Petone Winter Carnival 2009

Just some of the festivities at the Petone Winter Carnival on the foreshore. Attended by many old and young alike and blessed with the joy of a Winters day of sunshine. Thanks to the key sponsors Leisure Active, Hutt City Council and the rest for the effort to put on this event

 Circus Training taken advantage of by the young

Unicycles, Hula Hoops and Juggling 

 48 Metre new mural by artist Daniel Mills depicting “The Legend of Te Whanganui a Tara”

Fun Rides on the Petone foreshore 

E Tu (Stand Up) Fire Sculpture Construction for that nights bonfires and fireworks. 

Potty Training! 

There are more photos on my twitter account or sidebar following twitter

Cheers to David St George for providing photos from Fireworks and Sculpture display that night, make sure you check out his profile and other photos on his site  great work.

Petone Winter Carnival 2009 David St George Photography

 Petone Winter Carnival 2009 David St George Photography


and also  thanks to

fireworks from the Petone Winter Carnival.  on Twitpic

and an awesome sequence from Matt Oliver  a series of photos taken from Korokoro Road

Great work

Thanks to everyone for responding and your contributions

Hutt Sewage Pipe – Update

The man in charge of Lower Hutt’s trunk main outfall remains confident it is in good condition, and won’t need replacement in the short-medium term.

Councillors rattled by a stress fracture in the pipe in the heart of Eastbourne, forcing another month of discharge of treated sewage into the harbour while it’s repaired, said last week that it’s bad for the Hutt’s reputation.

This latest shutdown of the trunk main comes on top of a six-week, $500,000 repair job on 11 joint seals along the 18km pipeline and led Cr Ross Jamieson to query if the city is being too optimistic on the robustness of the outfall.

City Services general manager Bruce Sherlock admitted that the fact the latest leak is due to a crack in the pipe rather than a joint failure “is a concern”. That’s why, as an extra precaution, during this forced shutdown E Carson & Sons contractors will walk the entire length of the pipeline to inspect its internal integrity. Previously, CCTV cameras had been used for the inspection.

As at last Friday, contractors had inspected 9km of the outfall  including random checks on joint seals  and had found no other problems. They’re mystified as to what caused the stress fracture near the corner of Muritai Rd and Rimu St.

The rest of the pipe will be inspected this week but the outfall is expected to be out of action for another three weeks because of a delay over parts needed to repair the fracture.

Mr Sherlock said he’d be able to assure councillors “with more confidence” when the inspection is complete. But he reminded them a 2004 in-depth investigation, including core sampling, found the 1960-commissioned main trunk to be in good condition, with an anticipated useful life of another 30 years or so.

Replacing the pipeline would cost about $30 million, but a government subsidy of 28% would be available. It’s a possibility any new pipeline would be laid under the harbour.

The council has put in its 10-year budget a $30 million contingency, mostly coming into effect from 2019.  Mr Sherlock says an upgrade to the capacity of the outfall will be necessary if the resource consent allowing discharge of treated sewage overflow into Waiwhetu Stream in times of heavy rain is not renewed in 2013 (though he’s confident it will be renewed), or if growth in the city requires a bigger/better pipe from Korohiwa to the outfall (the section where pressure is the highest).

He said if it was found necessary, some of that money could be diverted to replace all 4,000 of the joint seals along the pipeline at a cost of $3,000 each.


Cr Jamieson said the pipe shutdowns annoy fishers and other harbour users, cause traffic disruption while repairs are done, and – despite the assurances that the material being released into the harbour is secondary treated sewage from the Seaview plant, with a quality and appearance close to water – ”Waiwhetu Stream stinks. It does!”

Fellow Eastbourne councillor Joy Baird said the pipe shutdowns damage council’s credibility but Mayor David Ogden said he refuted that.  The Hutt Valley had spent $60 million on a modern treatment plant at Seaview that it could have built out at Pencarrow Heads.  It had taken all the care it could to inspect the main trunk pipeline, ”and I have said consistently if we need to build a new pipeline, we will”.

via Stuff

Hutt City Council Capital Expenditure spend for LTCCP

Last Wednesday night was the approval of the Capital expenditure budget for the HCC, both current (rates) and funding for the Long Term Community Council Plan (LTCCP).

In each case we have covered off the arguments for and against several of these projects (listed below). Some of these are well of the mark in regard to public opinion. Just click through to link it to previous posts, to get further insight into where this money is going, and why. To introduce the LTCCP money spend I leave it to the words of the Mayor David Ogden

“Council however remains committed to meeting the community’s need for services and facilities and the changes to the LTCCP reflect that, including:

  • Additional $2.3m to bring council’s contribution to the Walter Nash Stadium upgrade to $4m (previous post)
  • Extra $100,000 for the Stokes Valley shopping centre upgrade in 2009/10 (see post)
  • $2.2m for Korohiwa bus barns redevelopment agreed to (previous post)
  • $800,000 for Wainuiomata Hill summit bridge in 2011/12
  • $500,000 for Naenae subway improvements in 2011/12 (previous post)
  • Additional $200,000 a year for cycle ways from 2009/10 to 2018/19 (see post)
  • Grants to Mitchell Street tennis courts ($200,000) and replacement hockey turf at Fraser Park ($100,000)
  • $2.15m for environmental initiatives between 2009/10 and 2018/19 
  • $150,000 to upgrade security cameras in the CBD, and to install new cameras in Wainuiomata from 2009/10 to 2011/12 (see post)
  • Funding for a part-time CBD retail coordinator, and further funding to retain a retail coordinator for the Stokes Valley/Naenae/Taita shopping centres (see post)
  • $300,000 for the final stage of Hutt Park redevelopment brought forward from 2014/15 to 2009/10 (pr post)
  • $500,000 for a synthetic turf at Memorial Park brought forward from 2015/16 to 2011/12, and an extra $10,000 budgeted for in 2009/10
  • $50,000 for sound and lighting improvements to Little Theatre in 2009/10
  • $500,000 boost to events budget over 10 years
  • $300,000 for new street trees to be planted between 2009/19
  • Extra $185,000 to upgrade the Tutukiwi orchid house in 2009/10. 

Other key features of the LTCCP include:

  • $1.25m to upgrade McKenzie Pool in 2010/11 (previous post)
  • $1.1m for a learn to swim pool at Huia Pool in 2012/13
  • $24m to earthquake strengthen the main council building in 2016/17
  • $18m for Cross Valley Link in 2015/16.

We at HuttNZ will investigate the rest of the items not previously posted about in an endeavour to match these up against the LTCCP presented to the commnity, and if warranted will look into items that need more public discussion.

No doubt many of these items will raise concerns to the public, but several need to be looked at in light of central government spending that supports several of these projects, and is incumbent on local government to support them as well.

Please use the links provided to gain greater understanding of these current projects. 

I look forward to your comments.

Hutt City Council Rates Increase 2009/2010 3.4% up

This is the first in a series of posts in light of last Wednesdays HCC budget meeting, I will breakdown the proposed expenditure in the coming year in a separate post.

All reviews are in light of the Long Term Community Council Plan (LTCCP), and the impact on these items up to the year 2019.

First Rates:- (you never thought these would go down did you)

  • Rates Increase 3.4%

As a result of an increase in council rates revenue in 2009/10  increase is now set at 3.4%, down from 3.9%      projected in the draft LTCCP.

This is a direct result of an 11th hour “across the board” cut of $600,000 from the citys operational budget in the coming year 2009/10.

The 3.9% increase is in line with CPI plus 0.5% for city growth. The $600k is out of an operating budget of $120 million, so its not much 0.5% of a percent saving (give me strength).

The difficulty with the above figure is that CPI relates to the current year where as the HCC operates to a different schedule (June year), and indications are that the CPI of 3.4% will actually be around 2% making the council adrift in their efforts to curb increases to residents.

It is well known that people are suffering in the current economy. This has impacts on individuals as well as businesses.

Mayor David Ogden says:

“Times are tough with many households and businesses struggling to make ends meet.  Council recognises this and will cut its cloth to keep rate increases down,” 

“We believe savings can be found and council managers have agreed to examine all areas of expenditure and come back with specifics on how this can be achieved.”

Average increase to rates are yet to be determined but council officials reckon it will be around a 2.9% increase because of increased rate roll through property growth. No doubt upon receipt of this years rate bill, will you truely get an insight into whether you think the HCC is performing, and reacting fast enough in this economy.

I wonder if 0.5% cut to budget is asking enough of our council. I suspect most people who are directly effected by rates have had to trim their costs by more than 0.5%

Final note: Rates will contribute about 65% of this years income for the HCC, being $78m out of income of $118m (estimates)


Given all the above (if you can stomach the figures) it appears the HCC is doing OK, I give them a pass mark. Other councils in NZ have had far greater increases passed but all of this needs to be factored against Capital expenditure items HCC approved (my next post).