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YOUNG ENTERTAINERS: Leo Bicknell, 12, shows off his juggling and stilt walking outside the Kawerau Council Concert Chambers last week. Photo Troy Baker D0833-22

Street performers training a hit


TRANSFORMING Kawerau’s youth into street performers was the aim of two council-run workshops in the school holidays. Kawerau District Council ran the workshops over two…

Whakatane District Court

Woman stabs partner in jealous rage


A KAWERAU woman who stabbed her long-term partner in a jealous rage has been sentenced to home detention. Beverly Ann Rapana, 30, was sentenced to…

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

Photo Keith Melville D0851-01

Walkway works


WORK on the new Strand Plaza walkway is a hive of activity. The wall of the Credit Union building is being strengthened while the culvert…

Money woes of firm laid bare


WHAKATANE internet and telecommunications provider GoNet Communications has been battling for survival. Its financially-troubled plight has been described in an Employment Relations Authority (ERA) determination…

ADVOCATE: Whakatane employment law advocate Stan Austin waits for a formal trespass notice at Te Runanga o Ngati Awa’s army hall property on Muriwai Drive. Photo Geoff Mercer D0769-01

Dissent on validity of carvers’ claims


TE Runanga o Ngati Awa has dismissed assertions its two former master carvers, made redundant in 2012, have valid claims of personal grievance, but their…

More in council »council

Building warrants welcome


EASTERN Bay Chamber of Commerce has welcomed news that commercial building warrants of fitness have rocketed in the past nine months. A report to last…

NEW BERTHS: Quay Street Wharf is set to provide six new berths in $1.5 million extension. Photo Troy Baker

New wharf to ease berthing pressure


WHAKATANE is to get a “new” wharf to ease the shortage of berths and offer spare capacity to Opotiki as it looks to crank up…

Building consents slightly higher


BUILDING consents in Whakatane have fluctuated over the past couple of months, though year-on-year the value of work is up 19 percent. Figures presented to…

More in court-news »court-news

Court news – Minister guilty of benefit fraud


A TE Kaha school teacher and church minister has been sentenced to nine months home detention for defrauding the Department of Social Welfare of $104,950.…

Work and Income2

Home detention for benefit fraudster


A TE Kaha school teacher and church minister has been sentenced to nine months home detention for defrauding the Department of Social Welfare of $104,950.…

Pic:    Monique in July 12th processed folder

Opotiki four appear on violence charges


AFTER three days of heightened tension at Opotiki, five men appeared in court today charged with violence offences. The 34-year-old Opotiki man charged with murdering…

More in crime »crime

Bail refused for three Opotiki men


THE 34-year-old Opotiki man charged with murdering Joe Collier is due to appear in the Tauranga District Court on August 6. The man, who has…

Thefts from cars


A CHAINSAW and laptop were taken during two car thefts in Whakatane this week. Whakatane police Senior Sergeant Yvonne Parker said a laptop was taken…

Police commissioner Mike Bush.

Police to make apology for Tuhoe raid bungles


POLICE Commissioner Mike Bush will visit the homes of eight Tuhoe families to personally apologise for mistakes police made during the Urewera raids – almost…

More in education »education

GREASE: Jaz Wiremu is playing Sandy in Tarawera High School’s production of Grease, 25 years ago her mum Emily Rua-Bennett took on the role for Kawerau College. 
Photo Troy Baker D0816-42

Jaz plays Sandy just like her mum in Grease


TWENTY-FIVE years after Emily Rua-Bennett played Sandy in the Kawerau College production of Grease, her daughter is reprising the role. Ms Rua-Bennett was a fifth…

ACTING PRINCIPAL: Boyce Davey is taking a term out of retirement to head Allandale School pending the arrival of a new principal. 
Photo Troy Baker 

Former Edgecumbe principal stands in at Allandale


THE new term sees a new face at the helm of Allandale School – albeit a temporary one. After helping the school board of trustees…

WINNERS: Emily Robbie, Ben White, Finn Spod and Alex Robbie from Awakeri School

World third for Awakeri


AWAKERI Primary School made an impressive comeback at the 2014 Kids’ Lit Quiz world final in England this week. It was not enough to give…

More in health »health

THANKFUL: Edgecumbe man Matt Bryson is thankful to be alive after losing his lower left leg in an accident at the family grain processing shed. Photo Troy Baker D0827-02

Tapping away the trauma


A MONTH after losing his lower leg in a work accident, Matt Bryson is adjusting to life as an amputee. It’s a tough journey for…

SURGICAL MISHAP: Sandie Passau is angry at having to undergo the same surgery twice following an operating theatre mishap at Whakatane Hospital. Photo Troy Baker D0790-07

Operation aborted – Nurse drops vital part on floor


SANDIE Passau must undergo surgery a second time after an operating theatre mishap last week forced a surgeon to abandon her operation. The Whakatane woman…

CUTTING EDGE: Whakatane Hospital radiologist Matthew Preston, EBET trustees David Bulley, Wade Brown and Kevin Hennessy, and radiographers Earl Charters and Johan Mann with the new Toshiba CT Scanner at Whakatane Hospital. Photo supplied

Trust funds new hospital scanner


WHAKATANE Hospital’s new state-of-the-art CT scanner is child-friendly and capable of scanning patients up to 300kg. The $977,055 Toshiba Aquilion Prime scanner was funded by…

More in kawerau-news »kawerau-news

ICY CHALLENGE: Josephine Waikato, Sharon Moore, Peta Ruha, Kelly Johnson and Pare Hohua are soaked with buckets of freezing water during their ice challenge. Photo Megan Hunt D0819-18

Icy team challenge celebration


FOR a team of Kawerau women, being showered with buckets of icy water was a celebration of a colleague’s health status after her journey through…

Chris Jensen KDC Manager, Regulatory and Planning.

Dog registrations in Kawerau drops


DOG numbers in Kawerau – based on registrations – declined for the first time in five years in the year to June 2014. Kawerau District…

Peter Christophers,
Kawerau council's finance and corporate services manager

Plumbing removed to store archives


THE future of Kawerau’s new museum building is under consideration as the current site becomes too small for growing displays and stacks of archived material.…

More in letters »letters

Sullivan Lake planting day successful


THE Sullivan Lake Care Group wishes to thank the wider community for participating in our recent planting day. About 50 people turned up and we…

Clayton’s recession has been milked to the full


IT is three months since I wrote with the purpose of initiating some pre-election debate on issues facing New Zealand. Unfortunately there has been not…

Greenways concept plan


THIS so-called “concept plan” was included in the June 3 projects and services committee agenda and approved by councillors for public consultation. Written by Paula…

More in maori-affairs »maori-affairs

Final reading for Tuhoe settlement


THE third and final reading of the Tuhoe-Te Urewera Settlement Bill will occur in Parliament tomorrow. From 9am till 11am, Te Uru Taumatua will screen…

Te Manuka Tutahi Marae

Hapu hurt threatens iwi split


A TE Teko hapu is considering leaving Te Runanga o Ngati Awa because of the way it was treated at a recent runanga board meeting.…

Maori language tour returns


TE KOPUTU will host a free, guided tour of some of Whakatane’s historical and culturally significant landmarks to mark Maori Language Week, from July 21-27.…

More in opotiki-news »opotiki-news

OPOTIKI women Melissa Mali and Kerris Adlam are steaming ahead after just having graduated as masseuses. 
Photo Sven Carlsson

Hands-on for the Bay Steamers


TWO weeks after qualifying as a massage therapist, Opotiki woman Kerris Adlam has landed the responsibility of organising massages for the Bay of Plenty Steamers.…

SOUL Time owner Joyann Onekawa says she loves animals, but not the dangers that horses create in town.
 Photo Sven Carlsson OB695-01

Quaint riding draws frown over danger


HORSES crossing Opotiki’s most central intersection – King and Church streets – may be quaint for visitors from Auckland, but for those closer to the…

Joe Collier

Prison in lockdown for body’s arrival, Maori protocol breached


MAORI protocol issues have enveloped moves to take Opotiki homicide victim Joe Collier’s body to a Turangi prison, where his jailed father can farewell him.…

More in rural »rural

Meat and wool values predicted to rise


THE value of New Zealand meat and wool exports is forecast to increase 22 per cent in the next five years, according to the Ministry…

Court judgment directs Fonterra dispute to arbitration


THE High Court has agreed with Fonterra Co-operative Group that its dispute with French food group Danone should be dealt with in arbitration. However, the…

Belt-tightening on way for dairy farmers


A SLUMP in world dairy prices will have a costly impact on regional economies heavily reliant on dairy farming, including the Eastern Bay. Dairy commodity…

More in video »video

TOUGH TRAINING: Waimaria Haywood was a front-line hose holder, getting drenched by protective water as she worked. 
Photo Sven Carlsson OB619-14

Graduating as a firefighter – no easy feat


THE EASTERN BAY’S newest firefighter Waimaria Haywood says passing her assessment as a firefighter was much tougher than running up Auckland’s Sky Tower. Mrs Haywood,…

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Baker goes solo [+ Video]


BEACON photographer Troy Baker is staging his first solo exhibition this month at Te Koputu, Whakatane’s library and exhibition centre. The exhibition “The Darkness of…

COMING THROUGH: Caleb Adam busts through the Hamilton Boys High School defence at Trident High School on Saturday. Photo Troy Baker D0643-087

Trident fall short of trophy


UP against a superior side, Trident High School’s first XV couldn’t get their hands on the Chiefs Trophy. They were well beaten 41-15 by Hamilton…