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By Dan Whitfield

Love Wainuiomata is excited to get to continue what it started, with Hutt City Council confirming funding for the next three years. In collaboration with the Hutt City Council, and with help from a number of locals, Love Wainuiomata aims to develop and direct a number of plans to regenerate Wainuiomata and make it a vibrant place to be. The new round of funding is important to ensure projects, including the beautification of Homedale Village and the picnic areas along Queen Street continue. Continued on page 2. Clive Cannons, Lisa Black and Esther King from Love Wainuiomata. PHOTO: DAN WHITFIELD

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Phone (04) 587 1660 Address: 23 Broderick Rd, Johnsonville P.O. Box 38-776, WMC 5045 Fax: (04) 587 1661


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Love Wainuiomata gets funding for another three years Continued from page 1. Lisa Black, Love Wainuiomata’s current chairwoman, says she’s grateful to the fantastic Wainuiomata community who’ve shown huge support in the recent year. “So many individuals, community groups and local businesses all rallied behind our recent submission to council which truly made it a real community effort,” Lisa says. “It’s been so heartwarming to see how Love Wainuiomata has truly become community owned and driven. As a team,

we’re so excited to continue working with, and for, our amazing community over the next three years,” she says. Lisa wants to also thank Hutt City Council for their ongoing partnership, belief in what the group is trying to achieve and the funding. Clive Cannons is both a Love Wainuiomata committee member and local business owner of more than 20 years. “It’s brilliant how our community cares so much. Locals are really passionate about seeing more community fo-

Wainuiomata Intermediate students had a moment to showcase their cultural background at this year’s Polyfest and Poly Odyssey events in Lower Hutt last week. The Pasifika health, education and arts event was organised for school students. It was held at the Walter Nash Stadium from July 2 to 5 and was one of the largest Pasifika events to be held in the Hutt Valley. The theme of Poly Odyssey was Ko tatou e tahi i te moana Pahewhika, (We are one in the Pacific Ocean) Students were captivated by the different languages, customs and storytelling of Cook Islands, Samoan, Tokelauan, Tongan and Maori heritage. Poly Odyssey surpassed expectations for both the organisers and the 50 schools, early childhood centres and learning organisations that attended. Approximately 15,000 Hutt Valley students, fanau and friends experienced Poly Odyssey and

Polyfest Hutt Valley. Shekinah Lafeta, Lydia Sa’u, Hardeep Kuar, and Quayeshia Rahiri were among the many students from Wainuiomata Intermediate who took part. To deliver Poly Odyssey, Te Awakairangi Health Network and Healthy Families Lower Hutt created a leadership group and a wellbeing framework alongside local Pasifika indigenous knowledge holders, and leaders with an arts, health or education background. Ana So’otaga, manager health promotion at Te Awakairangi Health Network says the goal was to see students experience authentic Pasifika practices and customs from their very own knowledge holders. “We wanted students to experience a sense of wellbeing, in ways we see as important to Pasifika. We know this was achieved as children connected and learnt with village leaders and indigenous knowledge holders,” she says.

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munity is asking for Lisa says there needs to be strong partnerships with community groups, organisations and businesses throughout the valley. For the next three years, until June 2021, Love Wainuiomata will receive an annual grant of $50,000 towards operational costs and $50,000 to cover project costs. Love Wainuiomata is focused on revitalising our town’s heart, and growing Wainuiomata as a great place to live and visit.

Wainuiomata Intermediate show their Pasifika talent


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cused projects happening here, and people have been giving their full support to Love Wainuiomata,” Clive says. Lisa says the community’s support is more important now than ever. “We’re really grateful for Hutt City Council’s strong show of support and commitment to us however, our budget is going to be super tight from here on in as the allocated funding is a third less than we requested,” Lisa says. To deliver what the com-

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Students from Wainuiomata Intermediate during the dress rehearsals. PHOTO: Supplied.

A highlight of the event was experiencing Vaka Atafaga which was generously loaned by Atafu Tokelau Community Group. At the Vaka, all the students learnt about how our different Pasifika nations are connected and how we all have common ways to wellbeing.

Students then had the chance to take a seat and oar to have their “Moana moment”. With this being the first ever event like Poly Odyssey in the Hutt Valley, the organisers are now reflecting on how they can enable more of our community to participate in future years.

Wednesday July 11, 2018

inbrief news

Young entrepreneurs shine By Dan Whitfield

Jasmine Invathong has been given a chance to test her entrepreneurial talent. She was one of 80 students nationwide selected for the Entrepreneurs In Action competition that ran from June 28 to July 1. She was one of Wellington’s representatives. T he Wa inuiomata H igh School head girl says to be selected from Wainuiomata is awesome and an opportunity

she was grateful to have. As part of the competition, Jasmine and her team were given two business challenges and asked to create marketing for a new product they also had to pitch. Her team had to create marketing plans for products for Genesis Energy and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. The competition provided Jasmine, and the other students with practical opportunities to step up as an entrepreneur. She says “every-

one benefited” from it and there were lots of connections made. Supported by the Lion Foundation’s Young Enterprise Scheme, the Entrepreneurs In Action gives students a chance to also be mentored by industry professionals. Students are also tested in their problem solving, innovative thinking and teamwork skills. Those who took part in the competition were also awarded $1000 scholarships

to Massey University. Jasmine is part of her business class at Wainuiomata High School but has been interested in entrepreneurship for a number of years. “I have some friends and family who are into it, and I wouldn’t mind owning my own business one day,” she says. As part of her business class, Jasmine is creating a cookbook for families that features healthy recipes that are inspired by food in movies.

Conservation focus for Wainuiomata students By Dan Whitfield

Wainuiomata Primary School students have partnered with Wellington Zoo to take action and do their part to save animals in the wild. The idea came about after the school’s special enviro group visited Wellington Zoo in April. From there, the students decided to support the conservation projects that aim to make a lasting change in the world by connecting people with animals and collaborating with conservation organisations. The school group organised a bake sale, which was a sell out, and raised $480 to donate to the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund. The students were particularly excited that this was more than the school disco raised. In June, Wellington Zoo’s Ash Howell, Charles Wilson and Amy Hughes visited Wainuiomata Primary School to meet and thank the 16 students for their initiative and generous donation. The students asked that the money be used to help all of the

Kapa haka group take centre stage St Claudine Thevenet School had centre stage, singing a waiata at the opening of the New Zealand Catholic Education Convention last month. Held at the TSB Arena, the students sang the waiata ‘Tihei Mauri Ora – Let There be Light’. More than 30 students were part of the kapa haka group.

Members of Wainuiomata Toastmasters will celebrate their club’s 10th birthday this Saturday. Vice president for membership Neville Isherwood was one of the founding members and says it’s good to see the club going after the many years. A celebration dinner will be held at the Angus Inn in Lower Hutt on Saturday, July 14. Wainuiomata’s club is one of 300 around the country.

Matariki Fireworks rescheduled Wainuiomata Primary School with Charles Wilson and Amy Hughes from Wellington Zoo. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

conservation programmes the zoo supports, with one student especially keen that we support

red pandas. Wellington Zoo currently supports 17 local and glob-

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Stormy weather over the weekend caused flooding, power cuts and lightning in the Wellington region. The wintery storm brought high winds and heavy rain to the lower North Island, and lightning strikes to the capital. Fire and Emergency had about a dozen calls about flooding. Some roads in the Wellington region were closed and many were partially covered with slips and fallen trees.

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The Matariki Sky Show has been postponed until this Saturday, July 14. The postponement was due to safety fears sparked by the presence of a whale among boats in Wellington Harbour.



Wednesday July 11, 2018

inbrief news Warrant out for Duane Huaki A warrant to arrest has been issued for Duane Edward Huaki. The warrant is in relation to the shooting of a 36-year-old man at a George Street address in Stokes Valley on 26 June. Duane is 39 years old, and approximately 174cm in height and of medium build. Anyone with any information on Duane’s whereabouts should contact Police on 111 or through Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Hutt Winter Festival not to be missed The Hutt Winter Festival is back for a second year, warming up the winter months with an explosion of arts and cultural events suited for everyone. Organised by the Hutt City Council, locals and visitors to the region will be treated to free workshops at various community hubs throughout the Hutt Valley in July and August. Highlights of this year’s festival

include a Talent Quest in association with GoodTime Music Academy and a Pimp My Jacket fashion competition, workshops and a night-time illuminated bicycle parade with Lucid DreamBike, all culminating in a Hutt Winter Festival Party at the Dowse square on August 18. “Last year’s inaugural festival was such a success in terms of community participation, and

opportunities for our local arts practitioners and art groups, it wasn’t a hard decision to bring it to the Hutt Valley once again,” says Pippa Sanderson, Hutt City Council’s community arts and culture advisor. “Ultimately we are about connecting people through arts and culture and giving locals an opportunity to experience creative performances in a free or low

Te Omanga Hospice announced as HighLight charity partner HighLight: Carnival of Lights has chosen Te Omanga Hospice as its charity partner for 2018, raising money to help with the rebuild of its earthquakeprone building. Te Omanga Hospice, established in 1979, provides care and support to people, and their families, living with a terminal or life limiting illness in the Hutt Valley. The inaugural HighLight event in 2017 saw more than 100,000 people in attendance and raised $20,000 for its 2017 charity partner Alzheimers Wellington.

The labyrinth, as pictured and designed by Tape Art, will be recreated around Lower Hutt and Wainuiomata. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Workshops shed a light of hope By Dan Whitfield

Line-up revealed for festival Hutt City Council’s Hutt Winter Festival is back for a second year, warming up the winter months with an explosion of arts and cultural events suited for all ages, accessibility needs and interests. Locals and visitors to the region will be treated to free workshops at various community hubs throughout the Hutt Valley in July and August - including lantern and mask making, a community labyrinth and opportunities to light up your wheels for a fantastic parade at the final festival party on Saturday 18 August. More information can be found on the Hutt City Council website.

cost, accessible and familyorientated way,” says Pippa. The programme line-up is really impressive, Pippa says. “We have 17 give it a go workshops, a talent quest, a wearable arts show, outdoor installations and parades — there really is something for everyone.” Pippa says. Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says he is pleased to see the fixture return. “The Hutt Winter Festival is a great celebration of our local arts scene – something we are proud of for bringing the community together, showing what the Hutt can do, and encouraging visitors from the wider Wellington region,” Ray says. “We are looking forward to providing an opportunity for people to get out of the house, wrap up warm and let the colourful activities brighten up the winter months.”  Full details on the Hutt Winter Festival programme are available now at huttwinterfestival.

Claire Laurenson from Grief Relief will be running workshops to help those struggling with grief in Wainuiomata. Held at the Wainuiomata Community Hub during Grief Awareness Week, July 23 to 28, the workshops will paint a picture of what grief looks like, and hopefully build a resilience to it. “[We] acknowledge different kinds of losses, their similarities and uniqueness, provide information and reinforce this is part of the grieving process which they can survive and recover from,” Claire says.

Claire says it’s important to build an understanding about grief and resilience. “Like Civil Defence, it’s not a matter of if, but when. When you have some idea of what to expect then you’re more likely to manage when you find yourself in this situation and have better outcomes for self and family,” she says. Claire is a part of the community hub’s social services network and has years of experience with this difficult topic. “Half my life has been spent doing grief work, beginning with 12 years of personal losses of different kinds —

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people, animals, belongings, property, community and self. Most significant was the sudden and unexpected death of my first son at four months old, which later led me into supporting other families who lose a child,” Claire says. Her scope has broadened to include working with cancer patients, chronic illness and general bereavement. However, working with families who lose a child, from in utero to adulthood, remains close to my heart.” Claire says learning about grief and that it is a normal response to significant loss validates individual experi-

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ences and provides some relief. She aims to provide hope for those overwhelmed by grief, knowing that this is a process we go through but one we can recover from. The public talks have been happening in Lower Hutt for the last few years. This year is the first time Claire has done a session in Wainuiomata. “Having developed relationships in Wainuiomata through community services, social services and business networks and seeing how passionate and pro-active this community is in helping one another, [makes this] an opportunity for me to contribute,” she says.

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readers have their say... Find out the WORD on the Street. Q: With the recent weather, do you think it’s important to be prepared for a storm and natural disaster?

Esther King, Wainuiomata It’s very important. We have a little camp burner to boil water for hot water if the power goes out.

Carlo Patea, Wainuiomata I feel like we have a few civil defence places in Wainuiomata that we could get to if there was a disaster. There are plenty of safe zones but it’s important to be prepared.

Mitchell Gibbs, Wainuiomata I think it’s highly important, almost common sense.

Tania Snoep, Wainuiomata It’s absolutely important and the community here is good at being connected. I think we’d all pull together if something happened.

Dawn McKinley, Wainuiomata I think it’s important because Wainuiomata may be cut off after a major event. I keep a go bag in my car just in case I am out of the valley.

Paul McKinley, Wainuiomata Be prepared, your proactive actions will help to free up emergency services.

LETTERS to the editor 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.

Matariki event coverage Dear Editor, Wow what a stunning display of fireworks on Saturday night, I was blown away by it, so stunning and it was like it was made just for me. The view from our house in Fraser Street was the best seat in the house, but how sad that no-one I know or work with knew anything about it being on!

It was only by trolling through the Wainuiomata News that I found some rather oblique reference to it. This should have been on banners and billboards and front-page of your newspaper as a not-to-be missed event. I hope they did get a good turn out, they really deserved to for such an amazing display. Such a shame as

they could have had so many more turn up if only it had been better advertised, Wainui needs some positive reinforcement and this would have been the ideal launching pad. Stephen Owens Wainuiomata

Poppy Appeal changing lives New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association has paid tribute to New Zealanders for their generosity and empathy for current and former service personnel through the 2018 Poppy Appeal, after it raised $1.7 million in donations across New Zealand. The theme of the 2018 Poppy Appeal – not all wounds bleed – generated significant discussion and focus around the mental health challenges faced by current and former service men and women as well as their families. RSA national president BJ Clark says the RSA’s ability to support those impacted by service relied on public donations. “Poppy Appeal funds are used to provide essential services for the health and resilience of New Zealand’s current and former service personnel, and their families,” BJ says. “We are grateful for the fantastic public support through donating on and around Poppy Day; for all our volunteers who contribute their time and effort; and for our corporate partners who contribute so generously to the Poppy Appeal. That support enables us to care for those who have served our country at home and overseas,” he says. The estimated collection for the

The Lower Hutt Events Centre, Town Hall and clock tower. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Opening just around the corner RSA collectors in Wellington. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Hutt Valley and Wainuiomata is around $20,000. The funds raised through the Poppy Appeal will assist in many ways, including recovery from psychological trauma and helping the families of current and former military personnel deal with health or hardship issues. In 2017, there were 19,992 welfare interactions completed by over 150 volunteer RSA support advisors. Many of these were face to face interactions with Veterans

in need of help. BJ says it is critical New Zealanders understand that younger servicemen and women have been impacted by their time in uniform as much as their older predecessors were. “Many of those who serve – whether deployed in recent conflicts, or in routine service – face major challenges as a result of the actions and circumstances they witness and participate in,” he says.

The wraps are off, the scaffolding is down and soon people will be able to see inside Lower Hutt’s new Events Centre and refurbished Town Hall. The Events Centre and Town Hall will officially be opened on Saturday, July 14 by Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace and Deputy Mayor David Bassett. “The Lower Hutt Events Centre project, which includes an upgrade of the existing Town Hall, will boost the local economy and add to a suite of facilities across the

city to cater for a range of community needs. It’s one of the key projects in Council’s Economic Development Plan which will add vibrancy to the Civic Precinct by attracting events and conferences,” David says. The Events Centre opening will begin at 10.15am, with entertainment between 10.45am and 2pm including bands and kapa haka groups from Lower Hutt high schools, the Wellington Ukulele Orchestra and the Wellington Youth Circus.

Wednesday July 11, 2018

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Jasmine Invathong and Kyle Clapperton-Hayes will go to Auckland to check out university later this year. PHOTO: DAN WHITFIELD By Dan Whitfield

Jasmine Invathong and Kyle Clapperton-Hayes are excited about an opportunity to check out university ahead of finishing their final year at Wainuiomata High School. The two year 13 students were selected by the careers team to go to Auckland University of Technology to see what they could possibly do in 2019. As head girl, Jasmine says it is a good opportunity for them to view what the university is like and what courses they have to offer. Jasmine is looking to view some of the business options while Kyle is looking at medicine and law courses.

“AUT has some prestige about it it. It’s good to get the chance to go and experience the university hands on,” Jasmine says. Both students are still to decide on where they will attend once they finish their final year of school. Kyle says the option of going to Auckland is something he is looking at due to there being more opportunities. “It will be a big change, especially coming from quiet little Wainuiomata,” Kyle says. Jasmine and Kyle will get to experience lectures and the departments at Auckland University of Technology on August 25. “To be from Wainuiomata makes this a huge opportunity and to have the school looking out for us is nice,” Jasmine says.

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Production shows off Pukeatua talent and importance of bees Last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, Pukeatua Primary School had their first ever school production. There were flowers, bees, classroom scenes, and a school choir that provided entertainment for the many parents and members of the community who came and watched

Titled The Bee that lost its Boogie, it saw all students be part of the production, with children who didn’t want to be on stage helping with the promotion, tech and prop team. The idea came about through studying and being hands-on in the school’s Maara Kai where the children learned about the signifi-

cance of bees. The teachers also thought it was an important message to get into the Wainuiomata community and it turned into a fun school production. All families, kohanga and kindergartens who attended left with seeds to encourage more bees to boogie in Wainuiomata.

Amara-Lee Waitaiki and Therese-Amour Phillips helped narrate the production.

ABOVE: The Pukeatua production featured the flowers and the bees, with parts played by students. LEFT: Jamaica Awatere was the queen bee. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Young women inspired by STEMM careers



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Forty young women from high schools throughout the Wellington region will be spending the first week of their school holidays getting inspired about careers in science, technology, engineering, maths, and manufacturing (STEMM). While there are many jobs in the sector, only 28 per cent of people working in these industries are women – the Innovative Young Minds (IYM) programme aims to address this under-representation. The participants in the programme, which will run from July 8 to 13 will visit science and technology businesses, research institutes and tertiary education providers, including learning about Antarctic ice cores, smart paint that can switch on lights, cutting edge virtual reality technologies and fabric forensics. They will also attend a reception at Parliament, where they will meet some of New Zealand’s leading scientists, innovators and politicians. It’s the second year the programme has run and more than 90 applications were received from 22 schools in the greater Wellington region. This year there were applicants from 25 different countries and ethnicities including Laos, Myanmar, Tuvalu and Samoa, says Dr Laura Sessions, STEMM sector development manager for Hutt City Council. “Research says that providing role models is very important. If people can gain confidence and see themselves in a career trajectory, they are more likely to work towards those career goals. We will have a

Young students exploring the Innovative Young Minds programme last year. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

lot of female speakers talking about the different career paths possible and that’s not just in straight science jobs but also science communications, administration for science organisations, data and bio-ethics,” Laura says. During the week-long residential programme, the students will hear from inspiring women working in the STEMM sector such as Amanda Santos, chief executive of Lower Hutt company Tekron - an industry leader in timing and network synchronization. “Many of the speakers have had challenges. For example Lucy Morris is a game developer in her 20s and is really passionate about creating a better working culture and working environment for women,” Laura says.

Lower Hutt’s STEMM enterprises contribute more than $380 million to New Zealand’s economy, employ more than 3500 people and support a Crown Research Institute, a government innovation precinct and four tertiary institutions and the Hutt City Council is keen to promote development of the sector. “Hutt City Council is proud to support the Innovative Young Minds programme, which is helping inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and technologists through its hands-on real world approach.” says Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace. “Young women are coming out of the programme more motivated than ever to pursue careers in the STEMM sector – it’s fantastic to see,”

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Wednesday July 11, 2018



Dominating win for Wainui Lions

Norton Harrison gets the ball away on the Titans’ goal line. He later doubled back around to score a try. PHOTO: Daryl New.

Wainuiomata has become the team to beat this year, coming away with a dominating win against the Petone Panthers on Saturday. The Petone Panthers travelled to Wise Park to take on the Wainuiomata Lions in stormy winter conditions. The game, which saw the first equal Lions play the bottom placed Panthers, was an opportunity for Wainuiomata to test their game plans and structures in the wet, cold and rain. Despite the extreme weather conditions, the Lions played well with good ball handling and control taking the win. The final score was 46-nil, and

the game was called off 20 minutes early because of the conditions. Stand out players for the Lions were captain and prop Pat Tanoai, hooker Trei Mu and young second rower John-Tahana Wharepapa Rawiri. Their strong carries from the front set the platform for many attacking forays to see and it would have been interesting what the final score would’ve been had the full 80 minutes been completed. Try scorers for the Lions were Trei, Jaden Taniwha, Zane Wilson and Bree Henderson with Tyrone Tihore and John-Tahana scoring two tries apiece and Xavier Seal landing seven from eight conversions.

One of each for Ulalei Ulalei Wainuiomata Netball Club had a mixed weekend of results, coming away with a win, draw and a loss on Saturday. The premier two team welcomed TK Smith to the squad to continue their winning streak with a win over Naenae Collegians United three. The final score was 62-39 and after round two, Ulalei are at the top of the premier two table. Ulalei’s senior one team, dubbed the young guns, came up with a draw in a close Public Notices

match against High School Old Girls two, with the final score set at 33-all. With half of the squad unavailable, Travistine Cook and Jordan Brown filled in, providing quality feeding in the mid-court. After the third week of the second round, the young guns remain at the top of their grade. Ulalei’s premier one team came up short this week, with their first loss in round two against St Orans. The final score was a close 57-55 to St Orans. Mid-courters Ellen Miles and Lisa McGrath from Ulalei’s premier two team were brought in to cover for players who were away on Hutt Valley representative duties. The club and players are still feeling

Ulalei’s senior one goal attack Ruth Sopoaga steadies for a shot against High School Old Girls. PHOTO: Lahraine Sagaga

positive however, knowing they can improve on their performances to secure a place in the top four for the finals rounds.

Possum control – Poison warning Central Districts Pest Control Ltd wishes to advise that a ground-based possum control operation will be taking place just south of Wainuiomata. The purpose is to keep possum numbers under control to prevent the spread of TB. This operation will be conducted as a part of the TBfree New Zealand programme. Area covered: The operational area runs from just south of Hine Road, Wainuiomata, covering the eastern side of Coast Road, and ends before Baring Head. It includes the Catchpool Valley area. Operation date (approximately): It is scheduled to commence mid-July 2018 and end before June 2019. Poisoning methods, poison used and nature of poison: Possum habitats will be targeted using Feratox (cyanide) encapsulated baits in bait stations or bait bags attached to trees or fence posts. Brodifacoum and Diphacinone may also be used in some areas in bait stations attached to trees. The public is warned to take care when entering these areas and not to remove carcasses or baits. Baits are dangerous to people and dogs. General warning: • Do not touch poison baits/bait stations/traps • Do not touch poisoned possum carcasses • Keep pets under supervision - do not let dogs eat poisoned carcasses • Do not leave children unattended • Follow the advice on the poison warning signs If you suspect poisoning: • Contact your local hospital, or dial 111 • National Poisons Centre 0800 POISON – 0800 764 766 • In the case of a domestic animal being poisoned, contact a local veterinarian For further information (including maps of the operational area), contact the operator: Operations Manager Central Districts Pest Control Ltd Email: Ph: 06 836 5590

Next games for the three teams will be on Saturday, July 14 at Walter Nash Stadium in Taita.

Wainuiomata remains on top The weather was the dominant feature of the fifth round of matches in the Hardham Cup, and despite Wainuiomata missing this weekend due to a bye, they remain on top of the table. Wainuiomata sits on 17 points, ahead of Petone and Johnsonville, with two more rounds to go. Wainuiomata plays Johnsonville this Saturday at William Jones Park. Kick off will be at 2.45pm. The following week Wainuiomata will play Wellington Bevan Clark dotting in for Wainuiomata in a previous game. PHOTO: Daryl New at Hataitai Park. Kick off for this match will be at 2.45pm.

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

Three Lions thrive on free-flowing football Pressure - it’s something intangible that’s easy to see. It does strange things to sports people and sports teams alike. Some thrive with it, while others take a dive. The All Blacks generally handle pressure well, but that thirst to win is often quenched. Our cricketers, hockey teams, swimmers have often come up short in big moments. Pressure can’t be touched but it can be felt and seen on

someone’s face. It’s ironic English football has had its best World Cup campaign in more than two decades simply because the pressure of expectation has not been on them. Past teams have had so much expectation that they’ve often cramped up under the scrutiny and bowed out before their talent level suggests they should have. Having spoken to my few English friends throughout football’s biggest tournament,

many were just happy to see the ‘Three Lions’ get out of the group stage. One mentioned to me he was happy to see them make the knockout games and commented that they seemed to be playing with a freedom he hadn’t seen in his 30 years of watching the game. It was an interesting observation from someone who’s seen more than his share of English football heartache as the national side looked for their fi rst World Cup since

1966. Past tournaments have been littered with funny stories of how the English messed up campaigns. Whether it be a David Beckham red card or a missed penalty, the English seemed to find new and bizarre ways to exit the tournament. Free of pressure and with limited expectations already exceeded, this team is not burdened by the past, they are not a laughing stock. No pressure, just pride.


Wednesday July 11, 2018

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