What's on...

Sun Oct 22 @10:00 - 04:00PM
Wellington Trap Cup: 100 Target Trench and Finals
Sat Oct 28 @10:00 - 02:00PM
October Novice Coaching Clinic
Sat Oct 28 @10:00 - 04:00PM
October Members Practice Day
Sat Oct 28 @13:00 - 04:00PM
25 HCBD, 16m, 14m, 12m, 25 Double Rise
Sun Oct 29 @08:30 - 04:00PM
Dale Shield DTL Team Shoot
Sun Nov 05 @10:00 - 04:00PM
November Members Practice
Sun Nov 05 @13:00 - 04:00PM
NZ Ammunition Company Sporting Grand Prix Round 11 (incl SxS Trophy)
Sat Nov 11 @09:00 - 03:00PM
Special Working Bee
Sun Nov 19 @09:00 - 04:00PM
100 Target Compak

Club history

Club HistoryThe Hutt Valley Gun Club is amongst the longest established Gun Clubs in New Zealand and by far, the oldest in the Wellington Province.  It is a remarkable story.  The Club has survived three changes of shooting grounds, two world wars, a depression, and weathered just about everything a voluntary Club can.

The Club came into existence on Saturday, 21st February 1903 at 8.00pm, when twelve men under the Chairmanship of Mr G.  Cudby, met at Caseys Hotel in Lower Hutt.  A few days later in the Evening Post for Saturday, 28th February 1903, the following appeared:

The formation of the Hutt Valley Gun Club should be welcomed both at the Hutt and in the city.  Mr Adnams will make an energetic Secretary, and the club, which has made a satisfactory start, is likely to be a success.  One outcome should be the arranging of regular matches between the new club and the Wellington Gun Club.

This proved the understatement of the year.  Before the year was out a further 68 members were added, making 80 members in the first year of operation.  Over the years, some 1500 members have now enjoyed the Club.  Amongst these are one Governor General, one Prime Minister, three Cabinet Ministers, and members of many prominent Wellington families. 

The Club ran its inaugural Open Shoot on Wednesday, 18th March 1903 at the Showgrounds, Petone.  This site eventually became the home of General Motors.

Innovation

During its long history, the Club has hosted just about every clay target event possible from the 1940 New Zealand Centennial matches to the 1991 National Sporting championships.  The Club is also credited with much pioneering in trap shooting.  It was the first in 1934 to lay the five-track, straight shooting system in New Zealand and install electric Skeet traps, again a national first.

In 1962, the Club may well have started an international trend.  Clay targets until then were universally black that sometimes resulted in sighting problems against certain backgrounds.  After much experimentation, the Club came up with orange coloured targets and the first batch were hand painted with an oil-based pigment.  These proved an immediate success and their popularity quickly spread both locally and overseas.  Orange is now the standard international colour for clay targets. 

Other initiatives were the inauguration of the Wellington District Championships in 1985; a Sporting Clays handicapping system in 1987; the concept of Top Gun in 1988; and in 1990, the fostering of youth shooting.  This ultimately led to the Club holding the Schools National Shooting Championships in 1991 and 1993.  Indeed, so successful did these Championships become that they were taken over by the New Zealand Clay Target Association and now form an integral part of the National shooting calendar.

Shooting Excellence

Down the years, the Club has produced its quota of champions.  Well over 20 members have achieved National honours, including Olympic representation. 

In 1977, the Club held every inter-Club trophy in the region for team events.  These were the H.H.  Morris Shield, the Dale Shield, the Collinson Cup, the Neil Carpenter Trophy [single barrel],the Haskell Anderson Cup [double rise], and the Marlborough Skeet Shield.  Two years latter in 1979, no less than four members, were selected for the New Zealand Clay Target McIntosh Team, at the one time. 

In 1981, a 6-man Club team travelled to Christchurch to shoot the Colonial Ammunition Ely Teams Match against shooters from all over New Zealand.  Hutt Valley broke 296 of their 300 targets to win the Event.  To cap it off, the same team two days later in Wellington, won the Collinson Cup for the Club by breaking 99 out of 100 targets.

This spirit of shooting excellence continues to the present day.

Top Facilities

The Club too, has always prided itself on offering members both the full range of trap disciplines as they evolve along with comfortable, well equipped Clubrooms.  The experience gained over three leased shooting grounds from 1903 to 1961 was finally realised when the current grounds, were purchased in 1982.  These ranges cover some 25 hectares or 62 acres of land and put the Club in the unique position of offering every kind of clay target discipline at the one Complex.  No other Club in New Zealand, as far as it is known, has such a concentration of facilities.

Sporting Redevelopment

Following extensive surveying and drainage works, it was possible in 1999 to accelerate the redevelopment of the Sporting Fields at the Club.  This involved forming ten new stations and equipping them with the necessary shelters and traps.  Nevertheless, stage one became operational on 15th March 2000 and incorporated the 9.6 metre High Tower completed in 1998.

Trench Field

Coincidentally in 1999, the Club added a Trench Field, only the fourth such facility in the North Island.  This Field was officially opened on 10th September 1999, with the Club hosting the ISSF Southern Zone Championships.

Trap Renewal

It also proved possible at that time to renew the primary Skeet and DTL Fields.  Two Laporte 185 Skeet traps replaced the Sidewinders installed in 1985 and a Laporte Twinlap 285 Double Trap automated the main field after 39 years of continuous manual service.  This new DTL trap also for the first time, gave easy access to doubles practice.  The official DTL opening took place on 15th July 2001, whilst the new Skeet Traps made their debut on 7th September 2001.

Clubhouse Improvements

These new range facilities neatly complemented the upgrading of the Clubhouse that occurred in 1995 with attendant Annex in 1997.  This resulted in the full integration of conveniences, showers, workshop, mobile traps and clay storage.  Further reordering was carried out in 2002 to meet social, security, hygiene and foot traffic requirements.  Thus came into being a new standard of amenity that would have been the envy of previous generations!

Club Vision

All this later development stemmed directly from an audit of members wants and needs carried out in 1996.  It also led to a Club Vision that reflected members aspirations

i.e.  The best place to enjoy the sport of clay target shooting.  Big enough for superior facilities.  Small enough for good fellowship.

A Statement of Intent was also created to guide the Club’s decision-making processes. 

To provide the best facilities in the Lower North Island along with a regular and varied shooting programme.

  • To achieve this in affordable, friendly competition that fosters good fellowship amongst shooters.
  • To welcome and assist new members and to support those with exceptional ability in their efforts to become champions.
  • To enhance the Club as a valued member of the Community and actively support conservation values.
  • To remain integrated with National Shooting Organisations and to continue to advocate and practise firearm safety.

So successful was this fact-based approach that Club Members are regularly surveyed to enable directions to be modified and initiatives amplified.

Centenary

The Club celebrated its Centenary on Friday, 21st February 2003 with over 250 members and friends present.  To commerate the event a large rock and memorial plaque were erected at the entrance to the Club's shooting grounds.  Much has shaped and moulded the Club over its 100 years history.  For full detail see the Centenary Publication, The Story of the Hutt Valley Gun Club, ISBN 0-473-08946-7, Price $30.