The latest example in Northland of police being assaulted and threatened shows the need for police to be permanently armed, and mandatory prison sentences handed out for those who assault or brandish firearms against officers, the Sensible Sentencing Trust says. "The two arrested in Northland on charges of assaulting police, threatening to kill, and using a firearm against police, is just one of the increasing number of incidents involving firearms and assaults against our first responders," Darroch Ball co-leader of the trust said.
"We need to permanently arm our police so they can defend themselves and our community against the out-of-control number of gun incidents they are dealing with. We also need to come down hard on people who assault or brandish firearms against our officers with mandatory prison time.''
Full council meetings
Northland's territorial local authorities will all have their first full council meetings of 2021 within a few days of each other next month.
Northland Regional Council's first full meeting will be on February 23, followed by Kaipara District Council's first full council meeting on February 24.
Whangārei District Council and Far North District Council will both hold their first full meetings of the year on February 25.
The Lego club that has been meeting at Kaitaia's library, at Te Ahu, on Friday afternoons took a break over the school holidays, but will be back in action this Friday, from 3.30pm.
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Far North water use
Water consumption has not decreased in Kaitaia or Kawakawa/Moerewa, despite Far North District Council pleas for conservation.
The council imposed Level 2 restrictions in both communities on December 23, lifting Kaitaia's to Level 3 on January 8, as raw water sources began running low.
Senior communications adviser Ken Lewis said last week's recent rain had lifted the flow in the Tirohanga Stream, which supplied Kawakawa/Moerewa, but it would continue to be monitored, while the fact that consumption had not reduced in Kaitaia was likely the result of increased demand from the Juken NZ, which was returning its mills to full production after the Christmas break.
It's dry up north
The driest soils in the North Island last week, compared to normal for this time of the year, were in the Far North and on the Aupōuri Peninsula according to Niwa. Hotspots were currently in place in much of Northland, while the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map showed meteorological drought and severe meteorological drought conditions in the northern half of the Far North District, with widespread dry to extremely dry soils in the rest of Northland.