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The Tararua District will move to an Open Fire Season from Wednesday April 7th.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Phill Wishnowsky says the area has become greener with cooler temperatures and increased overnight dews, and has reduced the fire danger to the extent Tararua can be moved to an open fire season.

He says while the fire danger has reduced, Fire & Emergency NZ still ask people to be safe and careful around fire.

Central Hawke’s Bay meanwhile remains in a Restricted Fire Season, meaning a permit is required before a fire can be lit in the open air.

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The announcement of a trans-Tasman travel bubble has been welcomed by local travel agent Ellen Lee.

Ellen, who owns Helloworld Waipukurau, said she was thrilled to hear the news that quarantine free travel across the Tasman will re-open on the 19th of April, and that friends and whanau can reunite.

She said there are a lot of rules and regulations for quarantine free travel, and her team are excited to use their knowledge to help clients.

Ellen Lee said the last 12 months have been the hardest, both professionally and mentally.

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There was a small earthquake centered near Waipukurau this morning.

Measuring 2.7, the quake was located 10km south-west of Waipukurau at a depth of 11km.

Geonet reported the quake at 5.28am.