Best of TAURANGA

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Four in Hospital after Head On Smash
Four people were taken to hospital last night, after a head on collision along State Highway 36 in the Bay of Plenty. Firefighters from around the region were sent to the scene at around 11pm last night, and had to a free a passenger from one of the two vehicles. One passenger suffered a broken leg, and another had serious chest injuries. Senior Sergeant Mark Holmes says they're not ruling out speed or alcohol as a factor for the crash. He says it's an urgent reminder to wear your seatbelt, drive to the conditions and take care on roads. There have been 12 deaths on the roads in the Western Bay of Plenty this year, and alcohol was a factor in half of the fatal accidents.

Talented Teenager Farewelled
Hundreds gathered at a Te Puna Marae yesterday to farewell a teenage boy who died in unfortunate circumstances. Kauri-Tuake Weti, a student from Tauranga Intermediate School was a talented sportsman like his uncle who's Bay of Plenty Steamers player Jason Hona. Principal Brian Diver says the entire school gathered to pay their respects. He says they've offered the students counselling services, and sent in a trauma support team to help deal with the loss.

Power Station Road Row Continues
A Bay of Plenty family that's blocked Transpower from accessing a power station has been served with a court injunction. Farmer Dennis Ormsby claims the Tauranga-based electrical company unrightfully took over the title of a small rural road next to McLaren Falls and says he's been landlocked. His family which originally owned the land the road was built on, uses it to access their property but has since been issued a trespassing order.

Iwi Upset over Mortuary Closure
Local iwi are prepared to fight the closure of Tauranga's mortuary. They say it will mean grieving family will have to travel to Rotorua or Hamilton to see their loved ones at a time when they are already stressed and upset. Paora Stanley, from Ngai Te Rangi, says DHB cost cutting is behind the closure which will have a huge impact on an aging population in what is New Zealand's fifth largest city. And Ngati Awa Kaumatua Julian Tunui is pledging for a mortuary to be built in Whakatane as the city is big enough to have it's own.

Cancer Sufferer Praises Canteen
A Te Puke teenager who was diagnosed with cancer last year says the blow was softened with the huge support she received from Canteen through the hard times. Hayley Thomas was just shy of turning eighteen when she found out she had a rare bone soft tissue cancer, and a grapefruit sized tumour on her lung. The former Head Student of Mt Maunganui College says she hopes the community can support the charity that helped her, her friends and her family. Canteen members will be selling bandannas for $3 on the streets, and in shopping malls this week. You can visit Canteen’s website here.

Man Sentenced for Assault on Ex-partner
An upcoming Marae leader has been sentenced to 180 hours community work for an assault against his former partner. George Ririnui was convicted in the Tauranga District Court after repeatedly punching the victim when he found her in bed with another man. The woman, who previously had a mental breakdown suffered a swollen cheek, bruising to her eye and cuts to her forehead. Judge Harding says Ririnui ‘just flipped’ and lost control, but acknowledges that as out of character. He says the man is considered a role model in the community and is extremely remorseful.

Visitor Boost for Bay
A bit of a boost for the hospitality industry. A sharp rise in international guests visiting the Bay of Plenty saw overnight stays remain steady. There were 10,000 more guests to the region in August, that's up 21 percent from July.

Posted: Wed 13 Oct 2010

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