Naenae: An artists work, and the chance to contribute yourself

Dan Mills has literally painted Naenae. Naenae has an interesting history and Dan includes elements of this history and character in his work. Dans murals have graced the Naenae Boxing Academy, the subway tunnel, the Naenae Dentist, Naenae Primary School, Rata Street School, Naenae Basketball Court, the Olympic sized Swimming Pool and the Pacific Health Centre all in Naenae.

His work was further seen at the live art installation at the Petone Winter Carnival. Here he is explaining the depiction illustrated in his 48 metre wall mural The Legend of Te Whanganui a Tara on the Petone foreshore.

Following on from this, different type of painting but contributing is that the Naenae shopping centre is preparing for the second Big Splash Naenae Paintathon on Saturday 7 November when locals will pick up their brushes to add more shine to the Cambridge Terrace side of the Naenae shopping centre.

Local personality Billy Graham says last year’s Big Splash was an incredible success and the atmosphere was fantastic. “Everyone was buzzing for days afterwards and the shopping centre looks great.”

Hutt City Council’s retail coordinator Joanna van Walraven has coordinated this year’s effort and is encouraged by the amount of support shown already.

“Everyone is really keen to pitch in and see the shopping centre come alive for everyone to enjoy.”

Painting will begin at 8am and volunteers are asked to wear old clothes and bring a hat, sunscreen and a water bottle.

Resene local paint manufacturer has generously supplied paint and Brian Ross will supply painting equipment. Food and drink aplenty will keep volunteers humming.

“We’re asking anyone who’s keen to register by Wednesday 4 November so we can make sure we’ve got enough gear for everyone.”

If you want to be involved on the day and for further information contact
Joanna van Walraven on 577 8095 or

Movie Review: Julie and Julia at the Lighthouse Petone

It was Labour Day Monday.  The bloke was gearing up to watch U2 live on the internet. So I did what any self-respecting Hutt Valley Chick would do.  I picked a chick flick, called ‘the old girl’ (a.k.a. my lovely mother) and headed down to The Lighthouse in Petone.

We love it there.  Great intimate theatres (we were in number 4)  … and the opportunity to have a little vino with our movie.  There are only two downsides to The Lighthouse.  Lack of parking and deaf nanas who insist on talking loudly to each other during the movie.   

Luckily Julie & Julia didn’t disappoint. 

This lovely film follows the stories of two women: TV chef Julia Child and writer Julie Powell.  Julie decides to blog about her quest to cook all the receipes in Julia’s first cookbook.  In parallel, we see Julia’s quest in the 1950s to get her recipe book published.  Highlight of the movie?  Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Julia Child.  She is such a wonderful actress.  The movie is well worth seeing, but leave the bloke at home – it’s a bit girly.  Our rating 3.5 out of 5.

We’ll be heading back to The Lighthouse for The Lovely Bones which is out soon.

Petone: McKenzie Pool gets upgrade go ahead

Plans to build a $7 million swimming pool complex in Lower Hutt look set to be shelved in favour of upgrading Petone’s existing outdoor swimming pool. Hutt City Council has been considering whether to renovate the McKenzie Pool in Udy St or to build a new complex at Hikoikoi Reserve.

 The council’s leisure active manager, Marcus Sherwood, said he expected the finance and audit committee to agree at a meeting last night to a recommendation to upgrade the existing pool. He said the economic climate meant the returns on building a new complex were “not as certain” as the council would like. Council documents say the new “destination spa and gym complex” would have been a regional drawcard, attracting visitors from out of town and generating better returns than the existing pool, which loses about $155,000 a year. Mr Sherwood said cost was also a major factor behind the recommendation, with the estimated upgrade cost of $1.4 million being far below building a new centre. He expected the community to support upgrading the existing pool, particularly as it was within walking distance of local schools.

via Stuff


I am quite convince that there are megalomaniac tendencies in all council employees when it comes to property development. The backstory of this community pool  is that the Petone people, schools and users spoke strongly that they did not want a new developement located at Hikoikoi Reserve or any of the other alternatives. The best option  for the majority of users was the redevelopment of the current pool. Thank goodness common sense has prevailed, and this is going to occur. It does remind me of the Eastbourne Bus Barn redevelopment, which I live in hope will be stopped, even though the process is far advanced.

The McKenzie Pool would open on November 21, and upgrade work would not affect this season’s opening hours.

Petone: Truck Driver guilty of Cyclist death

A truck driver has been found guilty causing the death of a senior police officer.

In a reserved decision, Judge Tom Broadmore found Desmond Wilson, 45, of Porirua guilty of causing the death of Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald through careless driving.

It followed a three-day trial in Lower Hutt District Court in August.

Mr Fitzgerald, a road safety expert, was knocked from his bicycle by Wilson’s truck and was crushed under its rear wheels at the intersection of Hutt Rd and The Esplanade in Petone in June last year.

Judge Broadmore said he was satisified that Wilson had diverted his attention from the road and that Mr Fitzgerald was well able to be seen.

He will be sentenced later.


This was an ugly accident on a busy intersection in Winter. No doubt new road improvements at this intersection at Petone will hopefully protect cycle accidents in this area. The issue around access to SH2 both on and off should be alleviated by this new entrance, thank god. The real issue is around cyclist protection on NZ roads, and the current disrespect that the major of motorists have toward them.

Petone: PWMC & RSA to merger

The Hutt Valley’s largest Returned Services Association is to move in with the Petone Working Men’s Club (PWMC).

Fifty or so of the Lower Hutt Memorial RSA’s membership of 700 turned up at a special meeting last week to hear an update on negotiations. President Allan Beardsley says they endorsed the merger idea.


Well being a member of the PWMC I for one am happy to see the club progress with further amalgamation, and I suppose you couldn’t have got better candidates.

Over the years the PWMC has emerged as being a very progresive club always looking at expansion opportunities, starting with its working class identity to becoming a model other chartered clubs around NZ envy with top notch facilities.

I also see on the agenda there was a possible look at expansion into accomodation for UCOL and a motel complex.

If you haven’t had a look at the club, or thought it was private and for the older generation I suggest you avail yourself of the opportunity, problem is its so popular some days you can’t get a park.

Petone: Local man acted like “Bonnie & Clyde” episode

Wellington, Sept 9 NZPA – A Lower Hutt man accused of stealing a car and petrol, then leading police on a high-speed chase had his sentencing delayed when he appeared in Taupo District Court today.

Regan Shannon McKinley, 20, of Petone, pleaded guilty to 14 charges when he appeared before Judge James Rota in Taupo District Court last month.

He was then remanded for sentencing this week, but today that was put back to September 23.

McKinley stole a Subaru Impreza and then $105 worth of petrol from BP Geyser in Rotorua on August 10.

He later refused to get out of the vehicle after being stopped by police on State Highway 5, north of Taupo. He sped off, striking Constable Janine O’Connor on the knee and was chased for 40km at speeds up to 170kmh.

After road spikes deflated three tyres on the car, he drove another 9km before being stopped and arrested.

Ms O’Connor suffered minor bruising and a sore left knee but did not require medical help.

McKinley was found to have a breath alcohol reading of 476mcg of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

He also faces numerous charges from courts in Taupo, Tauranga and Lower Hutt.

Judge Chris McGuire today indicated McKinley could expect to receive 12 months home detention, a further disqualification from driving and reparation.

He described McKinley’s actions as a “Bonnie and Clyde episode which was serious, reckless, dangerous and seriously criminal”.

He was remanded in custody.


Petone: Dead fish on beach warning to public

The Dominion Post has reported that a woman walking on Petone beach yesterday with her dog found several dead fish. this caused here concern in light of recent press. The fish found were Porcupine fish and a Te Papa expert explains the fish variety here

This together with recent issues in Auckland over dead fish finds and the death of  four dogs, and the possible explaination shows it would pay to err on caution around the area. 

Equally it is timely reminder to be aware of restrictions and advice from the Greater Wellington Regional Council of known areas of concern around waterways. Recently 1080 posion has been dropped in Kaitoke Regional Park area with warnings for dogs and along the Hutt River if flooding should occur.

No doubt the test result will show the cause of the problem and whether it is connected to the Auckland issue of tetrodotoxin.

In the meantime it would pay to avoid the Petone foreshore with your young children and pets until the all clear is given.

Petone: Railway Platform partial closure for upgrade

Petone rail platform is getting ready for the arrival of the new ‘Matangi’ trains in 2010.

From 30 August to mid October, half of each platform will be closed. So if you’re travelling to or from Petone Station make sure you travel in the front 4 carriages of the train, or if you’re on the Wairarapa service use the front 3 carriages.

This change will affect some morning and evening peak Taita services and services operating after Stadium events at Westpac Stadium which have 6 or 8 carriages.

Petone: New Cycleway at Petone entrance

A new cycleway connection at Petone is set to improve access and safety for bikers and walkers this summer.

Currently walkers and cyclists exiting or entering Petone from Ngauranga have to negotiate the large Petone roundabout.

A new off road cycle/walkway will run from the Water Ski Club access road, under the Petone overbridges and along to Hutt Road next to the roundabout, where it will connect into the existing cycleway.  This will separate walkers and cyclists from other traffic, allowing them to travel safely.  

A ramp will also be built from the Water Ski Club access road up to the southbound SH2 Petone on ramp to provide a link to the existing Petone to Ngauranga cycleway.

Work, including the construction of a new bridge over the Korokoro stream, is expected to be complete in November. 

The improvements are a joint initiative between NZTA and the Hutt City Council and build on the recently completed crossing and warning signage at the SH2 Petone off ramp and improved road marking and surfacing between Ngauranga and Petone.

Currently there is a major court case being held in Lower Hutt over the death of a cyclist at this intersection, this development will enable people not to be exposed to the dangers this court case illustrates.

Petone: Bomb Scare at NZ Racing Board Headquarters

Police cordoned off part of Petone this morning after a beeping package was delivered to the New Zealand Racing Board building.

The army bomb disposal unit was called and searches undertaken of the NZRB National Office to establish whether to destroy the package there or take it away and deal with it, said Inspector Mike Coleman of police central communications.  Police bomb dogs were used to search the NZRB building.

The package was about A4 in size and was beeping. It was delivered about 8.15am.  Traffic between Jackson St Victoria St and Hutt Rd was closed to traffic.  By 11.00am the incident had been identified as non threatening the offending object identified as a cellphone couriered to the NZRB and the situation was down graded with roads re-opened.

Nearby businesses Briscoes and The Warehouse were also evacuated.

Evacuees at the time were taken to the Petone railway station.

 Photos of incident from Edna_Phillips here Thanks Edna