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Secret FM No Secret Any More

Hutt youth centre launches radio station

LEE-ANNE EDWARDS

Secret FM

Say what! DJ Ben Bro throws his hands up in shock at hearing that Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Development and Youth Affairs, spends $40 million a day meeting the responsibilities of her portfolios. He and fellow DJ Jeremy Hurn interviewed the MP at the launch of Secret Level's radio station, Secret FM. Photo: LEE-ANNE EDWARDS

Hutt radio listeners will be hearing more from local teens with the launch of youth radio station 107.2 Secret FM.

A part of the city's youth centre, Secret Level, the station is the realisation of a long held dream for centre manager Simon Gilbert.

"It's been a passion of mine to have a station here. I'd say it goes back at least 10 years to when we tried to have our first radio station here."

Work has been under way for months to build sound-proof booths and set up other gear next to an existing recording studio, Mr Gilbert said.

"Unlike the big stations we only have one watt of power, but we've made the best use of that one watt. This is a huge day for us. . . after six months of testing and tweaking and learning all sorts of technical stuff, we are finally open."

107.2 Secret FM currently airs to 80 per cent of the Hutt Valley, Mr Gilbert said.

The team involved is keen to promote the station to young people.

"We want them not only to listen to it, but come in and use it; play music, do talkback, give their views. We're open to ideas, just come in and talk to us and we'll help to guide you through the process."

Currently the shows are hosted by a combination of interns and Gateway pupils from St Patrick's College, Silverstream, Hutt Valley High School and St Bernard's College.

Because the studio can easily be made mobile, it is also available for schools to use.

With the launch held during Youth Week, Minister for Social Development and Youth Affairs Paula Bennett was on hand to both open the studio and be interviewed by DJs Ben Bro and Jeremy Hurn. Topics ranged widely from queries about what an MP does, to favourite movies, songs and bands.

Confessing to being a "true Westie", Ms Bennett was quizzed on what exactly that meant.

"A Westie is a little bit bogan . . . I'm proud to be a bogan and all that comes with that including all the lovely stereotypes like a love of leopard print, fast cars . . . and the fact we're more likely to drink a Woodstock than a glass of pinot gris.

"I actually own a leopard print car so you can't get much more bogan than that."

In defence of bogans she added that they were also inventive, smart, funny and very self- effacing.

"We can laugh at ourselves. And I must admit arriving in Lower Hutt I think there's a wee touch of bogan out here too, I reckon."

The MP provided some impressive statistics as she told her audience that as Minister for Social Development and Youth Affairs, she was responsible for a spend of $22 billion.

"That's about $40 million a day on things like superannuation and the whole welfare bill."

DJ Ben Bro came up with the novel idea of cutting superannuation payments, ("kids should look after their parents"), as a way of helping the Government save money.

To which a rather nonplussed Paula Bennett responded: "Really?"

Back on safer ground, talk turned to favourite bands.

"I'm a huge Queen and Meatloaf fan, that's who I'd take if I was on a desert island."

To the dismayed reaction from the DJs her parting shot was, "I warned you I was a bogan." To take part in 107.2 Secret FM contact Secret Level, 229a High St, secretlevel.org.nz

- Hutt News

© Hutt News May 29, 2012.

This material remains © Fairfax New Zealand Limited and is only to be used for non-commercial personal or research use. Any other use requires permission of the copyright holder.

For a current list of all Low Power FM stations broadcasting in New Zealand, visit our NZ LPFM Radio Guide.

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