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Havelock North's gum tree with its new protective fence.
Havelock North's gum tree with its new protective fence.

A wrought iron fence especially made to protect Havelock North’s much loved gum tree has been installed. It is one of the last pieces of the Havelock North Village Green development to be put in, as an official opening celebration nears. The exact date for that opening has not yet been set as it relies on water restrictions being eased so the first-of-its-kind in Hawke’s Bay water play feature can be turned on, and to enable landscaping to be watered. It is expected to be held in late-March.

Boat on beach
Rule review: The five-yearly review of water safety rules is open for consultation.

The Hawke’s Bay Navigation Safety Bylaw has been reviewed and is now open for public consultation, until 17 March, 2017. The revised bylaw is available on the Hawke's Bay Regional Council’s website www.hbrc.govt.nz, search #harbourmaster. The bylaw covers boating safety, lifejacket rules, navigation infrastructure, and activity zones (such as boat ramps and swimming zones) in the Hawke’s Bay region, which includes the coastal areas within the 12 nautical mile limit. 

Hawke's Bay Opera House
Next steps: Gemco is working on a construction plan.

Gemco Construction has been announced today as the successful tenderer for the earthquake strengthening of the Hawke’s Bay Opera House. The locally-based building company will prepare a detailed construction plan. If that proves acceptable to Council, construction is expected to start in August and take about 18 months. That announcement signals the start of further consultation on the future of the neighbouring Municipal Buildings, as promised by Hastings District Council at the time of last year’s public consultation on the future of both buildings and a wider plan for the cultural centre of the district.

The Boil Water Notice in Waimarama has been lifted today. Consistently clear water tests and the completion of an investigation into the cause of the initial e-Coli test results have allowed the notice to be lifted, said Hastings District Council asset manager Craig Thew. Low-level e-Coli results were returned last Saturday (February 18). On that day chlorine was immediately added to the water supply and a Boil Water Notice issued. All test results since that day had come back ‘clear’, said Mr Thew. Council’s asset manager Craig Thew said the water supply would continue to be chlorinated until further notice. Council will be adding additional safeguards to ensure the same situation cannot arise and once these are completed discussions will occur with the drinking water assessors.

 Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga performers
Chilling: Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga performers relax after a workout in preparation for Te Matatini.

On Saturday, at the end of an electrifying 25 minutes on the kapa haka stage at Te Matatini, the Hastings performers will have given their all. The sweat will be pouring off them but the pride will be immense, says Ngati Kahungunu ki Heretaunga performer and Hastings District councillor Bayden Barber. Te Matatini, known as the Olympics of Kapa Haka, starts on Thursday at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park, renamed Kahungunu Park for this very special month.

Recent fires reinforce the need for residents to be prepared for Civil Defence events The fires which occurred in the Hastings District last week have served as a timely reminder that it is vital to be prepared for such events. After several days of significant rain, the Total Fire Ban has been stepped back, with a Restricted Fire Season now in place in the Hastings District, however it is vital that residents remain vigilant as there is still a fire risk in Hastings District.