on State Highway 12 and found most were around the $3 a kilo mark.
However, most of the stalls visited did not state what grade the kumara was that they were selling and some did not state how many kilos were in a bag, instead simply calling it a large bag.
Nilsson said most kumara sold at roadside stalls were seconds. None of the stalls were as cheap as the kumara being sold at the markets in Auckland.
Vintage wooden surfboard found
A very old vintage wooden surfboard has been found under a large amount of undergrowth at Baylys Beach – and now its owner is being sought.
Avid surfer Con Fowler said a friend gave it to him in the hope he might be able to track down the owner.
"It was found down in the gully going down Sea View Rd, under a lot of undergrowth, so it had been there a while. The guy who found it passed it onto me, I have asked long-time local surfers if they recognise it, but no one can identify it."
Fowler thinks it may be homemade and possibly fell from a passing car, but until he finds its original owner, he will never know.
Rhys Owen, production supervisor at Surfline Ruakaka, which produces custom-made surfboards, said, "it would be pretty exciting to find something like this, especially if you're a surfer from that era".
Owen viewed a photo of the surfboard and said it appears to be old, possibly early 70s.
"For anyone who surfs and especially for someone of that era who appreciates this type of surfboard, and recognises that it's vintage, this would definitely be a very cool find."
Owen said depending on who made the board, it could be quite valuable.
He said it was a single-fin board with swallow-tail tips and cut laps.
"Looking at how symmetric it is, it's made by someone who knew what they were doing, most likely a professional; it has a logo i.e. proper surfboard detail and it appears to be in good condition.
"Possibly because it was under a heap of undergrowth for such a long time this has helped protect it from the damaging rays of the sun and preserved it a bit, as it appears to be quite white."
Because the board didn't have anyone standing alongside it for perspective, he said it would be hard to say what size it was, short or long.
Anyone who might recognise it can contact Rose; details at end of text.
Future Leaders wanted for KDC
The Kaipara District Council is calling on future leaders who think they've got what it takes to stand for council or for mayor to put their hat in the ring.
However, before making your mind there's an opportunity to find out more at candidates' information evenings.
Potential candidates will be able to hear about where the council is up to, what projects and challenges are on the horizon, and what sort of people council need to address the future.
"The evening will feature two presenters: KDC chief executive Louise Miller, alongside general manager governance, strategy & democracy Jason Marris with a brief presentation about the council and the roles and responsibilities of elected member," said KDC spokesman Ben Hope.
"KDC electoral officer Dale Ofsoske will cover the election process including details on how prospective candidates can submit nominations. The event in Dargaville, will include a presentation from Northland Regional Council about the differences between regional and district council."
Marris said the candidates' evening provided an excellent opportunity for people who have already decided or are still making up their minds about standing for a council role, to find out more on the various positions covered by the elections and how they can become candidates.
For the next three-year term, Kaipara District voters need to elect a mayor, eight district councillors from across the recently decided four ward structure (Central/West Coast, Dargaville, Otamatea, Kaiwaka – Mangawhai).
Nominations open on Friday July 19 and close on Friday August 16 (at noon). Voting papers will be sent to enrolled residents between September 20-25.
Election Day is Saturday October 12, and provisional results are expected to be announced by Sunday October 13.
Candidate nomination forms will be available at the information evenings and are also available from the council's offices at Dargaville and Mangawhai, from Friday, July 19.
The events will be hosted across the district:
• Monday July 22, 5.30-6.30pm - Maungaturoto Country Club, Bickerstaffe Rd
• Wednesday 24 July, 5.30-6.30pm - Mangawhai Heads Surf Club, Mangawhai
• Monday 29 July, 5.30-6.30pm - Kaiwaka Memorial Hall, Kaiwaka – Mangawhai Rd
• Wednesday 31 July, 5.30-6.30pm - Dargaville Town Hall, Hokianga Rd (with Northland Regional Council)
• Monday 5 August, 5.30-6.30pm - Ruawai – Tokatoka War Memorial Hall, Wharf Rd.
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