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Reviving and reshaping Wharekaka’s elder care

November 3, 2023 November 2023 Comments Off on Reviving and reshaping Wharekaka’s elder care

Mayor Martin Connelly makes the Bingo call at Wharekaka on October 1 – U.N. International Day of Older Persons.

When Wharekaka closed its residential and hospital care programmes early 2022, trustees of the facility hoped for a reprieve for the 50-year-old elder care centre.

At the time its governing board hoped the meals-on-wheels programme would continue and said the attached elderly villas would continue. Financial challenges meant an extra $400,000 a year was needed to keep the deteriorating buildings up to scratch, and nursing shortages meant the hospital facility would close.

Eighteen months on, the Wharekaka complex has become the 18th retirement village under Masonic Lodge management across the North Island (Te Ika-a-Maui).  

Masonic Lodge operations manager Nick Merrett said the group is “very familiar with running retirement village living all around the North Island,” and hinted at both reviving and upgrading the Wharekaka complex.

“What we intend here is to provide more (villa) accommodation at some point, but at this stage we are still getting used to the community here … so we haven’t got into details yet.”

“The community here are really engaged – and have always been engaged with Wharekaka – so we appreciate that engagement and making us so welcome. 

“We’re doing a bit of work in this space to allow other community groups to come in and use it.” 

Merrett told The Star that development of the site is on the radar, “but we really haven’t got that far in our planning.”

But “one question we’re asked is about re-opening the rest home (facility), but that won’t be possible,” as the environment which led to the closure is still prevalent.   … Continue Reading


November 3, 2023 November 2023 Comments Off on Feedback

The Community Board wants your feedback about its first post-election year.

Share your thoughts and ideas. Contact any one of the Board.

A  final Community Board drop-in session is on Saturday 11 Nov from 10 a.m. at the Waihinga Centre.

There has been lots of opportunities for consultation during 2023. 

Do you get involved with these decisions? Do you find the documents easy to understand? How would you like to receive or review topics? The rating review documents had lots of information to process which can be a barrier. We want to ensure everyone who wishes to contribute has a voice – so, can we encourage council to improve this process? Would you prefer to attend an open Q & A forum? Feedback please.

Current Consultations – Freedom Camping Bylaw closes 13 Nov; Combined District Plan closes 19 Dec.

No breakthrough in Mayoral fracas: councillor

November 3, 2023 November 2023 Comments Off on No breakthrough in Mayoral fracas: councillor

 By Councillor Aidan Ellims

In mid-October an Extraordinary council meeting was called by councillors and held at the Greytown Town Centre. The purpose of this meeting was for councillors to meet with Mayor Martin to discuss his lack of performance as Mayor leading both councillors and the council.

All nine councillors were very disappointed and frustrated in Mayor Martin’s behaviour over recent months and the purpose of the both the letter and Extraordinary meeting was to collectively discuss the matters with him, and look for ways to move forward and improve.

Councillors were initially heartened when Mayor Martin said to media that he would discuss the issues with councillors and “try to regain their confidence.” 

However, 12 days since the vote of no confidence, he has not communicated with any councillor to work through these matters.

On Thursday, 20 October in Martinborough, councillors and Mayor Martin attended an important Long Term Plan all day workshop. After five hours the Mayor got up and walked out of the meeting without providing an apology or explanation as to where he was going. I have been told that Mayor Martin attended a photo shoot in Masterton.

The Local Government Act details that the role of a Mayor is to, amongst other things, lead the development of the territorial authority’s (council) plans, including the long term and annual plans, policies and budgets for consideration by the members (councillors) of the territorial authority.

All nine councillor’s are united in that we are continuing to work as hard as possible to serve the residents and ratepayers of South Wairarapa despite Mayor Martin’s lack of leadership. … Continue Reading

From the Mayor

November 3, 2023 November 2023, Regular Features Comments Off on From the Mayor

Martin Connelly

I want to spend some time on the role of the Community Board. Not every council in the country has community boards. The South Wairarapa has three: Greytown, Featherston andMartinborough. 

Community Boards provide a mechanism for bringing council decision-making closer to citizens and communities, enabling community input on community services. An effective board enables decision-making to better respond to local needs.

Martinborough has a particularly energetic Community Board and I urge any of you with concerns about council services or ideas for improvement, to engage with your Board.

To demonstrate how this can work: earlier this year your Board came to the council with a proposal for improving the way the Pain Farm is managed. The council listened and set about turning the Board’s ideas into reality. The results should be evident next month.

Having a local Community Board provides an opportunity for residents to improve how the council operates in Martinborough. And not just in Martinborough village, for the board has held drop-in sessions throughout the district.

At the end of September your Community Board held a very well planned “Community Emergency Hub Open Day”. This brought together many local groups and emergency services. This day was part of the Martinborough Community Resilience Project. I am aware that not everyone thinks being prepared for a disaster is so important. But disasters do happen, and when they do it will be our neighbours and local community that will supply help first. 

I thank the Community Board for what it does to help us all help each other.

Alongside Masterton and Carterton, your Council has just released a “Proposed District Plan”. The Resource Management Act requires councils to have a District Plan, and to review them every 10  years. We developed ours jointly with our two neighbouring councils.

In simple terms, a District Plan controls what people can do on their land and how that land can be developed. The purpose of the Plan is to manage the natural and physical resources of the South Wairarapa to meet the needs of current and future generations. 

The Plan tries to balance the need for growth with good environmental outcomes. For example, it has rules regarding the minimum size that sections can be subdivided into, and it also has rules protecting natural features and heritage buildings.

While the Plan is district wide, it also has sections relevant to each part of the region. For example,

there is a list of notable trees in Martinborough. A notable tree is a tree that the community (or sometimes the Nation) regards as having special importance. Having it listed in the District Plan offers it some legal protections.

You can see the proposed Plan here: https://www.wairarapaplan.co.nz/ 

It is possible that there will be aspects of it which some people do not approve of. People can make submissions on the Plan. The submission form is at: https://www.wairarapaplan.co.nz/feedback along with the address to email your submission to. 

Closing date for submissions is December 19, 2023.



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 …

Women’s football team in Green, Black and … Pink strip

Martinborough Football Club has unveiled a vibrant new palette of green, black and pink with the introduction of a women’s team, marking a significant milestone for the club. The rise of interest in women’s football, fueled by events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup, highlighted the demand for local opportunities. …

New golf clubhouse build, fund-raising up and running

Martinborough golf’s new clubhouse build is well under way _ as are fundraising efforts. It doesn’t seem long since we watched the demolition of the old clubhouse and now the frames for half the new building are in place with scaffolding up ready for the roof timbers. Everything is going …

Regular Features


Pain Farm Estate Future Public Meeting hosted by: Martinborough Community Board  Date: Wednesday 15 May  …

From the Acting Mayor

By Melissa Sadler-Futter It’s great to be able to connect with you through The Star …

Martinborough Community Noticeboard

This new Noticeboard is to list Martinborough community groups and activities. The goal: provide a location …

ARATOI: Jane Sinclair – Quiet Observations

Masterton painter Jane Sinclair has finally finished painting new works for her upcoming exhibition Quiet …

The Star Book Review

By Brenda Channer In 2020, during lockdown, did you drag a chair to the end …

News from First Church

If you should find yourself driving semi-aimlessly up the east coast on the Ponatahi or …

Martinborough fire season still controlled

The FIRE SEASON has moved to RESTRICTED, meaning a permit is required for most fires …

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