Hot Topics for First Council Meeting
Tauranga City councillors are getting back into action tomorrow, with plenty on their plate. Among the more contentious items is the proposal to charge for every library book. Another is a proposed doubling of the one dollar toll on Route K, which is carrying debts of nearly 52 million dollars. Councillors have been warned that if it can't be designated a state highway, the debts will fall back on the council and it will mean an increase in rates. The full council meetings will run all week, beginning with a financial update of the current annual plan.
DHB Hails 27m New Ward
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board has hailed the Government's unveiling of a new $27 million development at Tauranga Hospital, as great news for the region. Board chair Mary Hackett says the development is key to future-proofing the hospital to serve the region, which has seen significant growth since the original hospital was built. Preparations for construction of the new, 5-storey east wing began last year. Major work begins this month. About 50 construction jobs will be created by the project.
Escaper Back Behind Bars
The man who was on the run in the Bay of Plenty with only a scrap of weed-mat to protect his modesty, is back in custody. Police recaptured Werimu Hauraki in a river near Opotiki on Saturday. The 34 year-old was wanted for failing to appear on a charge of aggravated burglary, and other burglary charges. He'd escaped police by diving down a steep cliff.
Shellfish Ban 'Will Last Weeks'
Health officials say it will be weeks before they can lift a ban on shellfish gathering along the Bay of Plenty coast. They've renewed a warning over paralytic shellfish poisoning, that's now sent at least six people to hospitals. Medical Officer of Health Dr Phil Shoemack says because of the potential severity, they want to make sure itæs gone away before they lift the warning. Phil Shoemack says the area affected extends from Tairua on the Coromandel, through the Bay of Plenty to the Whakatane River Mouth.