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News in brief, December 15, 2023

MDC votes
no and yes

Masterton District Council [MDC] has decided against a $50,000 investigation into a combined Wairarapa council at their meeting on Wednesday. They have instead chosen to have staff prepare a workshop, scheduled for early January, to discuss the subject. At the same meeting, MDC voted to enter the Government’s Future of Severely Affected Land [Fosal] voluntary buyout programme for properties severely impacted by the North Island weather events in January and February. The Fosal funding arrangement means that the Government and the Council each contribute 50 per cent of the agreed cost of buying out properties after insurance, EQC, and any other payments have been deducted.

Police probes

Police are making enquiries after a small vegetation fire that required Fire and Emergency [Fenz] attendance on Wednesday afternoon. The fire was near the bridge over the Waipoua River in Masterton, where Queen St transitions to Ōpaki Rd. Eyewitnesses reported that police remained on the scene after Fenz had left to make enquiries with people nearby. Enquiries are ongoing regarding a house fire two weekends ago on Fabians Rd, Martinborough. The house was extensively damaged, and police confirmed it would be demolished. “On the night of the fire, there were two occupants at the address, both of whom were able to leave the address safely and did not receive any injuries,” a police spokesperson confirmed. Fenz and police investigators worked to determine how the fire started by recreating the circumstances under which it began. No further information is available. The house fire at Kiriwhakapapa Rd from the night of November 17 or the early hours of November 18 is still under investigation. If you have any information, contact 105 and quote file number 231119/4756.

Christmas lights

Carterton District Council [CDC] and Masterton District Council [MDC] have now released their Christmas Lights maps. CDC’s map is available at cdc.govt.nz/christmas-lights/, and MDC’s map can be found at mstn.govt.nz/community/events/christmas-in-masterton. MDC also advises that residents of 512 East Taratahi Rd are fundraising for an ambulance bay in Masterton; please park and walk to see the lights.

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