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BLACKENED: Teaching materials in this resource room were destroyed when a suspicious fire took hold at Whakatane Intermediate School on Sunday evening. Photo Louis Klaassen D2293-05

Fire guts classroom


WHAKATANE Intermediate principal Doug McLean is “pretty mad” that someone may have deliberately set fire to his school. If investigators determine it was deliberately lit…

UNDER INVESTIGATION: Police investigate the scene of an axe murder in Kawerau on Friday morning. Photo Geoff Mercer.

Brother charged with axe murder


KAWERAU man Cameron Hunt has spent his first weekend in prison after being charged with the murder of his brother Barry Junior Hunt on Friday.…

A helicopter and two Coastguard vessels search for a kayaker missing off Waiotahi Beach this afternoon.

Sea claims kayak fisher


BREAKING waves along the Waiotahi shoreline are thought to have worked against a kayaker who fell into the water and drowned early this afternoon. The…

More in business »business

BLESSED: A karakia has been performed at the new Commerce Street motel. The ritual was performed by Pouroto Ngaropo supported by Stan Ratahi. They are surrounded by members of the Ross family who developed and own the motel. Mark and Kellie Ross are standing toward the rear. Their son Ashton is front of them and daughter Mikaela on the left. Photo supplied

New motel open for business


ALL the units in Whakatane’s newest motel, ONE88 on Commerce, have been blessed and the motel is now open for business. The blessing ritual was…

Whakatane Heads

Sunshine a growth factor


PUBLICITY showing Whakatane as second behind Tauranga as the fastest growing town over an 80-year period, with sunshine a factor in the growth, has been…

LUXURY: Flying instructor Peter Rutledge and his new Cirrus SR22 are ready to take students into the sky. 
Photo Louis Klaassen D2156-03

Luxury flying for learners


LUXURY flying for learners or visitors is on offer in Whakatane in a new second- hand trainer purchased by Whakatane Aero Hire Flying School. Company…

More in council »council

Strong support for Regional Council’s environmental protection work


SUBMISSIONS to Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s long-term plan showed strong support for the council’s environmental protection work. More than 100 of the 275 submissions…

Tony Bonne,
Whakatane mayor

Ten-year plan charts path for growth


THE adoption of Whakatane District Council’s 2015-25 long-term plan earlier this week marks a significant milestone for this council triennium. The LTP is renewed every…

Regional council approves long-term plan


BAY of Plenty Regional Council has incorporated a 6.5 percent rate rise for the year beginning July 1 in its 2015-25 long-term plan. The plan,…

More in court-news »court-news

Court news – Man bailed to Shannon address


RICHARD Duane Tunoho’s sentence of home detention was going well, until his girlfriend moved into the house with him. In the Whakatane District Court on…

Court news – Man in dock told to be role model for his son


THE sound of his son crying for him as he was carried from the court room was enough to reduce Hayden Conrad Monsall to tears.…

Court news – Home detention for fleeing with baby


A WHAKATANE man who ran off with his child after hitting his partner was sentenced to community detention in the Whakatane District Court on Wednesday.…

More in crime »crime

Flames were quickly brought under control at Whakatane Intermediate School tonight.

Fire damages intermediate school


FIREFIGHTERS confined fire damage at Whakatane Intermediate School to two classrooms tonight after they were summoned to the school shortly after 6pm. Flames were established…

Police are conducting a homicide investigation in Blundell Street, Kawerau

Kawerau man dies following axe-inflicted injury


POLICE have named the man who died from an axe wound following a commotion at a Kawerau home yesterday evening. He was 31-year-old Barry Junior…

Paedophile groomed girls – Treats to lure victims


WHEN police searched John Edmond Walker’s home they discovered vast quantities of sweets, makeup and jewellery – used by the convicted paedophile to groom young…

More in education »education

MUSICIAN: Lauren Hope strums in time to the ukulele band. D2263-08

Ukulele band performs thank you concert


MEMBERS of Allandale School’s ukulele club showed off their skills and new instruments at Tuesday night’s end-of-term thank you concert. The performance was held to…

BELIEVE YOU CAN: Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Week dream team members Nikita Lloyd, Amrita Kaur and Angela Kershaw are in this photograph featuring Allandale School year 6 students. 
Louis Klaassen D2260-07

Pupils turned into goal dreamers


ALLANDALE School year 6 students have been dared to believe they can be the future of New Zealand as part of Sir Peter Blake Trust…

Dream team to visit and inspire kids


ONE hour, 28 local leaders, hundreds of students. For the second year running, the Eastern Bay has assembled the largest “dream team” in the country…

More in emergency-services »emergency-services

Flames were quickly brought under control at Whakatane Intermediate School tonight.

Fire damages intermediate school


FIREFIGHTERS confined fire damage at Whakatane Intermediate School to two classrooms tonight after they were summoned to the school shortly after 6pm. Flames were established…

RED FLAMER: The Volkswagen Golf after firefighters put out the flames. Photo Rod Topperwien

Occupants escape blazing car


A FLAMING car drew residents to apartment balconies on Whakatane’s Quay Street on Saturday. Quay Street resident Richard Forster said he heard a fire engine…

SMOKIN’: Having their car stop, smoke and then burst into flames on a trip home from Opotiki was “not really scary”, according to one young passenger. 
Photo Ohope Volunteer Fire Brigade

Runners flee burning car


STUDENTS returning from the regional inter-school cross-country championships in Opotiki on Tuesday found themselves at the centre of an emergency call-out when their car caught…

More in environment-news »environment-news

green lipped mussels

Ohiwa mussels decimated


GREEN-LIPPED mussels in the Ohiwa Harbour have been decimated but it might not be the fault of sea-stars, according to a marine environment expert. Kura…

BANDING: Sarah Wills banding whio on the Whirinaki River with the Galatea School Enviro Group. Photos supplied

Whio-tastic duckling breeding season


IT was a ‘whio-tastic’ season in Whirinaki with 30 whio ducklings fledging earlier this year. Extending the trapping network later in the year is expected…

Plant a tree for Arbour Day


WHETHER you’re ‘green-fingered’ or not, why not take some time this weekend to plant a tree or two for Arbor Day. The Waiewe Reserve Restoration…

More in health »health

Emily Hermanson 
Kawerau GP

Zero medical fees for under-13s welcomed


AS of July 1 all under-13s in the Eastern Bay are eligible for free doctor visits. Bay of Plenty District Health Board primary health portfolio…

BIG SMILE: Scott Sisam from the Whakatane Lumino Land Road Dental Centre works on one of the patients who took up the offer of free dental care. 
Photo supplied

Initiative provides free dental to less fortunate


LAST weekend families of students at Allandale and James Street poured through the doors at Whakatane’s Lumino dental clinic, lured by the offer of free…

Homecare Medical new provider


HEALTH minister Jonathan Coleman has announced Homecare Medical as the preferred provider for the new national telehealth service. New Zealand currently has multiple individual telehealth…

More in kawerau-news »kawerau-news

MAGIC MORNING TEA: Jive staff members Charlene Martin and Sage McGregor are preparing for tomorrow’s morning tea with organiser Susie Fieldhouse and Jive owner Marietjie Le Roux. Photo Megan Hunt D2230-03

Pink morning tea plans


KAWERAU’S bakers and cake appreciators are invited to a pink ribbon morning tea next week to fundraise for Breast Cancer New Zealand. The event, at…

Long serving Kawerau JP’s recognised


THREE Kawerau residents were recognised this week for their outstanding service as Justices of the Peace, with 114 years’ service between them. Murray Hansen received…

Take-two for skate park shade sails


THE leaning rusted poles surrounding Kawerau’s skate park are to be removed and replaced now a new shade sail design has been selected. During a…

More in letters »letters

Cats are uncontainable


TO Paul Keohane – you are not alone. Perhaps you live close to us – cats spraying over our bikes, on our caravan roof and…

Prime minister worth listening to


ATTENDING the John Key meeting last week in Edgecumbe turned out to be a very entertaining afternoon. Opotiki Mayor John Forbes held centre stage until…

Hose those cats away


I WOULD like to reply to a recent letter written by Paul Keohane regarding the cat problem he has been experiencing of late. If Paul…

More in maori-affairs »maori-affairs

Enid Ratahi-Pryor
Ngati Awa chief executive

Runanga chief executive loses finance role


NGATI Awa’s financial arm is to begin a search for a new chief executive following advice an independent senior manager is needed. Enid Ratahi-Pryor is…


Matatini – but for babies


IT’S like the national kapa haka competition, Te Matatini, but for babies. There were the full-facial moko, the intricate bodices, swirling poi and a cacophony…

BRIGHT FUTURES: Cousins Heremia McGarvey and Te Urupounamu McGarvey came away with wins at the Maori Women’s Welfare League speech competition this month. Photo Louis Klaassan D2228-11

Police apology inspires school speech winner


HIRIA Te Moma knows that Te Urupounamu McGarvey, 12, is destined for greatness. The Te Tawera Bilingual School principal was there when Te Urupounamu claimed…

More in opotiki-news »opotiki-news

district councillor,
Barry Howe

Out-of-town candidates a hot topic


DEBATE about Opotiki District Council’s appointment strategy has erupted following allegations two council positions, understood to be assistant librarian roles, were awarded to out-of-towners. A…

LETISHA White with her Sir Peter Blake award, presented yesterday at a special St Joseph’s school assembly. She is photographed with her mother, Catriona White, and Opotiki Westpac manager Lorraine Hickey. Photo Whare Akuhata OB1227-1

Two pairs of lucky red socks


ST Joseph’s School student Letisha White was one of the few school students who knew who Sir Peter Blake was. She even has a pair…

KAIMOANA specialists Tuamutu Poihipi, Aroha Hogg, Rawiri Koopu and Huriata Poihipi will showcase the sea’s bounty on behalf of Maraenui Marae. Photo contributed

Haggis – Maori style


PUKUNAKO, stuffed kahawai stomach, was one of the more interesting dishes served by Maraenui Marae, near Te Kaha, in the battle to win the Marae…

More in police-news »police-news

Senior Sergeant 
Steve Collins, Opotiki Police

Policeman rugby tackled


POLICE have explained a large police presence in Opotiki over the past few days. Sergeant Steve Collins said the influx of police officers followed an…

Whakatane police dog the best


WHAKATANE pair Constable Dave Robison and his police dog Isaac took top honours at the National Police Patrol Dog champions this week. Mr Robison said…

Missing items await owners


WHAKATANE police have a collection of missing items waiting at the Boon Street station for owners to collect, including children’s toys and jewellery. Whakatane police…

More in rural »rural

Discing off maize stubble


TRACTOR driver Joshua Watson was cutting-in maize stubble with a set of discs off State Highway 30 near Western Drain Road on Friday. Mr Watson,…

Reprieve on way for dairy farmers


LOWER interest rates and a continued reduction in the value of the New Zealand dollar against the United States dollar should help give dairy farmers…

Beekeeping industry unification goes ahead


THREE bee-related associations voted to proceed with unifying the apiculture industry and their associations at the New Zealand Apiculture Conference in Taupo this month. Federated…