Five car crash causes chaos
A five-car prang forced traffic to a standstill at a major intersection in Whangārei just as two nearby high schools spilled out after school. No one was injured in the crash which saw five cars end-to-ended on Bank St, near the Wolfe St corner in Regent, around 3.15pm yesterday. Police on points duty steered traffic on the Bank and Manse Sts intersection away from the scene. All lanes were flowing freely again by 4pm. Meanwhile, dozens of students from Whangārei Boys' and Girls' High Schools had been busy on their cellphones — not taking selfies for once but making arrangements as buses and parents' pick-ups were held up.
Kapa haka on show
Te Tai Tokerau will be showcased to the world through kapa haka as three groups are in Wellington to compete at the prestigious Te Matatini. Muriwhenua, Hatea, and Te Puu Ao will represent Northland at Te Matatini - the biennial national kapa haka competition, lauded as the pinnacle event for Maori performing arts, being held at Wellington's Westpac Stadium from today to Sunday. The Northland groups are three of 46 from New Zealand and Australia competing at the event, which is expected to attract more than 60,000 spectators. Whanau will be able to watch the action because the event will be live broadcast on television and online with Māori Television.
Crash victims named
Police have named the mother and daughter killed in a crash after their car hit a tree on Whangārei Heads Rd. Front seat passenger Jemma-Lyn Sorine Hanham, 30, died shortly after the crash on Sunday at 6.46pm. Back seat passenger Niquisher Sanders, 7, died the following day in Auckland's Starship Hospital. The vehicle they were in was driven by a man and there was an 11-year-old child also in the back seat who suffered minor injuries.
National's Education Spokeswoman Nikki Kaye is in Whangārei tomorrow for a public meeting to discuss the future of the education system. The meeting, at Whangārei Club, 18 Rust Ave, from 5pm, is to raise general education issues with a focus on proposals from the Government's Tomorrow's Schools Review Taskforce. National has raised concerns about the proposals which it believes could transfer power away from parents to officials.
Kiwi holding up in heat
The summer heat is having an impact on native wildlife species, with reports that young kiwi might struggle to dig their beaks deep enough to the hard ground to find grubs and worms. The good news for the Bream Head Conservation Trust is that the dense canopy of trees in the valleys and on the south side of the Whangārei Heads reserve is helping retain moisture in the leaf humus and soil. This translates into a better survival chance for invertebrates which provide vital food and moisture for others further up the food chain, such as kiwi, head ranger Adam Willetts said. Other good news is the annual average residual tracking index for rats over 2018 stayed at 1.3 per cent. Rat, mouse and weasel catch totals were much higher than in 2017. Willetts said that is down to 123 new snap-e rat traps set at the reserve's northern boundary, and intensified possum and feral cat traps on that line.
Water treatment plant blessed
The site of a new $27 million water treatment plant in Whau Valley was blessed in a dawn ceremony yesterday. Mayor Sheryl Mai said the site was blessed by Ngati Kahu, attended by councillors, council staff, Beca and Broadspectrum representatives. The plant will process 22,000 cubic metres a day and involve new filtration systems and the latest technology. Earthworks are planned to start this month and the project should be completed by the end of 2020.