Kaeo's children's festival Ngā Purapura returns this Saturday, April 10, boasting dozens of creative and musical activities with an environmental theme. Festivities start at 9.30am at Kaeo playground and the grassed area around the Wesleydale Church. Drawcards will include a puppet theatre performance of Magic in the Bush by The Magic Playhouse at 12.30pm and a parade finale at 2pm. All activities are free of charge.
Free immigration advice
Licensed immigration adviser Sean Haggerty will give free immigration advice to Northlanders next week. He will be at the Multicultural Whangarei office, Civic Arcade on Bank St, from 10am to 12.30pm on Monday. No appointments necessary.
Shooting suspect remanded
A man accused of shooting at a police officer on Puketona Rd last October has again appeared in the Kaikohe District Court. Cliff Wharerau, who is charged with kidnapping, using a firearm against police, aggravated robbery using a firearm, participating in an organised criminal group, unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of arson, appeared in court by audio-visual link for a case review hearing on Wednesday. He was further remanded in custody until April 20. Two other men facing the same charges are also in custody. The officer was shaken but unhurt.
Tobacco sales in sights
The Cancer Society has launched a petition calling for a significant reduction in the number of shops able to sell tobacco. Chief executive Lucy Elwood said New Zealand would not reach its Smokefree 2025 goal without legislation to greatly limit the availability of the most harmful consumer product in history. "Tobacco kills about 11 New Zealanders every day, yet it can be sold absolutely anywhere. The current laws are not protecting our communities from this devastatingly deadly product." On average, six shops were selling tobacco within a 10-minute walk of the country's secondary schools, and there were four times more tobacco retailers in low-income communities, where smoking rates were highest. "It would be impossible to launch cigarettes on to the market today, yet we continue to allow the tobacco industry to stock them wherever it chooses," Elwood said.