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Central Hawke’s Bay Police are investigating damage done to a metal crusher over the recent COVID-19 lockdown period. 

Senior Constable Andy Walker said the crusher has been parked up for quite a while near the Waipawa Golf Course, and has been inactive due to Chilean Needle Grass concerns. 

He said someone – who he suspects may have been younger people – threw stones and smashed all the dials and air cleaners on the machine. 

The fuel cap had also been removed, and gravel put into the fuel tank, and possibly in the oil as well. 

Mr Walker said it will cost the owner thousands of dollars to repair. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact local Police. 

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Strong winds are on the way for local areas over the coming days. 

The Metservice says fast moving fronts and strong westerlies will bring unsettled weather to many areas. 

Today, winds could reach 80km hour in Tararua, and tomorrow, forecasters say there is a high confidence that severe gales will affect exposed parts of the south of Hawkes Bay and Tararua. 

Sunday could see winds reach gale or severe gale. 

Severe gale force winds are also likely in the southern parts of the region and in Tararua again on Monday. 

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Two local school principals say their schools are ready to welcome students back into classrooms today. 

Schools will reopen from today following the move to COVID Alert Level 2 yesterday. 

Waipukurau School Principal, Bex Skerman, says the school is really looking forward to reconnecting with the community. 

She says students have been incredible with their online learning during the lockdown, and it has been awesome to see all of the different things that whānau and teachers have been doing with their tamariki. 

CHB College Principal, Lance Christiansen, says overall, most students engaged in online learning, with the school giving out 64 laptops to assist with this process, as well as many hard packs of material.  

Both Principals say mask wearing is optional for students, but Mr Christiansen says the college will encourage students and staff to wear them.