Scooting for loot
Look out for nattily dressed riders in the third annual Scoot 4 Loot 50cc Charity Scooter Ride on December 1, departing Whangamata at 7.30am. This year the group is raising funds for Youthline to help run a Teen Suicide Support Programme in Whangamata. Previous beneficiaries have been Prostate NZ and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, with 35 riders making the 210km ride around the peninsula last year. A page has been set up at www.facebook.com/scoot4loot where people can register to be a rider or a sponsor, and will be updated as the ride progresses.
Leave your dog at home if the purpose of your trip is not to take your pet somewhere, says the New Zealand Companion Animal Council, after AA Roadservice reported more than 4000 callouts nationwide for animals locked in vehicles since 2012, an average 52 of callouts a month. By October 1, Roadservice had attended more than 530 callouts for locked-in animals. AA Roadservice manager John Healy says owners should never leave their pet locked in a vehicle. If a dog in a vehicle becomes heat-stressed the dog owner, vehicle owner and person left in charge of the dog can each be fined $300.
Rates for rail
A Hamilton to Auckland passenger rail service could roll out by March 2020 if national funding is approved. Total funding needed is $76.27 million over the first six years, from 2019 to 2024. Local government will contribute $9.46m of that with the remaining $66.81m coming from central government's National Land Transport Fund. It is estimated to cost $5.82m per year to operate, which will be funded through passenger fares, a NZ Transport Agency subsidy of no less than 75 per cent if approved and Waikato Regional Council rates.