The R. Tucker Thompson has been given a significant grant from Foundation North, which will enable 75 young Northlanders to board a youth voyage at a reduced rate this year and next.
Despite the impact of Covid, the trust is optimistic it can maintain its successful youth development programmes for 2021 and 2022, thanks to the grant of $86,973 for each year. Executive Trustee Jane Hindle said the grant "couldn't have come at a better time."
"Like many tourism operators in the bay our earnings have been decimated due to the borders being closed. But with this grant we are in the fortunate position that we can continue to provide funding for many of our whānau, who we know simply aren't able to pay the normal fee."
New PCs at Hikurangi
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Two vacancies at Hikurangi Police Station have been filled. The first officer started on February 15 and the second will take up duties in Hikurangi near the end of March. The Advocate has requested an interview with the latest law-enforcing members of the Hikurangi community. The last permanent officer based in Hikurangi was Senior Constable Russell Rawiri, who retired last year after serving 28 years. About seven years ago another long-serving officer, Senior Constable Gavin Benney, quit after 23 years in Hikurangi to run a pub and is also a Whangārei district councillor.
T20 returns to Cobham Oval
A selection of former Black Cap and first-class cricketers will descend on Whangārei's Cobham Oval for two T20 games on Sunday. The annual fixture between Cobham Cricket Club and NZ Croatia Cricket Club, which will be filmed live to be viewed on YouTube and other social media, could not be played last year thanks to the impact of Covid-19. Cobham Cricket Club squad: Joey Yovich (captain), Richard Jones (former first-class and Black Cap player), Vaughan Syers, Richard Johnston, Craig Little, Todd Skudder, Aaron Bradley, Bruce Martin, Nick Byles (Northland age-group rep), Stacy Hyndman, Garry Paine, Brett Robinson, Sam Walker, Lucas James (Northland age-group rep). NZ Croatia Cricket Club squad: Christy O'Brian (captain), Dusan Hakaraia (former first-class player), Matthew Vujcich, Reece Young (former first-class and Black Cap player), John Vujnovich (former Croatian International player), Quinn Sunde (NZ U19 Player), Liam Jones, Tony Govorko (former Croatian International player), James Partridge, Adam Jones (NZ U19 Player), Dean Devcich, James Piskulic, Luke Franich, Daniel Marsic. The games start at 10am and 2pm.
Water restrictions reduced
A significant reduction in demand has prompted the Far North District Council to reduce Level 2 water restrictions at Paihia, Opua and Waitangi from yesterday. However, restrictions applied to other water supplies will remain for now despite this week's rain.
General Manager – Infrastructure and Asset Management (acting) Glenn Rainham said Level 3 water restrictions for Kawakawa-Moerewa, Kaitaia and Kaikohe, and Level 2 restrictions for Kerikeri, will remain until there is certainty that waterways have recovered from recent dry weather.
"I know this will be frustrating for those communities. Unfortunately, forecasters tell us we are in for another two to three weeks of dry weather."
Rainham said once flows in waterways have stabilised above minimum levels set by Northland Regional Council (NRC), water restrictions will be reduced or removed.
Te Kahika quits politics
Northlander Billy Te Kahika has quit politics and shut his controversial party after his failed bid for power at last year's election.The leader of the New Zealand Freedom Party (formerly known as the New Zealand Public Party) says he is going to "focus on being an activist".Te Kahika holds a number of controversial views, including that Covid-19 was a bioweapon designed to be used on civilians around the world. He fronted numerous marches against the Government's Covid-19 response."I am leaving the political world to be what I have now become - a voice for all concerned New Zealanders and a commentator on the important issues as an independent activist journalist," he said in a statement.