A police raid has landed a Northland man in court, where he will face a multitude of drugs, weapons and other serious charges.
The 47-year-old will appear in the Kaikohe District Court on December 14 after Northland police found more than $100,000 in cash, a caravan stolen from Tauranga worth $40,000, and methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $90,000 during a search of a Kawakawa property on Monday.
Around 50kg of iodine pellets with a street value of around $125,000 and used in the production of meth was also discovered by police.
Northland criminal investigation branch Detective Inspector Bridget Doell said further arrests were expected to be made.
Grim detail in kidnapping
New details have been revealed about the high-profile kidnapping of a man in the Far North.
Police have renewed an appeal for information about the October 26 incident, which they believed was linked to a separate incident a day later where a lone officer was fired at.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Dalzell said the man was kidnapped in his own vehicle – a 2010 Nissan Skyline, registration MWD839. At one point during the ordeal the man overheard his kidnappers planning to torch his vehicle, while he remained blindfolded and bound in the boot.
Anyone with information can call police on 105 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Interim transport chairman appointed
An interim chairman has been appointed to the Northland Regional Transport Committee, replacing regional councillor John Bain, who resigned mid-meeting last month in protest over a decision to bring in Māori wards. The new committee chairman is Rick Stolwerk, a second-term councillor representing the Whangārei South constituency. The regional council's deputy chairman and Hokianga-Kaikohe representative, Justin Blaikie, has also assumed several new roles including being chairman of the Regional Economic Development Service Delivery Working Party and filling the council's second seat on the transport committee.
Dead diver named
The man who died in a diving incident off Northland's west coast has been named as Vincent Paul Witehira, 64, from Ōtaua. Witehira was reported missing south of Waimamaku Beach on November 17, sparking a major search by police and iwi, with his body found two days later. A rāhui was placed on the area by Te Roroa kaumātua.
Scrub fire scare
A small scrub fire caused a scare in Ahipara, with initial reports claiming it was underneath powerlines and closing in on houses.
However, a Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson said it was a false alarm caused by a controlled burn of bamboo on a private farm.
Volunteer fire brigades from Ahipara, Kerikeri, and Mangonui were called to the small fire near Awaroa Rd about 3pm yesterday.
Smoke from the fire could be seen 10m above ground level in Pukepoto Quarry about 4km away.
Skodas on patrol
The Czech-built Skoda Superb has been chosen as the new frontline patrol car for use by New Zealand police following General Motors' decision to pull Holden out of the Australasian market. The first of the more environmentally friendly Skodas are expected to hit the road in April 2021. They are already used in more than 30 jurisdictions including Austria, France, the Netherlands and the UK. The models to be used are the 162kW 2WD and the 206kW 4WD. Both are station wagons. Skoda is based near Prague in the Czech Republic but is now owned by German car manufacturer Volkswagen.
NorthTec role for kaumātua
Whangārei kaumātua Taipari Munro was welcomed into his new role as Te Amorangi at NorthTec with a pōwhiri on Monday at Te Puna o Te Mātauranga Marae.
The appointment of Munro (Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau, Ngati Wai, Ngati Te Tawera, Te Waiarik, Ngāti Hine and Ngāpuhi) follows the passing of longstanding kaumātua Hohepa Rudolph, in May.
The position of Te Amorangi is a broader role than that of kaumātua. Munro will lead NorthTec's work in ensuring the organisation meets its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Te Pūkenga Charter. He will provide advice and support to the chief executive and senior leadership team, which he will join.
Munro will also lead, and be supported by, a group of elders from throughout Te Tai Tokerau, who will be known as Te Kāhui o Kaumātua.