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Years of neglect?

June 13, 2024 June 2024 Comments Off on Years of neglect?

Claims of years of Pain Farm neglect by councillors and officials emerged during the meeting.

One speaker told of the main farm house standing empty and untenanted for six months at a time when Martinborough was beset by an accommodation crisis. 

At other times officials had been slow to advertise for tenants _ losing estate income in the process.

Another spoke about the “disgusting state” of the farm itself, noting fencing, pasture and drainage as all being ignored by officials and lease tenants.

Martinborough Community Board chair Storm Robertson cited 2019 as the year the board formally asked council to provide financial and other records for Pain Farm. Nothing was handed over.

At that time MCB was designated “Governor” of the estate, hence the records request.

In January 2024 council CEO Janice Smith was again asked for the financial records and other documents. Four months later, still no response.

The meeting heard the only recent progress was council formally designating the whole 85-hectare farm for waste water dispersal. 

Determined Pain Farm public meeting wants answers

June 13, 2024 June 2024 Comments Off on Determined Pain Farm public meeting wants answers

Pain Farm meeting says “yes” to removing council as farm’s trustee.

By Ray Lilley

More than five years after the Martinborough Community Board (MCB) asked South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) to see “the books” (financial records) for the 85-hectare Pain Farm Estate south of the town _ only the board members have changed.

Despite repeated requests to SWDC, they have seen no records, no leases or lease details for the land or houses, and have only confirmed that the council is using part of the land for its transfer station _ and paying nothing for the use.

MCB are designated by council as “governors” of the estate, responsible for its operation.

The latest request by the new MCB for the financials was made in January 2024, but board chair Storm Robertson told a packed public meeting in mid-May that “nothing” had eventuated.

Some 70 Martinborough residents crowded the Waihinga Centre Supper Room to protest council plans to use the farmland for waste water (sewage sludge) dispersal _ pumping from the town and spraying it onto the pastures.

Many ratepayers at the meeting claimed that Pain Farm was a bequest to the town by the late George Pain, so as “shareholders” in the estate they had the right to a voice in how it was used and where the money it made annually was dispersed.

Retired lawyer and local David Iggulden suggested that if the council is acting as trustees of the estate it was in legal jeopardy.

As trustees, “they can’t use trust income (from the estate) for their own benefit,” he told the meeting.  … Continue Reading

Aurora Australis above Wairarapa Dark Sky Reserve

June 13, 2024 June 2024 Comments Off on Aurora Australis above Wairarapa Dark Sky Reserve

WMI leading the Maori dairy pack

June 13, 2024 June 2024 Comments Off on WMI leading the Maori dairy pack

Wairarapa Moana ki Pouākani Incorporation (WMI) has been awarded the Ahuwhenua Trophy for excellence in Māori farming _ making it the top Maori dairy farm in the country. 

A major shareholder in Māori dairy company Miraka, Wairarapa Moana ki Pouākani Inc produces five million kg of milk solids from its 12,000 cow herd and is the largest supplier to milk processor Miraka.

“WMI is a role model for the concept of sustainability and one that all farmers in the country should look at,” Ahuwhenua Trophy management committee chair Nukuhia Hadfield told the awards night audience.

Kīngi Tūheitia, Prime Minister Christopher Christopher Luxon and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka were among 850 guests at the Globox Arena in Claudelands.

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