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A Dutch company with links to IKEA has recently been granted approval to buy land at Porangahau.

Ingka Investments B.V., which is the investment arm of Ingka Group, the largest franchisee of IKEA stores internationally, has been granted consent by the Overseas Investment Office to acquire 609 hectares on Old Hill Road.

The OIO said the applicants plan to establish and maintain approximately 508 hectares of radiata pine.

Some land a and a residential dwelling on Stoneridge Farm will be subdivided and sold.

Part of the remainder of the land – 31.6 hectares - will remain in native bush.

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With some ratepayers facing rates increases of around $400 per year in the next financial year, Central Hawke’s Bay Mayor Alex Walker will hold a Facebook Live session next Monday.

Ms Walker will be joined by other Councillors to explain the recent revaluations and the effect on rates.

The session is between 7pm and 8pm next Monday the 16th.

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There were 256 new COVID-19 cases in Hawke’s Bay yesterday, including 20 in Central Hawke’s Bay.

The new cases took CHB’s number of active cases to 196.

There are currently 14 people in hospital with COVID-19 in the region.

For Tararua District, the total number of active cases sits at 163.