A man was arrested by Whangārei Police after threatening to get a gun and shoot staff at the Work and Income office in Whangārei. He was in the office as a client at 11.30am yesterday when he allegedly told a worker he was going to get a gun and return to shoot everyone. The on-site security guard and the police were immediately called and the man, who was known to police, ran off. A call went out to all patrols to look out for him, and the unarmed man was found by police at the end of Port Rd and arrested 14 minutes after the alarm was raised.

Volunteers keep vehicles safe

Whangārei's Summer Safe volunteer ambassadors, kept more than 24,000 vehicles safe at nine holiday spot carparks this summer. The volunteers proved their protective abilities when there were no thefts from cars at Whale Bay, Whangārei Falls/Otuihau, A H Reed, Parihaka, Abbey Caves, Ocean Beach, Ruakaka Beach, Uretiti Beach and Waipu Cove while they were on the job. Mayor Sheryl Mai said the volunteers generated real savings for ratepayers, with the whole programme costing only $30,000 a year, when the same service, if provided by two security guards at each location, would cost $139,000. Summer Safe is a partnership project supported by all the volunteer organisations and the Cancer Society, Civil Defence, i-SITE, Council's parks department, Whangārei Police and the Chamber of Commerce.

Teens charged after stealing car

Two 15-year-old boys have been charged with unlawfully taking a vehicle after one them, a Kaitāia College student, allegedly stole a teacher's keys and gave them to the other, who was not a student, on Thursday afternoon. Both boys, and a third youngster, subsequently used the car around Kaitāia, the boy who received the keys having used the fob to identify which vehicle it belonged to. When they encountered a police checkpoint in Puckey Ave they panicked, a police spokesman said, the driver performing a three-point turn and speeding off. They were pursued west at speeds reaching more than 140km/h, police abandoning the pursuit because of the risk involved. The vehicle and the three occupants were found later at Te Kohanga. The car was not damaged. The driver has also been charged with failing to stop, with further charges possible.

Two injured in crash

Two people suffered moderate injuries in a two-car crash in Northland. The accident happened at 7.45am on Thursday on Port Marsden Highway, Ruakaka. Police, a St John ambulance and fire appliances from Waipu, Ruakaka, and the New Zealand Refinery attended to the scene. The crash happened at an intersection.


Shared path to open

The first stage of the Kamo Shared Path in Whangārei will soon be open for the public. The first stage runs from Rust Ave up to Cross St, following the railway line. Whangārei District Council expects to have the path open for use in a little over a week. Those using the path will notice the new railway level crossings are different from usual and the council will be posting some advice about them on it's website and Facebook page. The official opening of this section is planned for the next few months.

Kiwi call lessons

Kiwi enthusiasts can take part in kiwi listening workshops next weekend in the Bay of Islands. Department of Conservation Kerikeri is running two free workshops in the lead-up to the annual kiwi listening/counting period. Community groups and the public are invited to learn about where kiwi live, what female and male birds sound like and how to record their calls. One workshop is at Maratu Marae, Russell, 1-3pm on Saturday, May 26, hosted by Russell Landcare Trust. The other is at Waimate North Sunday School Hall, Te Ahu Ahu Rd, Sunday, May 27, 1-3pm, hosted by Waimate North Landcare Trust. For registration or more information contact Helen Ough Dealy on 027 201 2695 or hodealy@doc.govt.nz.


A headline in yesterday's Northern Advocate incorrectly suggested Whangārei District Council had chosen a CBD location for the library to move to. Councillors have decided to call for expressions of interest for both a central city site and the RSA/Forum North site as locations to build a new civic centre. The error was made during the sub-editing process. The Northern Advocate apologies for the error.