Northland news in brief: BioBlitz at Parihaka Reserve; and Silver Festival for seniors

Dean Baigent-Mercer, from Forest & Bird, will take groups into the bush to experience the secrets of Parihaka Reserve next month close-up during a BioBlitz next month.

Biologists, scientists, school children and members of the public will descend on Parihaka Reserve next month as part of an intensive two-day survey of the reserve’s biodiversity. The ‘BioBlitz’ is a quick and intensive environmental survey providing a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity and is the first of its kind in Whangārei. Locals are encouraged to come along and take part, to learn more about the flora and fauna in the reserve, while helping to gather important data to support conservation efforts in the area. During the event, organised by Northland Regional Council’s urban conservation initiative Tiakina Whangārei, kaumātua and hapū members will teach participants about the significant ancestral maunga of Parihaka. Find the full table of the day’s activities here:

Silver Festival

Whangārei’s senior residents are invited to a host of active,creative and fun events at the district’s second Silver Festival next month. Groups and clubs from across the district have banded together with the council’s Positive Ageing Advisory Group for The Silver Festival – a five-day series of 44 different events to celebrate older adults and acknowledge their important role and contribution to Whangārei. The Silver Festival, from November 8 to 12, is facilitated by Whangārei District Council’s Positive Ageing Advisory Group and supported by the council, the Northland Voluntary Welfare Trust and Creative Northland.Events lined up in the festival include art exhibitions; garden tours, banking workshops, Scottish Country Dancing, club open days; fitness classes, genealogy and family history talks; croquet and much more. For more info and a festival brochure go to:

Fencers to compete

For the first time ever, fencers will compete in the Northland Fraser Competition in honour of the late Rod Fraser this Saturday. Competitors from the Hikurangi Fencing Club, Whangārei Girls’ High School and the Whangārei Sword Club will battle for the winner’s title in the Hikurangi War Memorial Hall from 12 to 4pm.

Firefighters discuss report

The New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union (NZPFU) and Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) met for the first time on Thursday since the release of the Graeme Colgan report that recommended a way forward amid negotiations for better pay and working conditions. Both parties went over the application of the recommendations and principles, and a settlement structure was discussed which if implemented would address the key principles and issues identified by Colgan. The FENZ bargaining team will present that proposal to their Executive Leadership Team and Board with aim to notify the NZPFU of its position by Wednesday. The union said it was likely the Government will have to assist in funding the settlement structure. All industrial action remains in place.

Feedback called for

Far North District Council is calling for public feedback on an interim speed management plan for Kerikeri. The plan proposes new speed limits on local roads to the east of State Highway 10 and SH1 from Kaiwaka to Whangaroa but not including the state highways or Kaiwaka township. Communities included in the review are Kerikeri, Ōpua, Paihia, Waitangi, Haruru Falls, and Whangaroa. Roads on the Russell peninsula will be included in the next speed limit review. For more information visit

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