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Wairarapa TV almost here

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

There’s only a few days wait until Wairarapa’s own TV channel launches.

Wairarapa TV has bucked nationwide trends, bringing television media back to square one- the community.

And it will all go live from 4pm on Monday.

Freeview channel 41 will be the place to tune in to for all things Wairarapa, with Wairarapa content, news, weather, and other television segments from around the region.

Toby Mills, the mastermind behind Wairarapa TV, said almost everything was set in place to make it all happen.

“It’s now up to the people of the Wairarapa to contribute content they want to see on their screens,” he said.

“This is particularly exciting as Wairarapa TV will allow people and events that otherwise would never have been able to get themselves on TV to be local stars.”

He said the collaboration between organisations like Trust House, Wairarapa Times-Age, MoreFm and Destination Wairarapa was something that “could only happen in a small place like the Wairarapa”.

He said it was rewarding to see organisations that might have seen a TV channel as a threat “embracing it and working together to make it better”.

“These organisations working together are all contributing to make Wairarapa TV far greater than the sum of its parts and something that will be a great asset for the community.”

Some ideas for the channel put forward by the community included live weather cameras.

“With the help of Harvest Electronics and Trust House, we now have cameras in Opaki, Masterton, Gladstone, Featherston, Castlepoint, Riversdale and Cape Palliser,” Mr Mills said.

“At the start of every hour you can see the latest Weather forecast followed by a live time-lapse from all these cameras.

“This will make it much easier to plan trips around the Wairarapa.”

He said there were many other great ideas in the pipeline.

The Wairarapa TV signal is broadcast with a narrow beam from Popoiti Hill, Masterton, where the dish picks up the signal and delivers it into the Freeview network.

Teletronics, of Masterton were out at the towers yesterday completing the last of the install work.

“The local team of Scott and Chan from Teletronics climbed the tower and did the rigging to install our equipment and have done a fantastic job of helping to get Wairarapa TV off the ground,” Mr Mills said.

“Those guys are heroes and Chan in particular is a star as he helped even when he has a baby due at any minute.”

The official broadcast will start at 4pm on launch day, however people will be able to tune into the test broadcast to check they can receive Wairarapa TV from this afternoon.

People may need to rescan for new channels on their TV, but some will do so automatically every few days.

“Until people can turn on their TV’s and actually see it on the screen, people have been a little skeptical which is understandable,” Mr Mills said.

“Once it has launched and is out there, I think a lot more people will begin to see the possibilities and opportunities and will be surprised at how good it really is.”

There is also an app which allows people to watch Wairarapa TV live on their mobile devices.

To download the app, search Wairarapa in the app store.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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