Near 1500 children from across New Zealand have spent much of January playing cricket in Hawke’s Bay at the annual Hawke’s Bay Cricket Camps. This year 135 teams from as far a-field as Auckland, Whakatane, New Plymouth and Wellington have played on wickets across the region including five in Hastings: Anderson, Windsor, Flaxmere, Cornwall and Frimley Parks. With the players come an estimated 3500 friends and family, all staying in Hawke’s Bay, adding an estimated $5 million to the local economy.
People are being warned not to swim at popular spots Patangata , Horseshoe Bend and Red Bridge in the Tukituki River following results received (January 20) which show increased levels of cyanobacteria mats (algal blooms). Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s weekly routine monitoring results, received today, show cyanobacteria mat coverage now at official health warning status ‘red’ for Patangata at 51.5% algal coverage, while Horseshore Bend and Red Bridge are categorised at ‘amber’ level, on the cusp of an official health alert, with coverage at 48% and 35% respectively. Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Caroline McElnay said people were not to swim at Patangata and were also advised to avoid swimming at Horseshoe Bend and Red Bridge given coverage levels remained on the rise.
The parts for the new water treatment facility that will enable one of the Brookvale pumps to be turned on again have been constructed across the globe. Some have arrived, including the UV plant, while others are either clearing customs in their home countries or on flights. It has been a mammoth task. Normally putting in a two-stage treatment plant of this size would take a year at minimum rather than the five months that this one is being completed in, says Hastings District Council assets manager Craig Thew.
The diggers are rolling up to start work on the Whakatu Arterial Link road, connecting State Highway 2 (SH2) with Pakowhai Rd. It is the largest road project in Hawke’s Bay since the construction of the Napier-Hastings Expressway in 2002. As well as making transport of fresh produce across the district more streamlined, the finished road will take heavy trucks off the residential streets of Whakatu, making them safer for families.
Making sure all homes have water coming out of their taps is the top priority. Hastings District Council has today [January 12] raised water restrictions to level three in Hastings, Flaxmere, Bridge Pa and Havelock North, in the wake of pockets of homes across the district losing supply during peak times. That means a total ban on sprinklers but residents can use hand held hoses to water their gardens every second day, between 6am and 8am, and 7pm and 9pm. “But please use only what you need; if you can get away with half an hour, then stop after that,” said Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule. If there is not significant savings as a result of the level three restrictions, Council will have no choice but to move to level four, which means no outdoor water use at all.
With summer sun baking, river levels low and warm at this time of year, local rivers are fun and generally safe to swim in, but people should be aware of the risks to people and animals from toxic algae, warns Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board. River areas are also popular places to exercise dogs and owners need to be extra cautious in summer. While the specific cause of last week’s dog death at Pākōwhai Regional Park is unclear, it does emphasise the need for dog owners to look out for their four-legged family members.