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Wainuiomata W W W. W S N . C O . N Z


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Wednesday January 17, 2018

Today 17-23

Thursday 18-22

Friday 18-23

Saturday 18-24

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Another huge effort

By Dan Whitfield

Wainuiomata Volunteer Fire Brigade had a big year, attending 261 callouts in 2017. Although there were 64 callouts to fires of different degrees around the community, motor vehicle incidents required the

most attention with 33 callouts. The local firefighters responded to 21 medical callouts, 34 alarm activations, 14 calls to assist other emergency services, and 16 that involved natural disasters such as flooding and wind. Continued on page 2.

Wainuiomata Volunteer Fire Brigade helping on callout number 252 on December 27. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

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Wednesday January 17, 2018

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More than 200 callouts for fire brigade Continued from page 1. Wainuiomata also provided operational support assistance to its Lower Hutt counterparts 13 times throughout 2017. There were 14 callouts to investigate smoke; nine to do with a brazier, hangi, or barbecue; three gas leaks; six downed power lines and 34 other callouts also required attention. Peter Thompson, senior station officer at Wainuiomata Volunteer Fire Brigade, says callouts were down from 295 in 2016,

and that a massive thank you goes out to all volunteers and their families for the endless commitment and support. “For the last three years, we have been around the 290 mark which is a reasonable number for a volunteer brigade. We didn’t have any really bad storms in 2017 except for middle of July when we had some flooding,” Peter says. “[There was] nothing too out of the ordinary, [apart from] one major house fire in Sunny

Grove and a fire at Ocean Star Takeaways that put them out of action for a couple of months. The motor vehicle crashes on the hill continue to be a concern but are about the same as 2016,” he says. Last year also saw the Wainuiomata Volunteer Fire Brigade transition from being part of the New Zealand Fire Service to Fire and Emergency New Zealand. “It will still take a bit of time for us and the public to get used

to the new name. During 2018, the signage on the station and vehicles will probably change to the new branding as will the Bushforce Depot and vehicles.” Peter says it was a year well done as everyone is continually out in the community at events and installing smoke alarms. “We are maintaining our membership numbers, even though we gain a few and lose a few. However, we are always looking for people that are available during the working day.”


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Pest control boost for kiwis Remutaka Forest Park has been swarming with more volunteers the past year and they’ve installed a massive new network of next-generation traps to tackle stoats and rats which prey upon brown kiwi and other native birds. More than 50 volunteers from Rimutaka Forest Park Trust, Moa Conservation Trust, and local tramping clubs invested over 1600 hours in the epic task, battling bad weather and steep climbs to make way for the new traps. Department of Conservation funded the 1000 new self-resetting traps, in effect doubling the number of traps in Remutaka Forest Park. The park, near Wainuiomata, is home to North Island brown kiwi. DOC conservation ranger Angus Hulme-Moir says it was a massive volunteer effort. “There was a fair bit of sweating and swearing but also a great sense of fun and purpose. “Having so many people pitching in was fantastic and

shows how much support there is in the community to restore the birdsong to this popular park,” Angus says. In a co-ordinated approach, the park received its first ever application of 1080 to control possums in July 2017, as part of OSPRI’s TB-free programme. Although possums were the primary target, there is a secondary impact on rats and stoats. The trap technology installed includes auto-lure dispensers meaning the traps only need one check every six months, considerably reducing the ongoing volunteer commitment. With regular bird monitoring at 75 sites in the park, Rimutaka Forest Park Trust will be measuring the relative abundance of kiwi and other bird species such as tomtits, bellbirds and riflemen. Chairman Geoff Cameron says the trap network will benefit the whole ecosystem. “It’s an investment in the future of the park and we are grateful for the investment of all our partners,” Geoff says.

Remutaka Forest Park, near Wainuiomata, is home to North Island brown kiwi. Here a volunteer holds a kiwi that was set to be released. PHOTO: WAINUIOMATA NEWS FILE

Wednesday January 17, 2018

Oliver and Charlotte top baby names in 2017 The top baby names of 2017 have been released, with Charlotte and Oliver topping the list. Oliver has remained the most popular boys name for the fifth year running, with Charlotte made a return as the most popular girls name for 2017. Each year, the Department of Internal Affairs releases a list of the most popular baby names

for boys and girls registered in New Zealand. Charlotte has been one of the dominant girls’ names of recent years, also topping the list in 2006, 2013 and 2014. Last year’s top girls’ name was Olivia, now bumped to number 4. Olivia also topped the list in 2012 and 2015. Registering your baby is free

and compulsory, and it’s an important step for all parents. Registration gives children their legal identity and the rights, responsibilities and access to support services associated with being a New Zealander. New parents can do this through the Department of Internal Affairs and SmartStart. 2017 TOP 10 GIRLS’

NAMES: 1. Charlotte 2. Harper 3. Isla 4. Olivia 5. Ava 6. Amelia 7. Mia 8. Mila 9. Sophie 10. Emily 2017 TOP 10 BOYS’ NAMES 1. Oliver 2. Jack 3. Noah 4. William 5. Hunter 6. James 7. George 8. Mason 9. Lucas 10. Arlo

Nothing but love for the Hutt River By Dan Whitfield

A group of volunteers who love the Hutt River have been helping to care for it over summer. Citizen scientist Beth Reille is one of a small group of citizen scientists who waded into the river to look at rocks, measure water temperature and visual clarity, collect a water sample for E. coli testing and count the amount of rubbish. At the beginning of summer, supported by Greater Wellington Regional Council, NIWA’s Dr Amanda Valois showed the group how to take the measurements, helping them set up the equipment and encouraging them as they grappled with unfamiliar equipment. Amanda has a particular interest in citizen science and wants to support people to determine if waterways are healthy enough to swim in. Over the past few months defining “swimmability” has proved difficult but Amanda is determined to make it easier to understand. “Scientists measure bacteria or periphyton to determine swimmability. But when I go swimming I look at how much rubbish is around, whether the water is dirty or brown or the

Wainuiomata Volunteer Fire Brigade helping out on December 27. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

flow is low. For me a swimmable river is clear and fast flowing. For others there may be different values,” Amanda says. The Hutt River citizen scientists collect their data alongside a regional council environmental monitoring officer who makes separate recordings. The two sets of information will be compared at the end of summer. Amanda, a NIWA freshwater ecologist, regards the group of citizen scientists as being at the front line of assessing the health

of the river. “The local community is always the first to figure out when something is going wrong with their waterway and I think it’s our obligation as scientists to take them seriously,” she says. NIWA is confident the volunteers can collect reliable data that will enable them to independently assess the suitability of rivers for contact recreation – and because regional councils can’t monitor every waterway, it is hoped this project will empower other groups to follow

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suit. Managing fresh water for recreational use is now mandatory. The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management was amended in August this year to include a target that 90 per cent of New Zealand’s rivers are swimmable by 2040. Pat is hopeful generations long beyond that will be swimming in the Hutt River. If you are interested in joining a citizen science group, go to or get in touch with council.

inbrief news Wainuiomata Tennis Club’s 70th Jubilee Wainuiomata Tennis Club is celebrating its 70th Jubilee with a luncheon on Sunday, February 18. All past and present members are warmly invited to attend the event that is set to be a highlight on the club’s calendar. To register or for more information, phone Joyce Lockyer on 04 564 8135. Otherwise, go to the club’s website:

Search continues for fresh water With the New Year, the harbour bores project has resumed its drilling programme with the barge and drilling rig Tuhora heading back out. Drilling is expected to continue for up to 30 days, weather dependent, at a new location near Somes Island. This site also allows us to triangulate results using data on water from the land-based bore on Somes which also draws on the Waiwhetu aquifer. The barge and drilling rig has had modifications to the leg bases to ensure stability in the softer sea bed conditions.

Department on the move After 32 years at Lambton Quay, the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is relocating. Over 1000 staff from six separate Wellington locations will begin the move in January 2018 to St Paul’s building at 45 Pipitea Street.  The relocation will not disrupt the DIA’s core frontline services.  The project is forecasted to come in under budget, with the total budget set at $30.1 million.  Staff are expected to have completed relocation by the end of January 2018. DIA services include passports, citizenship, and births, deaths and marriages.



Wednesday January 17, 2018

inbrief news Gardens Magic starts Wellington’s favourite free concert series Gardens Magic started on Tuesday, January 9 and once again some of Aotearoa’s best and brightest talent will be showcased on the Botanic Garden Soundshell stage. Set in beautiful surrounds, the 18 nights of events are perfectly designed so that people bring along a picnic, friends and family, and enjoy this highlight on the summer calendar. Acts range from the Tarantinoinspired sounds of Vincent Vega & The Hateful Eight, up-and-coming indie rockers Retrospect, CountryCeltic legends Hobnail, and Māori jazz reggae from RANEA. Visit  for more information on these events.

Much-needed service to continue By Dan Whitfield

Carey Buck believes the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Wainuiomata is a service that needs to continue. The national organisation, dedicated to helping out communities, opened its doors in March 2017 through an extension of the Petone branch. As co-ordinator, Carey says the service was well received and that over the past year she has seen a growth in the

number of people using the services provided. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau provides free and confidential advice and information on services such as consumer issues, housing issues and neighbourhood problems. “Wainuiomata can be an isolated community. There are some people that can’t get over the hill for a number of reasons. Being based in Wainuiomata means we can help and offer support to those people,” Carey

says. Before the Citizen’s Advice Bureau opened there was a huge need for its services, despite there being other organisations in Wainuiomata offering help with similar issues. Some of the big issues Carey and her team help locals with are tenancy and employment issues. Carey has built up really good relationships with clients and the other services in Wainuiomata – and everyone is work-

HUHA Paws in the Park begins HUHA Paws in the Park is a fantastic series of free group dog walks running throughout summer in Upper Hutt, Hutt City, Wellington, Porirua, and Kapiti Coast. Events will be run on a number of Sundays between January 14 and March 11, 2018. All events start at 10am and the length of the walk will vary depending on location. Great for dog and nature lovers alike, HUHA Paws in the Park  is designed to showcase the many great dog-friendly open spaces located across the region.

Find the Red Poppy streets The Poppy Places Trust is asking for support from Wainuiomata residents. This is part of a nationwide project being run by the national trust. In almost every town in New Zealand there is a street named after a brave soldier or a famous military event, but many have been forgotten. The trust wants to make sure that streets are properly identified for future generations with a red poppy on the signpost. The Wainuiomata News has been asked to bring this to your attention. If you know of any Wainuiomata street that fits this category, you can ring Project Manager Jo Bolton, on 027-526 7599, or Chris Turver, RSA   027-230 1601.

Carey Buck has big plans for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Wainuiomata. PHOTO: Dan Whitfield

ing together to help everyone. At this stage the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Wainuiomata is only open 9am and 12pm every Monday. However, Carey wants that to change this year. “I want to grow it to a service that is available three days a week but for this to happen we need local volunteers.” Carey believes it would only take around 10 volunteers, each working one shift of a few hours a week, for the service to operate on other days. Carey has been part of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for two years, and says it is a great way to helping people and is a learning opportunity. The local branch is located at the Wainuiomata Community Hub, while the Petone branch is located in Britannia Street, Petone. If you’re a good listener, willing to learn and like the idea of helping people find information they need, then you are a potential Citizen’s Advice Bureau volunteer. Full training is provided and volunteers are given the tools and ongoing support necessary to provide a great service.  For more information, go to or phone Carey Buck on 04 568 8877.

Police seek assistance following hit and run A man has been arrested in relation to a family harm incident which occurred on Major Drive, Kelson on Monday, January 8. The 30-year-old local man was arrested on Wednesday night and was set to appear in the Lower Hutt District Court on Thursday facing various charges in relation to the incident. Police were called to the

Monday incident between a man and a woman, which occurred outside the shopping area. A member of the public saw the man assaulting the woman and intervened to help her. He confronted the man about his behaviour and tried to prevent him from leaving. The offender then got into his vehicle, a silver Mazda 6, and accelerated directly at the

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member of the public. He was knocked off his feet and dragged a short distance up the road. “The good samaritan suffered head injuries and is now recovering at home. He was lucky to not have received critical injuries,” says Detective Sergeant Lee Underhill. “The incident caused the road in Kelson to be blocked for a short period of time and we

would like to hear from anyone who saw what happened. “The victim’s actions and intentions were admirable and show that our community is full of people who will not stand by and watch this type of violent behaviour,” Lee says. “However, we encourage witnesses to this kind of behaviour to call 111 and ask for police in the first instance, so as not to put their own safety at risk.”

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Wednesday January 17, 2018


Massive project to build sign When the quest for a new Wainuiomata Welcome sign began in late 2015, organisers had no idea what a huge project they had undertaken. The first step was a competition, organised by Harcourts Wainuiomata with locals submitting designs and then voting. Local artist Tamariki Ferguson won with a design including two impressive four-metre-high carved pou. The sheer scale of that design has proved to be a massive challenge, says Esther King of Love Wainuiomata, “but the organising team has been determined that we will be doing it right rather than doing it fast”.

A key factor in the time taken had been the search for suitable totara. “It must be of sufficient scale and quality to meet engineering and carving needs, which means large enough to bear a big structural load and withstand the wind on the hill.” The sign will replace the earlier one, which will soon be removed when the 4m-wide shared pathway is installed. After a comprehensive search, and following advice from engineers and carvers, they have not found any totara logs that meet requirements. “Keeping as close as possible to the original design has been paramount

though, so the collective decision was made to fabricate the pou out of fibreglass,” Esther said. The first step however, is the carving of a log to be done by Tamaraki, Rikki Porter-Samuels and Arapeta Kamo. The welcome sign’s two pou will then be cast from it in fibreglass. “This will give the same look for the pou, and the added bonus is that the carved 4m

original will also be publicly displayed in Wainuiomata as a freestanding pou. The team working on the project includes Tamariki, representatives of mana whenua, Wainuiomata Marae and Love Wainuiomata. “Additional support and funding has also come from Hutt City Council, which has been crucial as this is a substantial project” says Esther.

Comedian looks for laughs and to be an inspiration

From left: Rikki Porter-Samuels carver, Linda Olsen manager Wainuiomata Marae, who has been actively involved from the start, Armani Govenor, Linda’s Mokopuna and Tamariki Ferguson, designer and carver. The team is standing where the sign will go on Wainuiomata Hill. PHOTO: Supplied

Joe Daymond talking with New Zealand comedian Guy Williams. PHOTO: SUPPLIED By Dan Whitfield

A 22-year-old from Wainuiomata is getting a few laughs out of his latest venture with podcasts. Joe Daymond, a stand-up comedian now based in Auckland, has been producing comedy podcasts for the last two months and has featured a number of nationally recognised New Zealanders including Art Green, Max Key and Jay Reeve. His goal now is to get more of the younger generation in Wellington listening along and to inspire them with what he’s been able to achieve. Joe says the main reason he got into stand-up comedy was because he was told he should give it a go, but never bothered. “I was kind of at a point in my life where I didn’t really know what I was actually passionate about so I decided to give it a go since I had nothing to lose. “Looking back six months later it was the best decision of my life. I have already had a number of professional gigs, so I really did take to it naturally,” Joe says. The idea behind the podcasts - called SHXT TALK - is long form, unfiltered conversations that involve a lot of banter alongside a unique insight into the lives of some recognisable people from around the country. “The podcast basically came from the fact that I always thought it’d be cool to have a show where you’re seeing people you recognise from the internet

or television in an environment where it’s really relaxed and completely unfiltered, as if they’re just talking back and forth with their mate,” Joe says. “You’re used to seeing the really toned down, propped up stuff on TV and radio and I really wanted to embrace that whole ‘Graham Norton vibe’ where he’s really good at getting his guests to let loose and share stories.” Joes says there really isn’t anything like that in New Zealand. “My comedy is definitely for older audiences but I want to be an example for other kids in the Hutt and Wainui to realise that there is a world of opportunity that you can create for yourself.” Joe says he was someone who had travelled and been outside New Zealand. Even I thought that you had to go to university to get to a good job or could only make a lot of money if you were really good at rugby. It just isn’t the case.” “I want to show all the young kids in the valley and in the country that you can find something you’re good at and actually work towards making a career out of it. “I’ve always been great at talking absolute rubbish, and this is me trying to make a living out of it, and so far it’s working out well. Step out of your comfort zone because that’s the only way you’ll find what you like if you don’t already know,” he says. If people want to watch the podcasts, search ‘SHXT TALK with Joe Daymond’ on YouTube or iTunes.


Jim’s Mowing would like to welcome Russell Guy to the Local Jim's Mowing team. Russell has joined Jock to service the Wainuiomata Valley with the support of plenty more Jim’s just over the hill in the Hutt. You might remember Jock starting back in May last year. However the call for Jim’s services has been so great that we now welcome Russell to set up alongside Jock. While focusing on the northern end, around the Arakura part of the Valley where he lives, Russell is of course also servicing the rest of the Wainui valley as required. With a past background in banking and customer service roles, Russell is looking forward to bringing these skills, as well as his Jim’s training, to play in his new Jim’s business. Like the rest of the Jim's team, Russell is trained in looking after more than just lawns. At Jim’s we take pride in servicing all aspects of grounds maintenance including pruning, gardening, minor tree work, fertilising or spraying as well as property tidy ups and gutter clearing. There’s not much around the

property that Jim’s Mowing can’t cover for you. Our 3.5M trailers are half the size of a skip bin so if you have done all the clearing and have no way to remove the rubbish then this is just another way that Jim’s Mowing can help. Green waste or a garage clean-out, we can help you get rid of it. If it's regular mowing that you're looking for, Russell will take all the worry out of your property’s ongoing regular maintenance by keeping a schedule of the work required and adjusting it seasonally to ensure reliable and regular service that will see the lawns only cut when needed and that your property is always kept looking good. To avoid missing out, and before the autumn growth kicks in, call 0800 454 654 now and have Russell or one of the other members of the Jim’s Mowing professional team come and look at the work you need done around your property.


Wednesday January 17, 2018

readers have their say... Find out the WORD on the Street. Question: What do you wish for Wainuiomata in 2018?

Nola Garrod, Wainuiomata “For progress on the retirement village so older people don’t have to go over the hill to visit their loved ones.”

Caroline Dodge, Wainuiomata “For the mall to be developed or rebuilt so it feels as if we’re a community again.”

Louis Mikaere, Wainuiomata “I would love to see more jobs generated. It would help the town thrive.”

LETTERS to the editor

Christmas thank you for lights Dear editor, On behalf of myself and my family (and I am sure many others) I would like to thank all the people that put on their festive hats and adorned their houses and indeed gardens with such magnificent displays of Christmas cheer. From the humblest single string lights and Christmas trees to the glorious and

Lionel Willard, Wainuiomata “A stronger police presence to stop the speeding drivers.”

Valma Parks, Wainuiomata “A shop where we can buy clothing and everyday things instead of having to go over the hill.”

Axl Scott, Wainuiomata “For everyone to work together as the cool little community we are to make it an even cooler community.”

Conall rocks his way to the top

mind- blowing splendours of total immersion of lights. Well done. We spent an awesome evening driving around Wainuiomata and were blown away by the amount and the quality of lights on display. Thank you so much Stephen Owens, Wainuiomata Conall R yan Rockquest National Winner. Photo: Glenise Dreaver

Local history alert Dear editor, You may like to alert readers of Wainuiomata News that the Historical Museum Society has created a web site detailing our unique local history at the address: wainuimuseum.htm. This is the work of Dawn Chambers, a descendant of noted settler Hugh Sinclair. In addition to interesting stories, the

site includes searchable catalogues for the extensive photo collections that the society holds, and lists of our historical publications. Creating this site is a new venture, and we will to continue to add to it as new information becomes available. Gavin Wallace, Wainuiomata

Letters on issues of community interest are welcomed. Guidelines are that they should be no longer than 150 words. They must be signed and a street address provided to show good faith, even if a nom de plume is provided for publication.

The editor reserves the right to abridge letters or withhold unsuitable letters from publication. Send or fax them to the address on page two, or email them to Please note that your name and street address must also be provided in e mails.


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Twenty-year -old Conall Ryan of Wainuiomata, and his band Pale Lady, won the New Zealand Battle of the Bands final in Auckland just before Christmas. The annual Rockquest event was last year held on December 17 and Pale Lady took the title from 23 other bands from around the country. The four members of Pale Lady, now third year Massey students in the university’s Commercial Music programme, met during their studies and were delighted that two of their members, guitarists Sam Minot from Lower Hutt and Jack ShaldersTaylor from Kapiti, came first equal in the best guitarist sections. “The judges says they couldn’t separate them,” said Conall, himself a bass player and the lead vocalist. “Though we all do backing vocals as well.” Yet Conall has had relatively little in the way of formal musical training. “I did have some piano lessons when I was younger. And I’ve been playing in bands since I was about 10.” He does however, come from a musical background. His father Chris and his mother Brenda met doing musical theatre at Wainuiomata Little Theatre. Both Conall’s sisters have been in bands and it was sister Morgan’s bass guitar that he used in the competition. As she now no longer pursues music Chris, with a grin, points out that guitar is now effectively Conall’s. Pale Lady was one of six Wellington bands which made it to the National final

and, said Conall, the top three winners were all from Wellington with the results as follows: Pale Lady 1, Mishap 2, and Blue River Baby 3 , though an Auckland band did come third equal (Top Ace Nut Gun). All the songs that Pale Lady performs are written by themselves, and they also jointly won the Best Writing Award in the competition. “The judges said the standard set by the Wellington bands was really exceptional,” ,” said Conall. Without the university’s practice rooms during the holidays, practising has been a challenge. Drummer/keyboardist Sam Higham’s home in Upper Hutt has been called into use. Unfortunately, noise control has been called twice says Conall, recalling the two complaints they had just received last week. Their prize will see them on a tour bus through Europe this year, probably in late August-September with 10 dates, including Oktoberfest in Germany. There is also talk of a recording session at Roundhead in Auckland. At home there will be more shows of their own, not just acting as back-up for better known bands as they have until now. And they are going to have to organise studio time, and pay for releasing their own albums. Conall’s well aware this is the price of their new-found fame, but there’s no sign he’s finding it overwhelming and little sign of anything other than a calm acceptance of a new future for him and the band.

Wednesday January 17, 2018

New advertising campaign challenges the ‘right’ to speed A new road safety advertising campaign is directly challenging speeding drivers to slow down and stop defending their perceived ‘right’ to speed. The joint NZ Transport Agency/New Zealand Police campaign addresses the significant proportion of the driving population who still like to travel at speeds which are too fast for the conditions, on the open road and around town,

A speed camera is installed on Wainuiomata Road, near the summit of the hill. The camera was part of a nationwide rollout that saw several installed in areas with the highest risk of speed-related crashes. PHOTO: WAINUIOMATA NEWS FILE.

posing a risk to themselves and to others who share the roads with them. “Every week, 11 people are seriously injured or killed in a speed-related crash on New Zealand roads, but a substantial portion of our society does not see the connection between speed and crashes,” says NZ Transport Agency director of safety and environment Harry Wilson. “That needs to change,

because the facts and the physics are indisputable. Speed is always a crucial factor in determining the severity of the crash and the severity of the injuries to the people involved. The simple and inescapable truth is that less speed means less harm in a crash.” Assistant commissioner for road policing Sandra Venables says the consequences of people driving too fast for the conditions

can be devastating. “Police officers see the human cost of speed nearly every day on our roads. Crashes occur due to a wide range of mistakes, whether involuntary or deliberate, but the outcome is vastly different at different speeds. “Even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it is the single biggest determinant in whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed. A small change in speed makes a big difference to injury severity. “Our plea to all drivers this year is to be courteous and slow down, to make sure you get to your destination safely,” Sandra says. The campaign launched on January 7 on television, video-on-demand and on YouTube. It will be supported with billboard, radio, cinema and other digital advertising from later in January and February. As new work is launched, it will immediately be uploaded to the advertising section of the NZ Transport Agency website.


Thousands visit Brickman: Wonders of the World at Te Papa Brickman: Wonders of the World is an exhibition which is only on until 11 February and showcases 50 of the world’s most iconic landmarks and masterpieces made exclusively from LEGO bricks by Ryan McNaught. McNaught is one of only fourteen LEGO Certified Professionals in the world and over the weekend, the number of people who have visited his display topped 50,000 – 35 days since opening at Te Papa. Geraint Martin, Te Papa’s chief executive officer, said Ryan’s creations had huge appeal. “It’s been fantastic seeing kids of all ages enjoying the magic of LEGO. There is an audible ‘wow’ as people enter the space and come face to knee with Michelangelo’s Statue of David and see Saint Basil’s Cathedral from Moscow’s Red Square,” Geraint says. “It’s well on its way to being one of our most popular summer exhibitions, right on par with last year’s Bug Lab.” The interactive building stations have also been a huge hit. Te Papa host supervisor Melissa Wells says people have been loving building their own pyramids, leaning towers of Pisa and coral for the Great Barrier Reef inspired by, and adding to, Brickman’s masterpieces. “We’ve been blown away by everyone’s creativity,” Melissa says. Another well-received interactive aspect of the exhibition is finding mini-figure, Eddie the Explorer, who is hidden in nearly all of the displays. Ryan and his team had spent a jaw-dropping 4944 hours building the 50 masterpieces using well over seven tonnes of bricks.

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Wednesday January 17, 2018

House prices rise Take advantage of what the Hutt Valley in Lower Hutt has to offer

One of the many walks in Remutaka Forest Park. PHOTO: Julia Czerwonatis.

If you’re one of the lucky few to still be on holiday and don’t have any plans this weekend, why not take advantage of some of the Hutt Valley’s best walking tracks and trails. There are several tracks that are looked after by Hutt City Council including Rata Street Loop, Eastern Hills, Waterfall Track, and the Hutt River Trail. The Rata Street Loop is the ideal track to introduce children to tramping and nature – and Lower

Hutt’s shortest tramping loop. Eastern Hills, with its stunning views, regenerating natives and rare New Zealand species, are an accessible urban wilderness bringing natural heritage closer to everyone. The Waterfall Track is suitable for all ages and abilities, taking people on a short walk through native bush through to a picturesque waterfall. The Hutt River Trail runs the length of the Hutt River and is a

Warning: toxic algae returns Greater Wellington is urging swimmers and dog walkers to avoid the Hutt River/ Te Awakairangi between Moonshine Park and Pomare Bridge following the reoccurrence of toxic algae in the area. “High levels of toxic algae were recorded at Silverstream and we advise against swimming or taking dogs to this stretch of the river,” says Greater Wellington’s Environmental Scientist - Freshwater Dr Mark Heath. “Birchville, Maoribank Corner, and Poets Park also have new growth, though at lower levels and also with

intact mats, so the likelihood of ingesting the algae there is low. “While it’s safe to use these parts of the river Greater Wellington advises people to be cautious, to keep an eye out and avoid any areas where it’s found. We’re not currently concerned about toxic algae elsewhere in the region. “That doesn’t apply to dogs, however, which are still at risk from eating algae along the riverside and should be kept on a lead.” Signs are up along the riverbank, warning people to look for toxic algae.

great destination for walking or riding with great views and varied terrain. There are also a number of tracks and trails in Wainuiomata including those in the Remutaka Forest Park. There are also a number of walking groups throughout the Hutt Valley that people can join.  For more information go to Walking-groups/.

It was a disparate year for residential property values around New Zealand. This follows a general trend of slowing in the rate of growth due to stricter retail bank lending criteria and uncertainty ahead of the election, along with periods of rapid value increases in some areas and decreasing values in others. Overall, the nationwide average shows residential property values increased 6.6 per cent or $41,660 during 2017, from $627,905 in December 2016 to $669,565 in December 2017, according to the latest QV House Price Index statistics. Wellington City values increased by 9.1 per cent year on year and 3.3 per cent over the past three months. The average value is now $756,879. Values across the Wellington Region rose 9.4 per cent or $54,040 over the past year from an average value of $574,410 in December 2016 to an average value of $628,450 in December 2017. Upper Hutt is up 11.1 per cent year on year and 2.6 per cent over the past three months while Lower Hutt rose 11.4 per cent year on year and 1.0 per cent over the past quarter. QV Wellington senior consultant David Cornford says it was another year of relatively strong value growth throughout the Wellington region however, year on year value growth slowed considerably during 2017 compared to 2016.

“Value growth took a breather over the winter months and during the build up to the election. However by mid spring, market activity had started to pick up and value growth continued,” David says. “A shortage of stock, low interest rates and a relatively strong local economy continues to support a robust property market in the Wellington region. “First home buyers had a strong presence in the Wellington market throughout 2017.” Hutt City Council last year called for submissions on a proposal to enable medium density housing and a wider range of housing types to be built in the city, with a particular focus on nine suburban areas, including Wainuiomata. The proposed change would permit a wider range of housing, including low-rise apartments and terraced houses centred on nine areas with good access to public transport, shopping, parks and schools. Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says the proposed plan change is aimed at positioning the city for the future and will underpin council’s current work to rejuvenate the city. The proposed changes would also help address issues such as housing affordability, particularly for those looking to buy their first property, and offer practical options to older residents looking to downsize their homes while remaining in their home suburbs.

Time to start training for the TriAbility Triathlon

Man seriously injured The Serious Crash Unit is investigating an accident that occurred in Wise Street in Wainuiomata on Saturday. A 71-year-old man was seriously injured in the crash which occurred when he was backing out of his driveway. The accident occurred at around 2.30pm when his vehicle was hit by a car travelling along the street. The impact flipped the

man’s vehicle on to its side. He sustained head injuries and his arm was trapped under his vehicle. He was taken to Wellington Hospital by helicopter and was reported as being in a stable condition in ICU on Monday. The three occupants of the other car were taken to Hutt Hospital with moderate injuries.

Sport Wainuiomata organise the fifth annual TriAbility Traithlon on march 17. PHOTO: Supplied.

The TriAbility Triathlon will be held on Saturday, March 17 and those interested are being encouraged to start training for the big day. The inclusive multisport event that supports people of all abilities in a competitive environment will be organised by Sport Wainuiomata and is the fifth year it has been

held in the community. In the past, the event has attracted healthy competition with athletes given the choice of three distances: Sprint (700m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run); Super Sprint (300m swim, 9km cycle, 2.5km run); and Super Sonic (50m swim, 2km cycle, 400m run). The event is not just for people

with disabilities; it is an event for all abilities, from elite to first-timers and everything in between. Registrations are open and can be completed at the Wainuiomata Library on Queen Street. A Facebook page has also been set up for the event and can be found by searching ‘2018 TriAbility Triathlon’.

Wednesday January 17, 2018



Wednesday January 17, 2018


Wednesday November 18, 2015

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Wednesday January 17, 2018


Taiapa to represent NZ once again By Dan Whitfield

Lewis Taiapa has another chance to represent New Zealand after being selected for the men’s national floorball team once again. The 32-year-old is set to play in the 2018 world championship qualifier, part of the Asia Oceania Games in South Korea that runs from January 22 to 27. Floorball is fast-growing in popularity throughout New Zealand and is similar to hockey. It is played indoors and involves five players and a goalkeeper. Each player, minus the goalkeeper plays with a plastic stick. Lewis has only been playing floorball for a couple of years. However, he has been playing inline hockey since he was 15. Lewis’ love affair for the sport started after watching Mighty Ducks, a 1992 American sports comedy-drama about a minor ice hockey team. He says ever since he watched that movie he’s played some form of hockey. This is not the first time Lewis has represented New Zealand in floorball and

inline hockey, attending several international competitions in the last few years. He says to be selected is nice as it means he is considered one of the best. He almost missed out on being part of the team however, due to commitments with inline hockey, and with funding being an issue. In the end, a Givealittle crowdfunding page was set up and resulted in enough money being raised to send Lewis to the world championship qualifier. The sport has only existed in New Zealand for about five years and some of the best teams include China, South Korea and Singapore as well as Australia… but we’re catching up to the world,” Lewis says. “We’re getting better and it’s nice to be selected again.” Lewis, who has lived in Wainuiomata most of his life, says he is looking forward to the competition and is looking to bring home a good result for New Zealand. “I’ve still got a lot to give.”  To help support Lewis, go to https://

Lewis Taiapa, representing New Zealand in a game against Malaysia. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Shane finished 2017 on top

Classic mountain bike event Places are still available for the Karapoti Classic, one of New Zealand’s premier mountain bike events, to be held on Saturday February 17. Based in the Akatarawa Range, 10km north of Upper Hutt City, the scenic adventure ride also provides what organisers describe as “an awesome social scene”.

Options range from the feature 50k Classic to the 20k Challenge and the Kids’ 5k Klassic. Entries are limited to 1000 starters, and organisers are considering an electric bike section, depending on the level of interest. Information is available and entries can be organised online at

Sports talk

Wainuiomata rider Shane Richardson. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

with Jacob Page

Baz’s blueprint goes global Wainuiomata rider Shane Richardson finished last year in style by winning the 2017 Suzuki Series F2 600 class and taking a mostly unchallenged victory ahead of Toby Summers in race one, then settling for second in the final heat.

Shane closed his New Zealand season in the best form possible by taking four wins from six races. The young rider says his goal for the year is to become fitter, stronger and healthier in order to help grow his racing career.

Shane plans to return to the United States this year to continue racing abroad. “I’m more than happy as my Kawasaki ZX-6 performed phenomenally all season. It wasn’t a walk in the park but I’m pretty happy with four wins out of six starts.”

Black Caps to reveal new talents altogether A squad of Black Caps will help judge the fashion stakes on the day of the Wellington Cup at Trentham on Saturday, while several members of the team, including Tim Southee, Matt Henry and Tom Latham will also play starring roles. They will be revealing the

barriers for each of the 18 horses. Captain Kane Williamson will present the Wellington Cup to the winning trainer. Race attendees will also have the chance to win tickets to the Black Caps v Pakistan ODI at the Basin Reserve on the Friday, plus

signed Black Caps shirts and a bat. Models will showcase the latest trends in racewear with stylist Sally-Ann Moffat giving a 101 on what to wear to this Saturday. The first 500 attendees will also receive a complimentary taste of Cup Day canapés.

Make no mistake, even in retirement Brendon McCullum still has a big impact on the highest form of the game. The former Kiwi skipper’s ballistic hitting approach at the top of the order is a trend now copied by every country in the world. The man known as ‘Baz’ perfected the art of the fast start by unsettling the bowlers with his footwork and raw power against the new ball. The tactic injects immediate momentum and eases the scoring pressure on the batsmen to come. England’s Jason Roy proved how game-changing this tactic can be when he blazed 180 in his team’s five-wicket win over Australia in the opening one-day contest against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In pursuit of 305 for victory, Roy was the aggressor as England had 87 on the board after 10 overs. While Roy continued to amass his match-defining score, many openers eventually lose out of the roulette wheel that is aggressive stroke play

at all costs but a rapid 40 or 50 can be just the momentum shift needed for victory. McCullum mastered it in the last three years of his career and proved a team can comfortably chase in excess of 300 these days when 15 years ago it was seen as almost an assured win for the team batting first. The advent of Twenty20 cricket also has a lot to do with the higher totals. Batsmen are now comfortable chasing eight to 10 runs an over in dying stages of a run chase. Roy has sparked the tour for the English. His aggression, along with that of pace bowler Mark Wood, provided the blueprint for success going forward against Australia. Meet aggression with aggression, something their toothless test team didn’t do. Aggression is what McCullum used to make up for New Zealand’s short comings on paper and turned them into world beaters. It’s changed the game as we know it.


Wednesday January 17, 2018

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