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Local News


Local News

A Dannevirke man has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison on multiple charges relating to the possession of child sexual exploitation material.

43-year old Bradley Dean Johnson pleaded guilty to the charges in the Palmerston North District Court this week.

The charges stemmed from an investigation and prosecution by Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs.

As well as his jail term, Johnson will be required to forfeit devices and be added to the Child Sexual Offenders Register.

Johnson was a sports coach and employed as a teacher aide for a local school in Dannevirke, but was not a full-time registered teacher according to DIA.

A DIA spokesperson said there is no evidence he searched for this material while on school property or using school equipment, or that his online activities escalated to physical offending.

The DIA, Oranga Tamariki and Ministry of Education are working in collaboration with the school to ensure that the necessary information and support services are available to the community.

Tim Houston, Manager of the DIA Digital Child Exploitation Team, welcomed the guilty plea, and said people who think they’re safe in the confines of their own home, viewing or distributing objectionable material on the internet, should think again.


An incident in Waipukurau on Wednesday afternoon has seen a call for parents to talk to their children about ‘stranger danger’.

St Joseph’s School reported yesterday that one of its students was scootering down the road from their house in the Waipukurau township area.

The student was approached by a woman who was passing in her car and told to ‘get into the car’ twice.

St Joseph’s School said fortunately, the child exercised good judgment and was able to get home quickly and tell their parents, and that Police were immediately involved, and the school was notified.

Parents are being asked to speak with their children and have a chat about stranger danger, something which teachers will also be doing.

Any similar incidents should be reported to schools and the Police.


Heavy rain is on the way for local areas over the coming days.

The Metservice says for areas of Hawke’s Bay south of Napier through to the Tararua District, there is a moderate risk of warning amounts of rain from this Sunday through to Tuesday of next week.

The rain is from a complex low pressure system which is forecast to move east across central and northern New Zealand from Saturday through to early Tuesday.


The Ministry for Primary Industries has issued a warning to the public against collecting shellfish in parts of Hawke's Bay.

The warning is due to high toxin levels detected in shellfish samples from Pania Reef, and extends from the Mohaka River mouth to the top of Cape Kidnappers.

MPI said in a statement yesterday that routine tests on samples taken have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg.

Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, cockles, scallops, and kina are amongst the species affected.

MPI said pāua, crab, and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking.


Central Hawke’s Bay Mayor Alex Walker says the resignation of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chair Rex Graham over health issues is really sad.

Mr Graham announced last week he would stand down from his role, as well as being a regional councillor.

Alex Walker says she has worked closely with Rex over the last five years, and they have worked together on a lot of things.

She says while he has been controversial on some issues, especially water storage in Central Hawke’s Bay, she thanked him for his support around the challenges on water security in the district.

A by-election will now be held to fill Mr Graham’s vacant Hastings seat on the Regional Council.


Weekend Sports

HB Super 8 Netball :  Otane Thirsty Whale will play Hastings Girls High School Senior A tonight, with Central Sports Vet Services playing Hastings High School Old Girls Huias.

Otane play at 6pm, with Central at 7.30pm at the Pettigrew Green Arena.

Manawatu Rugby :  The Dannevirke Seniors will play Old Boys Marist at 2.45pm at Rugby Park, with the Dannevirke Colts also play Old Boys Marist at 12.45pm at Rugby Park.

Bush Rugby :  Puketoi have a home game, where they will play Gladstone at 2.30pm.  The Puketoi Club will also hold its Club Day tomorrow.

Hawke’s Bay Rugby :

Otane, Onga-Tiko and Porangahau Clubs all hold their respective Club Days tomorrow.

Draw :