Two popular summer events — the beach dig and the sandcastle competition — will return to Paihia later this month. The beach dig, in which kids search the sand for prizes, will be held from 10am on Saturday, January 23, opposite Paihia's Stone Church, while the sandcastle competition will be held along the length of the beach from noon the following Saturday. Judging will start at 2pm with prizegiving at 2.30pm. Bay of Islands Rotary is organising the beach dig and putting on a sausage sizzle while the Sandpit Bar is sponsoring the sandcastle challenge. The free events were part of the long-running Paihia Summer Festival which came to an end in 2018 after funding fizzled out.
Dog missing from van found
A sick puppy allegedly stolen from inside an animal rescue van parked outside a Kawakawa vet clinic on Tuesday afternoon has been found. While it only took six hours to find 10-week-old staffie-cross Gus, it felt like "a million years" for his carer Summer Johnson, the founder of Bay of Islands Animal Rescue. Gus was allegedly stolen from Johnson's van around 1.40pm during the 10 minutes she was inside the Bay of Islands Vets in Kawakawa. Later on the same evening a member of the public found Gus on a road in Moerewa and returned the pup to Johnson. Gus was wearing a new harness which Johnson believed meant the person who took him had intended to keep him. Inquiries by Northland police into the incident were ongoing.
Kids get to touch a truck
This month, kids will be able to get hands-on with vehicles and machinery they would usually be told to keep their hands off. The annual Touch a Truck event is on at Hurupaki Primary School on January 31 from 10am to 2pm. The event is a community fundraising initiative for the Kamo and Ngunguru Volunteer Fire Brigade, and their Sky Tower Climb teams who are raising funds for the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation. Kids will be able to check out everything from diggers and dumpers, to graders, big trucks, police cars and more.
DoC short-video contest
Rangatahi who love filmmaking and the environment will have the chance to combine their two passions thanks to a competition run by the Department of Conservation. DoC is running a video competition for young people to share their ideas about what needs to be done to ensure Papatūānuku thrives. The videos will be shared on social media and there are prizes for best entries. Entries are open to young people aged 16 to 25 as an individual or a named group. Videos must be two minutes long and can be submitted via DoC's website from February 1 to March 15. Prizes are $1000 for each category winner and $500 for each runner-up. For more information visit doc.govt.nz/rangatahivids.
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Jazz at Riverbank
Gypsy jazz from the south of France is coming to Whangārei next month when violinist Fiona Pears and guitarist Connor Hartley-Hall share their love of this music. We can't travel to the south of France but we can savour the music made famous by gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and French virtuoso violinist Stephane Grappelli, when they formed the Quintette du Hot Club de France back in the 1930s. The music the pair will be performing in their shows will be a mix of fiery Gypsy jazz, heart-warming ballads and some well-known classics such as Czardas and Dark Eyes. They will perform at the Riverbank Centre, Whangārei, from 7.30pm, on February 16.