Whakatane Residents Still Waiting to Go Home
It'll be another fortnight before evacuated Whakatane residents can return home. Six apartments and two houses on Muriwai Drive, a prime piece of real estate along the East Coast, were evacuated because of the risk of further landslips. It followed a deluge of rain that closed businesses and schools in the region. District Council spokeswoman Diane Turner says the buildings along the Drive aren't structurally unstable but there's a risk a hillside behind them could move. Results from engineers who assessed the hillside proved inconclusive but more analysis will be carried out over the next 12 to 14 days.
Electrical Fault Causes House Fire
Firefighters are urging residents to check their electrical wiring after a blaze that razed a house to the ground. The fire service were called to the house in the Lower Kaimais yesterday morning because of an electrical fault in a hot water cupboard. Spokesman Kenn McKegg says the house, which was built around the 1930s, burnt to the ground extremely quick. He says it's important to remember to check older electrical boards.
Puppies Want New Home
The SPCA has been inundated with canines after several abandoned puppies have been found in the region. The local Tauranga branch says it's now bank full - and is struggling to find homes for more than thirty dogs. Manager Margaret Rawiri says a litter of eight puppies were dumped yesterday in the Western Bay of Plenty. She says they were staffie-crosses, and were picked up by a member of the public. Ms Rawiri says they have a policy only to euthanise if the animal is in extreme pain, and they've exhausted all other options.
Air NZ Doubles Christchurch Flights
Air New Zealand is now doubling flights between Tauranga and Christchurch. The airline has had to increase capacity to its domestic operations, in particular additional flights at peak times, as a response to customer feedback. Regional capacity between the two cities has increased by 120 percent. Group General Manager Australasia Bruce Parton says there's definitely a demand now for domestic travel. He says there's now between five and eleven return services per week.
Spring Has Sprung
Sniffly noses, and itchy eyes are telling signs it's springtime. Today marks the first day of the season, often marked by sporadic weather and pollen. Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says this year is no different - there's pollen everywhere caused from westerlies blowing over Pine Forests in the Bay. Philip Duncan says the next ten days looks fairly spring-like with a mixture of rain, wind sunny days and cold days.
Fish on Herald’s ‘Rip-Off List’
If you want to protect the fisheries, be prepared to pay more for fish. That's the message being sent from the Tauranga Fishmarket. The price for New Zealand fish has been named in the Top Five rip-offs by the NZ Herald - with Snapper fillets increasing nine dollars in last five years. But Fishmarket Manager Lynette Palmer says the price for fuel, and the Quota Management System has made it harder for smaller fisherman to operate. She says it's all about economics.