The Kawakawa railway’s iconic steam engine Gabriel is running these school holidays. Photo / NZME
Gabriel back on track
Gabriel the Steam Engine is back on track this school holiday. The trains run every day at 10am, 12pm and 2pm from the Kawakawa station. There will be a special Gabriel service this Sunday. Book through Eventbrite.co.nz.
Te Whara Track reopens
Te Whara Track on Bream Bay is among 500 Department of Conservation (DoC) visitor sites across the North Island to re-open after Cyclone Gabrielle. Extreme weather events earlier this year caused widespread damage to conservation areas, tracks, campgrounds and huts, heritage sites and native species and habitats. DoC has reminded people to avoid closed sites for their own safety. Mt Mania track remains closed and the Te Paki / Cape Reinga Tracks are closed.
Kaitāia SPCA closes
The SPCA has announced the permanent closure of its Kaitāia centre. The charity plans to channel funds into desexing to address the core issue of overpopulation and is evaluating resources needed for its Kerikeri centre to fulfil the entire region’s animal welfare needs. The centre closed temporarily on May 29, after concerns about the leased facility’s plumbing and subsequent sanitation and hygiene risks posed to staff and animals. After the animals were moved to SPCA’s Kerikeri centre, a full evaluation of the location confirmed it was not fit for purpose and the “difficult decision of closing” was made. SPCA interim CEO Robyn Kiddle said concentrating efforts in the Kerikeri centre – on land owned by SPCA – would allow for the continued mission of preventing cruelty to animals and improving their lives. An SPCA field officer will continue to service the local Kaitāia area and inspectorate services will remain unchanged. Members of the Kaitāia community in need of assistance with abandoned, abused, or neglected animals are encouraged to contact SPCA’s Kerikeri centre on 0800 428 464.
Youth Employee nominations
Nominations are open for the He Poutama Taitamariki (HPT) Youth Employee of the Year Award. The award is open to young people who have moved off benefits and into employment in Taitokerau. Acting NorthChamber CEO Paulette Scrooby said the award category was special because it recognised youth who have overcome adversity to gain employment.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists that State Highway 1 will be closed between Pūhoi and Warkworth on July 9 and July 12, from 7pm to 1am. The closure allows crews to carry out bridge safety works under the Pohuehue Bridge. A detour will be in place via SH16 or via the new Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway. In the event of unsuitable weather or other disruptions, the work will be rescheduled to the next night. Plan ahead by checking the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner for the latest updates.