Rainbow of colour saturates Considine Park

Considine Park was filled with colour tossers on Sunday 10 March, as the sun shone down to make it a perfect afternoon for family fun. It is the second time a “colour run” event has been hosted in Martinborough as a colourful way to raise funds for a community project, …

Fifty long years of Wairarapa’s Consumer Advice Bureau

A spirited introduction by Masterton Intermediate School’s Kapa Haka group signaled an impassioned start to the 50-year celebrations of the Masterton-based WaiCAB. As John Bunny, MC for the occasion, said: “These children represent the New Zealand of tomorrow. If their parents or caregivers need support from the CAB and can …

How Well Do We Know People in Our Community?

Susan Stephen Definitely a Wairarapa girl, Susan’s childhood began in Pirinoa, before attending St Matthews College in Masterton, as a boarder.  “Boarding was a totally different experience then. You didn’t go home for the weekends. In fact, we were only allowed to go home every third weekend. After leaving school …

Vineyard gas gun disturbs neighbours, but not the council

A vineyard gas gun bird scarer is exercising, annoying and upsetting a vineyard’s neighbours on Ferry Road – with one council official recommending they consider private legal action in the absence of council enforcing its gas gun rules. “Her (Council CEO Janice Smith) officers seem to be shielding the growers …

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Speed change rules in government limbo

April 5, 2024 April 2024 No Comments

Planned reductions in road speed limits across both South Wairarapa and Carterton districts are in limbo after central government halted the process, suggesting most of the planned changes won’t go ahead, particularly on state highways.

Work on the plans by council staff, public submissions _ most favouring lower open road and urban speeds _ and cash spending stopped when South Wairarapa’s Strategy Committee hit the brakes last month.

Among the speed level changes proposed by the plans: 30 kmh outside schools, 40 kmh on most urban streets, 80 kmh on many rural roads and state highways in the district. All unsealed roads in the south also would have an 80 kmh maximum speed.

Committee members expressed concern that practical safety measures, particularly in urban areas, may be scrapped because of a change of government.

But the council made no decision on proposals put forward by members to write to Transport Minister (and Local Government Minister), Auckland MP Simeon Brown, reminding government of the impact road speeds have on people and lives. 

Instead, SWDC ceo Janice Smith and operations manager Stephan Corbett would “work off-line” on the issues caused by the government handbrake. 

“It wouldn’t be prudent for council to continue to spend money on something that could be replaced  by something else,” she told the committee. 


Otaraia Pa site – visit to an unmarked village

April 5, 2024 April 2024 No Comments

At one stage in its journey, this Ruamahanga River-side sheep grazing paddock was home to 94 villagers, who grew maize, wheat and potatoes, fished the river for tuna/eels, sailed boats and paddled waka up and down the waterway, often 12 kilometers to the river’s mouth.

So explained local archaeologist Prof. Foss Leach, who used the visit of some 30 people to the Otaraia Pa site on March 17 to paint a picture of what was once a “substantial Maori settlement” on the banks of a meandering Ruamahanga. 

Settlers like William Colenso _ who recorded 19 visits to the Pa in the 1840s and 50s _ recorded  that among the villagers were 30 males, 50 wahine and at least 12 children. 

Some 17 of the adults could read and write polished English _ in the late 1840s.

The first Pakeha school opened in the Wairarapa in 1856, the first Maori school at Papawai in 1860. … Continue Reading

Council says gas gun no Plan breach, so “lawyer up”

April 5, 2024 April 2024 No Comments

The partial email trail between a group of Martinborough’s Ferry Road residents and South Wairarapa District Council staff is enlightening.

Nowhere do the staff tell residents that council accepts responsibility for resolving the vexing issue which the gas-gunned residents endure _ with some shots happening many times daily. 

Instead, CEO Janice Smith advises them to “lawyer up” at their own expense: the council won’t take the matter further.

Email exchanges: 

May 10 2023 to Rick Mead, former manager environmental services from resident Katie Jones: 

I have also seen the gas gun on the property … in the last two weeks, the last sighting was this Sunday (7th May). The last sound event I heard was yesterday morning, between 10 a.m. to 11.a.m. I was walking my dog down Ferry Road and during this time heard at least 3x sound events coming from the direction of the vineyard . These were sets of 3 shots in a row, and I did not consider them to be from duck hunters.  … Continue Reading

Pain Farm waste water plans opposed by neighbours

April 5, 2024 April 2024 No Comments

Pain Farm sewage dispersal plan “lawful” – Council CEO – April 2024

South Wairarapa District Council can lawfully proceed with its plan to spray sewage waste-water across at least 53 hectares of Pain Farm, low-lying rural farmland three kilometers from the town. 

The council has been formally advised by Chief Executive Janice Smith it has cleared all legal hurdles and can press “Go” on the plan.   

Further, she advised the council that it had acted properly and legally throughout “the (community and other) consultation that occurred” over the effluent disposal plan _ and no further consultation was needed.

Community members had challenged the council on both issues when it emerged that all of Pain Farm’s 76 hectares were to be designated for effluent disposal. 

In a report to council, CEO Smith noted: “recent advice confirms that the position council has taken is defensible when considering the requirements of the Scheme and council’s overarching duties as Trustee. 

“It is also clear, based on the available records, that significant consultation occurred with the community at the time decisions were made to move to land waste-water disposal at Martinborough and to gain consent … to discharge treated effluent to land at Pain Farm.”  … Continue Reading



New golf clubhouse build, fund-raising up and running

Martinborough golf’s new clubhouse build is well under way _ as are fundraising efforts. It doesn’t seem long since we watched the demolition of the old clubhouse and now the frames for half the new building are in place with scaffolding up ready for the roof timbers. Everything is going …

Golf pro-am success _ without clubhouse

By Karen Stephens A record field of 172 players, including 43 professionals from New Zealand and Australia, battled light winds, warm temperatures and even light early-morning fog at Martinborough golf’s 2024 CER Electrical and Holmes Construction pro-am on February 1. At least that was the range of excuses for some …

Featherston wrestlers go offshore

Two members of Featherston Amateur Wrestling Club’s senior class have again been asked to join a New Zealand team overseas.  Wairangi Sargent and Angus Read will take part in the Journeymen Tournament and Training Camp over Easter in New York state.  Over the week they are there they will be …

Regular Features

News from First Church

 Many folk imagine that going to church is a bit of an ordeal, a waste …


By Martin Connelly In February the local Lions Club invited me for dinner and asked …

Driving Growth and Collaboration: Martinborough Business Assn Committee

The Martinborough Business Association Committee plays an important role in fostering economic growth and collaboration …

How Well Do We Know People in our Community?

Michael Bing talks to Lyle Griffiths Michael was raised in Auckland, attending St Peters College …


By Brenda Channer – Martinborough Bookshop “Whether Violent or Natural” by Natasha Calder This debut …

Community Garden News

By Debbie Yates This is definitely the month of thank you. Nga Mihi Nui! We …


Saturday 10 February: 10th annual Citizen Science Kākahi Count at Western Lake Shore Reserve, 18km …

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