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Stranded cutter refloated


The pilothouse cutter Checkmate which grounded on Whale Island last Friday has been re-floated and  towed to Tauranga. Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s regional harbour…


Business and Leisure Show opens


  A STEADY stream of curious people began filing past exhibits at the Beacon Business and Leisure Show from its midday opening today. GravityHQ representative…

INSPIRING: Syrus Drayton loves the time he spends with James Street School special education co-ordinator Ana Byrne, prompting his mum to nominate her for an inspiring teacher award. Photo Troy Baker D1001-07

Inspiring nomination


SYRUS Drayton’s eyes light up when he sees his old classroom teacher, Ana Byrne. She is no longer his everyday teacher at James Street School…

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

Tony Hawken,
EastPack chief executive

EastPack helmsman calls it a day


AFTER 31 years at the helm of kiwifruit packhouse business EastPack, Tony Hawken is stepping down to pursue other interests. Mr Hawken has overseen the…

Photo Troy Baker D0995-09

Mill receives new smoke stack


THIS giant smoke stack being installed at the Whakatane Mill replaces one that was badly rusted, according to a mill source. The mill, owned by…

CENTRAL MEDICINE: Kawerau Medical Centre Co-owner and Doctor Emily Hermanson is overwhelmed by the positive response her new business has received from the community after the May opening. Photo Megan Hunt D0883-01

Medical centre overwhelmed by response


TWELVE weeks after Kawerau Medical Centre opened its doors the team and its goal of accessible health care has settled into the Eastern Bay community.…

More in council »council

Generic Whale Island

Vessel washed onto Whale Island


BAY of Plenty Regional Council is investigating an unmanned boat which has dragged its anchor and gone ashore on the southwestern shore of Whale Island…

Call for United Nations intervention


THE Dioxin-Affected Residents Association wants the United Nations called in to investigate contaminated dump sites throughout the Whakatane district. DARA spokesman Guy Barlass made his…

WORK IN PROGRESS: The Strand Plaza redevelopment is taking shape to include a building with two new retail tenancies.

Whakatane district is the best place to be …


Mayor Talk EVERY day as I go to work, I realise that I’m not the only one who thinks the Whakatane district is the best place…

More in court-news »court-news

Court news – Domestic assault ‘totally wrong’


JUDGE Louis Bidois called a 19-year-old Whakatane man’s actions “totally wrong” after he appeared in Whakatane District Court for assaulting his female partner. Christoper Biddle…

Court news – Father-figure jailed for childhood abuse


A PACKED Whakatane District Court heard about the impact of childhood sexual abuse on one woman as she read a victim impact statement to her…

More charges for paedophile


A CONVICTED paedophile who preyed on a Whakatane girl he met through the Salvation Army, has pleaded guilty to more charges of child abuse. Trevor…

More in crime »crime

Joel John 

Escaped prisoner recaptured in Feilding


THE prisoner who escaped custody in Opotiki last week has been recaptured at his father’s home in the Manawatu town of Feilding. Eastern Bay police…

Emily Longley
victim of domestic violence

Friends knew but did nothing


AHEAD of tonight’s screening on TV One of the documentary Mummy’s Little Murderer, former Beacon editor and father of 17-year-old Emily Longley, Mark Longley, explains why it…

Joel John 

Prisoner still at large


EASTERN Bay police are still searching for a prisoner who escaped in Opotiki last week. Police rural response manager Mark van der Kley said Joel…

More in education »education

BETTER STRUCTURE: Members of the Whakatane District Youth Council, back row first: Adrianna Jenner, Tracey Waiari, Ashlee Hall, Eva Gilchrist, Teria Joe; front row, Maiah Barnfield, April Kerslake, Brendan Jelley, Sophie Butler. Photo supplied

New code of practice for youth council


THE Whakatane District Youth Council is formulating a new code of practice and preparing for a busy spring. The youth council comprises 10 high school…

Science fair faces uncertain future


DWINDLING entries are threatening the viability of the Eastern Bay Science and Technology Fair. Organisers of the annual fair are assessing its future following a…

Apanui School principal,
Simon Akroyd

Good sharing at immersion hui


EASTERN Bay schools have a clearer picture of Ministry of Education expectations with regard to immersion classes following a hui last week. Apanui School hosted…

More in health »health

Photo Troy Baker D1002-04

Students spread message in yellow


TRIDENT High School’s health committee has been advising students of ways to reduce their cancer risk this week, in the lead up to Daffodil Day. Tame…

Generic Whakatane Hospital

Cancer screening refused


AN Eastern Bay woman is becoming increasingly frustrated with the health system after being refused a test to determine whether she has bowel cancer. The…

Free flu immunisation ends soon


NEW Zealanders eligible for free influenza immunisation have only a short time left to be vaccinated before the Government-subsidised campaign ends for this year on…

More in kawerau-news »kawerau-news


Freedom campers welcomed for a week


KAWERAU has reinforced its status as a motorhome-friendly district by agreeing to allow freedom camping for more than double the nights of neighbouring councils. Kawerau…

Tom McDowall,
operations and services manager

Surveillance upgrade for Kawerau


KAWERAU District Council has agreed to expand the camera surveillance network in its town centre. A review of the council’s cameras began last year in…

NEW WALL: The wall was painted and art panels from the Street Legal festival were fitted along Plunket Street last Friday and Saturday. Photo supplied

Kawerau Graffiti busters hit Plunket Street


FOUR Kawerau kids joined the town’s graffiti-busting team last Friday, painting over a tagging hot spot that has since become an eye-catching display space. Panels…

More in letters »letters

Sutch never a spy


I KNEW Bill Sutch. In fact, I have stayed at his house as a personal guest. Ida Rose is right that he was a friendly,…

Thornton Hall remembered


IT was the first school on the Rangitaiki Plains. Its name came from a Mr Alfred Thorne, a surveyor commissioned to formalise land ownership. The…

What’s best for the majority


I ONLY hope and pray that by September 20 the electorate will have forgotten about who was supposed to have leaked on who and will determine…

More in maori-affairs »maori-affairs

BACK HOME: Pouwhare Te Maipi takes back the taiaha Rongokarae, gifted to Premier Richard Seddon in 1894 and returned to Tuhoe by his family on Friday. Photo Troy Baker D0996-217

Flags exchanged at Tuhoe apology


A FLAG taken from Maungapohatu to be used as evidence of sedition on the part of Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana was returned to the iwi…

WE’RE SORRY: Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson, left, apologises to Tuhoe on the Crown’s behalf on Friday. 
Photos Troy Baker D0996-153

Tuhoe Treaty settlement celebrated


TUHOE hosted the Crown at a Settlement Day ceremony in Taneatua to celebrate the recent passage of Tuhoe Treaty settlement legislation today, with several thousand…

Tuhoe's Tame Iti accepts a koikoi from the Crown that he gave to Treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen in 2008 at the commencement of negotiations. He asked, then, for it to be returned when the settlement was achieved. Photo Troy Baker D0996-229

Thousands celebrate apology to Tuhoe


TUHOE hosted the Crown at a Settlement Day ceremony in Taneatua to celebrate the recent passage of Tūhoe Treaty settlement legislation today, with several thousand…

More in opotiki-news »opotiki-news

CHURCH Street Surgery nurse Ellen Walker has won a $3000 scholarship to become a rural nurse practitioner.
 Photo Karla Akuhata OB818

Opotiki nurse wins scholarship


WHEN a patient tells Ellen Walker they have to finish the calving before they can come in for their smear test, the Opotiki nurse doesn’t…

TWENTY-year-old mother of two Awhina Kurei is devoted to making changes in Opotiki by being a positive role model for the community. Photo supplied

Positive role model goal for Awhina


AWHINA Kurei wants to change the world but she knows the best place to start is in her own community. So the 20-year-old mother of…

THE proud owner of his first truck, Mr Green  said he is unablew to obtain work that should rightfully be his. Photos Sven Carlsson OB816-03

Truck owner’s spirit broken


AFTER working for wages for 25 years, truck driver Lorne Green thought he would buy his own truck to provide for the four of his…

More in rural »rural

Photo Troy Baker D0989-08

Possum fur price steady


POSSUM fur prices are stable, with fur buyers paying $100 to $115 a kilogram, according Dawson Furs operations manager Robert Lass. These possum fur bales…

INTRODUCED: The wooly nightshade has large leaves and clusters of purple flowers.

Bug wages woolly nightshade war


BAY of Plenty Regional Council has been testing a new weapon to fight the pest plant woolly nightshade, which is widespread in the Bay. The…

Landcorp cuts earnings forecast


STATE-OWNED farming business Landcorp Farming has cut its 2015 earnings forecast because of falling global dairy prices The Wellington-based company expects a net operating profit…

More in video »video

ALL ON: The Whakatane Roller Derby League clash with the Pirate City Broadside Brawlers at the Whakatane War Memorial Centre on Saturday. 
Photo Adyn Ogle 

Double derby delights


THE Whakatane Roller Derby League kept their undefeated home record intact with another convincing win at the Whakatane War Memorial Centre on Saturday. They beat…

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…