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BRIGHT LOOK: These pumpkins had a new coat of paint for Saturday’s event. Photos Paula Massey D1857-011

Pumpkins bring in the crowds


THORNTON School held a harvest gala on Saturday, featuring giant pumpkins. The giant pumpkin competition included over 60 entries with prizes awarded across a range…

Police are investigating an unexplained death at Omaio, 40km east of Opotiki

Unexplained death at Omaio


  POLICE have confirmed a man has died in mysterious circumstances at Omaio, 40 kilometres east of Opotiki. An investigation has been launched into the cause…

Ross Boreham, councils
public affairs manager

Council held to ransom


A RANSOMWARE virus crippled Whakatane District Council’s computer network this week, shutting down internal systems and curbing website services. The malware, a variant on the…

More in business »business

Tourism numbers positive for Whakatane


RECENT accommodation statistics show a continued upturn in visitor guest nights spent in the Whakatane district. The January 2015 commercial accommodation monitor figures show that…

Photo Louis Klaassen D1853-10

Milestones coming for supermarket upgrade


THE Pak‘n Save supermarket expansion in Kopeopeo is approaching some key milestones. The roof is expected to be installed on the extended building sometime this…


‘Just do it’ –Rolleston


HEMI Rolleston was back in the town that gave him his start last week, encouraging Whakatane entrepreneurs to spread their wings. The former head of…

More in council »council

Social media boosts CDEM reach in an emergency


SOCIAL media proved a winner for Bay of Plenty Civil Defence during Cyclone Pam’s visit. The organisation’s Facebook page membership soared 196 percent from the…

Flood of submissions to regional council plan


Bay of Plenty Regional Council has received 50 percent more submissions to its long term plan as it did for its last Ten Year Plan.…

REVITALISED: THE plaza project on The Strand is the most obvious example of an attempt to revitalise Whakatane’s central business district in recent times. File photo

Wharaurangi gets peoples’ vote


IT has become abundantly clear to this newspaper that the preferred name for that new place on The Strand in Whakatane where there is an…

More in court-news »court-news

Angry text lands boyfriend back in court


CHRISTOPHER John Allen was back in court after he sent an angry text message to his ex-partner. The 26-year-old appeared in the Whakatane District Court…

Court news – Car arson leads to prison


A COASTLANDS man has been sentenced to prison after he drunkenly lit a fire inside a vehicle parked in a carport while the owner slept…

Court news – Drug dealer keeps the cash


AFTER two previous cannabis-related convictions, Tracey-Lee Enoka was back in court on drug charges. Enoka appeared in the Whakatane District Court charged with possession of…

More in crime »crime

Neighbours foil burglars


ALERT Natana Place residents noticed a burglary in progress on Thursday afternoon after they spotted a young couple entering a neighbour’s property. Whakatane police Senior…



Suspected shoplifter charged A QUICK call to police from staff at the Whakatane Farmers store helped with the quick arrest of an alleged shoplifter. Whakatane…

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Assault investigation continues


POLICE are continuing to appeal to the public for information about two teenaged boys who allegedly assaulted two women walking through Whakatane’s central business area.…

More in education »education

GOOGLE-BOUND: Dressed in their Sunshine capital T-shirts and ready to take on Silicon Valley are Whakatane High School students and staff. Back, Matt Grunwell, Shilp Naik, Nathaniel Bennett, Aaron Nikora, Richard Valk and Matt O’Malley. Middle, Max Bluett, Tania Samal, Hiria Wallace and Toni Martin. Front, Tim Mao, Trent Sirisawat and Madison Hurkmans. Absent - Matt Brown, Isaac Abbot-Martin and Finn Drury. Photo supplied

WHS students Google-bound


A GROUP of Whakatane teenagers will soon be familiar with the inner workings of some of the world’s global technology giants. Google, Twitter, eBay and…

19/03/15Saved: Processed folder March 22Supplied

Service academy students in Waiouru


SEVENTEEN students from Trident High School’s services academy are at the Waiouru army camp for the central region induction camp for academies. What lies ahead…

Dog booklets dished out in Kawerau


ALL preschools and primary schools in the Kawerau district received copies of the booklet Keeping our Children Safe around Dogs last month. Kawerau District Council…

More in emergency-services »emergency-services

Trustpower TECT helicopter

Cardiac arrest at Waihau Bay


The Tauranga based Trustpower TECT Rescue helicopter was dispatched to Waihau Bay at 8.30pm on Wednesday to pick up a 55 year old Hicks Bay…

ENGULFED: Firefighters from Opotiki and Ohope tackle a major house fire in Fromow Road, Opotiki, this morning. Photos Tarere Thatcher OB1103-06 and 15

Fire destroys home  


FIRE appears to have destroyed the home of an Opotiki resident and forced neighbours to evacuate this morning. Two Opotiki Volunteer Fire Brigade crews and…

Smoke on White Horse DrivePic Louis Klaassen29-03-15

Cigarette sparks callout


    WHAKATANE firefighters were confronted by a smoking conifer tree when they responded to a call to a White Horse Drive, Whakatane, call at…

More in environment-news »environment-news


Wasp numbers down in Eastern Bay


IN spite of one man finding a wasp nest the size of a couch, experts say the flying pest’s population in the Eastern Bay has…

NEW LIFE: One-week old New Zealand dotterel chicks are checking out the environment. Supplied

Successful season for shore birds


A SUCCESSFUL breeding season is coming to a close for Eastern Bay shorebirds. Department of Conservation biodiversity ranger Mithuna Sothieson says this season’s successful shorebird…

RECORD FISH: Marley Orr and his record-breaking fish at the weigh station on January 9. Photo Troy Baker D1552-03

Youngster hooks national record


WHAKATANE 10-year-old Marley Orr is officially a New Zealand record holder. The Apanui School student reeled in a 63.4-kilogram bigeye tuna on January 9 –…

More in health »health

Whakatane Hospital-05

Hospital laundry under axe


LAUNDRY and linen services provided in-house at Whakatane Hospital from run-down facilities could soon be closed and outsourced to a private contractor with premises in…

TOXIC: Staff at the Whakatane Aquatic Centre say chloramine levels are making them sick. 
Louis Klaassen D1775-19

Pool toxic staff claim


STAFF at the Whakatane Aquatic Centre are convinced their workplace is making them sick. Since late last year workers at the pool complex have been…

Pink AngelsPic Troy Baker22-02-15

Pink angels distribute profits


PINK ANGELS: The Eastern Bay Breast Cancer Support Network received a $10,000 boost on Saturday and more funds are on their way. The women behind…

More in kawerau-news »kawerau-news

CHRISTMAS CHEER: Thousands flock to Prideaux Park for Kawerau’s Christmas in the Park. File photo

Kawerau seeking Christmas director


KAWERAU District Council is on the hunt for a show director to manage the town’s annual evening show as part of the Christmas in the…

Kawerau hall sound systems


A NEW sound system for Kawerau’s Concert Chamber was installed last month and another for the town hall is close behind. Kawerau District Council received…

Onslow to Fitzgerald alleyway closure


ANOTHER Kawerau alleyway has moved a step closer to closure after residents living either side of the passage between Onslow and Fitzgerald streets appealed to…

More in letters »letters

Time to be positive


I GENUINELY support Rail Enthusiast and Mark S Clarke and thank them for their letters about Paul Francis’ proposed Awakeri adventure. Their attitude toward growing…

More family activities needed


I HAVE been reading with great interest the residents of White Pine Bush musing their dismay at the prospect of having to share the Taneatua…

Motorhome owners spend money


RECENTLY I read an article that told me Tourism Holdings’ profits were up from an estimated $4 million to $5.6 million. In case readers don’t…

More in maori-affairs »maori-affairs

Anthony Olsen, trustee

Maori court approves $10k payment


THE $10,000 payment made to two trustees who negotiated a lease to allow the controversial Matata wastewater treatment plant to be built on Maori land…

Matata trust in court to add new trustees and approve payments


BENEFICIARIES of Matata Parish Lot 6a were in court this week trying to add four new trustees. Rihi Vercoe applied to the Maori Land Court…

PUKANA: Keita Tutua shows off a patu at the Mataatua Wearable Arts festival last weekend. D1826-721

Models smile in spite of Pam


NOT even Cyclone Pam could put a dampener on the smiles emanating from those participating in the Mataatua Kawenga Kakahu Wearable Fashion Show last weekend.…

More in opotiki-news »opotiki-news


Opotiki worker combats fruit fly invasion


AN Opotiki woman has taken part in the biosecurity response to the Queensland fruit fly finds in Auckland. Kiwifruit Vine Health spokeswoman Lara Harrison said…

CONTRACTORS install the Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust’s far-reaching antenna last Friday.                 Photo Sven Carlsson OB1081-01

Language power to the people


MAKING te reo Maori accessible to everybody is the motivation behind an Opotiki trust’s new radio station. With a new antenna installed last Friday, the…

LONG HAUL: Robbie Pearson, Murray and Bill Storey say their East Cape tractor pilgrimage will take them eight days. 
Photos Sven Carlsson OB1071-06

Tractor pilgrims roll through


THREE wise, or at least retired, men are on a tractor pilgrimage through the Eastern Bay. Brothers Bill and Murray Storey have joined with former…

More in rural »rural

FREE RANGE: Sunny Bay Eggs, formerly Van den Broek Poultry, is ending caged hen egg production in favour of free range. General manager Azzan Gorinski holds a production sample marketed under the Morning Harvest brand. Photo Keith Melville D1832-08

Egg farm switches to free range


AN ownership change is bringing new life to an old Whakatane poultry farm and a huge shift in farm practices from traditional caged-hen farming to…

Theileria warning for dairy farmers


DAIRYNZ is warning dairy farmers moving stock this autumn that they need to be aware of the risks theileria poses to their herds. DairyNZ veterinarian…

TEACHER: Chris Burn

Farmers support Trident skills course


TRIDENT High School teacher Chris Burn, with his student land skills team in the background, cut firewood on a Thornton Road property. The poplar trees…

More in video »video

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Teddy Bears Picnic + video


The Eastern Bay Playcentre Association celebrated Playcentre Awareness Week with a Teddy Bears Picnic at the Whakatane Roast Gardens last week. Parents and their preschoolers with…

HIGH SEAS: High tide at The Heads at 3.30pm yesterday. Photo Louis Klaassen D1831-031

Pam stirs swell [+ Video]


DESPITE Cyclone Pam’s downgrade to an intense extra tropical cyclone yesterday the storm downed trees, created five-metre waves that scattered debris over coastal roads. A…

HEAVY JOB: One of Pollock Cranes Tauranga-based machines takes the weight of the BNZ panel above, while workmen cut the panel free in the picture opposite. Photos Louis Klaassen D1788-21 D1788-25

Landmark lifted away + video


A WHAKATANE landmark, the clock panel on the Bank of New Zealand building, has been safely removed on the second attempt. The 12.5 tonne concrete…