One dead, one seriously injured after 4WD hits tree in Waikato

A female passenger in a 4WD has died after the car hit a tree in the Waikato this afternoon. 

Police are still at the scene of the crash in Mercer between Douglas Road and Mercer Ferry Road after being called just after 3.00pm today.

Emergency services attending crash in Mercer, Waikato.
Emergency services attending crash in Mercer, Waikato. Source: Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

A police spokesperson said the male driver is in a serious condition.

"The female passenger in the vehicle at the time, has died and the male driver has been airlifted to hospital in a serious condition," police said. 

"The Serious Crash Unit will be investigating and are currently at the scene." 

Scene of car crash in Mercer, Waikato. Source: Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

Wellington City Council to move annual Guy Fawkes Sky Show to Matariki

Wellington's annual Guy Fawkes fireworks display will be cancelled from 2018 to make way for a major fireworks event during Matariki.

The Wellington City Council announced today it will move the annual event to Matariki, the Maori new year, which occurs around June and July every year.

"The winter months in New Zealand tend to be quiet and that presents an opportunity to celebrate an event that is relevant to New Zealand," says Mayor Justin Lester.

"We want Wellington to lead the country in making this a major civic event."

Earlier this year the council committed about $250,000 to the city's Matariki celebrations in 2018.

The council has organised Guy Fawkes celebrations for 22 years, but the display on November 5 will be its last.

Deputy Mayor Jill Day says this year's mini fireworks show celebrating Matariki was successful and popular.

"The feedback we received was that the earlier time was much more family friendly.

"As a mother of three young children, that shows me this is a much better time for this event and will help make Sky Show even better and more popular."

Mr Lester says the move will show how serious the city is about making Matariki an even more important celebration.

"The council is committed to working with mana whenua and all of the other stakeholders that have for years being doing good work on their own Matariki events."

Fireworks light night sky Source: 1 NEWS


Woodfest competitor's show off impressive forestry skills during annual event

Wood chopping enthusiasts have celebrated Kawerau's rich history in forestry during its annual Woodfest.

The week long event celebrates the industry and it attracts around 12,000 people each year. 

Chainsaw carving and wood chopping are the main events which see competitors show off impressive skills in fast pace races in front of large crowds. 

Rahera Fox has spent the last 17 years working in New Zealand forests and although this was her first chain saw racing competition, she hopes to inspire others. 

"I'm all about encouraging women to get into industries where you might not think you can do it, but all it takes is the right attitude and a bit of commitment," she told 1 NEWS.

"It's good to step outside of the job, outside of the bush and have people see what we do on a daily basis.

Woodfest brings together some of the best in the industry as punters showed a range of impressive skills. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's given me a life and a career throughout New Zealand, from as far north as the Hunua forest to as far south as Greymouth. 

Deputy Mayor of Kawerau, Faylene Tunui said the week long event recognises the industry that "has brought work for our families."

"We are known for being made of wood," she said. 

"Timber, trees and all those sorts of things. That's what Kawerau's all about...It brings everyone together."

The weeklong event in Kawerau attracts thousands who watch in awe at wood chopping and carving races. Source: 1 NEWS