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Central Hawke’s Bay Police are reminding vehicle owners to lock their vehicles and keep valuables in them out of sight.

Constable Hanna Brockbank Smith says there has been a spate of thefts from vehicles over the past week, with places like sports grounds and car parks hot areas for thefts.

Constable Brockbank-Smith is also asking people who notice suspicious activity, especially youths hanging around and looking into a vehicle, to call 111 straight away.

She says Police are getting a lot of word of mouth, and between that time the offenders have been and gone and dispersed the stolen goods.

Anyone who is a victim of a theft is also urged to call 111 immediately so Police can respond and try to locate the offenders.

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A Central Hawke’s Bay Dairy Farm has been fined just over $11,000 for burning prohibited items.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council said its Pollution Response Team was called to a property owned by Plantation Road Dairies last June.

The Council said the rubbish within a pit contained a number of prohibited items such as car parts, metals, plastics, and farm medical waste.

In the Hastings District Court, Judge Melinda Dickey, found the company was highly careless with regard to its oversight of the lighting of the fire, and the types of materials that were placed on it.

Plantation Road Dairies pleaded guilty and was fined $11,200.

Regional Council spokesperson Katrina Brunton said the fine is a timely reminder to the rural community that this way of waste disposal is unacceptable.

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The change from a restricted to open season was made at 8am yesterday.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Trevor Mitchell says while there hasn’t been a lot of rain around Hawke’s Bay, the fire risk has reduced enough to ease fire restrictions, but says people still need to take extra care if they are planning on lighting a fire.

Restrictions remain on public conservation land, and the Bay Forests permitting zone will maintain a restricted fire season status.

Trevor Mitchell also wants to thank those in the Hawke’s Bay who, aware of the fire risks over the last six months, showed caution when planning and lighting fires.

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The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council says one of its big focuses following the fire which destroyed Waipawa’s Four Square on Sunday is support for transport to access groceries.

The Council says there has been lots of offers of support following the devastating fire, which broke out at about 4.30 on Sunday morning.

The Council has been in contact with Waipukurau supermarkets, and expects to announce an 0800 number for phone grocery orders at New World Waipukurau later today.

Council is also working with MSD, local transport providers, and other Waipawa businesses, some of whom will now stock grocery supplies.

Meanwhile Fire & Emergency NZ assistant area commander, Glen Varcoe, has said that bakery employees were in the store at the time of the fire.

And a firefighter who was taken to hospital was discharged on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Varcoe said the mans burns weren’t as serious as first thought, and he has been offered all the support from his local brigade and the community.