Northland’s 200-strong tsunami siren system will be tested on Sunday, which coincidences with the end of Daylight Saving. Photo / Supplied
Northland’s six-monthly tsunami siren test will take place at the end of daylight saving on Sunday. The network of more than 200 outdoor tsunami sirens in coastal communities, from Te Hapua to Mangawhai and Ruawai in the west, is checked twice a year, coinciding with the start and finish of daylight saving. The sirens sound twice: firstly at 10am for 10 minutes and then again at 10.30am for 30 seconds, and will be monitored for any faults. Test alerts will also be sent to users of the Red Cross Hazard app, which can be Northlanders can check out whether they live, work or play in a tsunami evacuation zone, and plan the quickest route to safety, using the interactive maps at: www.nrc.govt.nz/evacuationzones
Prisoner on roof
A prisoner climbed onto the roof of a unit at the Northland Region Corrections Facility, also known as Ngawha Prison, on Wednesday afternoon. Northern Regional Commissioner Sean Mason said the unit was within the secure perimeter of the prison grounds and that there was no threat to the wider security of the prison or to public safety. Mason said Corrections staff were taking all the appropriate steps to ensure the prisoner’s safety and bring the incident to an end, including bringing in the Prison Negotiation Team to engage with the man. He confirmed the other men at the Corrections facility were “safe and secured”. The incident was ongoing at edition time.
Police responded to a bomb threat at the Dargaville District Court on Wednesday morning. Police officers searched the premises and did not locate anything suspicious, a police spokesperson said. The courthouse was evacuated “as a precaution” but reopened shortly after 11am.
Whangārei Theatre Company is celebrating three wins at the Northern Area Performance Theatre Awards at the weekend. The awards recognise excellence and talent in, and promote and develop of the performing arts in the Northern Region among theatre societies from Pukekohe to Kerikeri who are members of Musical Theatre New Zealand (MTNZ). In the awards ceremony on Saturday, Whangārei Theatre Company’s Morgan Matheson won the Outstanding Sound Design for the company’s production of Spamalot. As well, Cam Dow won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical Award for his role as Sir Galahad in Spamalot. And the trifecta of wins came with the theatre company’s production of Moana Jr taking out the Judges’ Special Recognition Award.
The Whau Valley Dam in Whangārei is closed to visitors while land stability is investigated. While there’s no threat to water infrastructure, the public car park could be compromised after a slip was identified on the southern side of the dam area. Water services manager Andrew Venmore said the council would have the slip and surrounding hillside assessed by geotech engineers before remedial work begins. The dam tracks, which is accessed via the car park, will also be off-limits for the duration of the stabilisation works.