Northland police are on the hunt for any information regarding the whereabouts of missing Northland man Craig Russell. The 51-year-old was last seen on February 19 in the Ruawai area. Police said Russell's family were very concerned and wanted to make ensure he was safe. He was described as slim build, and was last seen wearing Red Band gumboots, grey short-sleeved hoodie and black track pants. Anyone with information can phone 105 quoting file number 210223/5211.
Car hits forecourt sign
A driver escaped unhurt after his car crashed into the Z Energy Kensington roadside sign on Tuesday night. A Northland police spokesman said no other vehicles were involved in the collision at the Kamo Rd and Kensington Ave intersection at 9pm.
Firearms court case
A 26-year-old woman and Black Power gang members netted in a police operation will reappear in the Whangārei District Court on separate dates in March and April. Te Arani Helen Walters, of Whananaki, is jointly charged with 31-year-old Black Power member Tawhia Hughes, of Kensington, on two firearms offences that included unlawful possession of a .22 rifle. The covert search warrants carried out by the armed offenders squad two weeks ago resulted in the seizure of two high-powered firearms. Two other Black Power members - Hiko Komene, 24, of Whangarei, and 32-year-old Israel Orani - faced joint firearms charges related to a cut-down .22 calibre rifle and a waist bag containing 47 rounds of ammunition. Both men were charged separately with resisting arrest. The arrests were the outcome of a police operation in Whananaki and in Otangarei, Whangarei. Walters will make a bail application when she reappears on March 8, Komene will be back on March 15, and Hughes and Orani on April 15.
E-waste recycling trial
Whangārei's Noel Leeming is trialling a free e-waste recycling programme in partnership with TechCollect NZ, a not-for-profit organisation committed to supporting product stewardship for electrical and electronic products. The recycling programme aims to divert thousands of kilograms of e-waste from landfill by offering free drop-off recycle points at 16 participating Noel Leeming stores nationwide. Customers and small businesses can take e-waste including printers, computers, laptops and tablets, as well as peripherals such as keyboards, mice, power supplies, monitors, copiers, scanners and multifunction printers and cameras to a participating Noel Leeming retail store. Customers are responsible for clearing personal data from devices. Excluded products include televisions, white goods, non-IT electronics, loose batteries, toner and ink cartridges.
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Free Te Reo course
Ngātiwai - Te Au Here o Tūkaiaia are offering a free year-long beginners course in Te Reo Māori in Whangārei starting on March 1. Classes are held in Semenoff Stadium on Okara Drive at 6pm. As spaces are limited people interested are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 09 972 7670.
Towns roll out welcome mat
Two of New Zealand's most welcoming towns are in the Far North, according to Booking.com. Oamaru topped the list, followed by Hokitika, Invercargill, Cambridge, Picton, Lake Tekapo, Kerikeri (7th), Palmerston North, Paihia (9th) and Twizel. Destinations had to have at least 50 eligible accommodations to be included in the list and were sorted by the highest share of winners per destination. The global awards recognise partners across 220 countries and territories that make travel experiences more memorable for travellers, whether they were booking a place to stay, a rental car or airport taxi.
The Northland Rugby Union has confirmed the dates for this year's RugbySmart course, which is compulsory for all coaches, assistant coaches and managers who are involved with teams from under-14 and above. School coaches are also encouraged to attend. The first of two sessions in the Far North is at the Kerikeri Rugby Club on Monday, March 8, and the second at the Kaitaia Rugby Club on Monday, March 15, both starting at 6.30pm. The online module must be completed before the practical session.