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The regions health officials are asking locals to Choose Well for health care over the Christmas and New Year period, and to be COVID responsible as more people travel around the country.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre said with more visitors in the region it was important people were familiar with the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

She said there are three key things to remember at every colour setting of the Framework - Mask, Scan, and Vaccine Pass.

Dr Eyre said people who were unwell or had been exposed to a COVID-19 case needed to stay at home and not travel or take part in events or activities.

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With hot temperatures forecast again today, the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is asking motorists to drive safely and reduce speeds if they come across hot bitumen on local roads.

Yesterday Council had reports that hot bitumen was causing some roads to feel sticky, including Pourerere Road and Bridge Street in Ongaonga.

The Council said this is a common occurrence across the roading network during the summer months, that is caused by the heat paired with continuous traffic.

Drivers that come across hot bitumen are asked to contact the Council.

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The MidCentral DHB has welcomed the news that 90 percent of eligible Māori within its region have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Data from the Ministry of Health released last Thursday showed more than 20,709 Māori have had their first dose, with 18,698, or 77 percent, fully vaccinated.

MidCentral DHB spokesperson Adele Small said reaching the 90 percent first dose is a significant achievement for the region and a testament to the partnership with Iwi and Māori providers.

She said vaccination rates have been achieved through a community-led approach, with the DHB’s partnership with Iwi and Māori providers instrumental to the vaccination uptake.

Mrs Small said with the opening of the Auckland borders and increase in regional travel for the holidays, there is still plenty more work to do.

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The winners of the 2021 Christmas Shop Window competition in Central Hawke’s Bay have been named.

The major sponsor was New World Waipukurau.

1st place was The Magnolia Collection Waipawa, who win a $300 New World voucher.

2nd place was Gifts Excetera Waipukurau, who win a $200 New World voucher.

The People’s Choice was Osaka Sushi House Waipukurau, who will receive a $100 New World voucher.