Northland news in brief

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Open fire season for some areas

The fire season is now open for some of the Far North, but if you live at the top of the country you still need a permit to light a fire. Myles Taylor, principal rural fire officer for the Northern Rural Fire Authority, said while Zone 1 still had a restricted fire season, Zone 2 was now open. The southern boundary of Zone 1 is the area north of State Highway 10 from Taipa to Awanui, west of SH10 between Awanui and Kaitaia, the north and west side of Kaitaia-Awaroa Rd and north of the Uwhiroa Stream and the Herekino Harbour. Zone 2 extends south from Zone 1 to the Far North District Council boundary at Towai. Permits are not required in Whangarei and Kaipara.

Fruit programme backed

Northland's National Party candidate said he was delighted to hear the Fruit in Schools programme would continue at 60, mainly low-decile, schools in his electorate. Matt King said healthy eating options plated a vital role in helping kids grow. About 104,000 children at 543 schools would benefit this year. The Government invests about $8 million in the Fruit in Schools programme each year, supported by the extra $568m going into health for 2016/17, taking the total health budget to a record $16.1 billion.

Teen arrested after car chase

A 14-year-old boy who took his mother's car without her permission before leading Kaitaia police on a short chase has been arrested. The boy was spotted driving on North Rd about 10.35pm on Saturday and allegedly took off from police. The boy went up Pukepoto Rd and down Worth St before he stopped for police and was arrested. The car was also impounded.

Man charged with assaulting partner

A Mangonui man has been arrested and charged over the serious assault of his partner. The man allegedly hit the woman to the floor in the toilet of their home then kicked her in the head and stomach area at least eight times before breaking the toilet itself. Police said the woman tried to escape but he caught her outside and allegedly threw her to the ground, before dragging her along the gravel. The man then allegedly kicked the woman in the ribs and strangled her until she lost consciousness. He will appear in Kaitaia District Court at a later date.

Heartland tour highlights education funding

Teachers, teacher aides and school administration staff will be travelling around Northland urging people to support their call for better education funding. The Heartland Tour, a joint campaign by educators from both the PPTA and Te Riu Roa NZEI unions, will see a colourful camper van visit Kaitaia, Taipa, Kaikohe, Kerikeri and Whangarei and many small communities in between. Visit betterfunding.org.nz/news-media/heartland-tour-visits-northland to find out where the campervan will be.

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