Community groups affiliated to Northland's Kiwi Coast conservation initiative have trapped almost half a million introduced pests in the past eight years. Kiwi Coast figures released this week showed 142 groups and landowners had collectively trapped 95,824 pests in 2020, making a total of 492,458 since the project began. The total included more than 200,000 possums, 190,000 rodents, close to 20,000 hedgehogs and 17,000 rabbits, 15,300 mustelids and 5850 feral cats. The figures are for trapping only so don't include pests killed with toxins. A Kiwi Coast spokesperson said it was not known if trapping was making a dent in Northland's overall pest population or if they were breeding and reinvading as fast as they could be trapped. However, some groups – especially those that had linked up to form continuous pest control operations over large areas — had started reporting fewer pests than in previous years.
Two Northlanders are more than $10,000 richer after winning Lotto Second Division yesterday. Countdown Kerikeri and Regent New World in Whangārei sold the winning tickets that netted the pair $10,751. Anyone who bought their ticket from any of the winning stores should write their name on the back of it and check it at any Lotto NZ outlet, online at MyLotto.co.nz or through the Lotto NZ App.
A pair of teenagers and two older men were arrested in Whangārei and Christchurch yesterday in connection with a drive-by shooting in Kamo last month. The four men - aged 49, 43, 18, and 17 - are linked to the Mongols motorcycle gang and will appear in Christchurch and Whangārei courts today charged with doing a dangerous act with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, arson and participating in an organised criminal group. The two teens and the 43-year-old were also jointly charged with unlawfully taking a motor vehicle. Six search warrants by Armed Offenders Squads in Northland and Canterbury yesterday, resulted in the arrests, and found a large quantity of methamphetamine and more than $50,000. The raids were part of Operation Brantley, launched after a drive-by shooting at an occupied house on Brunner Terrace in Kamo on May 7. Northland Detective Inspector Bridget Doell said investigations targeted members and associates of the Mongols. She could not rule the possibility of more arrests.