Hawke’s Bay news in brief: Short film mural gifted to Hastings, installed in Albert Square

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, Rachael Stone, Glen Colechin and HDC CEO Nigel Bickle with an art installation in the centre of Hastings for short film OPIA. Photo / Luca Broome Photography

Short film mural gifted to Hastings, installed in Albert Square

An enormous and eye-catching piece of artwork made for a local short film took its place in the centre of Hastings on Sunday.

The three-panel mural given to the city was painted by Hawke’s Bay artists Glen Colechin and Rachael Stone during the filming of short film OPIA last August.

Created by emerging Hastings-based screenwriter Cosmo Calman and crewed entirely by local screen industry professionals, OPIA is a short film about an unconventional love story which blossoms against a backdrop of street culture and graffiti art.


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The artwork depicts the two lead characters, Mantra and The Stranger, played by Maia Bassett, an award-winning dancer and tutor at Hastings’ Rezpect Academy and Noah Kaio, last year’s head boy at St John’s College.

Hastings District Council CEO Nigel Bickle and Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said they were excited to support the development of the local screen industry and the Eastern Screen Alliance (ESA).

The film was shot across Hastings and supported financially and with materials by locals and businesses.

ESA deputy chair and creative director of Dream Big Daniel Betty joked they couldn’t have made a more local film if they tried.


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“What’s incredibly important here, (and OPIA is just the start), is that we’re proving Hawke’s Bay has the breadth of talent required to bring our local stories to both national attention and to the world,” Betty said.

“And local businesses have an important part to play by supporting these projects, because when they’re visible to a national and global audience they capture the attention of new investors, and producers and serve to bring valuable work into our region.”

Man in a serious condition after crash near Ōtāne

A man in his 70s is stable after a crash in Central Hawke’s Bay which left him in a serious condition on Sunday evening.

A police spokesman said police responded to a single-vehicle crash at the intersection of College Rd and State Highway 2, Otane, at 6pm on Sunday.

A St John spokesperson said ambulance officers treated and took one person in a serious condition to Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

A Te Whatu Ora Hawke’s Bay spokeswoman said a male in his 70s was stable in hospital as of Monday morning.

Firefighters tackle large vegetation fires across Hawke’s Bay

Wildfire season has kicked off as firefighters brought multiple large vegetation fires across the region under control late Sunday.

Firefighters raised the second alarm of their five alarm levels in response to a large shelter belt fire in a gully near Ashley Clinton in Central Hawke’s Bay about 4.50pm on Sunday according to a Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokeswoman.


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The spokeswoman said three pump appliances, two rural pump appliances, three tankers, two rural tankers and a couple of four-wheel drive appliances responded to the blaze. Firefighters contained in about two and a half hours and left it to smoulder overnight before returning Monday morning.

She said while the exact size of the fire was not recorded, it began at about 200 metres long and was likely “quite large”.

The spokeswoman said a second fire involving tree stumps on fire about 5.30pm in Mangaorapa was brought under control by firefighters, who responded with three pump appliances and one tanker, in about two and a half hours.

She said no specialist fire investigator had been requested for either fire.

A 100-metre by 15-metre vegetation fire in Kereru, Hastings district, was reported about 10.30pm and was brought under control by firefighters in three and a half hours before being left in the hands of the property owner.

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