Northland news in brief: Health warning for Lake Ōmāpere; fatal crash in Paparoa

People are urged not to use Lake Ōmāpere, north of Kaikohe, due to the presence of cyanobacteria. Photo / Supplied

National health authority Te Whatu Ora has issued a health warning for Lake Ōmāpere after testing by the Northland Regional Council found low concentrations of cyanotoxin in the water. The situation was being monitored but in the meantime, people were urged not to use the lake for recreational purposes. Exposure to the toxins produced by cyanobacteria, through skin contact or swallowing, can cause skin rashes, nausea, tummy upset and tingling and numbness around the mouth or tips of fingers. Boiling does not remove the toxins. Fish and shellfish can concentrate toxins so anything gathered from the lake should not be eaten. Cyanobacteria occur naturally but can increase rapidly in summer during so-called algal blooms. If you experience health symptoms after contact with contaminated water, seek medical help immediately then contact the health protection officer at Te Whatu Ora on (09) 430 4100.

Crash closes SH12

State Highway 12 was closed on Thursday following a fatal crash in Paparoa in which one person died. Police were called to SH12 shortly before 2pm after receiving reports two vehicles had crashed. Police confirmed one person died at the scene, and another was taken to hospital in a serious condition. The Serious Crash Unit was investigating at edition time.

New exhibition


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An exhibition starting at Whangārei Art Museum today brings together maquettes (models) and other works by Chris Booth offering insights into the thought and production processes behind the public artworks of the renowned Northland sculptor and land artist. The show’s name, He toka mata-te-rā, refers to a rock face that collects and distributes the sun’s warmth.

Former negotiator to talk

Former police negotiator Lance Burdett is hosting a fun, informative evening at the Awanui Hotel on January 27. Burdett spent 22 years in the police, running many high-risk negotiations and specialising in suicide intervention and prevention. The published author, who is completing a diploma in positive psychology, is giving a talk focused on why people are feeling the way they are and what can be done to help – plus more. To register email

Fishing competition back


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The Mount Manaia Club Fishing Competition is back for another year. Tickets for the January 29 fishing, diving, and spearfishing competition are $25 for adults and $5 for kids under 13 and are available from Parua Bay GAS Station and Mount Manaia Club. Over $3500 worth of prizes is up for grabs.

Programme expanded

The Retail Crime Prevention Programme by New Zealand Police has expanded to include small retail businesses that have been the victim of a retail aggravated robbery since November 2021. The programme is contacting small retailers who have been the victims of aggravated robbery and offering them the supply and installation of crime prevention products. Retailers who have had an aggravated robbery and have not been phoned or visited by a member of the Retail Crime Prevention Programme can go to the Retail Crime Prevention Hub on the police website and access the Victim Contact form to submit their details. The form has already been available for victims of ram raid-style burglaries since October 3 last year.

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