Northland news in brief: Lotto winner; waterways to be tested

The Lotto balls fell kindly for a Northland ticket-holder, who won $28,366 in Wednesday night’s draw.

Lotto win

A ticket sold in Northland won its holder more than $28,000 with Lotto Second Division on Wednesday night.

The winning ticket, which was sold at New World Regent, in Whangārei, was among seven nationally that each won $28,366.

The winning Lotto numbers were 8, 11, 20, 30, 33 and 39, with the bonus number 18 and Powerball number 10.


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Powerball was not struck on Wednesday and will be worth $7 million on Saturday.

Sue James dies

Sue James, the second mayor of the Far North District, has died.

A two-term mayor from 1992-98, James followed the district’s first mayor, the late Millie Srhoj, and preceded Yvonne Sharp. A moment’s silence was observed in her memory at Thursday’s Far North District Council meeting.


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James remained an active member of the community after her time as mayor and was especially supportive of the arts, directing the Bay of Islands Arts Festival for many years as well as helping with school musicals.

A death notice stated she died peacefully surrounded by family on May 2 and was survived by her partner, three siblings, four children and seven grandchildren.

Her funeral will be held on May 9 in Masterton. The Far North District was created in the local government reforms of 1989.

Two new police officers

Northland will get two new police officers from the latest wing to graduate from the Police College.

This week, 76 new officers graduate from the 365 – Kura Moeahu wing, which includes 22 newly graduating policewomen.

Prior to the graduation of those officers from the 365 wing, the number of sworn policewomen had grown by 986 since 2017, an increase of 57 per cent in under six years.

Two of the new officers will start work in Northland on May 15.

Waterways to be tested

From Northland to Southland, communities will be wading into their waterways to test what native plant life and animal species are there, thanks to funding from the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) Wai Tuwhera o te Taiao – Open Waters Aotearoa eDNA programme.


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Twenty-one community groups received funding for environmental DNA (eDNA) kits and to have their samples tested at Wilderlab laboratory. The results can then be added to an online map for anyone can access.

Man guilty of assault

A Northland man who was high on meth, locked his partner in a house and then chased her into traffic on Maunu Road has pleaded guilty.

DJ Rangi was charged with assault on a person with a knife and breach of a protection order following an incident on January 27.

The Whangārei District Court heard Rangi held a knife to the complainant, who managed to escape the house while he was distracted. Rangi got into a motor vehicle and chased the victim, who was on foot, into traffic.

Rangi was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on July 21.


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No decision yet in boat crash investigation

The lead agency investigating the collision between a high-speed powerboat and a ferry in the Bay of Islands has yet to make a decision about any legal action.

A spokesman for Maritime New Zealand said the investigation began on April 13, the day of the collision, but there was no timeframe as yet for its completion.

“A decision regarding the potential for compliance action will be made once the investigation is completed,” he said.

The incident caused the sinking of the 79-year-old Waitere, also known as the Blue Ferry, and left its skipper Bill Elliott in the spinal unit of Middlemore Hospital with a broken neck and other injuries.

Two other investigations by police and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission are under way.


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Dry July registrations

Registrations for the iconic Dry July challenge have officially opened.

The annual challenge presents an opportunity for participants to focus on their health and take a break from alcohol while raising funds for New Zealanders affected by cancer.

This year’s funds will support Look Good Feel Better, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand and the Pinc & Steel Cancer Rehab Foundation. To sign up, sponsor a friend, or join as a team or workplace, visit

Charity drive

The OutFit North community in the Bay of Islands has been rallying to raise funds and donated items for Northland charities. The personal training and group fitness gym based in Ōpua celebrated International Women’s Day in March by fundraising for Women’s Refuge in Kaikohe.


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Bedding, sheets, towels, clothes, cleaning supplies, sanitary products, baby clothes and toys and personal hygiene items were collected and handed over to the charity. Clients at the gym were also taking part in the More FM 90 More Miles Challenge to raise money for North Haven Hospice. During the month of March, 33 clients walked the length of the beach – about 90 kilometres – to raise around $2000.

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