The Deputy Mayor and Metal band Deathnir

On this week’s FreeFm show and podcast...

Are the proposals in the Hamilton City Council’s 10 Year Plan “done deals”?  I ask Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher this question and then find out what he thinks will make Hamilton a desirable city to live in.  Then, Andrew from metal band Deathnir comes in to let us know about an event happening in the central city this weekend and what he was hoping to achieve by bringing metal, rock, acoustic pop, reggae, folk and blues together!  He also performs an acoustic version of one of their songs.

Other music from Looking for Alaska, Coral and System Corporation.



Zero Below by Katie

In this week’s podcast I chat to zero-waste advocate Katie Hine.  Over the last couple of years, she’s worked towards reducing her waste to just a jar every couple of months, far shy of the 780kg the average Hamiltonian is responsible for each year.  Hear about her journey, and tips on how we can all reduce our environmental impact starting in the home.  ( or insta “zerobelowbykatie“)

Katie Hine has a blog called

Earlier in the week Katie and I organised a meet up for those interested in zero-waste which was a great opportunity to share ideas, ask questions and find out what is happening at a community and political level with regards to waste minimisation.  If you’re interested in future meetings, or want to be one of the first to sign a petition to the Hamilton City Council which launches next week – join the Zero-waste Kirikiriroa group on facebook.

In this episode I also talk about the proposed name change to Kirikiriroa and play music from local bands The Shrugs, The Good Fun, Loudhailer, Date Month Year, Ancient Tapes and Snake Oil Peddlers.


With thanks to Two Birds Eateries for their support for Kelli from the Tron and FreeFM89.0.  Listen to the podcast here.

Future City Festival at FreeFM!!!

After inviting some of the bands from the Future City Festival line-up into the FreeFm studio for a live show, I didn’t really know what to expect – but what I got was lots of fun, so much more appreciation for what they all do to make our city cooler and excitement for what is Hamilton’s biggest and best music festival.

Listen to the full (hour long) podcast. 

First up on today’s show was Oliver aka Glass Shards.  He bridges art and music perfectly –  so if you want to watch someone stand still and sing into a microphone… you won’t like this  He also has an exhibition at The Meteor this week, so check out his work there.

glass shards.jpg

Next up Julian from The Scones and Kitchenette.  It was was good to put to rest the question he probably gets asked every single interview which was scones (zz) or scones (like stones)… you’ll need to listen to find out which one it is…

Stoked to have Kat from one of my favourite local bands Cheshire Grimm in next, after hearing rumours of a hiatus I had to find out the dirt.


Can’t have a show about Future City Festival without the organiser!  Rob from Hamilton Underground Press joined us too.  I wondered what it’s like to put on such a huge undertaking like 20+ bands in two nights in three venues!

Finally, I felt privileged to have Chloe, Wai, Alex and Nathan aka Bloodlux in the studio to perform an acoustic version of “Unseen”.  Future City Festival is their first gig but I’m pretty sure you’re going to be hearing a lot more from them.


Listen to the full (hour long) podcast.

With thanks to Phil Grey, GM at FreeFm / The Hum 106.7 for the videos /photos

Next week’s show is on politics… so enjoy this one 😉

Podcast – David Bennett, Future City Festival and Date Month Year

Tune in to Free Fm 89.0 to hear a new episode of Kelli from the Tron at 10am every Friday.  The latest podcasts can be streamed here (click the blue link).  

Episode 74. 2 March 2018.  I talk to Hamilton East National MP David Bennett about the proposed Waikato Medical School  -which appears to be a “no-go” under Labour.  I catch up with Rob from Hamilton Underground Press about Future City Festival – finally I chat to Trevor from Date Month Year, one of the bands at the festival.

Music is from Date Month Year, The Beths, System Corporation, Cheshire Grimm, Rubita and Loudhailer,

Ka mua, ka muri

Should we feel guilty for the actions of our ancestors?  Is it time for us to put aside the wrong-doings of the past? What would that look like? and furthermore, why aren’t we taught our own history?

There was an unmissable synergy between two events I attended this weekend, held as part of the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.  The first was “Flowing water: A story of the Waikato river” which was written by Witi Ihimaera and composer Janet Jennings.  The Maori accounts had been devised by local historian Tom Roa who also facilitated a talk I attended, by historian and writer Vincent O’Malley about his book “The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000” (2016).

The Battle of Rangiriri in Flowing Water.

Once you know what really happened here in the Waikato, what do you do?  Should we feel guilty for the actions of our ancestors?  In his book, Vincent O’Malley was careful to tell the story and allow the reader to make up their own mind; and likewise in “Flowing Water” we are told of the toil, losses and hardship on both sides.  As much as the Maori lost their land, the settlers offered a fresh start in a new country were often given unworkable land – with speculators profiting as a result.  History does repeat.  However, the truth remains that the Pakeha government, militia and settlers invaded the Waikato with the intention of taking land and sovereignty from the Maori.  Tom Roa shared a feeling the Maori held, which was of surprise and hurt at how events unfolded – “I thought we were friends.  I fed you.  Where did your anger come from?”  But is it fair for ancestors to feel that guilt?  No, I don’t think it is.

The first book in over 100 years to tell the story of the Waikato.

Does progress mean putting aside the wrong-doings of the past to move on as one people?  No.  Understanding the facts of what happened and being free from blame, anger, guilt and defensiveness allows a level of progress where we might look at the harm of colonisation to Maori and where changes should be made to remedy that.  It involves recreating a more fair political, social, economic and environmental system.  We seem to be stuck in the cycle of continually relegating all progress to the Waitangi tribunal or to the Ministry of Maori development, instead of making it an issue for all New Zealanders to address.  We all need to be part of that process, which is why reluctance to make the Great War for New Zealand, a part of the school curriculum needs to change in the first instance.  If anything can give us hope it is that the rangatahi, the young people want to know the truth.  The best example of this is the advocacy done by Otorohanga school pupils to commemorate the Land Wars.  They had been surprised at their lack of knowledge of the Battle of Orakau – a short drive from their homes.  It seems we’ve accepted the Russian revolution and American civil war as taking precedence in our education.

Vincent considered himself an unlikely candidate to write a book on the New Zealand wars but chose to after becoming aware of the stories through working on treaty claims.  He believed the stories needed to be told outside of the court room.  Witi wanted to tell the story of our people – those that lived alongside the Waikato river and in doing so the story of all New Zealanders.  Their work offers us the opportunity to face the past and it’s from here we can walk backwards to the future – ka mua, ka muri.  

Rangiriri Pa has underdone “restoration” and signage – acknowledging the battle of 1863.

I believe strongly in change starting within oneself, so I’ve made it a resolution of sorts to teach myself about Waikato history – and the damage of colonisation.  I have also enrolled in a Te Reo course, we are the kaitiaki of the language – without us it will die.  I’m hoping I will build enough confidence and ability to be able to pass on this taonga to my daughter – and use Maori words and terms as part of daily conversations.  I’ll be supporting events commemorating the wars – from Rangiriri to Orakau and understand the main commemoration will occur in 2020.  I will support and advocate for our history to be part of the NZ school curriculum as there is power in knowledge.  Finally – and in many respects the most difficult at a individual level, I intend to find how I as a relatively privileged, skilled person can help to unwrap the oppressive, unfair systems which I believe continue to see Maori over-represented in the worst of statistics.  It’s the least I can do.

This post is really an exploration of thoughts – and I don’t profess to be an expert or knowledgeable, so would love to know your thoughts, to help me understand better.

Follow my blog for future posts and like Kelli from the Tron on facebook for other updates.


Mythbusting with Shayne Wihongi – NZ First

How do we decide which political party to vote for?  Do we take an objective look every three years to assess their policies, bottom lines and core values?  How much of what we “know” about a party is actually true?  NZ First’s leader, Winston Peter’s found himself in the position of kingmaker in the 2017 elections, despite having only 7% of New Zealand voter’s support.  So what do that 7% of us see in NZ First that the rest of us don’t?  Isn’t it a party for old people? racists? and those spouting other populist lines?

Shayne Wihongi, clarifying some facts at #giveashit
Shayne Wihongi, clarifying some facts at #giveashit – Meet the candidates event (Sep 2017)

“No”, according to Shayne Wihongi – Chairperson of the Hamilton West electorate, and recent candidate.  I invited him on to the show to talk about his experience on the campaign trail, where I’d been impressed by his social media campaign and pragmatic approach to myth busting.  While I don’t see myself waka jumping any time soon, I think a sound democracy isn’t just about voter turnout but about being informed and engaged 365 days of the year.  Have a listen to this week’s podcast, and if you’re available (and want to) head to their event on Tuesday night.

Also, on this show I start featuring Future City Festival bands and artists.  This week, I shared music from The Scones, Cheshire Grimm, The Beths, System Corporation and The Datsuns.  You can get your tickets for the festival at



Witi Ihimaera’s gift to the Waikato

Listen now.  In this podcast I’m joined by acclaimed New Zealand writer Witi Ihimaera who tells us about “Flowing Water” a story written to honour the lifeblood that is the Waikato River.  The theatrical performance is happening as part of the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival next weekend.  You can get your tickets here.   


I also tell you why Two Birds Eatery (my new show sponsor) is so awesome and share events happening in the Tron this week.

Music on today’s show is from 100% Waikato bands Katchafire, Cheshire Grimm, Rubita, The Recently Deceived and Louder Louder.