Best of TAURANGA

Monday 8 March 2010

Port Applies to Dredge Shipping Channels
There's a thought that dredging the inner harbour to allow for bigger ships, would benefit the region. Port of Tauranga has applied to dredge the inner harbour shipping channels, removing up to 15 million cubic metres of sediment. Environment Bay of Plenty's hearings into the issue begin today. EBoP's consents manager Aileen Lawrie says nine public submissions see the move as a good one.

Fishing Tourney Cut Short
Tauranga's One Base fishing tournament was cut short on Saturday. Nearly 500 anglers, entered into last week's competition, had spent three days and nights fishing for the 'big one,' before the cancellation. More than 40 qualifying fish were caught, while a hammerhead shark and a bronze whaler shark were among those that were underweight. On Saturday morning, rough sea conditions and a stormy forecast forced organisers to pull the pin on the tournament.

Panel Aims to Discourage Smoking
Tauranga's MP wants to see fewer Maori smoking. Simon Bridges is part of the Maori Affairs' inquiry into tobacco, which begins today in Rotorua and is set to last all week. Mr Bridges says at the moment, about 50 percent of all Maori smoke, compared with 20 percent of non-Maori. He says the panel wants to put in place new measures to discourage smoking.

Bay Bucks Property Trend
Western Bay of Plenty's property values have bucked the national trend. Property prices throughout much of the country are starting to flatten, according to the latest QV property statistics. However, the Western Bay area went against that trend, with February values up four percent on the previous February. That took the average selling price last month for the area to 376 thousand dollars. Meanwhile, Tauranga's values were also up, with an increase of 1 percent in the year to February. The average selling price reached 422 thousand dollars.

Firefighters Keep Close Eye on Bush Fire
Firefighters remained at the scene of a large Welcome Bay bush fire overnight, to monitor any flare ups. Crews spent Saturday evening and much of yesterday in a valley near Shady Lane, where a fire covering two and a half hectares of bush, broke out. Principal rural fire officer Barry Low says the fire was put out yesterday, but the area was closely monitored overnight. He says the last thing they want is any flare up. The cause is being investigated, but Mr Low says an ember from a nearby rubbish fire could've started it.

Low Pumps Big Waves
Surfers were treated to a weekend of big waves - thanks to a tropical low offshore. Some big sets were up to 2 metres, with surfing website www.surf2surf.com rating the waves 9 out of 10. The Weather Watch Centre had predicted a big low to come down from the sub tropics, causing heavy rainfall and strong winds. However, head analyst Phillip Duncan says that storm is further east than initially thought.

Posted: Mon 08 Mar 2010

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