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Troublesome Hinekura Road formally re-opened – for now

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Clayton Hartnell points to the next big slip on Hinekura Road.

By Ray Lilley

Hinekura Road _ a 23-kilometer stretch of mostly narrow, winding, hilly and massively poor condition access road to rural farmlands east of Martinborough _ formally reopened on April 18, with a red ribbon cut to mark the event.

Some 25 people, including the acting mayor, three councillors, Martinborough Community Board chair, roading contract workers and local residents spent a couple of hours at the event.

The group quietly noted the formal reconnection of more than 30 farming families to Martinborough by the much-patched roadway after some $800,000 was spent _ 71 percent of it from Waka Kotahi/New Zealand Transport Agency.

The road slippage story so far:

First came a slip in winter 2021 which was repaired. Another slip which cut the road occurred during the Christmas 2021 stormy weather was also patched up.

“Mid-2022 saw a devastating road slip,” district councillor Aidan Ellims told the ribbon-cutting assembly. Half a million cubic meters of soil and tarsealed roadway slumped down the hillside.

It impacted all transport through the area, with the only other route out of the valleys a full hour- and-a-half of driving – both out and back in. Three hours.

“It impacted children getting to school. It impacted the community getting to Martinborough for supplies, for medical attention. It impacted almost all farm stock movement and transport and even farm home-stays,” Ellims said. … Continue Reading

Electrifying comes to Marty town centre

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

The Renault Kangoo battery-powered delivery van will shortly be driving Martinborough streets.

The Wairarapa’s first EV (electric) delivery van will shortly be trundling P&K orders round the streets of Martinborough. It will be followed by the installation of two EV fast charging stations at the shopping carpark off the Square.

Until now, no formal plans for EV charging stations have surfaced for either local or tourist use.   

P&K ceo Conor Kershaw said the latest addition to the company’s fleet is a 2016 Renault Kangoo delivery van, freshly decked out in P & K colours. 

While it’s not the latest model, it has plenty of resilient battery life for recharging.

Four electric forklifts will also go into service in the complex within the next few months, leaving only one of the five forklift fleet powered by fossil fuel.

“We have deliberately kept one diesel for the larger lifts as well as resilience – if we were to have a prolonged power outage,” he said.

In good news for EV drivers, Conor told The Star that the company is “in discussions with two providers to locate two” public-access fast vehicle-charging units in shop carpark spaces.

“Unfortunately, this is a long and slow process.”

“We are also in the early design phase for a solar farm on (the roof of) Four Square (shops) with a local provider,” he added.

“It feels there is lots not done in this (electric development) space – but we have started.”

SWDC acknowledges Hinekura hardships

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Acting mayor Melissa Sadler-Futter cuts the “road open” ribbon to end two years of Hinekura anguish. (Left) Council CEO Janice Smith; (Right) Councillor Colin Olds.

A red ribbon cutting on April 18 “officially acknowledge(d) the end of the tough journey for Hinekura residents since mid-2022,” South Wairarapa council said in a statement.

SWDC Acting Mayor Melissa Sadler-Futter cut the ribbon accompanied by councillors Aidan Ellims, Kaye McAulay, Pip Maynard, Colin Olds and chief executive Janice Smith.

“The photo that sticks in my mind is mothers and their children climbing over the slip, holding onto the fence line to get to the school bus, which was on the Martinborough side of the slip,” Aidan Ellims told the assembly.

“This resulted in houses being rented in town so that children could attend school during the week and return home to the farm each weekend to be a family.”

“The road closure impacted you getting to Martinborough for sports, social events and even the basics like getting mail, groceries, vet and farm supplies. 

“It impacted farming businesses, getting trucks in to sell and shift stock and impacted your businesses in Hinekura,” he said.

In its statement, SWDC acknowledged “the challenges which all Hinekura residents faced, with particular mention of the support of John and Liz Hancock and family, Don McCreary and Anna Johnston and Clayton and Karen Hartnell for assistance with rebuilding a temporary road, working with contractors and support over the past 18 months.”

The council expressed “enormous gratitude” to Sarah and John Booth and Sarah Donaldson from the East Coast Rural Support Trust. 

“Special mention was made of Brownell Earthmoving & Plant Hire for completing the road rebuild earlier than the projected timeframe and within budget. SWDC noted it had worked on the rebuild with funding partner, Waka Kotahi, which provided geotechnical advice and funded 71% of the cost.” 

While Hinekura Road reopened on 27 March, “repairs are still being worked on but it is now traversable by all vehicles,” the council noted.



Pain Farm Estate Future

Public Meeting hosted by:

Martinborough Community Board 

Date: Wednesday 15 May 

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Place: Waihinga Centre Town Hall

Remutaka Hill Closures by NZTA

State Highway 2, Remutaka Hill

5 NIGHTS 19 – 24 May

5 NIGHTS 26 – 31 May

5 NIGHTS 16 – 21 June

Martinborough Community Noticeboard

Appears for first time. See The Star.

Hosted by Martinborough Lions.

Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival 

Friday 10 May – Sunday 12 May

39 Book-and-author-themed events.

Karukatea means “the clear and observant eye.” 

The word also captures the concept of “people seeking knowledge and clarity.”


Triptych 1 – Unquiet Dream

Martinborough Waihinga Centre

Date: Thursday 23 May 

Time: 7:00 p.m.



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