Gambling on ice venue

Hutt News, March 29, 2016

Ice rink

Rob Blitz has risked everything to open Wellington’s first permanent indoor ice skating rink.

The Lower Hutt businessman says it is costing him $1500 a day electricity on top of the tens of thousands he spent setting up the rink and infrastructure around it.

“If it works out I win big but if it doesn’t I lose everything – the house, the business, even my underwear.”

The rink is in the Daytona Raceway, at 85 Port Road Seaview.  The 4000sqm warehouse features go-karts, paint ball and mini putt but it has always been Blitz’s dream to run the region’s first permanent rink.

World-wide, he says, people who set-up ice rinks inevitably lose money and go out of business.  It is those who buy the failed business who make all the money.

“We are trying to buck that trend.” (more…)

Boaties still No 1 in marina revamp

Hutt News, March 22, 2016

Apartments, cafes and more retails could be part of the future development of the Seaview Marina.

Marina management outlined their ‘vision’ for the council-owned facility at a presentation to the Lowry Bay yacht Club last week.

Marina manager Alan McLellan said their resources consent was restrictive and needed updating.

The city council required the marina to run as a business and it had to look at development options.

The core business, he said, would always be boating ‘and that is never going to change’. (more…)

Old Ford factory to be upgraded

Hutt News, March 22, 2016

Ford Factory

The historic Ford assembly plant building in Seaview is to be refurbished at the end of the year.

Work on the landmark brick building at 43 Seaview Road will begin soon after Placemakers move out in October/November.

Tim Julian of commercial real estate firm Colliers International says it’s a wonderful old building but it probably isn’t up to modern specifications.

“For a building that’s 70 or 80 years old it’s in remarkably good condition. You may as well take the opportunity, when a space is vacant, to future proof it,” he says. (more…)

Hutt fish sedative has world potential

Hutt News, March 8, 2016

Hutt fish sedative

A newly-recruited staff member at Lower Hutt-based firm AQUI-S has played a hand in developing a fish farming sedative that has worldwide potential.

Jessie Bird, who recently completed her master’s in biomedical Science at Victoria University, was hired by AQUI-S in May last year.  She almost immediately began a 10-week industry secondment at the Ferrier Research Institute, working with their scientists on the manufacturing process for a new active ingredient derived from clove oil.

AQUI-S manufactures a range of aquatic anaesthetic products for stress management during fish handling operations, including transport, health treatments, grading and harvest.  Their major clients are fish farmers in Norway but they also sell to fish farmers here and in other countries.

However, the sedative they had been using was not favoured in Canada and the United States.  There is confidence the new active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) will open up markets in those nations and others. (more…)

Lower Hutt could be home to New Zealand’s first TechShop.

Hutt News, February 23 2016

Hutt City Council is hosting public meetings in Lower Hutt and Wellington on March 8 and 9th as part of a market assessment on the viability of setting it up here.

TechShop was founded in the USA and is an open access hub for reactivity: bringing together the hardware, software and people anyone might need to turn an idea or invention into reality. (more…)