Ra­dio sys­tem con­nects

CHB Mail - - NEWS -

Re­mote ar­eas of Hawke’s Bay’s Kaweka For­est Park and Mo­haka River now have a com­mu­ni­ca­tion link to the out­side world, thanks to a lo­cal ini­tia­tive which has es­tab­lished an emer­gency ra­dio ca­pa­bil­ity for the area.

The three-year project has in­stalled four re­peaters to sup­port the use of ra­dios across the Kaweka For­est Park and Mo­haka River ar­eas. The ra­dios are avail­able for any­one to use when ven­tur­ing into these ar­eas.

This ini­tia­tive is the first of its kind in Hawke’s Bay.

Owner and op­er­a­tor of Mo­haka Raft­ing, Norm Brown, un­der­stands the im­por­tance of ro­bust com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems in ar­eas with no cell phone cover­age and he’s the driv­ing force be­hind the Mo­haka and Kaweka Emer­gency Ra­dio Trust, which was set up to fund this ini­tia­tive.

“We are see­ing growth each year in the num­ber of groups us­ing these ar­eas, and with that nat­u­rally comes an in­crease in in­ci­dents.”

He says the aim of the ra­dio net­work is not to re­place Per­sonal Lo­ca­tor Bea­cons (PLBs) but could pro­vide a means of avoid­ing a ma­jor res­cue ef­fort, and can also be of value dur­ing a res­cue ef­fort where lo­cal op­er­a­tors, such as him­self, may be as­sist­ing author­i­ties in a res­cue ef­fort.

“It is very im­por­tant to carry a PLB when ven­tur­ing into re­mote ar­eas.

“The ad­di­tion of a ra­dio could serve as a means of in­form­ing base of slow progress, or the need for fur­ther equip­ment, with­out hav­ing to ac­ti­vate the PLB.”

As of last month the ra­dios are up and run­ning and avail­able to rent at $15/day, $30/week­end or $50/week.

“A lot of work has gone into es­tab­lish­ing this ca­pa­bil­ity and we are re­ally urg­ing groups go­ing into these ar­eas to make use of the ra­dios,” says Norm.

He says the ini­tia­tive wouldn’t have come to fruition with­out the sup­port of or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Pamu Farms, which pro­vided the cap­i­tal in­vest­ment re­quired to in­stall a re­peater on their land.

“Fundrais­ing has been vi­tal to this project,” says Norm.

“In ad­di­tion to Pamu Farms, we have had sup­port, via a give a lit­tle page, from var­i­ous schools and or­gan­i­sa­tions who use the area as well.”

Four re­peaters have been in­stalled in the three-year project to sup­port the use of ra­dios across the en­tire Kaweka For­est Park and Mo­haka River ar­eas.

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