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Know your town 

December 9, 2019 December 2019 Comments Off on Know your town 

The Stephensons and Martinborough airstrip

From 1960 through to 1986 Associated Farmers Aerial Work operated a busy airstrip from Martinborough’s southern boundary. The people behind this company were Claude and Betty Stephenson

Claude was born in Opotiki, a pilot in World War Two he was a Squadron Leader serving in Egypt, India and Italy and being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. On leaving the service he obtained his Civil Commercial Pilots Licence (no 96). He started his top dressing career in1951 flying a Tiger Moth from Waitangaru near Te Kuiti for James Aviation, for a time becoming James Aviation’s instructor.  

He moved to operating out of Rotorua where he was instrumental in forming the Rotorua Aero Club. It was also at Rotorua where he met  his wife to be, Betty Cruickshank, who worked in the Post Office there. Claude and Betty married at Rotorua. 

At the end of 1953 they moved to Masterton where  a company listed as Air Lift NZ Ltd. had been formed by John Riddiford, Malcolm Forsythe and Claude. The company ran a three month top dressing trial using a DC3 aircraft. When this was disbanded Claude and Malcolm moved to the Knoll at the top of Bidwills Cutting and  resumed using Tiger Moths. … Continue Reading

Kuranui College 2019 top students

December 9, 2019 December 2019 Comments Off on Kuranui College 2019 top students

The prize for Kuranui Dux for 2019 went to Caelum Greaves who has also gained a scholarship to Otago University where he will begin a Bachelor of Arts and Science at Otago University, majoring in Ecology and English and Linguistics, to later move into the specialist field of science communication.

 Caelum attained Level 1, 2 and 3 NCEA with Excellence endorsements.  … Continue Reading

Looking after the Kororā

December 9, 2019 December 2019 Comments Off on Looking after the Kororā

People love penguins.  They’re amused by their waddling walk and their smart little “jackets”.  But life is getting hard for these birds.  The Kororā  (or Little Penguin) is the smallest in the world and found all around the coastline of New Zealand.  

Although fishing vessels report seeing them at sea off the South Wairarapa coast not many are spotted onshore these days, despite a programme providing nesting boxes to give them a safe place to raise their chicks.  Adapting to the modern world, the penguins have discovered the benefits of setting up underneath woolsheds and bachs.   Unfortunately they make very smelly neighbours.

The Aroangi Restoration Trust’s Project Penguin wants to build up the numbers again.   As part of this work it has commissioned the first ever survey of penguins on the south coast.  That’s not an easy task with these elusive creatures often hiding during the day and heading out to the sea at night.    … Continue Reading

Martinborough Community Choir.

December 9, 2019 December 2019 Comments Off on Martinborough Community Choir.

The choir is looking forward to our last concert for the year, before we take an extended break over the holiday season.

In our December concerts we’ve traditionally performed a wide variety of songs we’ve enjoyed singing throughout the year and we’ve featured small groups – in recent years from within the choir, and ended with a Christmas singalong with our audience.

This year we’re doing something quite different from our usual concert format.

We were invited by the Wairarapa Singers from Masterton to join them in two Combined Christmas Concerts. … Continue Reading


Martinborough Junior Hockey – 2019 Results and Prizegiving

Our 1st XI team came so close to victory in their final of the A-grade competition against rivals, MIS Falcons.  Martinborough scored an early goal in the first half of the game and held their defence until MIS scored a late goal in the final 3 minutes to draw 1-1 …

Kahutara School Hockey Wrap-up

Kahutara School managed to enter a total of three teams in various Wairarapa Hockey Association junior grades played at Clareville Hockey Stadium this season, a mean feat for a school of our size.  The Kahutara Blue team played Tuesday nights in the 6 Aside quarter field grade. The team did …

Junior Rugby

Our 2019 JAB season has come to an end, we have had an another amazing season with some awesome results. 2019 saw MRFC have around 75 registered players each year our numbers continue to grow and we have some huge things in the pipeline for 2020. Congratulations to all players …

Regular Features


Plenty of issues Our current mayor seems to think the council had a hand in …

Did you know

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Cooking corner – Potato rendang

INGREDIENTS 8 small potatoes, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 onion, finely chopped 185 …

Know your town – Soldiers’ Memorial Park

Originally the Square was called Martin Square and the North – South and East – …

 Community Garden News

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret …

News from Wharekaka

The AGM was held on 19 September.  Attendees heard that Wharekaka is in good heart …

Under The Martinborough Stars

Take a look up tonight and you’ll see a sparkling silver band of stars dominating …

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