A Northland firefighter has been presented with his New Year's Honour by Governor-General Patsy Reddy at Government House in Wellington. Jim Powdrill, a member of the Kaikohe Fire Brigade since 1963, received a Queen's Service Medal for services to Fire and Emergency NZ. In his time with the brigade he has been a driver, pump operator and trainer, fitted smoke alarms in almost every house in Kaikohe and cleaned chimneys in response to a rise in chimney fires. He was made a life member of the brigade in 1988. He has also volunteered with St John, Kaikohe Pioneer Village and Kaikohe Community Patrol. The ceremony for volunteer firefighters took place on Wednesday. John Bowmar, former Kaiwaka fire chief, was presented with his Queen's Service Medal for services to Fire and Emergency NZ and the community in Auckland on April 19.
A major upgrade of Paihia's CCTV system will soon get underway thanks to a grant from the Proceeds of Crime Fund. Existing cameras will be replaced and more will be installed from Ōpua to Wātea. The funding will also cover maintenance through to 2024. The funding application was made by community group Focus Paihia and Northland police. A Focus Paihia spokeswoman said the upgrade would enhance safety and community wellbeing as well as giving police another investigation tool. The group thanked Senior Sergeant Peter Robinson of Mid North Police, saying without his help the application wouldn't have got over the line. The upgrade will start in the next few months.
Wanted man arrested
Police searching for a wanted man who was sought in relation to the firearms incident at the Sofitel Hotel in Auckland last month arrested him yesterday. The man was arrested by Armed Offenders Squad members executing a search warrant at a rural property near Kerikeri. The man, aged 27, is in custody and received medical treatment for a minor injury sustained during the arrest after initially resisting police. He is due to appear in the Kaikohe District Court today on charges relating to discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and unlawfully possessing firearms. Further charges are likely.
Lions consider merging
Three Lions clubs in the Bay of Islands are considering merging into a single new group. Currently the area has clubs based in Kerikeri, Waipapa and Paihia but all are grappling with declining and aging membership. Now the clubs are planning to join forces to "form a bigger and stronger group to better serve the Bay of Islands". A meeting unveiling the plans will be held at Waipapa Hall, on Waipapa Loop Rd, from 7pm on May 12. Far North Mayor John Carter will be guest speaker. All welcome.
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Outdoor movie night
Ruakaka School PTA are holding an outdoor movie night tonight from 5pm. The event is open to the public and door sales are $10 per family – two adults and children, or $5 for one adult and one child. Tickets include popcorn and hot chocolate. Bring a cosy chair, a bean bag or picnic blanket. Barbecue goodies and glowsticks will be available for purchase.
Adopt a garden
Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ) is looking for teams of friends and families to adopt a garden. Volunteers can take charge of one or more garden beds and maintain it as their own. MAZ is a large area in Mangawhai and the small committee of volunteers cannot maintain the area on their own. Gather friends, families and co-workers and MAZ will designate a small, existing garden to take care of at your own pace and in your own time, whether it's weekly, monthly or on lunch breaks. For further information, go to: www.mangawhaiactivityzone.co.nz