Northland news in brief: Heavy rain and wind on the way; and Covid response recognition

Surface flooding is a possibility in Northland in the lead up to the weekend as a subtropical low brings heavy rain and gales to the upper North Island

Heavy rain, strong winds likely

A subtropical low is expected to bring heavy rain and gales to Northland from today. MetService has issued heavy rain and wind watches for the region, with a subtropical low over the Tasman Sea expected to direct a strong moist northeastertly flow onto the upper North Island on Wednesday and Thursday. Some areas may receive warning amounts of rain and severe northeasterly gales. Large northeast swells could bring hazardous conditions to exposed coasts. Heavy rain could cause slips, surface flooding and damage to roads. Severe gales could make driving conditions hazardous, especially for motorcycles and high-sided vehicles and disruption to travel. Trees may be toppled and power lines damaged. Temporary structures such as tents could be affected. People are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts from Metservice since it is likely that further watches will be issued and some of the watches may be upgraded to warnings. Northland could get periods of heavy rain, with rainfall amounts possibly approaching warning criteria in the 24 hours from 1am today. Strong winds are expected for 24 hours from 6am today with northeast winds approaching severe gale in exposed places.

Recognition for Covid-19 response

Hundreds of Northlanders are in line for a special honour to recognise their work in the Covid-19 response. The Government has confirmed the groups of frontline workers will receive a Covid-19 Response Recognition Award, a specific acknowledgement of the service given by so many to New Zealand during the pandemic, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced. “All New Zealanders, at home and abroad, played a part in our successful response to Covid-19, and I thank them for that. But we also want to acknowledge those New Zealanders whose roles were particularly critical,” Ardern said. The Covid-19 Response Recognition Award is for sustained and significant service in Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facilities (MIQ); International Border workforce; Covid-19 testing workforce; Covid-19 contact tracing workforce; doctors, nurses, and healthcare staff caring for patients with Covid-19 and the Covid-19 vaccination workforce.

Police seek fatal crash sightings

Police investigating a fatal crash in Whangārei last week are seeking help from the public. The single-vehicle crash happened on Puna Rere Drive, Tikipunga, around 8.50pm on Tuesday, December 27, where one of the three occupants, a youth, died at the scene. Detective sergeant Steve Chamberlain said the 2006 brown/silver Honda Civic was reported to be driving at speed before the crash. “It overtook up to four vehicles while driving towards Tikipunga, lost control on a moderate bend, and rolled,” he said. Police are seeking witnesses to the crash, the driving behaviour beforehand, or information from those who assisted after the crash, in order to help Police piece together exactly what happened. If you can help, contact Police via 105 or online at, using “Update My Report”. Reference file number 221228/6671.

Tutukaka music fest on

”Our People In The Park” Tutukaka music festival is back for its third year running. A multicultural outdoor summer vibe open-air festival located in the Tutukaka Marina green. There will be chill acoustic beats and upbeat rock and reggae bands with house DJs heading into the night. Free entry on January 14 from 5pm till late. If you’d like to get involved or perform at OPITP, please contact Grant on 0274 933 656, or email


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