Northland news in brief: Tūpuna book up for top award; and supermarket burgled

It is understood Countdown Tikipunga was burgled in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Photo / John Stone

Northland book up for top award

A book looking at the stories of 24 Te Tai Tokerau tūpuna is in the running for one of New Zealand’s top book awards.

A Fire in the Belly of Hineāmaru: A Collection of Narratives about Te Tai Tokerau Tūpuna by Melinda Webber (Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hau, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whakaue) and Te Kapua O’Connor (Ngāti Kurī, Pohūtiare) is a finalist in the General Non-Fiction category in the 2023 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Published by Auckland University Press, it is up against Downfall: The Destruction of Charles Mackay by Paul Diamond (Ngāti Hauā, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi); Grand: Becoming my Mother’s Daughter by Noelle McCarthy and The English Text of the Treaty of Waitangi by Ned Fletcher in the category.


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The 2023 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards winners, including four Best First Book Awards recipients, will be announced at a public ceremony on May 17 during the 2023 Auckland Writers Festival.

To find out more about the shortlisted titles go to

Sentenced for drug, firearm offences

A Tutukākā man has been sentenced to home detention for unlawfully possessing firearms, ammunition and cannabis with a street value of $132,000. Timothy Creelman appeared in the Whangārei District Court before Judge Gene Tomlinson, who said after falling into drug addiction, Creelman found the temptation of the financial rewards when he didn’t have to buy his own was irresistible.


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When the warrant was executed, $2000 was also located at his property and Judge Tomlinson ordered that the money be forfeited to the Crown.

Creelman was sentenced to nine months’ home detention.

Supermarket burgled

Police are investigating a burglary at a commercial address on Paramount Pde in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The Advocate understands this was at Countdown Tikipunga. Despite reports on social media that the store had been the subject of a ram raid, police confirmed this was not the case. “Around 1am, police responded to reports of a break-in at the address on Paramount Parade,” a police spokesperson said. “An unknown number of offenders have taken some items before fleeing from the scene in a vehicle.” No arrests have yet been made, but inquiries – including reviewing CCTV footage – are underway. Anyone with footage or information is asked to contact police by phoning 105 or online, referencing file number 230307/0600. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Resource for children with rare disorders

Northland parents and caregivers can get a new resource for children newly diagnosed with a rare disorder.

The booklet, produced by Rare Disorders New Zealand (RDNZ) is available online at and provides advice to parents and caregivers on how to navigate the path of caring for their tamariki with a rare disorder.

The launch also marked the beginning of Rare Disorders Month, a month-long campaign run by RDNZ to raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers about rare disorders and their impact on patients’ lives.

The Paediatric Society of New Zealand/Te Kāhui Mātai Arotamariki o Aotearoa has welcomed the new guide as a helpful resource for parents and caregivers.


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