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News in brief, March 10, 2023

Rain watch
issued

Metservice has issued a heavy rain watch for the Tararua Range, active from 3am until noon today. Periods of heavy rain are predicted, and rainfall may approach warning criteria. West of the ranges, overnight rain is forecast to ease to showers in the morning with long fine breaks developing.

Trouble in
Te Ore Ore

Police responded to reports of a disorder on Te Ore Rd at about 9.50pm on Wednesday. A 50-year-old woman was taken into custody and is due to appear in Masterton District Court on Monday, March 13, on charges of wilful damage and disorderly behaviour.

Council keen
on dark sky

Masterton District Council [MDC] has signalled its preference to join the existing Dark Sky Reserve in Carterton and South Wairarapa. The topic will be out for consultation as part of MDC’s Annual Plan process. The council met last week to discuss the consultation wording. Initially, the wording specified that the council would set aside $20,000 from existing economic development budgets to support the work if the community wanted the initiative to go ahead.

After discussion, it was decided a monetary figure not be included and that the emphasis would be placed on external funding opportunities and volunteer contributions. The alternative option is that MDC does not undertake any work to join the existing Dark Sky Reserve. A dark sky reserve is public or private land where the quality of starry nights and the nocturnal environment are exceptional, and those qualities are specifically protected for cultural, natural, educational, scientific, or public-purposed.

Deputy Mayor Bex Johnson said she supported the initiative but would rather external funding opportunities be explored rather than the council putting aside $20,000. “This is an opportunity that benefits the whole region and that there will be philanthropic entities that would want to support this.” Councillor Brent Goodwin agreed and moved that the monetary figure from council be taken out of the wording. This was seconded by Johnson and passed unanimously by the council. – NZLDR

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