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Lucknow School children try out HN Village Green
Lucky: Lucknow School children try out the new Village Green playground ahead of next week's opening.

Lucky 7 to 9 year olds from Lucknow School got to try out the new play equipment in the Havelock North Village Green on Wednesday, ahead of the grand opening next week. The consensus was that the water feature was the best part. It meanders through the playground and has a heap of ways to dam and divert water. A very close second was a climbing race game; the first of its kind in the region. The children shimmy up ‘fireman poles’ to ring a bell at the top. First on the bell wins.

Check it out: Baxter (5) and Evie Craner (3) test out the new lights in the Havelock North Village Green. Photo: Simon Cartwright Photography
Check it out: Baxter (5) and Evie Craner (3) test out the new lights in the Havelock North Village Green. Photo: Simon Cartwright Photography

‘Intelligent’ is not the first adjective that springs to mind when talking about lighting systems in public parks – but it should be when those parks are in Hastings. Hawke’s Bay’s community-owned electricity lines company Unison has partnered with Hastings District Council on the major redevelopment of the Havelock North Village Green. That has seen Unison donate and install an “intelligent” LED lighting system that will deliver energy savings of at least 50 per cent due to the benefits LED lighting offers.

Section for sale sign
Progress: Council decisions this week on rezoning.

Enabling more than 200 residential sections to be brought to market in Hastings is on the agenda this week. At the Hastings District Council meeting on Thursday councillors will vote on whether to adopt recommendations supporting rezoning land off Howard St to residential. Depending on final section sizes it should yield about 230 lots. It is one of a number of priority projects underway. Last year storm water issues slowing further development at Lyndhurst in Frimley were solved and Council is now close to enabling another 270 sections to be developed. 

Educating youngsters from across the world is worth $29 million a year to Hawke’s Bay, figures released last week show. A lot of the success the region is having at attracting international students comes down to “selling” the benefits of the Bay to international education agents and journalists specialising in education. Two journalists from Brazil were in town 10 days ago (March 9), at the end of a whistle-stop tour of education facilities in four centres: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hawke’s Bay.

Osmanthus Gardens
Lit up: The annual lighting of the Osmanthus Gardens is in April this year.

In three weeks’ time lantern light will once again cast its beautiful glow across the Osmanthus Gardens, with new lotus lanterns adding to the magic. This year is the eighth anniversary of the festival which celebrates Hastings’ 36-year-old sister city relationship with Guilin, in China. On the first of the five nights, April 5, visitors are being encouraged to dress in Asian costume to add to the atmosphere. The man behind the lighting of the gardens, Hastings District councillor Kevin Watkins, sourced the new lanterns which have a very special meaning.

Galvanised steel ruru atop pou at Whakatu
Watchful: A galvanised steel ruru watches over the people of Kohupatiki.

A ruru (morepork), beautifully hand-crafted from galvanised steel atop a column of weathering steel, now watches over Kohupatiki Marae and the awa of its people, the Ngaruroro Mokotuararo ki Rangatira/Clive River. The pou marks the spot where the pre-European fortified pa Otanenuiarangi stood. “The pou honours the history of where we came from which is inseparable from who we are today.”