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News in brief March 2, 2023

WaiCol’s 100th
still on the cards

Wairarapa College’s centenary is still going ahead on March 10 to 12, despite the difficulties and disruptions caused by Cyclone Gabrielle. Principal Matt White said the impacts on past alumni and the current college community have led the centenary committee to reshape some of the events, including arranging multiple cyclone relief donation opportunities throughout the weekend. The Saturday dinner has been moved to Wairarapa College Hall, combined with the planned 1920s ball, and revamped into a bigger gala. The ticket price has been reduced to encourage a wider audience. “The impact of Cyclone Gabrielle has resulted in a need to not only celebrate our proud history as a community school but also to raise funds for those in our community and alumni who are in need,” White said.

Tararua district road closures

Tararaua District Council [TDC] continues to work to reopen roads closed after Cyclone Gabrielle. As of yesterday, 14 roads were closed. TDC expected the number of closures to fluctuate over the coming days due to forecast rainfall and warned that anyone attempting to drive on closed roads risked the safety of themselves and their passengers, and would further degrade road conditions and hamper response efforts. The district remains included in the National State of Emergency, which was extended by seven days on Monday.

new wheels

Businessman and philanthropist Steven Wong has donated a new first response unit vehicle to St John to serve Eketahuna and its wider community. The Times Online reported that the vehicle, unveiled last week, was chosen for its suitability to handle rural road conditions. In an emergency, it will be able to get to the scene quickly to provide medical care and arrange a transport connection to the nearest hospital. St John patron Richard Blundell noted every second counted in an emergency. “This generous gift from Steven Wong and his family will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the Hato Hone St John organisation and the community they serve.”

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