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Wednesday October 10, 2018

Today 10-15

Thursday 8-15

Friday 6-12

Negotiations continue

Saturday 7-12

By Dan Whitfield

Wainuiomata teachers are standing together following the Ministry of Education’s offer of a 9.3 per cent wage increase. Tute Porter-Samuels, Wainuiomata Primary School’s deputy principal, and chairwoman for NZEI Wellington Area Council, says teachers love their jobs and want to see change but most of the issues come from more than a decade of neglect to the education sector. She says it all sounds good, but they’re not putting enough money into education. Continued on page 2. Tute Porter-Samuels wants to see more money put into education. PHOTO: DAN WHITFIELD

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Making it happen


2

Wednesday October 10, 2018

Teachers still unhappy with pay negotiations

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

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Continued from page 1. In Budget18, $20 million was assigned to increase teacher supply over four years including bringing New Zealand teachers home from overseas; $270 million was also set aside for children and young people who need extra learning support. However, Tute says so far there’s been nothing to address

the hours and work loads teachers face - or the ongoing support that some students need but aren’t getting. In Wainuiomata, Tute says there are many children with high or complex needs and that the numbers increases every year. “They need one-on-one support but we don’t have funding. Even though this offer is better,

the problem is that it doesn’t address the time, workload and needs,” Tute says. “We need to see this support in our schools,” she says. Tute explains the next step for NZEI teachers may potentially be a rolling strike around the country during term four, with members voting on the idea when school resumes.

The Ministry has urged teachers and principals to say no to further strikes and will continue to negotiate with New Zealand Educational Institute to avoid disruption for children and to reach a settlement. The Wainuiomata teacher hopes the offer is increased otherwise there will be nothing to talk about.

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Wainuiomata News

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By Dan Whitfield

It’s safe to say the bond between Lower Hutt and its sister cities is stronger than ever, and mayor Ray Wallace is hoping it stays that way. Ray is currently on a visit to Japan and has spent some time in Lower Hutt’s sister city, Minoh City. The Lower Hutt Mayor, along with staff from Lower Hutt high schools - including Wainuiomata High School’s Janette Melrose, had a productive meeting with the Minoh City counter par ts and the Director General of Education talking about inter national student exchanges. Another day saw the two cities connect via Skype, linking from Minoh Multicultural Centre to Lower Hutt War Memorial Library. The portal is apparently opening to the public every day, except Mondays, with a monthly Citizens Skype happening on the second Saturday of the month. During his visit, Ray has also met with professors from Osaka University who are coming to Lower Hutt in 2019 as part of a scientific

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Mayor Ray Wallace at a meeting with Minoh City Mayor, deputy mayors and Director General of Education along with international relations manager and international deans from Lower Hutt high schools. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

study opportunity. Their previous work looked at depression in elderly and how Lower Hutt as a city could combat that.

Wainuiomata High School’s kapa haka group are also in Japan as part of a visit. Minoh City has a population of 120,000 and is situ-

ated 20km from the centre of Osaka, Japan. The formal relationship between Hutt City and Minoh City began in 1995.

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Wednesday October 10, 2018

Duo proud to stand up for their community

The aim: ‘Make a difference and stop the violence’

inbrief news ATM set to go ANZ is planning to remove the ATM in Homedale Village, but Hutt South MP Chris Bishop is protesting the decision strongly. The ATM is located metres away from Chris’ office and he was advised it will be removed late February/early March next year. “[It’s] just a ridiculous decision with three new businesses opening in the village, plus it’s very handy to pull in and grab some cash on the way over the hill. I’m in the process of writing to ANZ to protest this decision strongly,” he says.

Te Omanga supported A Suffrage Exhibition at Vogel House has raised much needed funds for Te Omanga Hospice. A staggering 1400 people visited the exhibition while it was on and $4199.50 was raised toward rebuilding Te Omanga’s Lower Hutt building. Keana Wild and Joshua Sa’u are ready to help their community. PHOTO: Mark Tantrum

By Dan Whitfield

Keana Wild and Joshua Sa’u are ready to make a difference as Wainuiomata Community Champions. They are part of a team of 10 local residents facing up the new It’s Not OK initiative, with an aim to stand up to the issue of family violence in Wainuiomata. It sees whanau and community work together to ensure a positive change happens. Keana, 22, is studying full time at Victoria University of Wellington and working part-

time at the Waitangi Tribunal Unit, while Joshua, 23, works full-time at Hallensteins – but both are focused on the campaign. Both of them have been part of similar campaigns in the past but becoming community champions was something they were interested in because it would be a good way to engage with the young adults and youth growing up in the community. Their slogan is: Make a difference and stop the violence. “The slogan is acknowledging that violence is around in

Youth MPs to step up our community and we need to willingly make a difference and stop this,” Keana says. “We are not trying to raise awareness and say that everyone is perfect and that some form of violence doesn’t exist, but it is around and we need to think of ways we can tackle the issue and move forward as a community,” she says. In New Zealand, Family Violence leaves long lasting complex effects for whanau, individuals and communities. Hundreds of people attended the launch earlier this year, showing the community’s

support for the initiative. “We’re just everyday people who were born and bred in Wainuiomata and the importance of this is that we’re proud to represent our community,” Josh says. “Our primary focus is those living in Wainui, but we are hoping to inspire youth and young adults in our community. The ultimate goal is to get every Wainuimartian on board to live in a violence free community,” he says. Another big part of the initiative is about promoting the fact that it’s OK to ask for help.

Hutt South MP Chris Bishop is looking for his young counterpart. Every Member of Parliament will next year have a 16 to 18-yearold representing them and their community as a youth MP. The youth-version of Parliament is held every three years and sees the younger representatives mentored by those who select them. To apply for the Hutt South position, Chris is asking applicants to write 500 words or record a short video explaining why they want to be a youth MP and what the big issues facing them are.

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Wednesday October 10, 2018

inbrief news

Release of documents relating to Whaitiri incident

Busy with bookings The Lower Hutt Events Centre has hosted over 50 meetings, events and functions since its opening in July, with over 500 attending some of these events. The Effect Dance competitions brought many people from outside the region to Lower Hutt and our local schools have been using the centre for social events. It’s great to see the venue getting good use and bringing in people from all over the region and beyond.

Homes to be improved Housing New Zealand has announced that it will improve the thermal performance of a further 200 homes in the Hutt Valley. Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace explains that warm, dry homes are healthy homes. “This is an investment in the future health of families in Lower Hutt. We’re working closely with Housing NZ, which is also looking to build up to 300 new homes in Lower Hutt over the next two to three years,” he says.

Wrights Hill to open Wellington’s historic Wrights Hill Fortress in Karori will be open for public inspection again on Labour Day, October 22. The World War Two coastal battery, which first opened to the public in 1989, will be accessible between 10am and 4pm. On Labour Day people are invited to self-guide themselves through the tunnels and gun emplacements. The walk usually takes about one hour and there will also be a number of guided tours during the day. Bring a torch with you for some fun!

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The report and associated documents into the incident involving Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri and a staff member have been released. The investigation, commissioned by the Department of Internal Affairs, was carried out by David Patten, a barrister who specialises in mediation and arbitration. Meka has a strong Maori governance background and sound knowledge of how government and Parliament works. Whaitiri was stood down in August prior to the investigation after it was alleged she shouted at and manhandled a member of her staff three

Meka Whaitiri is the IkaroaRāwhiti MP. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Little riders encouraged to get on the trails Wainuiomata Trail Park and the Wellington Offroad Riding Department are looking to get children out on their bikes. The non-profit youth mountain bike programme, also know as WORD, is all about encouraging kids to enjoy mountain biking! It was founded in 2013 with the mission to build confidence, encourage new friendships, and foster a lifelong love of mountain biking. Already there have been many sessions run for children at the Wainuiomata Trail Park and now there are scholarship places available for the next term. The sessions are run after school in term one and four. For seven to nine-year-olds in Wainuiomata, sessions are on Tuesdays; while 10 to 12-year-olds will be on Wednesdays.

Children getting ready to enjoy the trails of Wainuiomata for the Bike-a-polloza event also run by Wellington Offroad Riding Department. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

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days earlier. The Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate extends from the top of the East Cape to the Wellington region, and includes Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Wainuiomata. The report was submitted on September 19, and public versions of the report and associated documents are now available. The document was redacted of references to the names, gender and other identifiable information following a due diligence process, to protect the privacy of those concerned. The Department will not be making any further comment on this employment matter.

Junior Registrations at the Cricket Club Fitzherbert Road on Saturday 20 and Saturday 27 October between 10 and 11am. For Senior Registrations and further info contact the Club Captain Neil on 021 764 303. Or via our the Cricket Club’s facebook page search Wainui Cricket Club on Facebook.


Wednesday October 10, 2018

5

Antarctic adventure for young women By Dan Whitfield

Lilly Taylor is looking to inspire other New Zealand women through an upcoming trip to Antarctica. Born and raised in Wellington, with a brief stint of her younger years spent in Wainuiomata, Lilly was selected to represent New Zealand in the Homeward Bound leadership training programme. Lilly is one of six from Team Kiwi, aka The Frozen Ferns, and will join 90 other woman from 33 countries on the adventure in 2019. She will be part of an initiative focusing on the human impacts on our environment and the need for accessible science. “When I found out I had been selected I could not believe it! As a Maori woman who left school at 15 and spent most of my youth as a metaphorical suitcase moving between homes and minimum wage jobs, I never imagined I could be here, doing a PhD in chemistry and now going to Antarctica with a bunch of amazing female scientists,” Lilly says. As part of the trip, she and the others will work together to develop individual strategies for scientific outreach; using the amazing backdrop of Antarctica to engage

communities around how science impacts everyone’s lives and environments. “Having come from a background that is all too familiar for many of our kiwi youth, I want to use the tools and networks built on the Homeward Bound programme to make STEMM [science, technology, engineering, math and medicine] more accessible,” Lilly says. “It’s important for both our future prosperity and for our environment. If we create equal opportunity, we empower people to learn, think, ask questions and seek answers. “Even if someone isn’t going to become a ‘scientist’ everyone deserves to be able to make informed choices, and understand the decisions being made around them that affect them,” she says. Lilly is looking for support towards her journey to help knock down the barriers and encourage equal opportunity in education. People can donate towards her trip at the crowdfund site chuffed.org by searching ‘empower-woman-in-stemm-lillys-homeward-bound-journey’. “We are battling the biggest challenges we have ever had to face as people. Climate change, antibiotic resistance, our current

reliance on finite resources like fresh water and petrol, the approaching food crisis, so many of these dilemmas require advancements in STEMM fields to solve,” she says.

Lilly Taylor is heading to Antarctica to inspire other New Zealand women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

GWRC offers facilitation between bus operators and drivers’ unions Chairman Chris Laidlaw says Greater Wellington Regional Council are in negotiations over drivers’ wages and conditions, and has urged the Tramways Union and bus operators to take up the offer to facilitate discussions. He met last week regarding the contracts with public transport operators and urged all parties to seek agreement regarding collective employment agreements. Chris says he had urged the employers and the unions to sit down together, redouble efforts, and finally reach a workable agreement that meets the needs of workers, passengers and the

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Wednesday October 10, 2018

readers have their say... Find out the WORD on the Street. Q: What does Wainuiomata need to make it sustainable for future generations?

Lilly Taylor, Auckland “There are the big changes towns can make like installing more solar. But there are also so many smaller initiatives that communities can benefit from.”

Leon McLeod-Venu, Wainuiomata “I think making the mall more alive again. That’ll help the new residential developments, bringing popularity back to Wainuiomata.”

Otila Osborne, Wainuiomata “We need more community focussed events to draw out the great talent in our youth. Keep our young people engaged and give them an opportunity to shine.”

Dawn McKinley, Wainuiomata “A full counter service bank and post office.”

Gerardine Solia-Gibb, Wainuiomata “Wainuiomata needs a sports hub here. They need to invest more time into their sports and the youth talent here and have opportunities to invite the rest of Wellington/Hutt Valley here in.”

Tute Porter-Samuels, (Wainuiomata) “Belief that we are a community with spirit and heart and as such we show care, empathy, and aroha to all that choose Wainuiomata as home.”

Home values increase 9.6 per cent Residential property values across the whole Wellington Region rose 9.6 per cent in the year to September and increased 1.6 per cent over the past quarter, with the average value now $664,418. The latest QV House Price Index shows that Wellington City values increased 8.5 per cent year on year and by 1.9 per cent over the past three months and the average value there is now $795,098.

Values in Upper Hutt rose 8.8 per cent year on year and 1.8 per cent over the past three months; Lower Hutt rose 3.4 per cent year on year and 0.1 per cent over the past quarter. QV Wellington Senior Consultant Paul McCorry says values have continued to level off over the last three months. “Due to affordability constraints, demand remains buoyant for apart-

ments in Wellington City which has seen some recent value growth. These new developments tend to sell well, with many still being purchased off plans,” Paul says. “In the Hutt Valley and Porirua, overall values have either stayed the same or grown modestly over the past three months but these areas lead the way in terms of year on year value appreciation,” he says.

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Wednesday October 10, 2018

Retirement village site work going well

Work on the Masonic Village Trust retirement village and rest home facility, set to fill a vacant reserve behind Hugh Sinclair Park, is progressing well. PHOTO: DAN WHITFIELD By Dan Whitfield

Remedial work on the land set to house Wainuiomata’s retirement village and rest home facility is progressing well, with the aim of having the first villas ready to occupy by spring 2019 still the case. The Masonic Village Trust announced in January the development of the $50 million facility planned to fill a vacant reserve behind Hugh Sinclair Park, backing on to Hinau Grove. Site preparation started earlier this year and to meet the first deadline, the groundworks need to get underway during the summer months when the soil is relatively dry. Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says Wainuiomata is a close-knit commu-

nity but many elderly residents have to relocate to other parts of the Hutt Valley to enjoy their retirement. “These are often people who have lived their whole lives in Wainuiomata and have contributed to building the strong community that it is today,” Ray says. “A local retirement village will give the community the option to be able to enjoy their retirement in familiar surroundings, close to their whanau and established network of friends,” he says. The village is set to eventually house around 200 people in retirement villas, rest home and hospital beds, care suites and serviced apartments. There will be 80 single-story villas available in single, two-and three-bed-

roomed options, and the rest home and hospital will provide beds for up to 60 residents. Once complete it will also become one of the largest local employers. “The development will create local jobs and bring economic benefits to the suburb. It will be a wonderful asset to Wainuiomata and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished development,” Ray says. Trust chief executive Warick Dunn says the establishment of such a village has long been sought by the residents of Wainuiomata. Thanks to significant support by the Hutt City Council, including a quick turnaround with the resource consent, the community’s vision is being turned into reality very quickly.

Report shows investment in Taita is paying off Many aspects of life in Taita are on the improve, especially for young people, according to analysis carried out to look at the impact of investment in that community by Hutt City Council and others. Meaningful social development has been a priority for council for the past five years, with a focus on young people in the North East. Data company Dot Loves Data has used its Dynamic Deprivation Index to analyse the impact of investment by council and others into the Taita community over the last five years. The analysis, shared with Council’s Community Services Committee, shows areas where there is a correlation between investment and some improved community outcomes. The analysis shows that educational outcomes are up, fewer young people are getting in trouble at school, and more are getting engaged in extra-curricular activities - all environmental factors that can result in better long-term outcomes. It also shows that crime rates in Taita have fallen between 2014 and 2018 and participation in sport is up. Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says while there remain serious broader challenges associated with high deprivation, it’s pleasing to see signs that things are getting better. “In recent years we’ve built the new Walter Nash Centre and computer clubhouse in Taita which are both well supported and highly valued by the community,” he says. “Council’s strategy is rejuvenation of the city, both economic and social. We want Lower Hutt to be a great place for everyone to live, work and play. For us to succeed, every Lower Hutt resident has to have the chance to reach their own potential.”

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Wednesday October 10, 2018

OUT& about Fun in the sun A sunny Monday afternoon was all that was needed to get the children at Jack and Jill Early Learning Centre out and about. Water playtime, fun on the slide and getting on the bikes were on the schedule when the Wainuiomata News popped in to say Hi. PHOTOS: DAN WHITFIELD

Luca loves riding his bike around the playground.

Kayla was a fan of the water activities and her smile shows it.

Micha and Jacob also loved the water activities.

Sage took a moment out from playing with her Michael was excited to be in the newspaper and put friends in the sandpit. on his BIGGEST smile.

Engineers applaud success of securing initiative Engineers are congratulating Wellington region building owners and territorial authorities on securing facades that pose an earthquake risk. Engineering New Zealand chief executive Susan Freeman-Greene says securing this vulnerable masonry has increased Wellington and Lower Hutt’s resilience and has the potential to save lives. “Resilience is more than a concept: it has a tangible outcome when the unpredictable hits. We need to value resilience more, and to create incentives that build it, like this securing initiative,” Susan says. “Wellington and Hutt City Councils deserve applause for making sure building owners carried out this important public safety work, in the wake of the increased risk of aftershocks from the Kaikoura earthquake. We also appreciate the Government’s role in helping fund this work, which was championed by engineers,” she says.

All buildings in Lower Hutt and Wellington City with unreinforced masonry parapets and façades, deemed an earthquake risk to public safety, have been brought up to a safe standard. In Lower Hutt, the owners of 25 buildings met the September 10 deadline. Susan says New Zealand needs an ongoing conversation about what earthquake-related risks we are prepared to tolerate. “This includes weighing the different risks in provincial centres, where earthquake strengthening can have a huge economic impact. Engineering New Zealand is currently consulting on more practical approaches to this problem,” Susan says. “We also want to start a public conversation on what we’re designing buildings for – is it enough just to allow people to evacuate or should we be making buildings that have a life beyond a moderate earthquake?”

Police investigate shooting in Stokes Valley Lower Hutt Police are continuing to investigate after a 21-year-old man was shot from a passing vehicle in Hanson Grove, Stokes Valley early Sunday morning. The man who was shot remains in hospital in a stable condition. Police have completed their scene examina-

tion in Hanson Grove and the scene guard is no longer in place. Police would like to hear from anyone with information which could assist the investigation. Information can left with Lower Hutt Police by calling 04 560 2600 or provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Get the picture and give us your best shot Wellington’s Botanic Garden is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and it’s looking pretty as a picture – so give it your best shot. To highlight the changing seasons, beauty, activities, and attractions the Botanic Garden has to offer, Wellington City Council is inviting photographers to enter their pictures into the Fresh Shoots photo competition. Council has partnered up with Excio, Wellington Photographic Society, NZPhotographer Magazine, New Zealand Photography Workshops, Wellington Photographic Supplies, and Nikon to offer four separate competitions taking place over the year. Every season, the panel of expert judges will select the senior and junior winners from each of the four categories: People, Nature, Events, and Creative.

The Botanic Garden is classified as a Garden of National Significance by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture and is a Historic Places Trust Heritage Area. The 25-hectare Botanic Garden – a short walk from the central city – is visited by 1.2 million people each year, making it the third most visited attraction in Wellington after Te Papa and the Cable Car. Senior prizes include a voucher from Nikon NZ worth $400 and free annual membership of the Wellington Photographic Society. Junior prizes include a place on a New Zealand Photography Workshop in Wellington and a New Zealand Photography Workshop Pocket Guide To Landscape & Wildlife Photography. The People’s Choice category will also be featured in NZPhotographer magazine.


Wednesday October 10, 2018

9


Wednesday October 10, 2018

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PAUL BUTCHER Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Composed by Tony Watling 3rd Oct 2018

M: 021 209 5645 E: paul@redcoats.co.nz

GOT NEWS?

BLACK CREEK Deliverers Required in First Church did dry land need.

the hills was swamp and reed. Area 1: Momona, Below Mohaka, Kawatiri - Kaponga. A man called Woods said he was able.

Contact Sandra on 587 1660

CROSSWORD C R O S S W O R D Puzzle CROSSWORD CROSSWORD

Free Delivery in Wainui

Situation Vacant

Annual General Meeting

To drain and reduce, the water table. Fitzherbert Road to fire Station. It made more room for habitation. Now it can be seen today. accounts@wsn.co.nz Keep it clean and it will stay.

Firewood In a study of a directdemocratic decision-making system in Switzerland, it was 2m seasoned pine $180 found that a compulsory 4m Split pine store for law increased turnout voting next winter $330 in federal referendums by Large Bags Kindling 30$13 percentage points and Large Bags Dry Pine/ resulted in a 20 percent hardwood mix $14 increase in electoral support for leftist policy positions.

THE WEEK

Wainui Self Storage, Waiu St, 0274805150.

Composed by Tony Watling 11th. Nov. 2015

Situation Vacant

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Answers: 1= Crucifixes. 2= Clouds. 3= Ottawa. 4= Earth. 5= 88 Kilometres. 6= A Parliament. 7= Saxophone. 8= Whale Shark. 9= Wood. 10= Coffee.

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Thinking of Selling? Better Call Paul.

Contact 04 587 1660 Applications are available at our recruitment office or at the security gate based in the Ngauranga George in Wellington. Contact Barry 472 7987 or 021 276 6654.

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View the Wainuiomata News online www.wsn.co.nz By Russell Russell McQuarters McQuarters By By ByRussell RussellMcQuarters McQuarters

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Wednesday October 10, 2018

SPORT

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Representative players continue to make WHS proud The success of the rugby programme at Wainuiomata High School continues with representative players displaying excellent results recently. In the last few months, Alex Faifailoa and Dante Kakahi were selected to play in the Hurricanes under 18 squad, Levi Smith and Andrew Sa’u were selected for the Hurricanes under 16 squad, while Leon McLoed-Venu was a representative in the Wellington Samoan under 18 team. But it was recently where the Wainuiomata talent stood out. On September 29, the Wellington Centurions under 18 team won against Wairarapa Bush counterparts, 50-10. This saw the team win the Hurricanes U18 Shield. Wainuiomata had two players in this squad, last year’s head boy Alex, who was the captain of the team, and current 1st XV captain Dante, who was unfortunately injured and unable to play in the final. Both players were highly regarded in their respective positions and tremendously proud of their team’s result. This was the Centurians first win in this

competition for 28 years. Current head boy Leon’s performance in the Wellington Samoan under 18 team was recognised, even though an early loss in the campaign meant the side did not to make the final. Andrew and Levi both returned from the Hurricanes under 16 tournament this week victorious, beating the Hawkes Bay development side 40-20. After being down 13-12 at half time, a quick four-try burst, including an outstanding 90m team try finished by Levi, saw the lead race to 40-12. The Hawkes Bay side gained a consolation try but the Wellington side were able to retain the Saracens cup which they have held for the last four years. Phillip Kauika, Wainuiomata High School’s first XV coach and Deputy Principal says, “The number of Wellington representatives from Wainuiomata High School continues to flourish and there’s no sign of this stopping with the school sending a touring rugby team to Japan in 2019.” Alex Faifailoa and Dante Kakahi holding up the Hurricanes u18 Shield.

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

Wrestling with the chance of history missed

ABOVE: The Hurricanes under 16 development squad’s Levi Smith, coach Phillip Kauika, and Andrew Sa’u. RIGHT: Leon McLoed-Venu has had a good run with the Wellington Samoan under 18 team. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

New sponsor for iconic Wellington event Sport Wellington is excited to announce Brendan Foot Supersite as the sponsor for the 2019 Wellington Round the Bays. This will be the 42nd year that Round the Bays has run, and it has become a truly iconic Wellington event taking place on February 17. Brendan Foot Supersite has already been a sponsor of Round the Bays for many years, as well as sponsoring the Central Pulse and Wellington Phoenix. Matthew Foot, dealer principal of Brendan

Foot Supersite in Lower Hutt, says he saw the opportunity as a good fit with their community support and sport focus. Round the Bays has over 14,000 people from across the wider Wellington region participate in an event that showcases our beautiful waterfront but is so much more than the distance covered. Registrations for the 2019 event open on November 1, 2018. Earlybird registrations close on November 30 and standard pricing on January 31, 2019.

I sat in Melbourne over the weekend realising I’d flown over for the wrong event. I was in the sporting capital of the world to attend a WWE wrestling show along with 70,000 other people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday night. If I’d done my due diligence before my flight took off I would have realised I’d lucked into the best opportunity to see wonder mare Winx race in the flesh at Flemington. Had I not been staying with my cousin, I wouldn’t have even known Winx was going for win No 28 in a row in the Turnbull Stakes. As I sat on the couch in our accommodation, mentally kicking myself for letting a golden opportunity disappear, I watched through the television in amazement as racing purists and casual fans alike soaked up the atmosphere. Children were dressed in the silks of Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman and seasoned race analysts simply stopped pondering who might win and became cheerleaders for the mare pre-race. She was an unbackable $1.14 on the fixed odds to win the race. In fact, analysts were telling people to back Winx and frame the ticket, as merely living in the age of the mare and seeing her race was victory in itself. With the stage set, the champion settled in her customary back of the pack position. Her booming speed in the home straight had been her calling card for years. She often streaked away from her opponents with utter arrogance as race callers battled to find superlatives to match what they had seen.

Saturday did not go to script. With 500m to go, Winx was second last on the rails. With 300m to go, her position had improved to the point where she was looking for a gap to stick her naturally big nose through and surge past but she was still a long way off the leaders in a quality field. With many acknowledging after the race that they thought she had no chance at that stage, Winx found some clear running room and Bowman set her alight. She stormed home and won by a length. It may not have been the most commanding performance of her career but few could argue it wasn’t one of her absolute best. I’m not sure if any other horse could have won from such an apparently hopeless position. My cousin, a casual racing fan, sat in amazement. I sat there, still kicking myself I wasn’t at the track, but thankful I’d seen a slice of history. If you only watch horse racing once this year, go out of your way to watch Winx race. The wonder mare will try and make further history when she races in the Cox Plate at Flemington on October 27. Winx will try and notch her fourth successive win in the Cox Plate. A race won previously by greats including; Phar Lap, Tulloch, Makybe Diva, Gunsynd, Kingston Town, Sunline and who can forget Bonecrusher’s win over Waverley Star, title “The race of the century”. Winx’s not just a sporting star, she is one for the history books.


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Wednesday October 10, 2018

Wainuiomata News 10-10-18  

Wainuiomata News 10-10-18

Wainuiomata News 10-10-18  

Wainuiomata News 10-10-18