Two groups at the centre of Ngāphi's Treaty negotiations have put their differences aside and have come together with the Crown and will be holding hui this weekend. The group, named Te Rōpū Tūhoon, comprises representatives of the Crown; Tūhoronuku, who hold the Crown-recognised mandate to negotiate claims on behalf of Ngāpuhi; and Te Kotahitanga, which opposed the Crown's recognition of Tūhoronuku's mandate. Three hui will be held in Te Tai Tokerau this weekend to discuss the Ngāpuhi Treaty Settlement. The first will be held at Whangārei Terenga Paraoa Marae at 8.30am, followed by a hui at Te Tārai o Rāhiri Marae at 12pm and one at Copthorne Hotel Omapere at 4.30pm.

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Alan Hessell will be the new South Hokianga Subdivision representative on the Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board. Hessell was selected by voters in a byelection called following the resignation of Community Board member, Robert Cassidy, in June. The final count gave Hessell 312 votes. His nearest rival, Fred Hohua, polled 160 votes. The three other by-election candidates were Mervyn Gray (152 votes), Amanda Phillips (146), and Colin Rameka (71). A total of 844 votes (one informal and two blank) were cast in the postal ballot - 29.82 per cent of the South Hokianga Subdivision's 2830 eligible electors.

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Two more Whangārei eateries have joined the many becoming no-smoking venues. The Handsome Frog Café & Shoppe and The Precinct Café in Whangarei were recently presented with Smokefree Café Awards. Owners Ian and Janet Sturt of the Handsome Frog Cafe & Shoppe said the smoke-free choice is in keeping with their vegetarian and vegan menu, and commitment to local spray-free or organic products. Sharon Tadman from The Precinct Café said the decision followed the success of the smokefree outdoor dining pilot, Fresh Air project Whangārei.

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Grey Power Whangārei is having a meeting on Tuesday. The meeting, which will have a guest speaker from Northland Civil Defence, is at the Kamo Club, from 1.30pm. Any member of the public can attend the meeting and for further inquiries ring Jan Kini on 435 0334.

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The opening of a new sorting centre and retail outlet for Hospice Mid-Northland will be at 12.15pm on September 28, not October 29 as stated in last Wednesday's Bay News. The 675sq m building, at the hospice headquarters on Kerikeri Rd, will be used to process donated goods for sale at the organisation's op shops in Kerikeri, Kaikohe and Kawakawa, as well as storage for medical equipment and furniture sales. It will be officially opened by Health Minister David Clark. The Advocate apologises for the error.

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A celebration of the 125th anniversary of New Zealand women being able to vote will be held at A'Fare in Lower Dent St, Whangārei, on Suffrage Day. All interested women are invited to the afternoon tea at 2.30pm on Wednesday where special guest speakers will be Dr Carol Peters and Lynette Stewart. Women wanting to attend the Suffrage Celebration are asked to RSVP to Jenny Kirk at jennykirk273@gmail.com or phone 4337267. The cost is $25, payable at the door (cash or cheque).

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Northland Health's mental health and addiction services have been awarded the Supreme Matua Raki Workforce Innovation Award at the Cutting Edge Conference in Rotorua. The conference is New Zealand's key addiction treatment gathering. The award is for the DHB's involvement in developing the Te Ara Oranga steering group and its subsequent success. Te Ara Oranga has enabled Police to access faster referral pathways and therefore treatment for people they deal with who are affected by addiction. There is now a 24–48 hour response time for all new referrals whereas prior to Te Ara Oranga it was typically three weeks.