Sculpture has Krispie appeal

Hutt News, August 2, 2016

A new use for stones from the former Lower Hutt Griffins factory has been found.

The granite stones, which were used to grind coconut for Krispie biscuits, are being carved into a sculpture by Tauranga based Barry Te Whatu and Sonny Davis of Waiwhetu Marae.

It will become part of the Waiwhetu Sculpture Walk the E Tu Awakairangi Hutt Public Art Trust is developing.

Griffins Sculpture


Barry Te Whatu and Sonny Davis are sculpting grinding stones from the Griffins factory









Frustration with boy-racers spur Seaview firms to call for car ban

The Dominion Post, May 20th 2016,  

Skid marks streaked across Hutt Park Rd outside Label and Litho in Gracefield.

Skid marks streaked across Hutt Park Rd outside Label and Litho in Gracefield.

Businesses sick of boy-racers want a ban on alcohol and cars covering as much of Seaview and Gracefield as possible.

The Seaview Working Group is urging the Hutt City Council to consider bringing in by-laws that would ban alcohol and non-commercial vehicles from the area “so that only people that need to be in the area for work can be there”.

The industrial area near Petone in Lower Hutt often attracts car enthusiasts looking for quiet streets at night.

Hutt Park Rd, right outside group chairman Angus Kincaid’s business, looks like it has been scribbled over with burnt rubber.

In a move that would give police more muscle to deal with the problem, the group made a submission to the council’s annual plan committee earlier this month.

“When these large gatherings happen in Seaview, they leave behind large amounts of shredded rubber on the streets, general rubbish, glass bottles, burn-out marks, graffiti, urine, and vomit,” the group’s submission said.

“Of particular concern, is a small number of businesses that run shifts in the affected areas and the staff safety at the end of these shifts.”

Kincaid was assaulted outside his work early one Saturday in 2013.

He had gone to talk to a group of boy racers about vandalism when he was attacked and was knocked out for 20 seconds.

The road was smeared with burnout marks, and a homemade start line was painted on the road.

A statement from the group said it was too early to provide further comment while they were still in discussion with council staff and police.

Acting Hutt Valley area prevention manager inspector Tracey Thompson issued a brief response emphasising police are working with the council, businesses and residents “to disrupt this behaviour in Seaview”.

“This is an issue that we all need to address… Strategies that contribute to alcohol harm prevention and Illegal street racing remain a priority.”

Legislation that came into effect in 2009 including the Sentencing (Vehicle Confiscation) Amendment Act allows for the destruction of cars whose owners had committed a third offence.

Seaview’s Macaulay Metals site was where the first boy-racer car was crushed in 2012.


Thirst-buster unveiled

Hutt News, April 5, 2016

Allan Brown, left, and Seaview Marina manager Alan McLellan watch as Wellington City Councillor Sarah Free holds the lever down to give a drink to the creator of the prototype water fountain for the Great Harbour Way cycle/walkway, Carl Longstaff of Metal Art Ltd.

Allan Brown, left, and Seaview Marina manager Alan McLellan watch as Wellington City Councillor Sarah Free holds the lever down to give a drink to the creator of the prototype water fountain for the Great Harbour Way cycle/walkway, Carl Longstaff of Metal Art Ltd.

Adults, kids and their four-legged friends have been catered for in the design of a drinking water fountain for the Great harbour Way.

A prototype of the hardwood and metal fountain, with arcs of water triggered at two height levels and a dog drink bowl at the base, was officially unveiled at Seaview Marina on Wednesday.

Allan Brown, who for more than eight years has been lobbying for the 70km cycleway and walkway right around the Wellington harbour edge and sections of coastline at either end, said in 10 years’ time there might be as many as 35 of the drinking fountains dotted along the route. (more…)

Masterpet puts the bite on John Key

Hutt News, March 29, 2016

Masterpet Opening

The Prime Minister is used to being chewed over by critics. On Wednesday he was face to face with a Key that suffers real bites.

John Key was presented with a rubber chew toy in his likeness when he opened the new $8 million headquarters and distribution centre of award-winning business Masterpet in Gracefield, Lower Hutt.

The Prime Minister remembered an earlier Masterpet pet chew toy in the likeness of former PM Helen Clark, which he enjoyed watching being demolished by a dog.

He also joked about the pecking order in his household, with his wife Bronagh at the top, followed by the cat Moon beam Smokey Fluffy Key, then the rest of the family.  He said he came last.

Masterpet moved into their 7245 square metre warehouse, with 762sqm of office space more than 12 months ago but chief executive Sean Duggan said the management team really wanted Key to be part of the official opening. (more…)

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…)

Valley chamber growing, as Wgtn numbers fall

Hutt News, December 22, 2015

The Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce now has more members than Wellington’s chamber.

A rough few years for the Wellington Chamber saw its membership drop to 606 in August, according to documents obtained by Fairfax.

This compared to a membership of 669 at the end of 2014/15 year for the Hutt Valley Chamber, an increase on 2013/14 of 13.

A majority of the Hutt Valley Chamber members were sole traders or those employing five or fewer staff.

Chief executive Mark Futter said that corresponded with an 11 per cent increase in membership revenue.

“Our membership numbers from Wellington have doubled in a couple of years.” (more…)