State Highway 1 through the Mangamuka Gorge will close to all traffic at midnight tomorrow, after being open to a single lane for light vehicles for three weeks over the Christmas/New Year holiday period. The closure will allow a resumption of work to fix the road that was undermined by a big slip last July. "Waka Kotahi thanks all those who drove through the gorge for travelling to the conditions and requirements of light vehicles. It shows the public are also helping us during this time," Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Northland system manager Jacqui Hori Hoult said. "The repair work is not finished so we have to close the road again to complete construction of the piling wall to support the road and make it safe for all road users. At this stage we plan to have the road restored to two lanes by mid 2021, but it could be sooner depending on the weather and work progress.''
Rodeo protesters demonstrate
Anti-rodeo protesters will be demonstrating outside the Mid Northern Rodeo in Whangārei today, despite the annual rodeo at the site being cancelled this year. Instead of the rodeo, the club, on Kokopu Block Rd, is holding at Country Festival today and tomorrow from 10am-4pm. The family day out will include food and stalls, bouncy castles, as well as animals, sheep shearing and wood chopping. Direct Animal Action said its protesters will still hold a demonstration at Mid Northern Rodeo today calling for the Government to ban rodeos permanently.
Summer sports programme
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The Breakaway School Holiday Programme is running a free summer sports programme from January 11-15 and 18-22 at the Johnston Crawford Indoor Cricket Centre and January 18-22 at Northland College Gymnasium, Kaikohe. This free multisports holiday programme runs from 10am-2pm and is for 11-18-year-olds. It includes cricket, touch, turbo touch, Rippa rugby and more. The fun and interactive approach is also catered for non-sporty kids and aims to keep teens and pre-teens engaged and inspired as they pick up top tips from expert coaches and fine-tune skills while having a heap of fun. Register at www.northcricket.co.nz or phone 09 438 2400.
Waitangi Day plans
With less than a month to go until Waitangi Day Northland police have plans already in place to ensure the safety of the public attending this year's commemorations. Acting district commander for Northland Riki Whiu said the exact numbers of deployed officers would not be made public for operational reasons. He said officers work closely with other partners and local iwi to keep the large numbers attendees safe.
Canopy Night Market
Whangārei's popular Canopy Night Market is on again on Monday with a range of gourmet foods on offer. The market, a vibrant street food event with a focus on multicultural cuisine, prepared and cooked fresh on-site, will be in the Finlayson St carpark, at the Town Basin, from 5pm-8.30pm.
Satellite station meeting
A regional development agency planning to build a satellite ground station with more than a dozen dishes in Ruakākā will hold a public hearing next month. Representatives of Southland's development and tourism agency Great South will brief Ruakākā residents and other stakeholders on January 19 at the Bream Bay Trust building, starting at 7pm. The satellite station will be built - subject to resource consent approval - on 9ha owned by One Tree Pt-based truck and digger driver Brian Nash, who has agreed to sell his land to Great South. Locals are concerned the dishes would reduce the value of their properties, and suggest a less populated place could host the satellite ground station.