The cause of a fire that ripped through an Ahipara home leaving little more than a rear wall standing was arson, Fire and Emergency New Zealand says. Fire investigator Craig Bain confirmed the fire, which started inside the Kaka St house on the lower level, was deliberately lit on Thursday. Bain said their inquiries were ongoing. The alarm was raised at 3.28am and fire brigades from Ahipara, Kaitaia, and Whangarei controlled the blaze as well as protected two neighbouring properties that were threatened at the height of the blaze. No one was home at the time of the fire. It was the seventh serious house fire in the Far North in the past two months.
Bark in the Park
Bark in the Park is tomorrow at the United Kawakawa Rugby Club with the aim of socialising between dogs and owners, educating, while raising funds for the Bay of Islands Animal Rescue.
There will be a dog cool-off zone, "Ask the vet" professional advice, "pupparazzi", spot prizes, bouncy castles, food and stalls, face painting, a police dog demo, dog competition and a working dogs demo.
Dogs must be on leads and under control at all times. Most of the funds raised will go towards ongoing de-sexing of dogs in the community.
The event runs from 10am-3pm.
NorthTec's Applied Arts department is running free public workshops next week, offering an introduction to key creative skills.
The workshops at the Toi Te Pito arts precinct on the Raumanga campus will take place from Monday to Thursday.
Each will run for two to three hours and will be fully hands-on, offering people the chance to sample different strands of the arts. They will cover photography, printmaking, sculpture, graphic design and creative coding.
Anyone wanting to book a place should email email@example.com, specifying which workshop/s they would like to attend. Information about the workshops and what to bring will be emailed to attendees.
Vote in byelection
Voting will end on Wednesday for the Whangārei Urban Constituency seat left vacant by the resignation of former Northland Regional Councillor John Bain late last year.
Eight people are standing in the byelection - Terry Archer, Stuart Bell, Chrichton Christie, Paul Dimery, Fiona Douglas, Kieran Powdrell, Darleen Tana Hoff-Nielsen and Charlotte Toner.
Anyone who had not yet received their postal voting pack should contact the electoral office on (0800) 922 822 to ensure they don't miss their opportunity to vote.
Preliminary byelection results will be known as soon as practicable after the close of voting and will be accessible on council's website via: www.nrc.govt.nz/by-election and the successful candidate will be officially declared on February 19.
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Fire cause yet to be determined
The cause of Northland's biggest blaze this summer, that razed almost 180ha of young pine forest in Pipiwai, is still being determined. The wild fire started on Pipiwai Rd, about midway between Whangārei and Kaikohe, around 3.30pm on January 29. Volunteer firefighters from Kawakawa, Kamo, Hikurangi, Towai, Whangārei, Kerikeri and Kaikohe battled the blaze for around three days alongside seven helicopters with monsoon buckets, and 70 forestry contractors from around the North. Deputy principal rural fire officer Wayne Martin said they had successfully located the fire's point of origin but did not disclose the exact details as the investigation into the cause of the wild fire was ongoing. Martin said the recent rainfall had done nothing to dispel Northland's dry conditions. He reminded people of the region's total fire ban that has been in force since December 30.