Fire restrictions

Rain last week has helped stall projected fire restrictions, Whanganui/Ruapehu/Taranaki deputy principal rural fire officer Gavin Pryce said. The region is likely to have fire restrictions imposed in the next week, with the fire status along the coast being upgraded to a "high" danger rating. "We will continue monitoring the weather and consulting with Manawatu and South Taranaki services," Pryce said.

Farm worker hurt

A seriously injured 25-year-old man was airlifted to Whanganui Hospital last week after being struck by a bull on a Taihape farm. The man, who was working on the farm, was treated by the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter's onboard intensive care paramedic before being flown to Whanganui Hospital.

Farming courses

The Agri-Women's Development Trust is offering free courses for women involved in sheep and beef farming. The "Understanding Your Farming Business" course is three full-time days over four months plus a graduation. Courses begin in Marton on February 4, and Raetihi on February 13. To register go to www.awdt.org.nz/uyfb/. For more information email anna@awdt.org.nz, or call 06 375 8180.

Mosquito Point swing

Whanganui District Council officers expect to provide an update on the future of the Mosquito Point swing at the property and community services committee meeting on February 18. The council removed the swing's rope on January 17 last year, after people using it had several accidents. Its pole was removed by vandals shortly after that.

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Regional hotspot

The central Manawatu-Whanganui region is becoming a hotspot, Niwa says, with soil moisture below what is usual for this time. Hotspots have the potential to develop into drought. The north of the North Island is the driest part of the country.

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