Jump in Guest Nights
Bay of Plenty's become a destination of choice for many visitors. New statistics show guest nights jumped 22 percent in the year to April, taking the figure to 96 thousand guest nights. Tourism Bay of Plenty general manager Tim Burgess says just 79 thousand guest nights were recorded a year ago. He says such a large increase is great to see. Mr Burgess says the region's going from strength to strength and it continues to outperform most other regions. The Hotel on Devonport says there's been a noticeable increase in corporate client visits.
Police Arrest Man on the Run
A Tirau man, who allegedly fled his home late last month while on bail, has been found by police. Waikato police had put out a public appeal, asking for sightings of Saan Wilson, who escaped through a window at his home and has been on the run ever since. Matamata police say the man has a history of violence and were urging the public not to approach him. A spokesman says Wilson was arrested yesterday evening in Tirau and will appear in the Tokoroa District Court today.
Property Prices Take a Hit
Property prices around Tauranga and Mount Maunganui took a dive last month. Real Estate Institute figures show a drop of 22 thousand dollars in the median selling price at the Mount last month. There was a 30 thousand dollar decrease in the Tauranga median selling price. While sales stayed relatively static in the city, sales in the outlying rural areas rose slightly.
Football Fever for Bellevue Students
There could be a few tired primary pupils in Tauranga today. Twenty three Bellevue Primary pupils spent yesterday afternoon busily writing last minute emails of support to the All Whites, ahead of the team's World Cup match last night. Teacher Margaret Saint Clair says football fever has definitely hit her class. She says each pupil is supporting a different country, while the whole class is also supporting New Zealand. Ms Saint Clair says the students were all eager to watch the game. Margaret Saint Clair says there's no doubt who her students will be supporting.
Crackdown on After Balls
Police in Tauranga say they're not trying to stop people having fun, in cracking down on after balls. The Tauranga City Council and police want to put a stop on illegal after balls and underage drinking. Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair says police will strongly oppose any special licence application which targets youths. He says the concern is for underage drinkers, who all too often become victims of other crimes. Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair says organisers should avoid trouble and make after balls alcohol free.
Cautious Welcome for New Kiwifruit
The Kiwifruit industry has cautiously welcomed a new variety to the export market. The new variety is owned by Turners and Growers and has a bright red starburst centre. It's due to arrive on world markets this week. Kiwifruit Growers Association president Peter Ombler says growers welcome any new variety which would strengthen New Zealand's market position overseas. However he says the variety should first be approved by the industry body Kiwifruit New Zealand. Mr Ombler says growers don't want to over saturate the market with too many different varieties.