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Members of the Whakatane Fire Brigade help East Coast MP Anne Tolley pump her flooded home

MP’s house flooded


East Coast MP Anne Tolley and her husband Allan had to camp upstairs in their Pohutukawa Avenue home on Friday night after rainwater flooded the…

FLOODING: This home in Goulstone Road was under water last night. Photo Troy Baker C0438-26

Intense rain floods district


INTENSE periods of rainfall over the past 24 hours have caused extensive surface flooding and related damage in many parts of the district. Weather forecasters…

More in 75-years-of-beacon-history »75-years-of-beacon-history

New police recruit collars first criminal


April is the Beacon’s 75th anniversary month and in each issue we will be running a story from the paper’s archives from April. This story…

Beauty pageant back on again


From the BEACON ARCHIVES THE misses have voted it a hit – so the Miss Whakatane beauty pageant is back on again. Organisers feared the pageant…

CUTTING THE CAKE: Helen and Philippa Spring, cut the Beacon’s 75th birthday cake. 
  Photo Troy Baker D0423-132

Beacon celebrates 75 years


The Beacon celebrated its 75th birthday on Monday night by hosting readers, advertisers, current and ex-staff at a special anniversary function. Held at the Te…

More in business »business

Inflation lower than expected


LOWER-than-expected inflation has cast doubts on the need for the Reserve Bank to lift interest rates as far and as fast as expected, economists say.…

Cheaper dairy prices


MILK, butter and cheese could soon be cheaper at the supermarket, but shoppers shouldn’t expect big price drops. That’s the message from an economist after…



Education partnership WAIARIKI Institute of Technology has now joined the BOP Tertiary Partnership alongside Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and University of…

More in council »council

Fenced dog park under investigation


A REQUEST for a fenced dog exercise area at the river end of Eivers Road has gained traction at Whakatane District Council. In June 2013,…

Russell Orr, councillor

Matata wastewater plant cost increases


THE possible cost of Matata’s sewage treatment scheme has risen to $13.2 million – up from $10.85 million 12 months ago. The scheme’s construction cost…

Water restrictions update


FLOW in the Whakatane River dropped from 9 cubic metres per second on Tuesday to 8.5cumecs yesterday.  The drop means the raw water intake for…

More in crime »crime

Generic police-should-B9102-521

Thefts solved


A 15-YEAR-OLD was one of three people arrested by police last week in relation to recent thefts and burglaries. Neighbours contacted police when they saw…

WANTED: This man is wanted by Whakatane Police in connection with petrol drive-offs.

Petrol thief


POLICE are looking for a man they believe is responsible for two petrol drive-offs in Whakatane and Opotiki. The first was on March 19 at…

CRASH: Emergency services are at a crash scene on State Highway 30 near Braemar Road.

Woman dead following Onepu crash


A WOMAN is dead following a crash between a car and a truck at Onepu this morning. The woman in her 50s from the Whakatane…

More in education »education

CELEBRATION: Te Kura o Te Paroa were on The Strand in big numbers to cheer on Awanuiarangi graduates. Photos Troy Baker D0403-0058

Graduates take the bus


RAIN put a damper on the traditional hikoi through Whakatane by graduates of Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi on Friday. Instead of walking through the…

TOGETHER AGAIN: Whakatane High School’s 3P class of ’54 recently had a 60th reunion.

Class celebrates 60 years


THE year 1954 was a vintage year for Whakatane High School. The 60th reunion of the 3P class, held recently at the Church of St…

Peter Tootell to Retire.Pic: TroyFolder: 30/3/14

Farewell to school principal


AFTER 15 years of leadership, Trident High School principal Peter Tootell has much to look back on – and feel proud of. As he counts…

More in health »health


Measles on the rise – get immunised


EASTERN Bay parents are urged to make sure their children are up to date with immunisations amid fears that measles may spread to the region…

STUNNING FEATURE: This multi-panel artwork by Whakatane artist Maree White is a much-admired feature of the new Whakatane Hospital’s main street.
 Photo Neryda McNabb D0375-14

‘Amazing facility’ in hospital


MORE than 2000 people walked through Whakatane’s new hospital last weekend pronouncing it a feather in the cap of the community. Much positive feedback has…

GENTLE EXERCISE: The YMCA Encore programme for breast cancer survivors starts in Whakatane in May at the aquatic 
Photo supplied.

Programme to help breast cancer survivors


A FREE exercise and support programme designed for woman recovering from breast cancer is now available in the Eastern Bay. Since 2005 YWCA Auckland has…

More in kawerau-news »kawerau-news

FULL FLOOR: Visitors to the expo yesterday were treated to a number of interactive displays aimed at giving them a taste of different career options. Photo Megan Hunt D0417-17

Career choices in Kawerau


STANDS of all shapes, sizes, and job titles filled Kawerau’s Ron Hardie Recreation Centre yesterday as part of the town’s annual careers expo. Organisers estimated…

Careers on display in Kawerau


MORE than 1000 people visited Kawerau’s career expo last year, and organisers are expecting similar numbers at today’s event. The 2014 Kawerau Career expo runs…

No submissions for Kawerau plan


STUDENTS at Trident High School’s newly opened service academy have had their first taste of military life. Not only did the students survive basic training…

More in letters »letters

GOING, GOING: Three buildings in The Strand were demolished last week to make way for the pedestrian walkway.



Town Vision or tunnel vision It is not often I agree with Keith Melville but his comments on the purchase and demolition of The Strand…

An afterthought


It might be hindsight but the demolition of the buildings on The Strand deserves some reflection considering the amount of money Whakatane District Council has…

Ohope Harbour must remain natural


Many years ago, 40 or so, a group of people and Whakatane District Council, proposed building a track along the back of the harbour to…

More in maori-affairs »maori-affairs

A lasting dedication to peace


A SPECIAL pilgrimage on Saturday to the final resting place of Chief Mokomoko will mark the ongoing reconciliation between his descendants and Hiona St Stephen’s…

Drowsy by goldie -1

Ninia Goldie passed at auction


A GOLDIE painting of Ngati Awa chieftainess Wiripine Ninia failed to sell at an auction in Auckland last week. Bidding for the painting – titled…

TOUGH GUYS: Haka party members Hemi Barsdell, Toko Waaka, Paaku Titoko and Haturini Hillman at Saturday’s opening of Tauanui Marae’s new $600,000 dining hall.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Doug Hickman D0412-032

500 open dining hall


FIVE-HUNDRED people took part in Saturday’s opening of Tauanui Marae’s new dining hall.  Yesterday, Pinika Barsdell said the occasion had been long-awaited. For six years…

More in opotiki-news »opotiki-news

John Forbes,
Opotiki mayor

Opotiki district rates to rise


FOLLOWING months of careful consideration, Opotiki District Council has agreed to adopt the draft Annual Plan for 2014/15 for public consultation. The public will now…

TALKING POINT: Opotiki Lions Club members Jim Towersey, Alen Clemance, Ian Jeffery and Mick Sauer facilitate the first Lion’s Club Giant Pumpkin Competition. Photo
Tarere Thatcher OB633-02

Giant pumpkin’s the talk of the town


THE Opotiki Lions Club held their inaugural Giant Pumpkin competition last weekend. Organisers Shirley Parkinson and Glenda John said recent media exposure piqued people’s interest…

Helicopter firm sold


OPOTIKI’s Central Helicopters business has been sold to two Taranaki brothers. Business owner Catherine Loughlin said a handful of interested parties had contacted her following…

More in rural »rural

Whakatane dairy farms sell for huge prices


AN $11 million sale price for a Whakatane dairy farm, sold last month, underscores a buoyant rural real estate market and strong demand according to…

Seeka adds bananas to business portfolio


BAY of Plenty kiwifruit packer and storage business Seeka Kiwifruit Industries is diversifying by buying a specialist fruit business. It has agreed to buy a…

Dairy prices fall


DAIRY prices are expected to continue falling, but it is too early to tell what the wider economic impact will be, economists say. The price…

More in video »video


Barr claims first title


HERE is the Beacon’s coverage of the Whakatane Tennis Club’s men’s singles final on Saturday, between Niko Barr and Mark Ratana.

FOLLOW CAREFULLY: Tuhoe warrior Turanga Nicholas retreats toward the new Tuhoe headquarters building, having laid a challenge accepted by Tainui kaumatua Tukuroirangi Morgan. Photo Geoff Mercer D0261-01

New home for Tuhoe


TWO thousand people watched in awe as Tuhoe put on a welcoming performance befitting their iwi’s new $15 million headquarters – Te Uru Taumatua –…

WINNING DISHES: Meagan Edhouse, the winner of the New Zealand Barbecue King competition, receives her check and trophy from Pak’n Save’s Andrew Soutar. Also pictured are judges Colin Magee, head judge Rosemary Sloman and Whakatane mayor Tony Bonne.     
Photo Doug Hickman  D0229-86

New Zealand BBQ King competition


VIDEO by Michael Steens