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Granny Maher
Original icon: Granny Maher starred in the first rounds of icons.

A fresh batch of famous faces will be popping up in the Hastings Central City, as stage two of the Hastings Icons project gets underway in June. The brainchild of screen print artist Adrian Thornton and writer Jess Soutar Barron, Hastings Icons was devised as a way of sharing stories from our region’s past. The first Icons were created in 2016, with a series of eight stencil spray-painted artworks appearing on blank walls east of the railway line. Each artwork celebrates a unique slice of Hastings’ history. - by arts inc Heretaunga

Artist’s impression of the new EIT Institute of Sport and Health.

Work on the buildings that will make up the first stage of the new community health and sports centre will get underway in October at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park. After consultation showed public support for the project, Hastings District Council last week approved putting $2 million into the building phase. The funds from Council took the fundraising to a point where building work could start, subject to resource and building consents, said the man leading the project, Sir Graeme Avery.

Parents talk to Learning Hawke’s Bay representatives at an education seminar in Guangzhou.
Warm welcome: Parents talk to Learning Hawke’s Bay representatives at an education seminar in Guangzhou.

Lifestyle and pastoral care are big draw cards for parents from other countries looking for an international education for their youngsters – and Hastings is a winner in both those areas. It also has education facilities that more than favourably compare with any across New Zealand. Learning Hawke’s Bay returned from a 10 day trip to China in May, put together by national organisation Education NZ.

Manawatu Gorge - NZTA
Manawatu Gorge - NZTA

The NZ Transport Agency is advising that the Manawatu Gorge will remain closed for at least three more weeks while safety works and geotechnical assessments are completed. Transport Agency Highway Manager Ross I’Anson says while physical repair work, including the installation of new rock fall netting and the reinstatement of a damaged retaining wall, are on track to be completed by the end of this week as planned, further geological assessments of the slip sites are needed to assess the level of potential risk of further slips or rock falls before the road can be safely opened.

Councillor Kevin Watkins, centre, with Monadelphous Engineering staff Aaron Holden, left, and Jack Macdonald.
Progress check: Councillor Kevin Watkins, centre, gets an update on the progress of major water projects from contractor Monadelphous Engineering staff Aaron Holden, left, and Jack Macdonald.

The new mains water pipe being laid under Heretaunga St will almost double the amount of water able to be directed around the network. Two major projects to strengthen the water supply system across the district are underway, one in Heretaunga St and one in Te Mata Rd. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The Heretaunga St work consists of the installation of a new water main, replac­ing the existing 70-year-old pipe. In Havelock North, two new mains are being installed, one for water and one for sewage.

Waimarama papakainga
papakainga progress: A way forward for building homes on Maori land.

A new papakainga housing development policy, opening the way for utilisation of Māori land, has seen Hastings District Council named a finalist in the 2017 Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards. Now in their fourth year, the Awards recognise and celebrate the key leadership role that local government plays in communities around the country. The Papakainga Development Policy & Implementation Project 2007-17 is a finalist for the Crown Fibre Holdings EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice Contribution to Local Economic Development.​ - by Local Government New Zealand