Kiwifruit Industry Invests in Automated Plant
Bay of Plenty's kiwifruit industry appears to be defying the odds by expanding. One of the region's largest post harvest kiwifruit handlers, East Pack is spending more than 8 million dollars this year, investing in a new automated plant. CEO Tony Hakwen says East Pack will soon be able to handle 18 million trays a year, up two million on last year. He says he's also going to have to employ 15 extra seasonal workers this year.
No Pay Rise for Councillors
Tauranga City Councillors won't be getting a pay rise this year. The Remuneration Authority had the option of increasing salaries for the 2010 and 2011 year. However, it's decided against increasing the available pool of money and councillors will meet next Tuesday to discuss that decision. That means the mayor will receive 119 thousand dollars, the same as his current salary. Tauranga's deputy mayor will earn 84 thousand dollars while the base councillor salary will remain at 67 thousand. Who gets paid those salaries after October, will depend on who wins a seat in the local body election.
Motorists Defy Hand Held Phones Ban
It appears some Bay of Plenty motorists still don't understand it's illegal to use a phone while driving. According to new police figures, taken during November and December, the ban on hand held phones isn't working, with nearly a thousand motorists nationwide caught. The ban came into effect on November 1 last year. Bay of Plenty was the fifth worst region when it came to hand held phones, with a total of 83 people being issued fines for breaking the law.
Health Company Looks Offshore for Workers
A midwifery company in Tauranga has its sights set on overseas workers. Geneva Health has been forced to look offshore for applicants to fill a number of positions at its base in Tauranga. It's just started advertising the positions on the internet, by promoting the Bay of Plenty lifestyle. The advert tells applicants the region offers a sunny, warm climate, surrounded by golden sandy beaches. It says the unit delivers 2,400 babies a year and is in need of new staff to join the team.
Valentines Day Looms
It seems red roses are still a favourite pick for Tauranga guys wanting to impress the ladies. Florists around the city have been working overtime this week to fill orders for their busiest time of the year, Valentines Day on Sunday. Trudi Robinson from Grey Street Flower Company says they've had dozens of orders in the past couple of weeks. She says bunches of red roses are still a favourite with more and more of them being ordered. Ms Robinson says mixed bunches with a couple of roses thrown in, are also proving popular this year.