Northland news in brief: New water supply, Northlanders honoured and rail line stays closed

The water bore being drilled at Tokareireia/Monument Hill in Kaikohe.

Reliable water back-up

Kaikohe could have a reliable back-up water source within months, when a bore project is due to be completed.

Central to the $1.18 million Deep Bore Project is a new 120-metre-deep bore which has been drilled deeper into an aquifer than existing Tokareireia/Monument Hill water supply bores.

The new bore will only be used when the town’s main water source, Wairoro Stream, is running low.


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During the next six weeks, the bore and pump will be flushed and water treatment processes and electrical systems will be tested by council contractors. It is due to be fully commissioned by June.

Originally, the project was to have been completed and running by summer 2022/23, but supply chain delays and storms delayed work. Upgrades to Kaikohe’s existing water treatment plant were part of the project.

Northlanders honoured

Seven deserving Northlanders will receive their Queen’s New Year’s Honours at investiture ceremonies at Government House in Auckland this week.


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Today, Phil Halse of Whangārei will receive his MNZM for services to local government and the community, along with Helen Whittaker of Whangārei, who’ll receive a QSM for services to art and the community, and Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe of Whangārei, who’ll receive an MNZM for services to the New Zealand Police and Search and Rescue.

Tomorrow, Christine Rogan of Wellsford will receive her ONZM for services to alcohol harm reduction along with Cheryl Smith, of Kaikohe, who’ll receive an MNZM for services to rugby.

On Thursday, Noel Birchall, of Kaikohe, will receive his MNZM for services to outdoor recreation and conservation, and on Friday, Bruce Campbell of Kerikeri will get his CNZM for services to plant and food research.

Rail line still closed

The railway line between Northland and Auckland will stay closed for up to another nine weeks, KiwiRail says.

The line between Swanson and Whangārei was closed in late January after weather saw the track washed away and brought down a massive, 35,000 cubic metre slip across the rail line at Tahekeroa. This was then followed by further flood damage and around 50 slips onto the rail line during Cyclone Gabrielle.

Good progress is being made on clearing the Tahekeroa slip, and KiwiRail hopes to begin repairing the rail line in May. Further north, there are a number of slips beneath the rail line, which will likely require retaining structures to be built. KiwiRail expects the line to remain closed for at least the next eight to nine weeks.

KiwiRail has also brought forward some planned improvement work north of Whangārei (Whangārei – Kauri), which is funded through the Government’s NZ Upgrade Programme.

Campground shut

In 2022, Kellys Bay Improvement Society notified Kaipara District Council that they will no longer manage Kellys Bay Recreational Reserve as the ‘Kellys Bay Camping Reserve’.


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Kaipara District Council has not yet established a way to keep the campground open, and it reverted to being classed as a Recreational Reserve on April 1. The council’s parks team will maintain the reserve while it determines whether it will re-open as a campground in future.

Kaipara District Council would like to thank the past and current committee of Kellys Bay Improvement Society for their contribution to their community. Improvements, including road sealing and the seawall, were funded through campground earnings and their hard work as volunteers.

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