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News in brief, March 18, 2023

Roadside blaze

Two separate South Wairarapa roadside fires had brigades leaping into action this week. Featherston and Carterton brigades responded to stubble burn in Kahutara on Thursday shortly before 5pm, which produced smoke so thick the road was obscured for a time. Featherston Fire Brigade chief officer Colin McKenna said the burn, which had spread from two paddocks, extended 200 metres along the roadside grass strip. “At one stage, you couldn’t see the road, we had to be pretty careful leading traffic through,” McKenna said. He said the fire was under control quickly and posed no further risk. Martinborough Fire Brigade also attended a roadside fire in Ponatahi on Thursday, which appeared to be an escaped rubbish fire.

Free ride for rugby fans

Free travel is on the cards for Wairarapa Hurricanes fans thanks to a newly-signed deal between the Hurricanes and Metlink. The ticketing partnership will enable match ticket holders or Hurricanes members to travel for free this season to home games at Sky Stadium. Showing ticket or membership card proof to train crew and bus drivers on game day is all that is required for a free ride. Greater Wellington Councillor and rugby commentator Ken Laban said he hoped the partnership would help more families get to the stadium. “This partnership is a win for rugby fans and a win for the climate. Catching Metlink trains or buses means fewer cars on the road and fewer transport emissions.”

Ruamahanga resiliency

A river scientist with close to three decades of river research experience is to present a talk next week on the Ruamahanga catchment. Will Conley says flooding is New Zealand’s number one hazard and notes the majority of Wairarapa homes and buildings sit on ground at risk of flooding. He says current river management does not always have the intended effect of minimising flooding and limiting erosion. “Interventions rarely accommodate natural processes. Instead, they try to dictate rivers’ behaviour.” Conley will be presenting at a Science Wairarapa meeting at the Education Centre in Masterton [22 Dixon St] at 7.30pm on Tuesday, March 21. All are welcome. A $5 door charge will apply.

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