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“Tena ko te hunga e tatari ana ki a Ihowa, puta hou ana he kaha mo ratou; kake ana ratou ki runga; ko nga parirau, koia ano kei o nga ekara; ka rere ratou, a e kore e mauiui; ka haere, a e kore e ngenge.” (Isaiah 40:31)

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Roam Auckland's wetland gems PDF Print
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The Rest
Written by Dionne Chistian, The New Zealand Herald   
Friday, 15 February 2013
Waiatarua Reserve wetlands, located in Remuera, Auckland. Photo / Steven McNicholl

To appreciate what wetlands offer, you really have to see them, walk in them and have a good look at what's living there. They are extraordinary places and extraordinarily important to the environment. We want everyone to know that and the way to achieve this is to encourage people to get out and explore."

So says Auckland Council senior biodiversity adviser Miranda Bennett, and I can see what she means. We're standing just 7km from downtown Auckland, in the middle of the LeRoys Bush and Little Shoal Bay wetland in Birkenhead, but we might as well be in another country.

It's tranquil. A gentle breeze offers respite from a scorching sun and stirs native swamp plants such as raupo (native bulrush) and carex grasses. We seek shelter from the sun on well-built paths which meander through cabbage trees, nikau palms, karaka, kowhai and coprosma.

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Keeping an eye out on Matapouri baches PDF Print
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Local
Written by Sophie Ryan, The Northern Advocate   
Thursday, 17 January 2013
 UNITED FRONT: Elizabeth Fuge is committed to bringing the community together in the face of worrying incidents at empty baches. JOHN STONE

A woman who lives at a popular holiday spot on the Tutukaka Coast is hoping to form a community watch group after several break-ins and even reports of suspected squatters in empty baches.

Mrs Fuge is confident she will have many permanent Matapouri residents on board to help keep an eye on things around the community.

Long-time Matapouri resident Elizabeth Fuge wants to collect contact details of every property owner in the area in an effort to create a community watch telephone tree.

"It's an idea that came to me from a guy out at Woolley's Bay and, when nothing like that was happening here, I thought I'd do it myself," she said.

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Coastguard volunteers attend medivac in Tutukaka PDF Print
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Local
Written by Coastguard, Scoop   
Thursday, 17 January 2013

At 0938 hours today [Wednesday, 16 January 2013], Coastguard Northern Regionís Communications and SAR Response Centre was alerted by St Johnís Ambulance of a vessel just off the coast of Tutukaka that had a person on board who had suffered a suspected stroke.

St Johnís received the initial call from the distressed vessel via cell phone and passed the alert on to Coastguard who tasked Tutukaka Rescue. Tutukaka Rescue managed to establish contact with the vessel on Channel 04, a local game fishing channel in Tutukaka, and arrived on scene within 10 minutes of leaving their base.

On arrival to the vessel, a first response was put on board to assess the situation and stabilise the patient. Tutukaka Rescue then escorted the vessel back to the Tutukaka Marina where they berthed the vessel and were met by St Johnís Ambulance. The patient in distress was taken to hospital.

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Boaties, let nature have its tern PDF Print
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Te Arai / Mangawhai
Written by Mark Bellingham, The New Zealand Herald   
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Mangawhai Heads is home to half of the breeding pairs in the fairy tern population of 43 birds in total. Photo / APN

When mooring access comes before world's rarest shore bird our society is insane.

It's some topsy-turvy world where the community's decision-maker was being forced to weigh up the possibility of bringing a species to extinction against people wanting to moor their boats closer to their homes.

Mangawhai Harbour is promoted as a water-lovers' paradise and the perfect launch pad for surfers, boaties and recreational fishers. But some locals are gunning for significant development of the natural landscape with little regard for the importance and fragility of the harbour's wildlife.

Many people don't realise Mangawhai Harbour is critical to the survival of New Zealand fairy terns.

Fairy terns are New Zealand's rarest shore bird. There are just 43 left in the world. Each one is so vital to the species' survival that the Department of Conservation (DoC) and volunteers take turns to watch over the birds in shifts, at nesting sites during the breeding season.

This critically endangered species once bred around the North Island and upper South Island, but is now confined to four nesting sites north of Auckland.

Mangawhai is the most important of the four sites, with half of the population's breeding pairs feeding on small fish found in the mangroves that grow in the harbour. These small, gull-like birds are already on the knife's edge of extinction, and yet we're at risk of losing this critical feeding ground.

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Paradise in the making - for the rich PDF Print
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Long Bay
Written by Bernard Orsman, The New Zealand Herald   
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Popular Long Bay has struggled to cope with up to 25,000 visitors a day during the holiday season. Photo / Greg Bowker

Long Bay land too expensive to be used for affordable housing envisaged in council blueprint, say developers.

One of Auckland's few large-scale housing developments, at Long Bay, is exactly the type of model the Auckland Council does not want - expensive houses on large sections gobbling up prime land.

This time next year, residents will have moved into the first three-bedroom, stand-alone houses costing at least $700,000, backing on to Long Bay beach and regional park.

The park's facilities have struggled to cope this summer with up to 25,000 visitors a day during the holiday season.

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Slug sightings creeping up PDF Print
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Local
Written by Lindy Laird, The New Zealand Herald   
Thursday, 10 January 2013
Sea hares washed up at Ngunguru, Northland. Photo / Supplied

A spineless fellow with biggish ears and a fondness for squidgy environments has been hanging about around Whangarei coastal spots.

Department of Conservation marine ranger Marie Jordan said a number of sea hares, (Aplysia species), sometimes called sea slugs, had been turning up at Ngunguru and other estuaries in recent days.

They live on the seabed at varying depths but it is not unusual for them to be found washed up on the high-tide line.

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Focus on new project after loss PDF Print
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Todd Property Group
Written by Mark Price, Otago Daily Times   
Wednesday, 05 December 2012

Unimpressed and annoyed property developer Bob Robertson, of Wanaka, plans to ''crank up'' his new 1000-lot residential development near Christchurch, having lost his Pegasus town development to Todd Property Group.

Todd announced yesterday it had bought the 1700-section Pegasus development 25km north of Christchurch.

The town, with its 14ha lake, 18-hole golf course and commercial centre, was developed by Mr Robertson over 10 years and already has 600 inhabitants.

In recent months, he had worked to refinance the development in a joint venture with Todd but then "right at the last minute, life changed a bit".

Mr Robertson told the Otago Daily Times yesterday about the problems he encountered when the Bank of Scotland International, from which he had borrowed the money to finance the Pegasus development, got into financial trouble.

The debt was eventually taken over by New Zealand Property Finance, which Mr Robertson says is a consortium of Brookfield and Goldman Sachs in Australia.

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Todd Property buys Pegasus Town PDF Print
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Todd Property Group
Written by Chris Hutching, NBR   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012
Pegasus town

Todd Property Group has bought Pegasus Town, which is in receivership, for an undisclosed sum.

A recent receiverís report says the debt owed to New Zealand Property Finance Partners Ė which acquired the debt from BOS Ė is $142 million.

The development 25km north of Christchurch was founded by Wanaka businessman Bob Robertson, who told NBR ONLINE recently he was still seeking a rescue package. Mr Robertsonís family farm, Fovoran Deer Park, is currently on the market.

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The Coastie team working on Special Summer Edition PDF Print
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Local
Written by Dimitri Frost, The Tutukaka Coastie   
Monday, 26 November 2012

We are producing a mini magazine featuring a local art trail, and highlighting recreational spots along the Tutukaka Coast. There is a mapped guide to shops, cafes, restaurants, hardware and gardening suppliers, trades, services and summer activities offered along the Coast and some artful ideas about Whangarei too.

The Coastie Summer Edition will be around from 18th December until beginning of February, replacing our regular weekly issue for that period.

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Housing money flowing north PDF Print
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Local
Written by Rosemary Roberts, The Northern Advocate   
Saturday, 24 November 2012

House builders and buyers are creating a buzz on Whangarei's Tutukaka coast, as Aucklanders and expats have ramped up purchases of coastal property this year.

House builders and buyers are creating a buzz on Whangarei's Tutukaka coast, as Aucklanders and expats have ramped up purchases of coastal property this year.

Several large homes have been built on the coast and a number of substantial residential projects are scheduled for next year. House buyers were mainly from Auckland but there was significant interest from the lower North Island.

Ngunguru-based builder Ken Topp employs eight and says he has not had any downturn in business. Seventy per cent of building projects were holiday homes, mostly for Aucklanders, and people living overseas.

Mark Dobbs, northern board representative on the Certified Builders Association, said while the building scene was active on Whangarei's coast, "town's still quiet," but he expects the current upturn in Auckland's economy will have a positive effect on the north next year.

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