A starling was electrocuted by 11,000 volts and caused a power outage for 1044 Whangarei customers on Thursday. Little remained of the bird after Northpower repair crews discovered the fault in Dyer St about 7.34am. Northpower Public Affairs Manager Steve MacMillan said it caused an outage for 33 minutes, affecting 1044 customers around the Smeatons Drive, Kioreroa Rd, Rewarewa Rd area.

Names released of two killed in accidents
Two Northlanders who died in separate road fatalities have been named.
Cheryl Temaro, 40, from Dargaville died after the car she was travelling in collided head-on with another vehicle on State Highway 12 at Paparoa on March 19.
Another person travelling with Ms Temaro suffered serious injuries and was flown to Whangarei Hospital. In the other fatality, 65-year-old Steven Dolan from Whanganui died when two cars collided at Kareponia Hill on State Highway 10, near Awanui, on March 20.

Cycleway stoush parties reach settlement
A Kaikohe business and the Far North District Council have reached a confidential financial settlement over a legal stoush over a cycleway tender process.
Last year, Ken Rintoul's Rintoul Group successfully sued FNDC for unlawfully excluding his company from a tender to build four sections of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail.
The company sought through a High Court order more than $500,000 in loss of income from FNDC. Mr Rintoul confirmed both parties have reached an out-of-court settlement but refused to disclose details.

Australian visitor campaign winds up
An ambitious campaign to attract more Australian tourists to visit Northland between March and May has ended. Tourism New Zealand, in partnership with other companies including Flight Centre, launched a campaign in January to entice visitors to Northland outside the summer months. The campaign ran in New South Wales and Queensland.
A similar campaign was launched in Victoria in January last year.

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Appeal for leads on bank robbery
No arrests have been made in the robbery of ANZ Bank in Whangarei a week ago. Acting Detective Inspector Aaron Proctor thanked members of the public who had provided police with information which continued to be a focus for officers working on the case. He said police were following lines of inquiry and would still like to hear from anyone who may have information about the robbery. "We would like to reassure the public we are doing everything we can to catch the offenders so they are held to account." he said.

Physiotherapist back in court
A Northland physiotherapist accused of fraudulently claiming more than $138,000 in ACC payments is back in court next month. Skye Renes, 37, last year pleaded not guilty in the Whangarei District Court to 17 charges of obtaining by deception and a further six charges of using a document for pecuniary advantage. She has elected trial by jury. The alleged offences were committed between May 2011 and January 2016. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of seven years in jail. All except two are representative charges which means exact dates of the alleged offences are not clear. No trial date has been set. Ms Renes will next appear on April 13.

Ruakaka man charged over burglaries
A 40-year-old male from Ruakaka has been charged with eight burglary offences following an investigation into a number of recent burglaries in the Ruakaka area.
Sergeant Simon Craig said the man had made his first appearance in the Whangarei District Court and was next scheduled to appear on April 16. Mr Craig says despite the arrest police are continuing to investigate the burglary incidents in the area. Mr Craig wanted to hear from anyone who may have information which could help police with their investigation into the burglaries. "We want to reassure the community that we take these cases seriously and any burglary incidents reported to police will be thoroughly investigated."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Whangarei Police on 09-430 4500 or alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Ultrafast broadband coming to Northland towns
Work on rolling out ultrafast broadband to 28 areas in Northland will be done over the next four years. Chorus has started work in Moerewa and Kawakawa and the next town is Kerikeri. Once completed, internet users will enjoy UFB speeds of up to 1 gigabyte. Baylys Beach, Te Kopuru, Kaikohe, Maungatapere, Maungakaramea, Kaitaia, Langs Beach, Russell, Opononi, and Taipa would be among areas UFB will be rolled out.

Northland apprentice wins plumbing scholarship
Six Masterlink apprentices have been awarded Plumbing World Scholarships at the 2018 New Zealand Plumbing Awards in Hamilton including Northland's Valentino Eyer. Masterlink, owned by Master Plumbers, is a mentored apprenticeship group scheme that employs apprentices and places them with host plumbing, gasfitting and/or drainlaying firms. To be considered for the scholarships, candidates must demonstrate diligence in their studies and personal growth over the past year. Eyer - hosted by Rogers and Rogers Plumbers, Drainlayers, Roofers and Gasfitters in Kaitaia, has risen through the ranks thanks to his academic ability and high skill levels. Within his first year he quickly became capable of excellent work and progressed to having his own van filled with stock. Clients often ask for him by name.

Theatre group ready to raise curtain on 70th year
Curtain Up is the Octagon Theatre's first production of the 70th anniversary year of the Whangarei Repertory Society and runs from Friday April 6th until April 22nd. It is the story of five women who have been left equal shares in an old dilapidated theatre after the husband of one of them dies. They decide to raise some money by inviting a world famous personality who agrees to be the main drawcard for their fundraising night, but things go very much awry! Tickets are available at The Piggery Bookshop and the price of $45 includes a three-course meal and complimentary wine.