Learner driver crashes in Hawke's Bay and six people were taken to hospital


Six people were taken to the Hawke's Bay hospital following an accident on State Highway 2, north of Hastings on Saturday.

The accident occurred at around 1.20am after a learner driver lost control of their vehicle on a moderate bend and crashed into a ditch.

Three passengers were thrown from the car before it rolled a few times and ended up in a paddock.

Some of the people in the over loaded car had not been wearing seatbelts.

Four of the people have since been discharged from hospital and two remain in a stable condition.


The Hawke's Bay Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter crew responded to a group of school children down the Mohaka River


The Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter crew responded to person locator beacon activation                                                                      search by the NZ Rescue Corporation Centre on the Mohaka River, west of Puketitiri.

Read more: The Hawke's Bay Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter crew responded to a group of school children...

Is the Hastings suicide rate a sign of postcode healthcare?


Regional New Zealand continues to suffer from a suicide rate comparatively higher than in cities – the government must take some of the blame for cutting health services, says New Zealand First

“Its investment approach and postcode healthcare system has left regional New Zealand with the barest minimum of mental health services,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“Information from the coroner released to New Zealand First shows that 569 Kiwis committed suicide between June 2014 and May 2015. Forty-seven per cent were recorded as occurring outside the main city centres.

“Of real concern is that the rate of suicide in the regions was substantially higher than the main centres. Gisborne recorded a ratio of one in every 3700 residents committing suicide, and Hastings, one in every 4400 residents. Comparatively, the ratio in Auckland was one suicide for every 8500 Aucklanders.

“These figures are an indictment of the government’s ‘investment approach’ to social services, reflecting the impact of the closure of vital regional mental health services, including Relationship Aotearoa.”

Napier and Hastings Smokefree policy is attracting attention.


The draft smokefree policy put together by Hastings and Napier councils is already attracting attention, with more than 100 people taking a look at the information on the first day.

Take a look yourself and have your say - submissions close on August 3.

CLICK HERE for Draft Policy

CLICK HERE for a submission form

Results taken from the 2013 Hawke's Bay Smokefree Health Survey 

The survey findings found that the following areas should be smokefree:

  • Children’s playgrounds (96.9%)
  • Near the entrance of public buildings (80.3%)
  • Outdoor eating places at restaurants or cafes (79.8%)
  • Near bus stops and train stations (76.3%)
  • Parks and sports fields (73.9%)
  • Outdoor music or sporting events (70.8%)
  • Less support was shown for beaches (45.6%)
  • and outdoor public places in pubs (53.3%).

Should the following areas be smokefree?

                                                                         Yes        No          Don't know
Children's playgrounds                                     96.9%   2.5%       0.6%
Near the entrance of public buildings               80.3%   17.5%      2.2%
Outdoor eating places at restaurants or cafes 79.8%   15.1%      5.1%
Bus stops and train stations                             76.3%   19.1%      4.6%
Parks and sports fields                                     73.9%   18.6%      7.5%
Outdoor music or sporting events                    70.8%   21.6%      7.5%
Footpaths outside your local block of shops    68.4%   26.7%       4.9%
Public outdoor areas in town centres               66.5%   26.9%       6.6%
Outdoor places in pubs                                    53.3%   40.3%       6.4%
Beaches                                                           45.6%   43.1%     11.2%

CLICK HERE for the full survey by the Hawke's Bay Health Board along with the Napier City Council and Hastings District Council.

Opinions sought in Hawke's Bay for banning smoking in public places.


Whether bus shelters, parks, playgrounds and sports fields should be smoke free is a question being put to Napier and Hastings residents from this week.

This month, residents of both areas have the chance to let councils know if they support a voluntary ban on smoking in public places like parks and bus stops, or not.

The ban would be non-enforceable, with signs designed to positively encourage smokers to "enjoy the fresh air and refrain from smoking", said Napier City Councillor Michelle Pyke.

The two councils had worked together on the proposal, which aligned with central Government’s plan for New Zealand to be smokefree by 2025.

"This isn’t about trying to make people quit, although health agencies are happy to help if anyone does; the policy is about providing some more smoke free public places for all people to enjoy," said said Hastings District councillor Cynthia Bowers

The combined Hastings District Council and Napier City Council draft smokefree policy is on both councils’ websites, with the councils wanting to know what people think, for and against.

The things people are being asked to think about include whether smokers should be asked to refrain from smoking in playgrounds, parks and sports grounds, entrances to council-owned building and facilities, and bus shelters.

Also up for discussion is whether people running events with the support of council funds should be required to display smokefree messages at those events. Or, should the status quo remain?

Ms Pyke said submitters need not be limited by what was set out in the draft policy. "The draft policy has what council thinks is good to include, but you can say whatever you think should or should not be included." Submitters can read the policy and get their point of view across on-line in Napier, www.napier.govt.nz #talktous; or Hastings, www.myvoicemychoice.co.nz. Copies of the submission form and draft policy are also available from either council’s reception areas or libraries. Submissions are open until 5.00pm on Monday 3 August 2015.

Dangerous toxin levels continue to restrict shellfish gathering in Hawke's Bay


Shellfish along the coastline, between Whareongaonga (approximately 22km north of Mahia) and Mohaka River, should not be eaten due to dangerous levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin.

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) warning, initially issued on May 26, remains in place as sampling by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) shows that shellfish are still holding onto the PSP toxin at levels which could cause serious illness. Further samples will be collected this week if sea conditions are safe enough to do so.

In the meantime:

Kina, mussels, toheroa, pipis, tuatua, oysters and cockles in the affected area should not be eaten;

Paua, crab, and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process;

Cooking affected shellfish does not remove the toxin;

Fish such as snapper, gurnard, and tarakihi are not affected by the algae and are still safe to eat.

Anyone eating toxic shellfish in closed areas could be at risk of serious illness. Symptoms of PSP can occur within 12 hours of eating affected seafood and can include:

Numbness and a tingling (prickly feeling) around the mouth, face and extremities first.

Difficulty swallowing, or breathing.

Headache, dizziness and double vision.

Severe cases may suffer respiratory arrest resulting in death if medical treatment is not immediately available.

If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from any area they should contact a doctor immediately and also advise HBDHB’s Public Health Unit on (06) 878 1329. The unit has sent information to doctors, community groups and other authorities in the region.

Warning signs in the extended closure area have been erected at main shellfish collection and boat launching sites.

Anyone wanting further information can phone the HBDHB’s Toxic Shellfish Information Line on (06) 878 1329. There is a pre-recorded message giving the latest sampling results, the status of the closure, and a facility for people to leave their contact details and a message if required.

Information on the closure will be posted and updated on the HBDHB websitewww.healthinhawkesbay.co.nz in the Public Health Unit area of the site.

Elderly man recovers in Wairoa Hospital and wife vows to carry on tramping.


Despite spending a night in freezing conditions near the summit of Mount Manuoha,  Joy Senior said the experience would not deter her from future tramps.

Mrs Senior, who is a nurse, was forced to call for help after her 70 year old husband Richard began suffering from hypothermia.

The call was received at 7.23pm on Friday and a rescue attempt was initiated but two helicopter flights had to be aborted due to the conditions.

Mrs Senior and her husband Richard were forced to bed down in the snow with nothing but their sleeping bags for protection.

Four trampers who had been at Manuoha Hut met the couple in the morning and offered them dry sleeping bags before the rescue helicopter crew arrived.

Mr Senior is now recovering in Wairoa Hospital after he was admitted with severe hypothermia.


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