Best of TAURANGA

Friday 22 January 2010

Route K Toll Hike Proposed
Motorists could face a doubling of the $1 toll on Route K, that's fallen well short of the revenue-raising forecasts for it. The toll road and its debts of nearly $52 million, are in the spotlight for the council's first meeting next week. Traffic volumes are still under half what was expected by now. A report to the council notes if Route K isn’t designated a state highway, which council's seeking, its debts could lead to a rise in rates averaging $38. Mayor Stuart Crosby acknowledges the Route K issue, and proposed new library charges will be controversial at their first meeting. Pictured: Route K Toll Plaza

Craypots Seized - Owners Face Fines
Local fisheries officers have seized nearly 30 crayfish pots, to leave their owners facing fines. Bay of Plenty Field Operations Manager Brendon Mikkelsen says the pots from Whangamata weren't correctly marked, some didnt have proper escape gaps, some owners had more than allowed. He says similar problems have been found in other parts of the Coromandel and in the Bay. Brendon Mikkelsen says the owners face fines of 250 dollars, and in more serious cases, confiscation of their pots. He says the Ministry will continue to run regular patrols and seize pots that don't comply with the rules.

Toxic Bloom Scene Updated
Health officials have put out an update on local river and lake health warnings. The all clear has been given over toxic algal mats in the Rangitaiki River. Medical Officer of Health Phil Shoemack says the algal mats have reduced. But he says the problem can re-occur at any time so check the water before you get in, if its discoloured or smells unusual go somewhere else. The blue green algae can cause asthma, skin rashes and even breathing difficulties. A health warning issued over a toxic algal bloom in Lake Rotoehu remains in place. Pictured: Lake Rotoehu/Environment Bay of Plenty

Funding Boost for Bay Tourism
A funding boost for the organisations that market the Bay of Plenty to tourists. The Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key, has announced that eight groups round the country, including the Bay of Plenty, will share in a fund of $10 million to market their regions. John Key says that regional tourism organisations and Tourism New Zealand will work together to maximise their impact, the focus on Australia in particular. The marketing fund is a mix of government and private sector funding. Pictured: John Key

Deadline for 'Early Anglers' in One Base
Tonight's the deadline for the draw for anglers entering the big One Base Fishing Tournament early. A top end rod and reel worth $2000 are the prize. Tauranga Game Fishing Club's Manager Grant Holley says preparations are well in hand for the contest, that’s again tipped to draw between 600 and 1000 anglers. He says half a dozen marlin have already been caught, three last week, with two of them tagged and released. The tournament is now part of the 9-day Kiwi Festival that celebrates the Western Bay's coastal lifestyle.

Hot Swim Leads to Hot Water
Going swimming at the Mount Hot Pools out of hours has landed five young locals in real hot water. The five males and females aged 19 to 22, who'd climbed in early in the morning, were picked up by police. The five have been charged with being unlawfully on the premises.

Posted: Fri 22 Jan 2010

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