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GOING: Air New Zealand is phasing out its 19-seat fleet from Whakatane Airport in April 2015.File photo

Mayor walks out on Air NZ


OPOTIKI Mayor John Forbes was so disgusted with the attitude of top Air New Zealand officials yesterday he walked out of a meeting with them.…

BEST BMX: Mark Eagle and Mayoress Linda Bonne judge the colouring competition to win a BMX bike.
 Photo Doug Hickman D1355-37

Wishing tree appeal kicks off


WHAKATANE Kmart celebrated the launch of its 20th annual Wishing Tree Appeal last weekend with prizes, cake, face painting and a visit from Santa. The…

LEFT OUT: The Pekatahi road-rail bridge has been ignored in the Government’s $1212 million road upgrade package.

Night-time closure for Pekatahi


MORE heavy vehicles will be rumbling through Whakatane next Monday night due to a planned temporary closure of State Highway 2 between Awakeri and Taneatua.…

STANDARD GLASS: Meredith Castles, Diane McCarthy and Geoff Mercer watch as Megan Hunt measures one standard drink of wine. Photo D1361-14

Beacon staff test the limit


FIVE Beacon staff threw caution to the wind and tested the new adult breath alcohol limits that will apply from Monday in an informal after-work…

More in business »business

Photo Keith Melville D1366-03

Motel work ramps up


MOTEL developer Mark Ross oversees work on his 22-unit motel, being built on the corner of Commerce Street and McAlister Street, Whakatane. An important stage…

Regional employment increases in the Bay


EMPLOYMENT grew by 600 to 117,400 in the Bay of Plenty in the year to the end of June, according to the Government’s latest quarterly…

Confidence rise for Christmas


FOLLOWING three months of election uncertainty, business confidence rose in the final 2014 quarter. Confidence overall is down on the highs of the early part…

More in council »council

Housing sale progress


FIVE community housing providers have shown interest in taking over Whakatane District Council’s 79 pensioner units. The council has moved one step closer to possibly…

Tony Bonne,
Whakatane mayor

Mayor talk – Social housing review progresses


WHAKATANE District Council’s review of the future options for delivering its pensioner housing service is now set to move to the next stage, with a…

Gerard van Beek,

Councillors urge caution over redevelopment


THE ongoing costs associated with redeveloping the Whakatane Museum and Research Centre could cost ratepayers up to $500,000 a year, according to the predictions of…

More in court-news »court-news

Court news – Theft of eel statue costly


A MAN who stole a large bronze eel statue from an Auckland park was ordered to pay $1500 to repair the artwork. Rae Wilson Te…

Court news – Illegal paua sale to fisheries


A MOTHER and daughter who illegally sold paua to a fisheries officer via Facebook were sentenced to community work when they appeared in the Whakatane…

Court news – Cannabis dealer sentenced


A KAWERAU woman received a sentence of home detention after police searched her Te Teko home and discovered cannabis and hundreds of $20 notes hidden…

More in crime »crime

Photo supplied

Tanker thieves caught on camera


SECURITY cameras captured a distinctive Mitsubishi ute driving into the Onepu Springs Road KiwiRail depot at 3.30am on Saturday. Whakatane police Senior Sergeant Yvonne Parker alleges…

Injured dog 3 -2

Officer owns up to dog attack


A WHAKATANE police officer is under investigation after confessing to shooting an arrow through the chest of a dog that strayed onto his property. Police…

Wedding and engagement rings found


A NUMBER of precious lost items are waiting for their owners at Whakatane police station, including a wedding and engagement ring, found last month. Whakatane…

More in education »education

CD - actual

Ohope school releases Bird Song CD


OHOPE Beach School Choir released its own eco-CD last night. Teacher Jenny Ward said the project had been two years in the making, with the…

NEW GOALS: Trident High School deputy principal Andrea Panther is trading teaching in Whakatane for floristry in Kaitaia. 
Photo Troy Baker D1296-06

Teacher trades textbooks for flowers


FOR 10 years Trident High School deputy principal Andrea Panther aspired to become a principal. It might, therefore, seem surprising that she’s bought a florist…

ANIMALS: George Orwell’s classic novel Animal Farm is brought to life by Year 12 and 13 students from Tarawera High School. Photo supplied

Students play animals in Orwell classic


WHILE most senior students in New Zealand are at home on study leave, students at Kawerau’s Tarawera High School are still gaining internal credits. The…

More in emergency-news »emergency-news

Missing hunter found


A 50-year-old Mt Maunganui man was airlifted out of the bush near Gisborne early this morning after being reported missing earlier in the day by…

More in emergency-services »emergency-services

RESCUE HELICOPTER: Ambulance and rescue helicopter staff stabilise a 49-year-old man after a motocross accident at Matata. Photo supplied

Motorbike accident spate strikes


THREE people were injured in separate motorbike accidents around the Eastern Bay of Plenty on Sunday and all were helicoptered to hospital. The Rotorua-based BayTrust…

Minor injuries from crash


A MOTORBIKE rider and passenger were taken to Whakatane Hospital with minor injuries following an accident near Taneatua on Sunday night. Whakatane police Sergeant Ray…

Police are concerned about the Eastern Bay fatality rate

Police issue road toll warning


ELEVEN deaths have occurred on Eastern Bay roads so far this year, nearly three times last year’s total of four. Officer in charge of road…

More in health »health

Life’s little things missed most


WHEN you live with someone who has dementia, it’s the little things that leave the biggest hole, according to one Whakatane woman. The woman, who…

AWARDING TIMES: Melanie Thompson-Steele, Gina Thompson, Jordyn Wana, Nadene Gray, Renay Jones, Annabel Beal and Emma Barton, with Janet Maloney-Moni’s grandchildren Lincoln Jones and Olive Jones. 
Photo Troy Baker 1332-20

Trail-blazing nurse leaves more than a legacy


JANET Maloney-Moni has left more than a legacy. The trail-blazing nurse died in August after a short and sudden illness. To mark the contribution Mrs…

GET CHECKED: Ngati Awa leader Pouroto Ngaropo is urging men to have regular prostate checks following his diagnosis with cancer.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Photo Troy Baker  D1227-25

Cancer scare cause for reflection for leader


IT has been a tough few months for Pouroto Ngaropo. In between juggling work and community commitments, the Ngati Awa leader has been coming to…

More in kawerau-news »kawerau-news

Kawerau markets back for summer


SUMMER is almost here and so are Kawerau’s night markets. The monthly community evenings are back for a second year after the success of last…

Simon Rooke -1

From tubing on Tarawera to commanding the Canterbury


YESTERDAY, a former Kawerau kid assumed control of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s largest ship, the HMNZS Canterbury. Commander Simon Rooke is still proud of…

Kawerau pool open for summer


FOLLOWING a recent trial, Kawerau District Council has decided to open the town’s public swimming pool at 9am during winter weekdays – an hour earlier…

More in letters »letters

Let’s build a separate economy


WHEN the Soviet Union fell, oil supplies to Cuba stopped. The people experienced four years of near-starvation. Thousands suffered malnutrition. They survived by using every…

No further intervention needed


I HAD a small involvement with the dog injured with the arrow. Congratulations firstly to the owners, who have acted with maturity and a lack…

Export, not house price pie


THE decision by Air New Zealand to abandon services to Kaitaia, Whakatane and Westport is another blow to regional economic development – an issue the…

More in maori-affairs »maori-affairs

Wira Gardiner, 
Ngati Awa Group Holdings former chairman

Ngati Awa appoints seven directors


NGATI Awa has appointed seven new board members to its financial arm, including a former staff member and a specialist in international investments. The Ngati…

TWIN CALAMITY: The carving of Te Patuwai twins Wahahamama and Taitimuroa was removed from the Mataatua Wharenui on Wednesday because they are rotting.
Photo Karla Akuhata D1350

Rot found in $13 million wharenui


IT was meant to be the house that united Ngati Awa – instead it is starting to rot and hemorrhaging money. After travelling the world…

GIVING BACK: Howie Black, Patsy Lyford, Ida Te Pou, Sandy Watene, Tiwai Iti, Marie Rangi and Caroline Steens with a giant cheque for the Taneatua Fire Brigade. Photo Troy Baker D1353-07

Maori Women’s Welfare League boosts brigade


TANEATUA Fire Brigade’s aspirations of new gear received a massive boost when the Maori Women’s Welfare League presented it with a cheque for $1500 yesterday.…

More in opotiki-news »opotiki-news

WHAKATOHEA’S first kohanga reo, Te Whare Aroha o Te Humarie, celebrated its 30 year birthday on Friday and invited other Mataatua kohanga reo to join in the special day where they had bouncy castles and fun activities for the kids at the Princess Street Reserve. Photo Tarere Thatcher OB935-05

Kohanga celebrates 30th anniversary


OPOTIKI’S first kohanga reo has turned 30. On Friday, Te Whare Aroha o te Humarie Kohanga Reo celebrated “30 prosperous years in the community”. Kaiarahi…

PHOTOGRAPHS and paintings by Opotiki artist Te Mete will be shown during a November 29 exhibition evening.  Photos supplied

Te Mete photography and art exhibition


ARTISTIC fruits that have been one year in the making will be revealed during an art exhibition at the end of this month. Opotiki artist…

Otara Road farmer ‘thankful to be alive’


AN Opotiki farmer says his narrow brush with death hasn’t deterred him from returning to farm work. Still clutching bruises on his chest on Monday,…

More in rural »rural

Photo Keith Melville D1362-04

Working holiday at Awakeri orchard


THESE mainly European kiwifruit orchard workers shown with their supervisor, Balwinder Singh, have been picking kiwifruit flowers at Steve Rabbits’ McLean Road property. These workers…

Farmers urged to report rural crime


FEDERATED Farmers meat and fibre industry group chairman Rick Powdrell says farmers are slack at reporting stock thefts from their properties, and he has challenged…

Lessons from the kiwifruit vine disease


AN independent review of how the kiwifruit industry responded to the vine disease Psa says the industry is now a world leader in Psa management…

More in video »video

MEASURING UP: DoC staff take measurements and tissue samples from 22 dead whales, stranded on Bryan’s Beach yesterday morning. Photo Troy Baker D1293-21

Whale heartbreak + video


FORTY-NINE pilot whales have died in or near Ohiwa Harbour since Tuesday, in spite of the valiant efforts of rescuers. The Department of Conservation and…

RECORD BREAKERS: Participants queued in rows before cracking their light sticks at 7.30pm. Photo Geoff Mercer D1278-09

Light party breaks record + video


FRIDAY’S Light Party shot at the world light stick record was successful – provisionally. Organisers must now wait up to eight weeks for the attempt,…

MID DIG: Last year’s Big Dig winners Hubbard Razorbacks battle Riteway Diggerz during this year’s final on Sunday at Kawerau Woodfest. Photo Troy Baker D1074-068.

Chip-slinging good time at Woodskills


A FALLING shovel and a dash to the finish line drew gasps from the crowd watching Kawerau’s Big Dig final on Sunday afternoon. The woodchip…