Oakura Bay Fire First Response – Update

REMINDER: In the event of FIRE call 111 FIRST.

THEN:  Call one of your local Oakura Fire First Response team. Please remember we are all volunteers, not always available and you may need to call more than one number.

The earlier we are asked for help, the better opportunity we have to contain a fire.  An example of this was the bush fire on the Oakura Hill behind the Reserve during the drought. This potentially dangerous fire was extinguished by the Fire First Response group during the hour that it took the Fire Brigade to arrive.

We will not be able to cope with a fully engulfed house fire, except perhaps to try and protect nearby property. We will keep out of the way of Fire Service vehicles and personnel when they arrive.

To reiterate, we are a group of local volunteers providing a fire first response. We are not a fire brigade. In the event of a fire, call 111 FIRE and then call the first response numbers which you should have readily accessible. Be aware that you may need to ring more than one number to make contact.

In the recent floods, the fire first response team spent a number of days pumping water out of houses along the waterfront. Appreciation for the effort and time put in by our members was shown by a number of our community making very generous donations to the Fire First Response fund. A sincere thank you from us to those people – you know who you are!

The Fire First Response group is open to people who are willing to become competent with the equipment or who are willing to assist with committee administration work. We already have people who have expressed interest, and we will be organising a training session in the near future.

Fire First Response Team

Oakura Bay Medical First Response Team – Volunteers Needed

The Oakura Bay Medical First Response team was set up over eight years ago. Fundraising events were held, and charities approached and we purchased two defibrillators and set up the Medical Rooms next to the hall with stretchers, St Johns medical packs and other equipment. Since then there has been a small number of people, who have done the St Johns First Aid course, who have been happy to have their phone numbers listed as first responders.

However we now need more volunteers to go on that list. Over the years the Medical Committee have run free and subsidised St Johns courses for those interested, and at some stage in the near future another partly subsidised course will be organised.

It should be noted that the First Response team is only for medical emergencies, to be there as support while ambulance/helicopter assistance arrives. It is not set up to handle grazes and minor injuries.

First responders should have done at least the St Johns First Aid Level One course before volunteering to go on the First Response List.

If anyone is interested they can contact our Civil Defence person, Jim Lynch, email address

Oakura Bay Fire First Response – First Callout

The recently formed Oakura Bay Fire First Response team had their first “callout” on Sunday afternoon, 26th January 2020.

The fire team successfully extinguished a bush fire on the hill between the Hall and Waimarie Avenue. Neighbours heard a loud bang and saw smoke high above the area. It was from a large firework and the falling debris ignited the bush, which was of course tinder dry.

Fortunately a nearby householder saw smoke from the fire and used a garden hose and carried buckets of water to contain the situation. The Oakura Fire First Response team were notified and 111 fire calls were made.

The First Response team had the fire completely extinguished when the Hikurangi Fire Brigade arrived approximately one hour later. A serious fire was definitely averted as the dry conditions would have enabled a serious fire to develop right in the Oakura Bay heartland.

The Oakura Bay Fire First Response group deserve our hearty congratulations!

Deb Glasgow – as published in the March 2020 Whangaruru Pothole Newsletter.

Whangaruru Coastguard – Saving Lives at Sea

The Whangaruru Coastguard has a big year lined up for their crew and volunteers with the announcement that they will be receiving one of the AC36 Protector RHIB America’s Cup chase boats at the end of the America’s Cup regatta. The new 9m RHIB will be fully refitted post the regatta, with members of the unit involved in the refit design. The new boat will replace the existing 6.8m Naiad (RV Tangaroa). The extra size of the new boat will be a great boost for the unit as it will increase the ability to do larger tows, handle heavier weather conditions and increase the range.

To read more about the America’s Cub regatta chase boats, click here.

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The Whangaruru Coastguard’s training regime is progressing well with six operational crew and one trainee. The big push for this year will be to progress senior operational crew through to skipper.

Whangaruru Coastguard are seeking dry crew for their administration team, including the roles of secretary and treasurer, as well as committee and fundraising positions. The Whangaruru Coastguard Incorporated Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for 6pm, Sunday, 22nd March 2020 to be held at the Whangaruru Coastguard Shed, Wharf Road. Nominations can be made to one week prior to the AGM. Following the AGM, there will be a shared meal.

A warm welcome to attend is extended to all volunteers, members and the wider community of Whangaruru.

Kit Bigelow, Acting President – as published in the March 2020 Whangaruru Pothole Newsletter

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For more information on the Whangaruru Coastguard, click here and here. To follow them on Facebook, click here.

Beach Hop Dance at Oakura Bay

By Margaret de Jong

Oakura Hall was swinging once again to the music of the Basin City Big Band on the last day of February.  The dance floor was jam-packed with enthusiastic dancers as the band of 20 plus musicians pumped out some old time and modern music.  The atmosphere was fantastic; the hall decorated for the Beach Hop theme with surf and boogie boards, buckets and spades, beach balls and fishing nets and rods adorning the walls and hanging from the ceiling amongst the fairy lights. With a true community style supper at half time, and donated spot prizes awarded, the evening was a great success for all.

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So can we continue like this ?  YES of course. In April we will have a Dancing Through the Ages theme with the Steve Tulloch Band from Auckland .  Steve has a 3-piece band who play chart hits from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  On alternate months, we will hold casual dances in the hall – no theme, decorations or pre-sold tickets – just dancing.  Just $5 at the door on the night, turn up if you like and enjoy an evening of non-stop dance music, streamed through the sound system. BYO drinks and a plate of finger food for a shared supper. 

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Mark it in your calendars – Saturday 21st March from 7pm.  We warmly welcome suggestions on dance themes or ideas to improve your evenings of dance.  Check out our Facebook page, Oakura Dances, for information on upcoming dances.

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Heritage Military Vehicles visit Oakura Bay

Nearing the end of an organised convoy traversing the Far North, on Wednesday, 4 March 2020, some lucky residents and visitors to the bay were treated to the sight of a number of heritage military vehicles. The owners of these vehicles were en-route south to overnight in Whangarei, before deciding to drop in to treat themselves to an ice-cream on what turned out to be the wettest day in the Bay for months.

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Organised by the New Zealand Military Vehicle Club Inc., these vehicles are owned by a community of like-minded MV enthusiasts from New Zealand (and elsewhere) with a common goal – to have fun on an adventure packed holiday of sun, sand and sea – as well as taking in some military heritage and other historic sights along the way. The MVs on convoy cover a wide range of types, not just the iconic US army jeep familiar to anyone who watched the TV series, M*A*S*H, back in the day. Without exception, all vehicles have been lovingly restored by their respective owners.

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Setting out from Orewa on Sunday, 23 February, optional side trips were also available for participants to tour WWII gun emplacements, pill boxes and other historical sites. Some of the US vehicles were actually returning to where US forces were once stationed in the North at airfields, radar stations and coastal defences during WWII.

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The convoy was organised by a team with many years of convoy experience, many of whom are veterans of convoys both here in NZ and in the United States. We hope they enjoyed their brief sojourn in the bay.

For more information, visit the New Zealand Military Vehicle Club Inc.’s website here.

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Our thanks to Skips Fish’n’Chips for the use of their images.

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