More volunteers are wanted to help promote safety messages on beach patrols aimed at preventing drownings at a popular Northland surf destination. The Bream Bay Beach Safety Ambassador programme was established after a rise in drownings on the 8km stretch of coast - from Ruakākā to the Waipu river mouth - with three crab fishers drowning in four years. The programme is in its fifth year and aims to educate, in particular, an increasing number of Asians from Auckland catching paddle crabs. Waipu Police Senior Constable Martin Geddes, who has been a pivotal part of the ambassador programme, said more people are needed to join the dedicated team of four volunteers. Ambassadors are trained to use the buggy - donated by Rouse Motorcycles Hikurangi - identify dangerous sea conditions and respond to emergencies. On a four-hour shift volunteers talk to groups and individuals, hand out pamphlets and advise on beach safety and etiquette. Part of the programme includes a water safety day run by Drowning Prevention Auckland, Harbour Sport – AktivAsian, and Waipu Police which is on this Saturday at Uretiti Beach at 10.30am. People interested in volunteering can contact Graeme MacDonald on 021 0244 0972 or email@example.com.
Tyre-shredding plant plans
The Far North District Council is supporting an iwi-led proposal to establish a tyre-shredding plant in Kaitaia. The Aupōuri Ngāti Kahu Te Rarawa Trust has secured Provincial Growth Fund money to establish a plant where tyres will be shredded then transported to Auckland for recycling. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has completed due diligence on the proposal, and FNDC management has approved the enterprise as a disposal option for tyres received through council waste contracts. The council has also reached agreement with Te Tii Trust to establish a community recycling centre on trust land at Waitangi, CEO Shaun Clarke saying Waste Management was finalising a proposal to present to management.
Far North District Libraries will provide free books for campers to borrow while holidaying this summer at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. The unmanned library will be available throughout January, although staff will be on hand to run special activity days during the month. Activities will include storytime sessions for kids, craft activities, and demonstrations of virtual reality headsets for those keen to experiment with the technology. The island library activities will run 10am-2pm on Saturday January 9, Tuesday January 12 and Friday January 22.
Scholarships on offer
Eight $3000 scholarships are being offered to support students studying or training in the environmental, economic or community resilience fields. The scholarships, named Tū i te ora Scholarship and offered by the Northland Regional Council, aimed to improve relationships with tangata whenua, water quality and supply, indigenous biodiversity and biosecurity, and the regional economy. Applicants must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents who live in Northland (or have family that does) or who whakapapa to Te Taitokerau. They must also be enrolled (or have an intention to enrol) in a recognised tertiary course of study that directly relates to activities that council delivers and be studying at an undergraduate or higher qualification level. Nominations will open on Monday December 14 and run until Sunday February 14 next year.