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Martinborough Golf Club has tumbled down

February 13, 2024 February 2024, Sports No Comments

Martinborough golf’s clubhouse: down and on the way out.

The demolition of the Martinborough Golf Club is complete. In the last days prior to Christmas a fully-insulated pole shed, much like a top end farm outbuilding, was erected to act as both office and temporary clubhouse.

New septic tanks, internet connectivity, power, water, and Porticom loos were installed.

On December 29 the windows of the old clubhouse were removed for recycling and transported to a new home at Tora. “It is so good to be able to reuse this material,” says Neil Bramley from Tora. “These will become my new glasshouse.” 

The next step was for a certified removalist to clear the asbestos. When completed, an independent surveyor assessed the site and pronounced it safe to proceed. The building site was fenced in readiness for Holmes Construction to establish the new clubhouse site.

Holmes Construction started work on January 23 within the fenced-in area. Barring weather events, the completion date is set for November 26, 2024.

“The new design will be a very strong building at over 150 percent of the Building Code,” says John Thomson who is managing the project. “We are thrilled to be working with Holmes Construction. They are a very ethical firm and provide a lot of support for community projects.

“We are also working to a very tight budget. However, we have been able to contain some of the costs through credited operators who are providing a lot of their time voluntarily. That is one of the benefits of a small but very supportive community.

The building is planned to be multipurpose, catering for community use as meeting venues or for functions, as well as acting as a Civil Defence hub.

“With water on the premises, space for parking, and plenty of room for tents, the Golf Club is ideally placed to function should there be an earthquake or other calamity. The other bonus of this particular site,” says John, “is that it is above the flood plain.” … Continue Reading

Wairārapa Moana wetlands are going wild

February 13, 2024 February 2024 No Comments

By Martin Freeth, Trees of Martinborough

Wildlife is flourishing in the wetlands of Wairārapa Moana after three years’ intensive restoration work – and there’s more to come in 2024 and beyond.  Tens of thousands of new plants are growing vigorously, and already there are good signs of increasing bird life.

This summer, collaborators in the Wairārapa Moana Wetlands Project are taking stock of the progress made so far, and identifying sites for the next round of autumn and winter planting.  The project’s goal is restoration of water quality and wildlife habitat in and around Lakes Wairārapa and Ōnoke through mass plantings of indigenous species in adjacent wetland areas.

“Wetlands are obviously a great place to focus because of their role as ‘nature’s kidneys’ to filter water coming off the land,” says Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) biodiversity advisor Sarah-Jane Jensen.  “Progress is reflected in many ways including growth in wetland birdlife and over the past year, for example, we’ve been many more Australasian bittern, or matuku-hurepo, at Boggy Pond. It’s a nationally critical species, one step away from being extinct, so growth in their numbers is exciting.”

The project is a collaboration between GWRC, Department of Conservation, South Wairarapa District Council, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairārapa and Rangitāne o Wairarapa with active participation also by Kohunui Marae and Pae tū Mōkai o Tauira community group of Featherston.  The latter have nurseries that propagate and grow native plants from eco-sourced seed which is supplied for Moana wetlands planting. High quality seedlings are also being supplied by the Norfolk Road and Akura Nurseries.  

The wetlands include Boggy Pond and Wairio Wetlands, Lake Domain Reserve, Lake Ōnoke Shore, Kahutara Lagoon and Te Pouaruhe. (Wairārapa Moana, as a whole, encompasses these wetland areas, the lakes and land reserves around them, and the Ruamāhanga River.)

The project’s planting activity got fully underway in 2022 and over the two most recent seasons, an extraordinary total of 97,423 native seedlings have been planted.  This work has built on the longer-standing, valuable volunteer planting programmes of Ducks Unlimited and South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group at Wairio Wetland and Ōkorewa Lagoon respectively. … Continue Reading

Lions want to see Little Blue Penguins back on our coast!

February 13, 2024 February 2024 No Comments

Penguin boxers lunching at Ngawi.

Over the past few years Martinborough Lions have put many volunteer hours into supporting the Aorangi Restoration Trust’s efforts to enable the Korora /Little Blue Penguin to return in numbers to the Kawakawa/Palliser Bay coast. 

Last week a team of Lions placed 50 penguin boxes into ideal habitats on the coast, building on the 100 or so nesting boxes already placed there. The Lions even assembled the boxes with a working bee. Phillip Reid, Max Stevens, Max’s grandson Archie and Joe Howells said that they all had a “great day on the coast doing something extremely worthwhile.”

Penguin nesting boxes provide a sheltered little burrow-like place for the Korora/Little Blue Penguin to nest in. Because of human activity such as clearing land for farming or subdivisions, the amount of suitable nesting habitat has decreased over time. Also, people can get annoyed with Korora Penguins nesting under their houses or batches. Importantly it’s easier for the Korora Penguin to protect their eggs or chicks through the narrow entrance of the nesting box, as opposed to an open nesting site in the scrub.

The Lions’ work has included maintaining predator traplines, reducing the predator load on the coast. The target species are Weasels, Stoats, Ferrets, Feral Cats, Rats, Hedgehogs, Opossums and Rats. These were all introduced into our landscape by our well-meaning ancestors. They have created an ecological disaster in our forests and coastal environment, with many species that were common when some of us were young, including the Korora/Little Blue Penguin, now either extinct locally or severely threatened.

“We know this can be done, once the predators were eliminated on Matiu Soames Island, the Korora returned,” said Aorangi Restoration Trust chair Clive Paton  Korora is the world’s smallest penguin and it is extremely vulnerable to predation while nesting.  … Continue Reading

Trevor Hawkins honoured

February 13, 2024 February 2024 No Comments

New Year Honours List 2024 – Queen’s Service Medal  

HAWKINS, Mr Trevor John

For services to the community

Mr Trevor Hawkins (Ngāti Kahungunu) was the founder of Martinborough Transport Ltd and is Owner Operator of Hawkins Contracting Ltd and through his businesses he has sponsored a range of community organisations and sports teams.

Mr Hawkins has been a player and coach and has held key committee positions with the Martinborough Rugby Club. He has donated both labour and machinery for various club building and maintenance projects. He provided significant financial assistance and donated his own labour and machinery for the establishment of the Martinborough Gym. He has sponsored the club programme and the annual Christmas Tournament for the Martinborough Golf Club. He served on the Club’s Committee and was course convenor for four years. In 1996 he was involved in a major project to remove pine trees from the course and replant specimen trees. He is a past Chairman and is a current member of the Hau Ariki Marae Trustees Committee. He has been a member of the South Wairarapa District Māori Standing Committee for several terms. Mr Hawkins has been the organiser and leader of Martinborough Night Patrol, which he helped establish with Police support.



Martinborough Golf Club has tumbled down

The demolition of the Martinborough Golf Club is complete. In the last days prior to Christmas a fully-insulated pole shed, much like a top end farm outbuilding, was erected to act as both office and temporary clubhouse. New septic tanks, internet connectivity, power, water, and Porticom loos were installed. On …

Featherston Amateur Wrestling Club

As 2024 gets underway the Featherston Amateur Wrestling Club looks forward to welcoming families back to the gym on Fitzherbert Street Featherston each Wednesday Night from 5.30pm from March 6th. Another exciting year awaits with local, national and international tournaments on the calendar and lots of life skills learned on …

“Over the Hill” tennis tourney (not the players)

Over the scorching weekend of 13 – 14 January 2024, Martinborough Lawn Tennis Club hosted its annual “Over the Hill” tournament.  The Men’s and Women’s doubles on Saturday and mixed doubles on Sunday provided a riveting display of skill, with the draw efficiently managed by Jacob Emery from Dry River …

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