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The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council will collect an extra $1.6 million in rates in the coming financial year.

Councils’ Finance and Instructure Committee Chair, Brent Muggeridge, said Councillors spent time before Christmas intensively reviewing the plan for the coming year, the required capital and renewal investments and the proposed rates impact.

He said original estimates were for the cost of delivery to increase closer to 7.5% above the current year, but this was unacceptable.

Mr Muggeridge said Council managed to get the increase back to 6.8% - matching what was in the original 2021 – 2031 Long Term Plan.

 

Mayor Alex Walker said Council have had to take a deliberate approach to investment in infrastructure, and the impact of this on rates will continue unless a new way of providing funding support is found to small districts like ours.

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There has been a reduction in the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tararua District.

On Tuesday, the MidCentral District Health Board reported 540 active cases, but this number dropped back to 517 as at yesterday.

In Central Hawke’s Bay, the number of active cases grew by 55 yesterday, with a total of 433 active cases.

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The Tararua Health Group will have pick-up points for COVID-19 RATS tests in small towns in the district today.

In Norsewood, the distribution will be at the Community Hall from 10am to midday; and in Ormondville at the Railway Station between 2pm and 4pm.

Rangitāne o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua are also distributing RATs from their Dannevirke office between 10 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 4 PM daily.

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Hawke's Bay Police seized vehicles and other assets worth more than $1 million yesterday.

With the help of the Asset Recovery Unit, a number of search warrants were executed in the Hastings area.

The seized property belonged to a 35-year-old man who was arrested over the Christmas period in possession of a significant quantity of methamphetamine, ecstasy and cannabis intended to be supplied in the Hawke's Bay area.

Detective Sergeant Alex Macdonald said the drugs were worth about $90,000 at street level.

A residential property, cash and a number of vehicles including a Harley Davidson motorcycle, were all seized.

Mr Macdonald said the Asset Recovery Unit is committed to helping protect the Hawke's Bay community from drug harm and criminals.

The arrested man is still before the courts on drug and firearms charges, and is next due to appear in the Hastings District Court on April 1.