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Water: Restrictions have been eased but please be careful with use.

Water restrictions are being eased today. Excellent conservation efforts by residents and damper weather have taken the pressure off the system – but people are being asked to continue being careful with water. Level three restrictions have been in place for a fortnight. That is being dialled back to level two today, which means people can use sprinklers and automated watering systems between the hours of 6am and 8am and 7pm and 9pm. Pools can also be filled and topped up.

Council's new virtual reality game: Magical Park
Quick: Collect your kittens while staying away from the Bad Fairy. This virtual reality game is in Frimley Park now ready to play.

Cute little kittens are rampaging all over Frimley Park, just waiting for our technology-savvy children to track them down. But while they are finding them, they will need to avoid the Bad Fairy. Magical Park is a virtual reality game aimed at six to 11 year olds (think Pokemon Go for children only better), designed to be used in urban parks. The use of it by councils is being promoted by the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) to encourage greater use of parks and physical activity.

Santa in Havelock North; driven by councillor Kevin Watkins
Ho ho ho: Santa is in town.

The Christmas flags and tinsel are up, the big trees have been erected in Hastings, Flaxmere and Havelock North, Father Christmas is resplendent on the Westerman’s building, and the beautiful steel trees are up in the fountain in the city centre. And all of that means “it’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas” and it is time for Santa to hit the streets of Hastings.

Splash pad; Hastings
Water on: There will be much splashing about from Saturday.

The splash pads in Flaxmere Park and Cornwall Park will be back on from this weekend –7am to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday and then 3pm to 7pm on weekdays. A great effort by residents has seen just over a 20 per cent reduction in water use from the peak use last week. This reduction in water use means that the reservoir water levels are recovering. The situation is not back to normal yet so water restrictions remain in place, however the savings so far mean the community splash pads can be turned back on.

Prize winner Julie Hart, centre, flanked by councillors Adrienne Pierce, left, and Sandra Hazlehurst inside The Eastbourne.
Dinner’s up: Prize winner Julie Hart, centre, is flanked by councillors Adrienne Pierce, left, and Sandra Hazlehurst inside The Eastbourne.

The entertainment space off the Opera House Plaza has a brand new name: The Eastbourne. The winner of a competition to name the space was announced on Friday. Julie Hart, the manager of Hastings Women’s Refuge, was thrilled to win the naming competition. Her prize is a catered dinner for up to 10 people in The Eastbourne. Ms Hart’s entry beat 120 submissions.

Frimley Pool
Underway: Frimley Pool is being filled without impacting the town water supply.

Frimley Pool is in the process of being filled with the help of the Hastings Girls High School, and kids will be able to splash about in it very shortly. Paint work on the pools was finished last week and now water is flowing in. Normally the pools would have been filled from the town supply but given the water use restrictions the neighbouring high school offered to fill the pools from its private bore.