Northland news in brief: Rescue at Raumanga Falls; teen guilty of manslaughter and gunshot after argument

A water rescue underway at Raumanga Falls near central Whangārei. Photo / Supplied

Man airlifted to hospital after rescue at popular Whangārei swim spot

A helicopter was used to rescue an injured man from the waters of a popular swimming hole near central Whangārei. Emergency services were called to Raumanga Falls in the Raumanga Scenic Reserve around 5.15pm where they located the injured man in the water.

The Advocate understands a Northland Rescue Helicopter was called in to help pull him to safety. He was then airlifted to hospital with moderate to serious injuries.

No further details were available.


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Teen guilty of manslaughter

A teen originally jointly charged with the murder of Michael John Biggins has pleaded guilty to a downgraded charge of manslaughter in the High Court at Whangārei. The 16-year-old boy – who cannot be named due to his age – was 15 when he was arrested with a 12-year-old for the murder of Biggins.

The 62-year-old Biggins was discovered injured in a car crash in a paddock on Imms Rd, south of Ōkaihau in Northland on September 27, 2021. Despite the efforts of emergency services, Biggins died at the scene, and after determining that his injuries were suspicious, police launched a homicide investigation.

The boy was ordered back into Oranga Tamariki custody and will appear for sentencing on May 23.


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His alleged co-offender is scheduled to appear for trial on March 8, also in the High Court at Whangārei.

Tāme Iti live painting

Renowned Tūhoe activist and artist Tāme Iti will be painting live in a Kaikohe gallery this week to raise funds for an exhibition addressing drug problems in the Far North. The exhibition, called Fries, Lies and Alibis, is described as “a creative response to methamphetamine” and will be launched at Te Pū O Te Wheke Community Gallery, 118 Broadway, with a pōwhiri, keynote speakers, open mic and music from 1pm on Thursday, March 9. On March 10, Iti will be painting in the gallery to raise money for the kaupapa. The exhibition will run until March 30.

Injuries after assault

A man received moderate injuries after he was reportedly assaulted by three men in Whangārei on Sunday night. A police spokesperson said they received reports about the alleged assault on Wallace St in Regent at 11.38pm. Police inquiries into the incident were ongoing.

Verbal fight leads to gunshot

A verbal fight between a pair of men in Kāeo reportedly led to a gun being fired. Police are making inquiries into the incident, which took place outside a business along State Highway 10 around 8pm on Sunday. A police spokesperson said one of the men allegedly discharged a firearm before fleeing the scene in a black car. Police are yet to locate the offender.

Cocaine, methamphetamine arrests

Two Whangārei people have appeared in court accused of possessing cocaine, methamphetamine and cannabis.

Nicholas May, 34 and Stacey McLean, 38 of Tikipunga, appeared in the Whangārei District Court on charges relating to possession of cocaine, methamphetamine and cannabis, cultivating cannabis, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition and assault on a person with a firearm. The assault relates to an incident that occurred at the Oakleigh Caltex in December 2022. They were remanded on bail to reappear on March 13.


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