Pianos are being dumped at a popular west coast beach then set alight - concerning local residents about the unsightly environmental hazard.
But the burning question is - who would do such a thing and why?
Con Fowler says that in the past few weeks he has, on separate occasions, come across two burnt out pianos not far from the entrance to Baylys beach.
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"I'm not sure who is doing this. It would be really hard to carry, you would need three big men and a truck I think. I couldn't lift the frame by myself, I had to pull it along the beach and up the road behind my Hilux. Last one was about three weeks ago, and I had to haul that away too."
A Kaipara District Council spokesman has spoken out against the dumping and says if the people are caught doing it they will be fined.
"Any dumping of any rubbish is illegal, and fly-tippers are liable for fines. We can prosecute the dumping. Depending on the damage and area of the beach, it could also fall under the regional council."
The spokesman also said a full fire ban had been in place on November 26, so no one should be lighting fires.
Fowler suspects it might be the same people who often throw parties in that location described as being about 50m from the entrance on the left at a small outcrop of rock.
"Someone must have parties there often, because there are regularly broken glass, cans and general rubbish there as well."
Fowler, who is known for helping to clean up the beach where he can and who regularly picks up discarded rubbish to protect the environment, says he wants the people to stop this sort of littering.
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"One thing that really annoys me is that they throw bottles into the fire, then I have to sift through the sand to remove it."
Fowler shared his concerns about the situation on Facebook where some residents expressed their disgust.
Helen Weding said she was really concerned, "we need to look after our beaches".
Carolyn Weatherhead said the people who did this were, "eggs".
Hundreds explore political landmark
Hundreds turned up visit the historic birthplace of Northland's first New Zealand Prime Minister (Joseph) Gordon Coates.
The former PM's home in Matakohe was opened to the public last weekend.
More than 300 people took advantage of the opportunity to visit the building known as Ruatuna – a nationally significant Category 1 historic place.
Cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, Ruatuna is not usually open to visitors, though people were able to explore the house and grounds on a self-guided tour during the open day.
Thanks to donations from supporters – including many Heritage New Zealand members – Ruatuna had been completely re-roofed, and its sagging or broken supports and beams fixed.
"The open day was the perfect opportunity for people to visit this amazing heritage property which is looking wonderful as a result of the recent repairs and maintenance work," said Natalie McCondach, Heritage New Zealand's Manager Heritage Assets North.
"It was a great day with lots of descendants and locals as well as Heritage New Zealand members making the trip from Northland, Auckland and even Hamilton. The weather was perfect and even the tide was right to set up a magnificent rural vista from the veranda," she said.
"Many visitors shared their association with the house and the Coates family, including one descendant who had not been in the house since she attended the 1966 Coates family reunion as an 11-year-old."
As well as visiting the house, many people had their own stories to tell – including Mike Owens whose family has owned the Vauxhall 27, which was Gordon Coates' car, for many years, and which Owens is restoring.
The Vauxhall was brought to New Zealand for the George V's tour scheduled for 1935-36. Because the King passed away in January 1936, the tour never happened although the flash car was often seen on Northland's roads in subsequent years.
"Ruatuna has been cherished for generations of the Coates family and has remained mostly unchanged from its earliest times. It's a treasure trove of stories and collection items spanning over 140 years, and people were able to enjoy these during the course of the day," said Natalie McCondach.
The surrounding farm land from the original Ruatuna estate continues the tradition with local farmers Lana Gillett and Michael Slagter (LM Farms) caring for the land.
"We were appreciative of the extra paddock parking space that quickly became essential on the day as eager visitors just kept coming up the farm driveway!" said McCondach.
Local musicians added fun and vibrancy to the event, enjoying the historic acoustic roof design of the Parlour room to 'carry' the music.
Visitors also viewed the benefit of a lot of weed-clearing work and resulting planting, championed by volunteers from Mark Vincents' Otamatea Harbour Care Society and Roger Taylor, in the distinctive Cabbage Tree patch and around the stream that is the farm's water supply.
"We hope to be able to repeat this type of event at Ruatuna more regularly in the future," says Natalie.
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