Northland news in brief: Public hearing for satellite station plan; and Ngunguru Gala coming up

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Northland news in brief: Public hearing for satellite station plan; and Ngunguru Gala coming up

Plans for a satellite ground station site next to Gerry Marshall’s land at Ruakākā, above, will be discussed at a public hearing next month.

A regional development agency planning to build a satellite ground station with more than a dozen dishes in Ruakākā will hold a public hearing next month. Representatives of Southland’s development and tourism agency Great South will brief Ruakākā residents and other stakeholders on January 19 at the Bream Bay Trust building, starting at 7pm. The satellite station will be built— subject to resource consent approval— on 9ha of land owned by One Tree Pt-based truck and digger driver Brian Nash, who has agreed to sell his land to Great South. Locals are concerned the dishes would reduce the value of their properties, and suggest a less populated place could host the satellite ground station.

Gala day on the coast

Ngunguru Gala is on this Sunday on the idyllic Ngunguru waterfront at Whale Tail Park, with the family friendly event being a great way to spend the day out on the coast. From 10am-2pm there will be local live music and performances with a variety of stalls, locally made food, and games including the classic egg-and-spoon, three-legged and sack races, quick fire raffles, bouncy castles and rides, interactive kids’ activities and the famous Ngunguru tug o’ war. The Ngunguru Gala is hosted by the Tutukaka Coast Lions Club to promote the coastal community.

200K Lotto win

A Northland Lotto player is $200,000 richer this Christmas after winning Strike First Division in Wednesday night’s draw. The winning Strike ticket was sold on MyLotto to a player from Northland, and people are urged to check their accounts to see if they are the winner. Meanwhile three Lotto players from Auckland each won $333,333 with Lotto First Division on Wednesday. Powerball was not struck and will be worth $18 million tonight. Wednesday’s winning Lotto numbers were 19, 25, 26, 27, 34 and 38 with the bonus number 11. The winning Strike number were 38, 27, 26 and 34.

Don’t leave pets in cars

Before Northlanders head away for the Christmas break, SPCA wants to remind pet owners that animals should not be left unattended in vehicles for any reason, especially over the warmer months. Since January 1, 2020, SPCA nationally has received 672 animal welfare calls from members of the public concerned about dogs left in vehicles. A dog left in a hot vehicle is at risk of suffering heat stroke, irreparable brain damage or even death if they get too hot. Even with windows left slightly open, panting is not enough to keep their body temperature within a safe range. On a 30C day, the temperature inside a dark car can reach 39C in less than five minutes and in 30 minutes it goes up to 49C. This occurs even in the shade and if the windows are open. Pet owners whose dog becomes heat-stressed after being left in a hot car can be issued a $300 fine under the Animal Welfare Act.

Post-Christmas fun

If you’re looking for some post-Christmas family fun these holidays, the Whananaki Family Festival has plenty to keep the kids entertained. Last year’s carnival was so successful, the Whananaki Beach Residents and Ratepayers Association is putting it on again on Wednesday. The event – on the reserve by the hall and the school – will have market stalls, carnival attractions, a bouncy castle, sausage sizzle, hole in one, visiting recreational aircrafts and more. The festival, which runs from 11am to 3pm, is a fundraiser for the restoration of the Whananaki Historical Wharf. Parking is by gold coin donation and punters are encouraged to bring their sun umbrellas and chairs.

Byelection correction

The Northern Advocate on Thursday ran a story about eight candidates standing for Northland Regional Council’s Whangārei urban constituency byelection in the wake of longtime councillor John Bain resigning over its decision for Māori constituencies. The successful candidate will be publicly known on February 19 next year, not January 19 as yesterday’s article said.

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