Late yesterday Northland police were continuing their search for a Whangārei man missing since Wednesday night. Brian Arthur Bench, 72, was last seen at his home on Memorial Dr, near Riverside Dr about 8pm. Police Search and Rescue called in the help of Northland Land Search and Rescue, Coastguard Whangārei, and a helicopter to scour nearby areas and the Hātea River. Police asked people to check their personal CCTV footage for any signs of Bench and to check any sheds or areas around their property. Any relevant information could be passed onto police on 105, quoting file number 210708/9824. Anyone who sees Bench is asked to call 111 – reference police event number P047117146.
Help to flush feral dogs
A Far North family which has lost more than 120 animals to feral dog attacks is calling for volunteers to help flush the dogs from the bush today. The volunteers, who will be unarmed, will walk through the bush making noise to flush the dogs onto open ground. Helpers need to be aged 18-plus, be bush savvy and bring a charged mobile phone, something to make noise with, a walking stick or pole, and warm clothing. Anyone able to help should meet at the Shenstone Farm gate, 8779 Far North Rd, near Waitiki Landing, at 10am for a briefing. It is expected to take until 4pm. A barbecue will be provided afterwards.
A dog has been put down by its owners after an attack on a 13-year girl at Matauri Bay. The incident occurred about 4.50pm on Thursday with police referring it to the Far North District Council. Animal control officers visited the property on Friday and confirmed the animal had been put down. The victim's family did not wish to lay a complaint. The extent of the girl's injuries is unknown. The council intends to return for a follow-up visit next week.
Unwanted bedding is keenly sought by the Whangārei SPCA, who say their stocks are in short supply in this cold weather. Anyone able to spare blankets, sheets or polar fleeces are asked to donate them to the local animal welfare charity on Kioreroa Rd in Port Whangārei. They are unable to accept pillows, cushions or electric blankets because the puppies eat them.
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Win for Fonterra Kauri site
Northland is now home to Fonterra's Best Medium Site following the "Oscars of Manufacturing", Fonterra's Best Site Cup Awards. The company's Kauri site picked up the hotly contested Best Medium Site award ahead of the 25 other Fonterra manufacturing sites throughout the country, and was runnerup for the People Trophy this year. Fonterra said over the past year Kauri has achieved across several different areas, sustained its Health and Safety performance by maintaining good culture. The site is an engaged part of the local community and supported more than 30 community events over the past year. The Kauri site employs just over 300 people and is home to the only fractionation site plant in New Zealand. It has a fleet of 37 tankers and in peak season, Kauri processes 3 million litres of milk every day.
The Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society is calling for volunteers to plant grass seedlings on the estuary sandspit starting on July 19. The grasses help stabilise the dune landscape by providing a locking network for the sand, and contribute to longer-term protection against sand mining. To register your interest, contact Ken at 027 442 5408.
Vehicles on beaches
People in the Far North can have their say on the use of vehicles on local beaches. The Far North District Council is accepting submissions on the topic until midnight on August 13 via their website. A FNDC spokesperson said community feedback about experiences with vehicles on beaches would be used to help draft a new Vehicles on Beaches Bylaw. They said the purpose of the bylaw is to ensure these public spaces were safe for everyone and that the natural environment was cared for.