Mail track

Northland news in brief: Popular bathing spot Kerikeri on track

Zayne Repia dives at Charlie’s Rock, Kerikeri’s most popular freshwater swimming spot. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Work to reopen a track to Kerikeri’s most popular freshwater swimming spot is due to start next week. The Landing Rd walkway, roughly opposite the Waipapa Landing boat ramp, at Charlie’s Rock was closed for safety reasons in June 2021 after being swept away in a series of events extreme weather. Work will begin Wednesday to increase the capacity of a stormwater culvert along the trail and construct an overflow channel for future heavy rains. The trail will then be backfilled, new gravel laid and cleared of obstacles. Charlie’s Rock is a 12-high waterfall and a very popular summer swimming hole on the Waipapa River, about 5 km from the center of Kerikeri. The track is due to reopen before Christmas.

Murder trial jury retires

The jury in a Whangārei murder trial has retired for the weekend and will return on Monday to resume deliberations. Two brothers, who cannot be named for legal reasons until at least the end of their trial, are again tried by the High Court of Whangārei. The brothers, aged 21 and 17 at the time of the incident, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Haze Peihopa, 23, during a violent clash on Bank St at midnight on June 12 last year. The older brother also pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault with intent to injure with a knife after he repeatedly swung it at another man during the street fight where Peihopa was killed . The younger brother pleaded guilty at the start of the trial to wounding Peihopa with intent to hurt after kicking him in the head while he was on the ground after being stabbed. The trial began on Monday and the jury retired to consider their verdicts at 11.42am yesterday. At around 4.30pm, the jury retired for the weekend after re-entering the courtroom several times to watch CCTV footage of the fight.

New toilet block

A new toilet block is being built at Lake Manuwai, a well-used water reservoir 15 km northwest of Kerikeri. The facility, co-funded by the Far North District Council and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Tourism Infrastructure Fund, will include two unisex toilets, a changing room and a service bay for cleaning equipment. No running water will be available, so hand sanitizer will be provided. The new toilets will use a waterless dry vault which will be pumped out as needed with waste removed from the site for disposal. It should be completed by the end of November. In addition to storing irrigation water, Lake Manuwai is used for sailing and waka ama training.

More Tanks Wanted

Organizers of the Paihia Christmas Parade from 5.30pm on Friday 2nd December are calling for more floats. Floats don’t have to be big – the point is to have fun and be part of a community event. Email [email protected] for more information. The theme of the year is board games.

Arts Festival

The Whangaroa Arts Festival takes place next week, with a busy day planned. The festival will be held at Te Kura o Hato Hōhepa Te Kāmaru on State Highway 10, Kaeo, starting at 9:30 a.m. on November 18. There will be plenty of art on display and for sale as well as performances from a number of area schools. , including TKKM o Whangaroa, Matauri Bay, Kaeo, Oruaiti, Te Kura o Hato Hōhepa Te Kāmaru and Totara North.

Safe system on the way

Police Minister Chris Hipkins has announced the introduction of a new secure communications network for police and emergency services from next year. The public safety network will have a single, secure digital radio network and enhanced mobile broadband access. Emergency service chiefs issued a joint statement welcoming the news, as did the New Zealand Police Association. Emergency services will begin transitioning to cellular services from mid-2023 and land mobile radio as a regional deployment from 2024.

CORRECTION

A Bay News article on Thursday said Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis and Northland MP Willow-Jean Prime had not been to Russell for at least 2020. That was incorrect and they both went to the region several times during this time. We apologize for this error.