The flu season is nigh

Flu rates are starting to rise, particularly in the Bay of Plenty, Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay.

The flu season is under way and the public has been warned it could be nasty.

Big freeze on way

Rimutaka Hill road was closed to snow on July 22, 2014 - and a repeat is likely this week.

North Island faces bitterly cold week, with temperatures close to zero and snow in places.

Backyards trashed by fleeing car

A worker repairs a fence smashed by a man fleeing police in Masterton on Thursday afternoon.

One man arrested and another being hunted after car chase smashes fences, gardens and lawns.

Farmer welcomes river access

Ali Gordon, Mia Gordon, Alistair Gibb and daughter Emma on a pony trek on the track across farmland to a scenic section of the Ruamahanga River near Gladstone.

Alistair Gibb says he would like to see better public access across farmland - and he is showing the lead.

Quake felt across Manawatu

The 4.1 magnitude quake struck at 5.09 am, 20 kilometres north-east of Pongaroa, at a depth of 54km.

An earthquake in the Tararua district has been felt widely across the Manawatu region.

Her fatal first motorbike ride

Natalia Austin, known as Talia, who was killed in a motorbike accident on Sunday, had a big heart and a talent for writing, her family say.

It was Talia Austin's first time on a motorbike. It was also her last.

Outrage at body move 'betrayal'

Norman John Harris killed Cheyenne Ihaka, 16, in a car crash, then moved his body to divert the blame.

Even the judge is unhappy with the punishment for a teen who moved his friend's body into the driver's seat of a car to take the blame for a crash.

Clue to suspects in hut trashing

Cone Hut was originally built by Tararua Tramping Club in 1946, using local totara timbers, adzed into framing and split into slab walls.  It was rebuilt in the 1980s.

Club considers closing trashed hut, as clues about vandals come to light.

Dairy factory state-of-the-art gallery

Project Engineer Graeme Walker in the new storage and distribution centre, which is the equivalent size of three rugby fields.

Fonterra's $235 million redevelopment of it is Pahiatua dairy factory is a celebration of the industry's technological innovation.

Sports bar robbed at gunpoint

Police are looking for this heavily built man, described as Maori and about 182cm tall, after an armed robbery at a Masterton sports bar.

Nervousness in Wairarapa after third armed robbery in two months

Vineyard's $300,000 gamble

Uprooted vines at Murdoch James Estate on Friday, where workers were halfway through ripping out 25,000 healthy vines to make room for a more profitable variety.

Wairarapa winemaker takes a big punt on pinot noir's soaring popularity.

Axeman robs petrol station

This man entered the Mobil station in Carterton last night brandishing an axe and demanding money.

Axe-wielding man confronts lone worker at late-night service station.

Court over tent sex assault on teen

Castlepoint on the Wairarapa coast near Masterton is a popular holiday spot.

Man allegedly crept into tent to sexually assault young teen at popular beach.

More charges over 'defrauding disabled'

A former budget service worker, who has admitted stealing from former clients, has appeared again in Masterton District Court.

Budget service worker allegedly stole cheques entrusted to her by disabled clients.

$92,000 rusty sign put on hold

The welcoming poles, or pou, erected this year at the northern and southern entrances to Masterton, have been widely criticised for being difficult to see from the road, and costing too much.

Masterton's welcome signs labelled an "absolute disaster" as council pauses project.

NZ developer creates hit racing game

Swing Racers is like playing with Micro Machines in a pinball machine.

Where to develop a racing game in that's top-rated in 120 countries? Yep, Carterton.

Charges over gang clash

Police investigators search the area outside the Masterton house where a woman is reported to have been struck by a car.

Five face charges after woman loses leg in Masterton street confrontation.

Netballers reach for stars

Action at Masterton's Colombo Rd netball complex, which the sport's administrators in Wairarapa hope will soon be replaced with an international-standard, multisport indoor centre.

Ex-Hurricanes prop's eye-catching proposal for new Masterton multisport stadium.

Arrest over new year sex attack

Castlepoint, Wairarapa, a popular holiday destination where a young teen was assaulted last new year's eve.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested over indecent assault at Castlepoint.

Puffer ban 'for sake of parents'

Masterton's Makoura College students Jinaya Blundell and Dylan Connor, both 13, have different opinions on whether puffer jackets are worth all the fuss. But both agreed they tended be pricey.

School principal says a ban on puffer jackets is for the sake of long-suffering parents.

Wairarapa DHB faces deficit

Wairarapa Hospital in Masterton, part of the district health board services currently overseen by a chief executive who the region shares with the Hutt Valley.

Despite a controversial merger designed to save money, board faces a big deficit.

New aviary at Pukaha takes flight

A new state-of-the-art walk through aviary at Pukaha Mount Bruce will allow visitors to get even closer to native bird life and flora and fauna.

A $500,000 Lotteries grant means a new aviary for Mt Bruce could be built within a year.

Rogue wave sweeps baby away

This photo was taken minutes before a half-metre "rogue" wave suddenly swept a Wellington group off their feet on Sunday morning at Riversdale Beach, Wairarapa. From left, Christine Nicholls, with Zoe (18 months), Joshua Linwood (3), Noah Macadam (5), Josh Nicholls (33) and Ollie Zajko (4).

A panicked father had to race after a toddler floating away in his puffer jacket as a rogue wave bowled over beachgoers.

South coast waves to ease video

Large waves crashing over the break water near Wellington Airport.

Waves that slammed into Wellington's south coast on Sunday are expected to ease on Monday.

Engineers: Slide warnings ignored

A policeman and colleague inspect the slide which partially collapsed at the Masterton A&P Show, sending children tumbling to the ground. Six were hospitalised.

The father of a girl injured in a slide accident is shocked Government didn't heed warnings.

Fran Wilde rolled over new council plan

Fran Wilde, Greater Wellington Regional Council chairwoman.

Greater Wellington chairwoman has been rolled in a political coup, as the super-city fallout continues.

Rapist and kidnapper's appeals fail

Rapist Michael Lihou in the High Court at Wellington in 2013.

A man jailed for abducting, raping and assaulting an 18-year-old woman has lost appeals against his convictions and sentence.

Axing pleases mayors

South Wairarapa Mayor Adrienne Staples, left, and Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson celebrate after the Local Government Commission's super-city proposal was thrown out.

Super-city was never going to fly in rural region, delighted Wairarapa mayors say.

Dam sites shortlisted

The Mangatarere River, west of Carterton.

Relief mixed with criticism from landowners and environmentalists as dam scheme progresses.

Man denies sex charges

A man who denied sex charges involving minors has appeared again in Masterton District Court.

Henry Phillip Jacobs, of Masterton, denies making intimate recordings and sexually exploiting minors.

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