A car accident on the corner of Dent St and Hatea Dr in Whangārei caused minor traffic delays yesterday afternoon. The crash between two cars on the town side of Victoria Bridge happened just before 4pm. One woman was assessed for injury by St John Ambulance staff. Riverside Dr was partially blocked while the scene was cleared.
$4.5m fishing boat to be launched
One of the biggest boats built in the Far North is due to be launched at Opua at 10am today. The $4.5 million, 72-foot (22m) fishing vessel Manakai has been built by Bluefix Boatworks at Bay of Islands Marina for brothers Adam and Nat Davey, owners of Medea Fishing. The composite vessel, made of triple-skin plywood fibreglassed inside and out, will be able to fish beyond the 200 nautical mile limit of New Zealand's quota system, and is expected to outlast similar vessels made of steel or, by an even bigger margin, aluminium.
The Davey brothers, who went to Bay of Islands College, live in Russell and Cable Bay. The biggest boat built in the Far North is thought to be the New Golden Hind, a 94-foot (29m) schooner built at Deemings Boatyard in Ōkiato in 1939. In more recent times the late Bernard Kuczera built the 82-foot (25m) Nanu in 1996 and the 75-foot (23m) Sylfia in 2010. He built the steel ketches at Waipapa.
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The Far North District Council is seeking ideas on how to improve accessibility for all residents. The proposed Te Tai Tokerau Regional Accessibility Strategy will focus on people with disabilities, older adults, people with health problems, migrants, and families with young children, and is being developed by Northland's four councils — Northland Regional Council and the Far North, Kaipara and Whangārei district councils.
To help identify key issues, the councils are carrying out a Northland-wide survey with questions about transport, access to public spaces and information services, and participation in community consultation and engagement. Mayor John Carter said the aim was to ensure equal access to services for all residents, whether they were in the Far North, Kaipara or Whangārei. Go to www.fndc.govt.nz/accessibility2020 to take part in the online survey or collect a form from any Far North District Council service centre, library or i-Site. The survey ends on December 11.
Kittens await forever homes
Two litters of rescue kittens will be ready to meet the public at a Whangārei bookshop this Saturday.
For a gold coin donation, the public can spend 10 minutes cuddling with one of the kittens at The Piggery Bookstore on Walton St.
The bookshop is hosting the event with Whangārei Cat Rescue, a registered charitable trust that rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes abandoned cats around Northland.
All proceeds will go to the group, who also welcome any donations of cat toys, food, blankets and anything else a cat might find useful.
While the kittens will be keen to snuggle, they will not be up for adoption as they are still too young. The event will be at 10.30am on Saturday.
New unit for hospital
A temporary Acute Assessment Unit, touted as the saviour to Whangārei Hospital's capacity problems, should be operational before Christmas. In the monthly Quality and Safety summary report prepared for yesterday's Northland District Health Board meeting, it stated the hospital had been "at or above capacity" for much of the last three weeks. The report recognised the risk this posed to patients and the wellbeing of staff. An Acute Assessment Unit (AAU), also referred to as a Medical Assessment Unit, is a facility inside a hospital where patients were seen in a more intensive and efficient fashion than on the wards."We are taking urgent measures to open a temporary [AAU] before Christmas so that during the holiday period it is less likely that the Emergency Department will be overwhelmed," the report said.