Police have identified the body found washed up near the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway yesterday as missing Bell Block teenager Nikolao Meafua. Police said the identity of the body had been confirmed through a post mortem. Sixteen-year-old Nikolao, known as Niko, went missing from his Bell Block home on June 10th 2013 after an argument with his mother. Police and volunteers scoured walkways and beaches for two weeks before they called off the search for the New Plymouth Boys’ High School student last Friday 21st June 2013. Yesterday, Tuesday 25th June 2013 a person using the coastal walkway found Niko’s body on the rocks near the coastal walkway at Kawaroa Park about 2.30pm. Police closed off a section of the walkway in front of the aquatic centre while detectives, uniformed officers and St John paramedics investigated. Police now say it appeared the body could have been in the water for some time. Police said Niko’s family has been notified and his death referred to the coroner.
Police are working to establish the identity of a man’s body discovered on the rocks near New Plymouth’s Kawaroa Park today, Tuesday 25th June 2013. A member of the public using the Coastal Walkway found the body about 2.30pm and reported it to police. Police closed off a section of the walkway in front of the aquatic centre while detectives, uniformed officers and St John paramedics investigated. Close attention was paid to an area directly in front of the centre’s hydroslides. The fire brigade was called in to move rocks from the area so the body could be removed. Police said it appeared the body could have been in the water for some time and they now have to work through things like dental records and DNA to establish the identity. Police could not confirm the body was that of New Plymouth Boys’ High student Nikolao Meafua, 16, who has been missing since June 10 after he left his Bell Block home following an argument with his mother. Police can’t comment on that at the moment, they still have to establish the identity. The Police would not comment on the condition of the body or whether it was clothed.
With no further news releases from the Police in the past 48 hours on the missing Bell Block Teenager, it is with great concern that a body of a man has been discovered near the Coastal Walkway in New Plymouth, but it’s too early to determine whether the death is suspicious.The body was found about 2.30pm on Tuesday 25th June 2013 on rocks near the city’s coastal walkway by a member of the public, police say. A post-mortem examination and formal identification will be carried out on Wednesday 26th June 2013.
Bell Block and New Plymouth district bus fares are to increase by up to 13 cents. The increase is to cover the climbing costs of public transport. Adult fares paid for with cash won’t cost any more, but adult smart card fares will increase from between seven to 13 cents. Child and concession fares, whether paid for by smart card or cash, will increase by up to 10 cents. In New Plymouth adult smart card fares per section will increase from $2.60 to $2.67, a 2.7 per cent increase. The largest increase is for a smart card adult fare from New Plymouth to Waitara, which goes from $4.50 to $4.63, or a 2.9 per cent increase. A council report on the proposals stated the fare increase could result in a loss of 7000 passenger trips per year, but this would probably be absorbed by the general growth of patronage. The increases to bus fares are the first since June 2010. Fares increases are to take effect as soon as possible.
Owen Parnell, 24, will appear in the Hawera District Court on the 2nd July 2013 charged with careless driving causing death and careless driving causing injury over the December 1st 2012 crash. Two motorcyclists died in the crash and four others were taken to hospital. Parnell, unemployed, has undergone nine operations and may never walk again. Gordon Thomas McKay, 68, of Bell Block, New Plymouth, died after last year’s December 1 crash on a rural southern Taranaki road. The annual Round the Mountain toy run was organised by Bikers Rights of New Zealand. About 200 riders travelled from New Plymouth via Bell Block, Inglewood and Stratford on the December rally. On the night of the crash, the manager of a community hall where the ride was completed said the bikers raised mugs of tea to their mates, delivered the toys as planned and quietly dispersed to their homes.
Police believe Bell Block teenager Nikolao Meafua may be receiving assistance from people who do not realise he is missing. The 16-year-old left his family home thirteen days ago after an argument with his mother and has not has been seen since. Despite extensive searches Niko’s family and the police have not managed to find the New Plymouth Boys’ High School student. Police had investigated reported sightings of Niko and remained hopeful he was safe. The Police think that at this stage it is highly likely that he is receiving assistance from people who are unaware that he is missing and his family is distraught. Police believe the people assisting Niko were just trying to help “a well-mannered teenager. It is hoped those people will see his face in all the publicity this has attracted and come forward to tell the Police.
Seven Lotto players will be marvelling at their good fortune after winning Lotto First Division this weekend. Each player takes home a prize worth $142,857. The winning tickets were sold at Eastridge Lotto and Clendon New World in Auckland; Tamatea Pak N Save in Napier; Gift and Lotto Shop in Rangiora; Ryders Paper Plus in Balclutha; and two tickets were bought through MyLotto.co.nz by players based in Auckland. Powerball was not struck on Saturday evening’s draw 22nd June 2013 and has jackpotted to $6 million. Strike Four was struck by a lucky player in Auckland, who has won $296,484. The winning ticket was sold at Countdown Manukau. Meanwhile, Peter from Auckland spun and won $100,000 on the Winning Wheel. This week’s Winning Wheel ticket was bought at Valentines Stationers in Takapuna, Auckland. The serial number is 854-57739552-20xx. All Lotto players are automatically in the draw to win the opportunity to spin Lotto’s Winning Wheel, regardless of the type of ticket they buy. Anyone who bought their ticket from any of the above winning stores should write their name on the back of the ticket and check it immediately at any Lotto outlet or online at MyLotto.co.nz. Twenty cents from every dollar spent on Lotto goes back into the community through the Lottery Grants Board – supporting community, artistic, recreational, cultural and environmental groups throughout New Zealand.
Hundreds of Bell Block residents went along to Yarrow Stadium which was near overflowing with 24,000 supporters at Saturday’s 22nd June 2013 sell out Rugby test match between the All Blacks and France played in New Plymouth. Taranaki hero Beauden Barrett stole the show by scoring a last minute try after being given just 3 minutes of game time. After the match thousands made their way to New Plymouth’s CBD, filling bars to capacity. Despite the influx police said good behaviour from the crowds meant it was a relatively quiet night for them.
Police have called off their search for a missing Bell Block youth. An extensive search of less frequented areas of New Plymouth by Taranaki Land Search and Rescue volunteers and police on Wednesday 19th June 2013 and Friday 21st June 2013 has not found any trace of New Plymouth Boys’ High student Nikolao Meafua, 16. Niko has been missing for almost two weeks after he left his home following an argument with his mother. Police said yesterday’s fruitless full-day search was carried out by about 12 volunteers and concentrated on areas off the regular path. The search included the Te Henui Walkway, Awanui Cemetery, high schools and the East End Reserve. In the morning, groups concentrated on the coastal walkway by the Fitzroy Golf Course through to the Waiongana Stream on the Waitara side of the airport and Bell Block’s Mangati walkway. The Police haven’t come across any sign of Niko, and the searchers, who also checked out areas in much worse conditions on Wednesday 19th June 2013, had done a sterling job.The Police thanked both the volunteer searchers and their employers who had given them time off. There were no further plans to search unless police received more information, The Police will now regroup and reassess and think what their next options are.
Police believe a Bell Block teenager missing for the past 11 days is still alive and well and may be staying with somebody else. Nikolao “Niko” Meafua, 16, walked out of his mother’s Bell Block home after an argument on June 10th 2013 without shoes. Local police want Niko to know he is not in trouble. The police will not force Niko to go home if he doesn’t want to; they just want to know that he is ok. His mother and wider family are sick with worry about him and just want to hear from him and know he is well. Niko is of Samoan descent and is described as nearly six foot tall, of slim build and light brown skin with brown eyes and short black hair.When he left his house on the Monday he was barefooted and wearing black tracksuit pants with two green stripes on the sides and a zipped jersey with a black square pattern. Anyone with any information as to the current whereabouts of Niko, or who may have seen him is asked to call New Plymouth Police on (06) 759 5500 as soon as possible.
Bell Block Skiers are in for a treat this weekend as the Mt Egmont/Taranaki ski field has opened today, Friday 21st June 2013. The Manganui ski field and is the first to open in the North Island and people are already enjoying the slopes. Stratford Mountain Club report that the field had 25 – 30cms of snow and people should be able to ski all weekend. Always remember that anyone heading up to the skifield should wear good solid footwear, dress suitably and wear sunglasses.
After 66 years The days of rolling up for a game of bowls at the Smart Road club in New Plymouth are over. Dwindling membership has forced the club to close down and amalgamate with a bigger city club called Fitzroy. Smart Road Bowling Club was the closet bowling club to Bell Block. The next closet is Lepperton Bowling Club.
Poor design had led to a mobility parking space in Bell Block becoming more of a hindrance than a help. The special parking space is meant to provide people with disabilities or medical conditions with easy access to the shopping complex in Bell Block. However, the car park was rendered inaccessible if vehicles are parked on both sides of it, as seen in the 1st photo below. The New Plymouth District Council to their credit have now fixed the problem by removing one of the car parks, as shown in photo number 2 below.
Bell Block and New Plymouth Police searching for missing Bell Block schoolboy Nikolao Meafua were helped along by his disappearance being reported nationwide on Radio on Thursday 20th June 2013. Nikolao, 16, has not been seen since leaving his family home in Bell Block 10 days ago after an argument with his mother. Even a few newspapers outside Taranaki are starting to print photos and run reports. Fingers crossed this helps bring Nikolao home to his distraught mother. Police were still receiving reported sightings of Niko but none they have been able to confirm were the missing teen.
Bell Block and New Plymouth Police searching for missing Bell Block schoolboy Nikolao Meafua focused their attention yesterday Thursday 20th June 2013 on the Te Henui and Mangati walkways and beaches. We saw 5 Police cars at one of the entranceways to Bell Block’s Mangati Walkway. Nikolao, 16, has not been seen since leaving his family home in Bell Block 10 days ago after an argument with his mother. He had no footwear, and no money. Police were still receiving reported sightings of Niko but none they have been able to confirm were the missing teen.
Police are continuing their investigations into the whereabouts of Bell Block teenager Nikolao Meafua. The 16-year-old is still missing after police spent yesterday, Saturday 15th June 2013 following up on a number of reported sightings. Police said sightings had been reported in the Bell Block area on Tuesday 11th June 2013, and on the Coastal Walkway near Fitzroy on Thursday morning 13th June 2013. Police say there is still a bit of light there for the family and the police who are looking for him and inquiries would continue over the weekend and police remained positive. Police are still hopeful there will be a good outcome and we’ll get him back to his family. If you have any information, please contact your local Police Station.
Sam “The Terror” Rapira has the words tattooed across his chest and it didn’t take much as the Bell Block boxer needed just over two minutes to win his second fight as a professional. Rapira’s barrage of punches midway through the first round brought an early end to his light heavyweight clash against Tongan Viliami Toafi on the undercard of Joseph Parker’s bout against South African Francois Botha in Auckland on Thursday the 13th June 2013. Rapira rocked Toafi with an early left-right combination, followed soon after by a powerful body blow. The relentless Rapira bided his time then unleashed a series of punches that doubled up his opponent, with the referee stopping the clock at 2 minutes, 6 seconds. The 29-year-old Rapira was rapt with the win over the Oceania Games bronze medallist by a technical knockout. Rapira now needs to sit down with his coach and manager and start planning for his next fight.
Police are investigating a possible sighting of missing teenager Nikolao Meafua. A specialist search and rescue squad was called in yesterday to assist in the search for Niko, 16, a student at New Plymouth Boys’ High School who left his home in Bell Block on Monday morning the 10th June 2013 after an argument. Police are anxious to get good news to alleviate the distress of the family. One possible sighting, about 6.30am on Thursday morning the 13th June 2013 on the Coastal Walkway near Fitzroy, was yet to be confirmed. Police say other leads from members of the public were being followed up but had not yet come to anything. The search and rescue squad, assisted by a police dog and handler, searched the Coastal Walkway yesterday Friday the 14th June 2013 for any place the boy might have been using to shelter. We all hope he’s OK and only hiding. It’s been five days now. Police say they hold grave fears for his safety because the actions of the boy described as “such a good kid” are totally out of character. The family has been grateful for all the community help during their own searches for him. Please report any sighting of Nikolao to any Police station in Taranaki.
A son, father, nephew, mokopuna and friend was farewelled at Waitara’s Owae Marae yesterday. About 300 people gathered at the marae to say one last goodbye to 33-year-old Adam Te Rata Charles Morehu. The house-moving labourer, who leaves behind a partner and two children, was fatally shot by police at the Bell Block based, New Plymouth Golf Club last week during what was believed to be a botched burglary. Reverend Albie Martin conducted the service in front of a full wharenui, and many who stood outside. At the end of the service, family and friends formed a pathway that stretched about 100 metres from the wharenui entrance. His body was laid to rest at the Waitara Cemetery next to his mother, Tania Bailey, who was farewelled at the marae in May 2013.
Paula Meafua just wishes she could take the words back. The Bell Block mum argued with her 16-year-old son on Monday 10th June 2013. Upset, Niko Meafua walked out of the house in his bare feet, and with no wallet or cellphone on him. Four days later he is still missing, the police hold grave fears for his safety and she regrets that conversation with her only child. During the fight she told Niko he was not the son she remembered – he had become withdrawn and isolated from her. The family have been walking the streets of Bell Block, Waitara and New Plymouth day and night, searching for the Boys’ High School student. Police officers have interviewed the family, conducted searches and examined the teenager’s bedroom and laptop for clues of his whereabouts. An online campaign had been running on Facebook and the family had been overwhelmed by the support. Niko is a part-time worker at Pak ‘n’ Save and has not turned up for his job. He is Samoan, close to 180 centimetres tall, of slim build with light brown skin, short black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information is asked to ring police on (06) 759 5508.When he left home he was wearing a zipped sweat top with black square patterns, black tracksuit pants with two green stripes on the sides and no footwear.