Operation Wella Nets Fine Defaulters
Police are warning residents with unpaid fines to stop hiding, because it'll eventually catch up to them. It's been reported Western Bay of Plenty has racked up over $22 million dollars in outstanding traffic fines. Detective Sergeant Eddie Lyttle says the month long Operation Wella has already seen various property and personal items seized because of it.
Murder Accused Remanded in Custody
The Tauranga man accused of murdering his elderly father has made a brief appearance in court. 76 year old David Tait was found bashed inside his 15th Avenue home, a month ago. He died a day later in hospital. His son Murray led police into Tauranga Harbour by foot in a dramatic water chase, before he was apprehended. The 45 year old who was initially charged with assault, has been remanded in custody until August.
Deputy Mayor Announces Election Plans
Deputy Mayor David Stewart won't be entering the race for mayor at the upcoming elections out of respect for the incumbent. He's the first to make an announcement of his election plans, he's going to contest a Mt Maunganui and Papamoa ward councillor seat. Mr Stewart says ward councillors will have a much greater say on council than previously due to a change to the mix of ward and city seats. And he says residents who've been unhappy with the current council have the chance to vote.
Internet Speeds Up for Whakatane
The Eastern Bays Chamber of Commerce is boasting Whakatane's new internet connection is beating the rest of the country. GoNET comnmunications has just been launched on behalf of local iwi Ngati Awa and plans are already underway to extend it into Opotiki. Chamber CEO Gerard Casey says already businesses are praising the faster internet, which he hopes will attract more people to the town. He says it's a first for New Zealand.
Drink Driver Gets Home Detention
A Tauranga drink driver who admitted to causing the death of his brother during a car surfing accident, has avoided jail. Jordan McGregor was killed after he was knocked off the bonnet of the car, and run over on Omanu Beach last February. His brother Luke McGregor was behind the wheel and driving speeds of up to 70 kilometres an hour when the 23 year old fell under the vehicle. McGregor was sentenced to five months home detention, community work and has had his license suspended for 18 months.
Crime Stats Released
Car theft and serious assaults have increased dramatically in the Western Bay of Plenty. According to just released police statistics of the offences usually reported to police there's been 49 assault incidents causing injury, that's up from 31 in June last year. There's been a massive 41 vehicles stolen, that's nearly doubled over the year. Robbery and dwelling assaults have increased marginally, along with drug use and disorder. Meanwhile liquor ban breaches have dropped significantly from 60 this time last year, to 29. Assaults on police officers and drugs supply have remained static.
Bay Restaurants in Beer and Wild Food Finals
Four Bay of Plenty restaurants have been picked as finalists in a national competition that matches beer with wild food. Mount Bistro, CSB Gastro Bar, Number 8 Cafe and The Porch Kitchen and Bar have made the cut in the Monteiths Beer and Wild food Challenge. Pictured: Number 8 Cafe