HUTTNZ WEEKLY VIDEO REVIEW 17 MARCH 2020

My, what a difference a week makes. The social distancing now required due to COVID – 19 alert, means the week proceeding which had a host of large scale events in the Hutt Valley, will no longer occur as residents distance themselves from social interaction to avoid the virus.

The Weetbix Tryathlon was held at the Hutt Receation Ground on 11th March. The Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon helps kids stay active and healthy through a programme of participation. It’s about getting out there, giving it a TRY, achieving a personal best, improving confidence and self-esteem. Numbers were huge as footage of the bike area alone indicates level of participation. Unfortunately the swim leg was cancelled due to a power outage Hutt Valley wide on the morning, closing the pool.

COVID -19 caused panic buying across Supermarkets chains for toilet rolls and hand sanitisers, but calm prevailed later in the week.

Local MP Chris Bishop incurred wrath of residents as he put himself into self isolation following a weekend trip to Australia. One would question the prudence of this trip given the world wide travel and health alerts, as comments on his Facebook page illustrate.

Brewtown Upper Hutt held on Saturday 14th March the BBQ & Beer Festival 2020, which beside the best BBQ also held a heat of the NZ Chilli Eating Championships. Huge crowd in attendance.

Street artist Block Vandal has paid tribute to the Islamic community & Police by installing 2 further murals in memory of the Christchurch shooting one year ago.

Wainuiomata Pool had a dogs allowed day on Sunday 15th March opening it’s doors to the local K9s after closing for the season to the human swimmers. Set in a beautiful backdrop amongst rose gardens and surrounded by native bush the event was very popular with locals.

Hutt Radio and others

Its been a while since I updated on Hutt Radios progress. This project has developed over the last 4 months from their requests for announcers to their first public meeting and earlier developments .

But I am happy to release the latest news following their early hard work and funding issues:

Hutt Radio, the new community station now on 106.1 FM,
hopefully has most of  the inevitable teething problems solved.
The Trustees are pleased to finally have BBC World on-air,
24 hours a day. Technically, this is the “test broadcast” phase.
It won’t be too long before some live local content is inserted
on a regular basis, in partnership with the BBC World Service.

Current coverage is the whole of the Hutt Valley from the
southern end of Upper Hutt, right down the valley to Petone.
Until the Trust can afford to site the transmitter on a hilltop,
some areas in the Western Hills will be unable to pick it up.

The transmission is from a NaeNae rooftop. FM radio is a
“line of sight” signal, so houses tucked behind a bit of hillside
won’t receive it. Nor will steel-reinforced concrete buildings.
Cars with Japanese radios will need to insert an expander.
Hutt Radio should eventually cover the entire Hutt Region.

via Hutt Radio

Congratulations all around to those involved as the continuing hard work is paying dividends. I look forward with interest to their continuing development in 2010.

Network radio is the current business model but I for one would like to see Hutt Radio succeed if only to provide a conduit for local voices, that seems to have been lost in the drive for commercial success.

As a sidebar the development of this community asset piqued my interest in the history around earlier radio broadcasting in the Hutt Valley (does anyone remember KIX FM?) but also similar activities already underway.

Several other broadcasters exist in this area that I have uncovered (albeit LPFM and/or internet based) which while limited in their range and coverage show the desire of others to express themselves via broadcasting. Whilst not all about community some show interest, and with the desire to broadcast on a network basis by the bigger radio stations the role of a community station servicing only the Hutt community is novel in todays world.

Visiting the NZ LPFM website provides insight into a list of 29 stations within Wellington of which 7 are in the Hutt region. Registration is voluntary and there could be more, but does show the diversity of people wishing to pursue their avenue of broadcasting, some with local content.

My chance to plug two that I have listened to (and know they are around) and like

The Cheese
Frequency: 88.4 FM
Broadcast Area: Wellington, Wainuiomata
Description: The Cheese is commencing broadcast shortly. Covering a base of music from the 80s, 90s and Today.
Contact: Grant Thoms (Email: thecheese@paradise.net.nz)

Grant of the The Cheese is also on Twitter as http://twitter.com/zollymonsta

Upper Hutts River FM
Frequency: 88.1 FM
Broadcast Area: Wellington, Upper Hutt
Description: The station has been broadcasting since Feb 2009. It is a community station broadcasting community information and interviews as well as a wide range of music.
Phone: 0274367890
Website: http://upperhuttsriverfm@gmail.com
Contact: Craig (Email: upperhuttsriverfm@gmail.com)

These guys are also on YouTube

No doubt they have other social media addresses and I apologise if they are not your best avenues or are out of date.

Does anyone else have any favourites that are out there?

Wainuiomata: Youths detained as result of arson attempt

Three young people will be referred to Police Youth Aid after a second small fire was discovered at a school in Wainuiomata on Saturday.

The fire was started in a pile of wood at St Claudine Thevenet School, but did not take hold, said Police.

Earlier in the day, a classroom at Pukeatua Primary School, also in Wainuiomata, was destroyed by fire which police are treating as arson.

However, they do not believe the two fires are linked and have made no arrests in connection with the Pukeatua fire.

Wainuiomata: Fire at Primary School

Police are investigating a suspicious fire at a Wainuiomata primary school.

Emergency services were called to the blaze at Pukeatua Primary School in Wainuiomata about 4pm Saturday, Detective Sergeant Scott Cooper, of Lower Hutt police, said.

Fire crews arrived to find the outside decking and one of the classrooms fully engulfed in flames.

The fire was brought under control before it could spread to other areas of the school, Cooper said.

Fire investigators and police said the blaze appeared to be deliberately lit.

via TVNZ