A pair of hand-knitted poppy and star banners have ended their four-week flight around New Zealand with a series of stops in Northland for locals to add their Anzac tributes. Organiser Melanie Salisbury said volunteer pilots had delivered the banners to each destination where they were added to by local crafters. Donations were collected along the way and the completed star would be donated to the Starship Foundation and the poppy to the RSA. Northland stops included Dargaville, Kaitaia, Kerikeri and Whangārei. From Kerikeri airport the banners were taken to Kaipatiki Eco Hive, near Paihia, on Thursday where a group of kids and crafters led by Mary Kelleher (Kombi Nation) and Nina Petrowski (Eco Hive) added some finishing touches. They also made rugs from recycled denim which will be raffled to raise money for the two causes.
Reminder after house fire
A house fire in Ruawai, south of Dargaville, on Thursday has prompted a reminder from firefighters to check electrical multi-plugs especially as we head into winter. Fire brigades from Ruawai and Dargaville responded to a callout at a Ruawai property shortly after 11am where the quick-thinking occupants — armed with a hose — had managed to extinguish a small blaze inside their house. Ruawai chief fire officer Kevin Evans said people needed to continually check the condition of any multi-plugs and electrical powerboards in their home. Evans said it was important people avoided overloading multi-plugs as winter approached to prevent any potential fires. He also stressed how crucial it was that homes were fitted with working smoking alarms that were checked regularly.
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Fun run/walk series for mental health
A nationwide fun run/walk series raising funds for mental health is being held in Paihia for the first time today.
The Aramex Kiwi Walk & Run Series targets tourism hot spots with other events in Queenstown, Hawke's Bay, Rotorua, Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland. The Paihia run/walk is the fourth in a series of seven raising awareness and money for Mental Health New Zealand. It has a short course of 4.5km and long courses of 7km and 14km. Whangārei runner Dennis Langford will present the medals.
5 for Blake Inspire
Five high school students have been selected from hundreds of applications to represent Northland/Tai Tokerau at Blake Inspire – a week-long environmental leadership programme for young New Zealanders. They are Danielle Gorrie, Huanui College, Year 13; Sacha Tunnicliffe, Ruawai College, Year 13; Helena Sanderson, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, Year 13; Shion Ko, Whangārei Boys High School, Year 13 and Anna-Lee Sherwin, Whangaroa College, Year 13. In partnership with the Ministry for the Environment, this year there will be two Blake Inspire programmes: April 19–23 in Waikato, and October 11-15 in Auckland. The five students will attend the first programme in Waikato. The programmes allow up to 70 Year 11-13 students from around Aotearoa to join other like-minded young leaders, who care about New Zealand's critical environmental issues, for a week of experiential learning.
Mobile phone driving fines
Fines for using a mobile phone while driving are set to increase from $80 to $150 on April 30. Transport Minister Michael Wood said the new fine would match similar offences. The increase was the Government's way of telling Kiwis they need to take the offence seriously and put away the phone while driving, Wood said. Using a mobile phone while driving will continue to attract 20 demerit points. Accumulating 100 demerits points from driving offences within two years results in a loss of licence for three months. Between 2015 and 2019, New Zealand experienced 22 road deaths and 73 serious injuries where drivers were distracted by a mobile phone.