Seatbelt not worn in fatal crash
The tragic death of a Kaitaia woman is the strongest possible reminder to wear a seatbelt and avoid drink driving, Northland's top traffic officer says. The single-vehicle crash occurred on State Highway 1 near Te Kao, on the Aupouri Peninsula, about 9.30pm on Thursday.
The head of Northland road policing, Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson, said the driver was thrown from the vehicle when it left the road and hit a bank about 800m north of Everitt Rd. The 31-year-old, the vehicle's sole occupant, suffered fatal injuries.
The car continued a short distance further, rolled and caught fire.
The police Serious Crash Unit was investigating the cause of the crash.
While the Coroner would make the final determination, police suspected alcohol was a factor and that the driver was not wearing a seatbelt, causing her to be ejected from the vehicle.
''This is the most serious way we can all be reminded about the importance of wearing a seatbelt and not drinking and driving. Our thoughts go out to her whānau, her friends and everyone who knew her,'' Dickson said.
Houhora fire chief Warren Bunn said the brigade was initially called out to a car fire, only discovering it was a serious crash when they arrived at the scene. ''It's very unfortunate,'' he said.
The car had burnt out completely and the flames had started spreading to nearby scrub.
The woman's death brings Northland's road toll for the year to date to 25.
Healthcare strike called off
The primary healthcare worker 24-hour strike scheduled for Monday has been withdrawn.
NZ Nurses Organisation has been advised by the employer parties that there is an improved offer to discuss, so negotiations will resume next week.
About 177 primary health nurses and other workers across Northland were due to take part in the strike.
Alien Weaponry back on tour
Northland's favourite te reo-infused metal trio are on the road again after over a year of cooling their heels.
Alien Weaponry, from Waipū, have garnered acclaim among metalheads the world over with tours in Europe and the US, but this year they are keeping things closer to home.
The band began their Level One Tour with shows in Tauranga yesterday and Hamilton tonight.
Drummer Henry de Jong said it's amazing to be able to tour while much of the rest of the global music industry is still locked down.
"I'm getting messages from my overseas mates in touring bands saying how jealous they are that we get to be touring again."
This is the first tour for new bassist Turanga Morgan-Edmonds, who replaced original bassist Ethan Trembath. Morgan-Edmonds met the other members of the band, brothers Henry and Lewis de Jong, at Bream Bay College.
Next weekend they head south for shows in Christchurch (November 27) and Dunedin (November 28) before finishing off with Wellington (December 3) and Auckland (December 5).
Bushfire prevention talk
A free public information event on strategies for preventing bushfires is being held in Whangārei tonight. The northern branch of the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society is having an annual general meeting from 6pm to 8pm at the Whangarei Anglican Hall, 2 Kamo Rd. The general meeting is from 6pm-6.30pm, followed by guest speakers including the Rural Fire Service talking about strategies for local people for preventing bushfires. All are welcome.
Gaza memoirs book launch
An international aid worker who experienced two wars in Gaza will tell some of her personal stories at a book launch in Whangārei next Thursday. "Still Lives: A Memoir of Gaza" is by Canadian-born Marilyn Garson, who has lived on and off in the Hokianga since the 1990s.
The book details Garson's time as a UN volunteer in Gaza, including such harrowing experiences as enduring 50 days of Israeli bombing in 2014.
She will be speaking at 7pm on Thursday, November 26 at the Catholic Parish Centre hall in Park Ave, Kensington.
A book titled "The Light Is Inconsolable" - a collaboration between Whangārei lawyer and poet Arthur Fairley and photographer Diane Stoppard - is being launched in the city next week. The book will be launched at the Hanger Gallery, in Cross St, Regent at 5.30pm on November 26, not November 17 as earlier reported. Images from the book will also be exhibited at Hanger Gallery from then until December 17. The book will be available from the gallery or Intec Interiors in Rathbone St.