Northland news in brief: Many weekend events cancelled due to weather, but some still on

The Northland Hare Krishna community will host its annual Ratha Yatra Festival in Whangārei on Sunday.

Northland’s Hare Krishna community will hold its 10th annual Ratha Yatra Festival (Festival of Chariots) through Whangārei tomorrow.

The festival and parade, which features colourful chariots being pulled through the streets, starts at 11am from the Water St Carpark. It will wend its way through the city, with a free feast held afterwards.

Ratha Yatra Festival is a significant Hare Krishna festival that sees people parade through the city pulling a chariot carrying three deities who bestowed blessings on the residents of Whangārei and all those who see them.

Touch a Truck still on


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Kamo Touch a Truck is still on this Sunday from 10am at Hurupaki School. Event organisers are encouraging attendees to bring their rain jackets as intermittent showers are expected.

Sailing week racing canned

Racing was called off yesterday on the final day of Bay of Islands Sailing Week as wild weather battered the regatta’s 20th anniversary event. The strong winds, heavy rain and rough seas also forced the cancellation of passenger ferries between Paihia and Russell. It was the first time in 20 years that racing had to be cancelled, the regatta committee said. The event started on Wednesday with 103 boats competing in 25-knot winds and waves of up to 2.5m.

Market not going ahead


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Organisers of tonight’s Tūtūkākā Twilight Markets have announced it has been cancelled due to the unpredictable weather. The next market will take place on February 18.

Too wet for sandcastle comp

A sandcastle competition due to take place on Paihia’s main beach today has been postponed due to poor weather. The annual event, organised by Bay of Islands Rotary Club and the Sandpit Bar, may be held on February 4 instead, tides and weather allowing.

Train event put off due to weather

The Kawakawa Markets at the Station planned for this weekend has been cancelled. Bad weather has caused organisers to pull the plug on the market day and sneak peek at Gabriel the Steam Engine. Gabriel, a 1926 steam locomotive, was holed up in a shed with a boiler that had come to the end of its life and an impossible bill for a replacement. Salvation came in 2020 in the form of a grant from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, which paid for work on the historic Kawakawa-Ōpua railway track, a new engineering shed and training buildings — and a new boiler for Gabriel. This weekend was supposed to be the first unveiling of Gabriel’s revitalisation.

MBIE wants feedback

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is seeking feedback on ways to address safety concerns around corded window coverings, such as roller blinds, concertina blinds, Roman blinds and slatted blinds like venetian blinds. Since 2009 there have been six deaths of young children nationwide due to cords in window coverings – three of which have occurred in the past 10 years. Sally Whineray, acting manager for consumer policy, said there are currently no regulations or mandatory standards requiring safety specifications from suppliers or installers in New Zealand. Consultation closes on March 5. To find out more visit the website

New trash policy at DoC campgrounds

The Department of Conservation is reminding visitors that a “pack in, pack out” waste management policy for its campgrounds in the wider Whangārei area starts on February 1. DoC’s Whangārei operations manager Joel Lauterbach said the new policy means DoC will no longer be processing campers’ waste on-site, and disposal will become the responsibility of individual campers. This long weekend will be the last weekend DoC offers rubbish and recycling services. From Tuesday campers will need to take all rubbish with them.

Stolen vehicle hits bridge


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A stolen vehicle hit a bridge on SH1 at the bottom of Turntable Hill on Friday after being spiked by police. The stolen vehicle was reported on Gillies St, Kawakawa around 8.30am. It failed to stop for police, who did not initiate a pursuit. The vehicle was successfully spiked on Old Bay Rd, Waimate North, a police spokesperson said, and continued driving until crashing into the bridge near Moerewa. There were no reports of injuries. The occupants of the vehicle are assisting police with inquiries, the spokesperson said. The bridge was closed while police were at the scene.

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