Northland news in brief: Tractor Spectacular back; and counterfeit $50 notes

Tractor Spectacular is back.

One of Northland’s more unusual summer events — the Taupo Bay Tractor Spectacular is on again today after a Covid-enforced break last year.

The 8th annual Taupo Bay Tractor Spectacular will feature dozens of lovingly decorated tractors competing for prizes, and probably indulging in a few water fights, as they parade around the beachside settlement, just north of Whangaroa Harbour, at 5pm today. Tractors hold a special place in the hearts of Taupo Bay because with no boat ramp there’s no other way to get vessels onto the water.

Counterfeit banknotes circulating


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Whangārei businesses need to be on the lookout for counterfeit money, after reports of fake $50 banknotes being used in the district.

Police said it’s important that businesses involved in handling money are aware of security features within New Zealand banknotes.

The Reserve Bank has clear guides onits website outlining the security features of New Zealand banknotes and how to spot counterfeits.


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It is an offence to make, use or be in possession of counterfeit banknotes. If a business has already received a counterfeit banknote, they should put it in an envelope to avoid handling it further, and get in touch with police.

Anyone with information about the manufacture or distribution of counterfeit banknotes is asked to contact Police on 105. Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Neighbours save home

Alert neighbours and volunteer firefighters saved a Kerikeri home from a fire while the owner was away in Auckland for Christmas.Neighbours of the Pah Rd house spotted smoke and called 111 around 2.20pm on Tuesday. Volunteer fire crews responded from Kerikeri, Paihia, Ōkaihau and Kawakawa. Kerikeri fire chief Les Wasson said the fire appeared to have started in a home ventilation system. Plastic around the ducting had melted and dripped onto the carpet in four rooms, starting fires in each. It was fortunate the owner had thoroughly closed up the house before leaving because the fire didn’t have enough oxygen to take off. “A little bit longer and a window might’ve blown out, then it would’ve been history. It’s lucky a neighbour saw the smoke.” The house was heavily smoke-logged but, depending on how much damage had been done in the ceiling space, was likely repairable. Most of the owner’s possessions were also salvageable. “It was a good save,” Wasson said.

Summer photo comp


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Our Bayleys Summer Photo Competition is back. Be in to win one of three awesome summer packs with your Northland snaps. Email your Magic of Summer entry to, and we’ll publish selected entries in the Northern Advocate from this Saturday. Photos must be taken in Northland between December 1, 2022, and January 20, 2023. Each entry must include one photo, your name, phone number, address, and a caption naming the place and people depicted.

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