House Damaged by Lightning Strike
Sunday's white white wash over Tauranga is indicative of spring weather. Thousands of pieces of hail clogging the footpaths, and hundreds of lightning strikes battered the region, causing damage to one house in Papamoa. The house was been struck by lightning, blowing a hole through its roof. Senior Station Fire Officer Terry Mills says had someone been in the house at the time, they could have been electrocuted. Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says the wild weather was the result of a low pressure system.
Bus Fare Hike Unavoidable
A hike in bus fares is inevitable, according to the Regional Council. From October 1st, all services contracted to Bay of Plenty Regional Council will increase by five percent, to account for a GST increase and past inflation. Spokesman Garry Maloney says they had to round the figure to five percent - and a normal fare will average from $1.60 to $2.30. He says it couldn't be helped.
Gold Miners Welcome Pay Rise
A long running pay dispute between Waihi gold miners and their employer, has been settled. They've won an 11.6 per cent increase over the next three years. It follows a period of strike action at the Favona Decline mine - dating back to May this year. EPMU National Secretary Andrew Little says the pay rise is welcomed, at a time when prices are rising.
Hundreds Protest Against Funding Slash
There's hope a battle against cuts to funding for early childhood education will spread across the nation. Hundreds of people were out in Tauranga on Saturday protesting against changes, which could see parents paying an extra 20 to 44 dollars a week. It's predicted more than 3000 children will be affected, at 65 centres city-wide. Papamoa Coast kindy teacher Nadine Hansen says support for the campaign is growing. Ms Hansen says some people at the rally swore they'd never vote National again.
Repeat Drink Drivers Rife in Bay
Bay of Plenty and Counties Manakau have emerged as the regions with the worst rates of repeat drink drivers. 870 people throughout the region were convicted last year on their third or more drink driving charge. It follows the death of Tauranga man, Dylan Hogg, who ploughed into a power pole last Wednesday. The 34 year old had seven drink driving convictions, and was believed to have been drinking when he crashed.
Team Preps for Commonwealth Games
Busy times ahead for Bay of Plenty's sevens star, Toby Arnold, for the build up to the Commonwealth Games. Manager Ross Everiss, says the team are preparing not just for the games, but the security aspect too. He says they'll be heavily guarded as they head into New Delhi.
SH 35 Diversion in Place
A diversion is now in place to allow light vehicles to travel around the site of a slip at Maraenui Hill in Bay of Plenty, and back onto State Highway 35. The section of highway, 32 kilometres east of Opotiki, became blocked on Wednesday where the highway intersects with Motu Road. Spokesman Kevin Reid says motorists using the detour road need to take extreme care because it's steep and windy.
National Gamblefree Day
The first day of Spring is timed with National Gamblefree Day. Those affected by gambling are encouraged to write poetry, to be presented to local body politicians, after the elections. Participants are able to read their thoughts aloud in the Square, this Wednesday.