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Wairarapa Moana – the long path to its return

June 13, 2024 June 2024 Comments Off on Wairarapa Moana – the long path to its return

Photo credits: Pete Monk photos.

Dishonesty, theft, treachery. Three little-used words in the history of colonisation in New Zealand. Those words don’t appear in the official documents which, in late 2021, set out the end to Crown ownership of Wairarapa Moana _ Lake Wairarapa, and its return to  local Iwi ownership.

They do, however, underpin the European history of contact with Lake Wairarapa and the return of the lake to Iwi due shortly _ some 128 years after it was “gifted” to the Crown by “the Native” owners in 1896.

The 2021 official documents recording the Crown settlement of the issues around the lake’s ownership note:

“The return of Wairarapa Moana to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua Settlement Trust and Rangitāne Tū Mai Rā Trust was negotiated as part of the Te Rohe o Rongokako Joint Redress Act 2022.”

The language in the nine Deed of Settlement documents of 2021 does get more specific, with 1876 recorded as the date when the Crown first bought lands around the lake. 

The Crown, in 2021,  “acknowledges …  (that at that point) it did not clearly define or confirm the boundaries with Ngati Kahungunu which led to an ongoing dispute about the ownership of land between the low and high water levels … and that has been a source of considerable grievance for Ngati Kahungunu.”

Again, in 1876 “it (the Crown) purchased the undefined interests in Wairarapa Moana of a few individuals without the consent of the wider (Ngati Kahungunu) community who were then compelled to participate in Native Land Court hearings to protect their interests.”  … Continue Reading

Trees of the Month – Barnea olives – From the desert to Martinborough

June 13, 2024 June 2024 Comments Off on Trees of the Month – Barnea olives – From the desert to Martinborough

Olivo’s Helen Meehan stands among fruit-laden Barnea olive trees ahead of harvest.

From the desert to Martinborough … Continue Reading

Meet the councillor : Martin Bosley

June 13, 2024 June 2024 Comments Off on Meet the councillor : Martin Bosley

(First of a series)

Martin Bosley grew up listening to the sound of the waves in a coastal community and he adores seafood so he shares what led to his new love of the landscape, community and food culture in the South Wairarapa

How long have you been a councillor and which ward do you live in?

This is my first term and I live in Greytown. 

What inspired you to stand as an elected member for South Wairarapa District Council?

I had a bad accident at home and it sparked my community involvement because of the incredible generosity of people in the community. People I had never met before brought food and drink around and one guy even came round to mow my lawns. The whole experience and generosity was incredibly humbling. 

I don’t think it was because of me being Martin Bosley, the chef. It is how communities are in the South Wairarapa. I’ve always been interested in politics but never had any pretensions of being in politics or local government until I experienced that generosity. So I stood and got voted in, which surprised me. 

What achievement are you most satisfied with as an elected member?

I’ve worked hard for the memorial building in Stella Bull Park in Greytown to be kept for community. I’m also a big fan of the heritage vision in Greytown where residential and commercial properties can exist side by side. That’s something I feel quite passionate about. … Continue Reading

Aorangi Forest Park: preserving a unique heritage

June 13, 2024 June 2024 Comments Off on Aorangi Forest Park: preserving a unique heritage

The view from the summit of Aorangi Maunga – previously named Bull Hill. (Photo: Joe Howells)

By Joe Howells

This year is the 50th anniversary of Aorangi Forest Park, which spans 20,000 hectares of native forested hill country south of Martinborough. 

Decimated by logging, fire, and clearing for farming, and further damaged by numerous invasive species, the park had been somewhat overlooked until recent conservation efforts were initiated. 

In 2011, Clive Patton and Phylis Pattie established the Aorangi Restoration Trust to collaborate with the Department of Conservation and other bodies to restore the park to its full potential, thereby enhancing its status as a significant public resource for the South Wairarapa community.

The Ngāti Kahungunu Treaty settlement has brought significant changes to Aorangi Forest Park, including the restoration of original Māori names for key features and the transfer of summit ownership back to the Iwi. These summits are now part of scenic reserves managed by Ngāti Kahungunu. The park, previously known as “Haurangi,”was renamed “Aorangi” in the 1970s by local Māori, a name meaning “Light of Heaven,” among other poetic interpretations. 

The former name “Haurangi” meant “drunk” or “wild and windblown.”

Noteworthy name changes in the area include Bull Hill, now called Aorangi Te Maunga, and the highest peak in the Aorangi Ranges, formerly Mount Ross, renamed to Hikapu Mount Ross. 

Mount Barton in the Whawanui White Rock area is now known as Tuhirangi. … Continue Reading


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Martinborough WFC: First-ever home game

The all-important stats: Result: Irrelevant, but Martinborough Women scored at least 2 good goals. Enjoyment factor: as a spectator 10/10 Enjoyment Factor: as a player: 11/10 Effort and commitment: off the scale. Possession: Marty 58%; the opponents in Green: at times a bit less Shots on target: 3; goals 2. …

Martinborough Golf

By Karen Stephens An annual favourite, the Beef & Burgundy Ambrose held on Friday 10 May, saw a great turnout in favourable conditions (thank goodness it wasn’t the previous day when winter arrived with full force!)  Top honours went to the team of Michael Bing, Shane Colton, Tiawharangi Aranui, and …

Golf clubhouse fundraising builds up

An amazing fundraising day for the new clubhouse was held on April 19 when 34 teams took to the course in an ambrose tournament. The winners on the day with net 54.87 were Taylor Dewis, Robbie Robinson, Tom de Groen and Liam Richardson.  The longest drive for men went to …

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