Assault sentencing delayed

Sentencing of two 17-year-olds for assaulting an 82-year-old Kerikeri man and stealing his car has been delayed until March. Tama Puhipi, of Mangamuka, and Rorana Mane, of Rahiri Settlement, were to have been sentenced yesterday for aggravated robbery but a pre-sentence report had not been completed so Judge Greg Davis set a new date of March 28. He renewed Mane's bail but placed Puhipi in custody while police checked his bail records, following conflicting accounts of whether he had been at home 24 hours a day as required. Judge Davis also asked that Mane be assessed to determine if he would be suitable for the Matariki Court process. The pair, who have pleaded guilty, were hitch-hiking last September when they accepted a lift with the victim, then bashed him as he dropped them off near Kerikeri airport and stole his car. The car was recovered after a police chase a few days later. It was being driven by an Okaihau 15-year-old.

Kiwi died before fire

A dead kiwi found at the site of an explosion and fire on Purerua Peninsula probably died before the blaze, the Department of Conservation says. A member of the public found a dead kiwi at the base of the cliff near Marsden Cross on January 21, about 36 hours after a fire started by an explosion on the beach. It was reported to DoC on January 29 and retrieved by rangers the following day. Senior ranger Adrian Walker said from the bird's state of decomposition in the initial photo taken on January 21 it was likely the kiwi had died at least a week before the fire. However, given the poor state of the mummified specimen, which had been immersed in sea water, it was impossible to determine the cause of death. A 25-year-old Kerikeri man has been charged with arson in relation to the explosion.

Historic signing today

The first multi-lateral agreement of its kind in New Zealand will be signed today between the Tai Tokerau Iwi Chairs Forum and Northland Mayoral Forum. The historic milestone which demonstrates the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi will give the region's local government and iwi a better understanding of each other's perspectives, provide opportunities for beneficial joint ventures and boost Northland's voice on strategic issues. It will support collaboration on social, economic, cultural and environmental issues but not replace statutory powers, plans or agreements between the parties. The signing will take place at 5pm at the start to the National Iwi Chairs Forum hosted by Far North iwi Ngai Takoto at the Copthorne Waitangi.

Properties open Waitangi Day

Historic properties around Northland cared for by Heritage New Zealand will again open to the public free of charge on Waitangi Day. The properties included are Pompallier Mission (Russell), Kemp House and the Stone Store (Kerikeri), Te Waimate Mission (Waimate North),
Mangungu Mission (Horeke) and Clendon House (Rawene).

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