A four-hour search by police for a wanted man on a rural Northland road proved fruitless on Thursday.
Members of the police Armed Offenders Squad were called in to clear a number of addresses on Lake Rd, Okaihau, 11km northeast of Kaikohe.
During the incident police set up a base at Okaihau fire station and armed officers were stationed outside with road spikes at the ready in case anyone tried to flee.
There were also cordons in place at both ends of Lake Rd, which runs from Okaihau township past Lake Omapere to Te Pua Rd.
Police at the scene said a man who was wanted for arrest was spotted by officers near Ohaeawai about 11.30am. The vehicle was last seen turning into Lake Rd.
Police were stopping cars coming out of Lake Rd and searching vehicle boots until the cordons were lifted at 3.30pm.
Cars banned from beach
Whangārei District Council adopted an amendment to the Vehicles on Beaches Bylaw 2009 prohibiting the use of vehicles on the part of Langs Beach northwest of the vehicle access point.
When accessing the part of the beach southeast of the vehicle access point no vehicles are allowed that cause damage to the beach, are a nuisance to another person, are dangerous to the public or exceed the posted speed limit.
The beach area is a shared space where pedestrians have right-of-way. The posted speed limit is 30km/h and all rules of the road apply. The amendment comes into force on October 18.
More car parks
Whangārei's CBD has 19 new car parks on the Vine St/Rose St carpark where the old TAB building used to be. The old exit on to Rose St has been closed in, allowing for three car parks to be built.
Cars now enter and exit via Vine St. The driveway closer to the Bank St end of Vine St is for inwards traffic, and the driveway to the Walton St end of the carpark is for outwards traffic.
The changes will be signposted but Whangārei District Council asks commuters to be understanding of anyone who gets caught going the wrong way. In the past term, the council has added 204 car parks at Carruth and Dent streets and 20 in Vine St.
Construction of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery and Laneway projects will cost the CBD carpark, yet there's an overall net gain of 82 car parks in total. There are additional 272 car parks at Pohe Island.
Fire permit online
An online fire permit system has been introduced in Northland ahead of what's expected to be a dry summer.
In the past permits have been obtainable from a local rural fire office, but can now be acquired at www.checkitsalright.nz or www.fireandemergency.nz. Those without internet access can phone 0800 658 628.
Most of Northland currently has an open fire season, meaning permits are not required, the exceptions being within 1km of conservation land and on the Karikari and Aupouri peninsulas, north of State Highway 10 and Kaitaia-Awaroa Rd, where permits are required year-round.