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HDC bee float, 2016
Buzzing: There is an important message that comes with the bee float

While the bee float in the Blossom Parade this month was fun, it did come with a serious message. The “little bees” buzzing around behind the float were handing out information on the importance of bees, particularly honey bees, to our lives. The information included a list of plants people can grow in their home gardens to help feed the bees. While  many people will be aware of the lethal damage the varoa bee mite has caused since it invaded New Zealand in 2000, they may not be aware that lack of food is also a serious problem, according to advocacy organisation Trees for Bees.

Family fit: Caren Wattie with the portrait of her grandad Sir James Wattie and artist Adrian Thornton.
Family fit: Caren Wattie with the portrait of her grandad Sir James Wattie and artist Adrian Thornton.

Caren Wattie clearly remembers her grandad Sir James Wattie; and is rapt that her forebear’s contribution to the region has been recognised in the Hastings Icons series. The portrait of Sir James went up on the curved wall outside the ANZ bank on Heretaunga St this morning (September 28). Ms Wattie was on hand to see the art work applied to the wall and said it was “fantastic” on many levels. “It is amazing to see him recognised so publicly and the whole icons project is marvellous for the vitality of the city.”

The Dolley family trying out the Riverbend Road pathway.
Wheelie fun: The Dolley family trying out the Riverbend Road pathway.

Two of the region's newest cycleways are open and a cycling party is planned to celebrate them. The Tour de iWay on Sunday, October 9, starting at 11am, offers the opportunity to take part in a great community event for all ages, and for people to try out two of the first iWay routes in Napier Up for grabs are some great spot prizes, and cyclists will also have the chance to win a new bike.

Voting packs have been sent to enrolled voters and to make sure you have your say Local Government New Zealand is urging people to post their papers well before polls close. Postal voting for the 2016 local elections runs from Septembe16 with all voting papers returned to the relevant council by midday on October 8. As part of its Vote2016 campaign to lift voter turnout to over 50 per cent for the first time since the 1980s, and to create a civic buzz around the process of voting, LGNZ is urging people to post their papers on Saturday 1 October – or ‘Vote Day’. “Some of the main reasons people give for not voting are they forgot, ran out of time or were too busy,” LGNZ Chief Executive Malcolm Alexander says. 

She’s keen: Petanque player Barbara Lucas is looking forward to lots of time on the terrain come summer.
She’s keen: Petanque player Barbara Lucas is looking forward to lots of time on the terrain come summer.The district’s first public petanque court has been opened; a move that has especially pleased resident Barbara Lucas who convinced Council of the merits of the idea. The petanque terrain was opened next to the Frimley playground, in Frimley Park, last month, with Mrs Lucas throwing down the first boule.

The district’s first public petanque court has been opened; a move that has especially pleased resident Barbara Lucas who convinced Council of the merits of the idea. The petanque terrain was opened next to the Frimley playground, in Frimley Park, last month, with Mrs Lucas throwing down the first boule.

Caption: an artist’s impression of the celestial navigation compass – a key element of the estuary enhancement project in Waitangi Regional Park.
Ready, set, go: The celestial navigation compass – a key element of the estuary enhancement project in Waitangi Regional Park.

The contract has been awarded to build key elements of Waitangi Regional Park’s estuary enhancement. Work is due to start early next month. At Wednesday's meeting (September 21) of the Hawke's Bay Regional Council Tenders Committee, the civil works element of this project - with a total value of $1.1 million - was awarded to Fulton Hogan Ltd. The work will start the week of 3 October and is to be completed by 27 January next year, in time for 2017 Waitangi Day celebrations.