A rubbish barge for boaties will be back on the water in the Bay of Islands after Christmas. The staffed barge is a joint venture each summer between the Northland regional and Far North district councils, the Department of Conservation and contractors Waste Management. The first dates will be Monday, December 28, and Thursday, December 31. After that the service will operate Mondays and Fridays, weather permitting, until January 29. It will visit Urupukapuka Island campsites from 9-10am before mooring off the southeastern end of Moturua Island from 10.30am-1pm. A flat $7 fee per bag applies regardless of whether pre-paid or plain bags are used. The charge for dropping off recyclables depends on quantity and cleanliness. Go to www.nrc.govt.nz/rubbishbarge for more information.
Chemical spray talk
Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa is holding a discussion about chemical sprays from 2-4pm on December 6. The event will take place at Faiawa Farm, 489 Pungaere Rd, Waipapa, and will cover subjects such as chemical spray trespass, the Nature's Verge initiative, non-spray solutions and an introduction to the People's Inquiry 2020.
Power substation open day
Northpower is inviting the public for an inside look into its new Maunu substation before it goes live in the New Year. Visitors are also encouraged to bring their power bills to discuss any queries with the team, such as power-saving tips. Refreshments and entertainment for the kids will be provided. The Maunu substation open day is this Saturday from 10am to 12.30pm at 48 Pompallier Estate Dr, Maunu.
Jones on future plans
Former Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones — who lost his seat in Parliament in last month's election along with the rest of NZ First's MPs — says any announcement about the party's future plans will be made by "the rangatira" (leader Winston Peters). Jones said the first time he had seen Peters since the election was at the tangi of Ngāpuhi leader Rudy Taylor, who was not involved with NZ First but was "a stalwart and great supporter" of the coalition government and Labour. As for his own plans Jones said he was chilling out in the short term, "but in the New Year I will set my sails to capture the economic winds".
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Emergency services including the Kohukohu Fire Brigade and St John Ambulance responded to what appeared to be a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting early Wednesday. The incident occurred on West Coast Rd in North Hokianga about 7.45am. The patient was flown to hospital by the Northland Rescue Helicopter in a serious condition.