News in brief from Northland: Hokianga project featured in doco; missing teen found

A gigantic image of Waipoua Forest is projected onto a Hokianga sand dune during a unique art project in 2021.

Doco about unique Hokianga project

A documentary about a unique art project which used the dunes of North Hokianga as a giant projection screen will be shown at Manea – Footprints of Kupe Centre in Ōpononi this Saturday. In 2021, the Niniwa Collective, made up of four Northland artists, created a film about the kauri dieback disease threatening Waipoua Forest. The footage was then projected onto the dunes at Te Pouahi, roughly opposite Ōpononi. The second part of the project involved making a documentary exploring the inspiration for the project, the challenges, and the collaboration with Te Rarawa, Te Roroa and Ngāpuhi. The screening of the hour-long film will start at 5pm on January 14 after a brief whakatau. Admission is by koha to the Manea Centre. The first screening, in December, was full, so seats need to be reserved by calling Manea on (09) 945 6442.

Missing teen with tumour contacts police

A Whangārei teenager with a brain tumour who went missing for 11 days has been found, her family says. Emily Gurnick-Peacock, 16, was last been seen on December 30 at her central Whangārei home, where she lives with her mum. Her stepmother Ann-Maree Peacock announced on Tuesday that Emily had made contact with police.


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Suspicious fires investigation ongoing

A police investigation into two suspicious fires within 24 hours at Whangaroa last month is continuing. On December 29, a fire in scrub on the hillside above the Marlin Hotel prompted residents of one home on Old Church Rd to evacuate. Fire crews from across the Far North and a helicopter from Dargaville managed to extinguish the blaze and prevent any damage to property. About 3am the following morning, a shed on Kent St, about 500 metres to the south, was destroyed in another suspicious fire. Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Fouhy, of Far North Police, said the investigation was ongoing. He urged anyone with information about the fires who had not yet spoken to police to call the non-emergency number 105. Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Bus hits shop sign


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A Citylink bus collided with a shop sign on Kamo Rd on Monday morning, knocking it down onto the footpath. A Ritchies spokesman said the incident happened after the driver was forced to complete an unplanned three-point turn due to roadworks. The driver noted the details, completed the trip and filed a report on returning to the depot, the spokesman said, which was standard procedure when any of the company’s vehicles hit a stationary object and no people were involved.

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