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Maree’s musings


Many big things have happened recently, lots of them serious or sad, so maybe it’s time to be light-hearted again. With big stuff; trying to get our heads around exactly how large and finding the best words to describe these enormities is not easy. Understandable when you are small because nearly everything is bigger, often much bigger. Kiwi youngsters in one tv advert said ‘she’s a pretty big job’ which I’m sure building a retaining wall is. However, the big word, overused, becomes boring and mundane, as does its replacement ‘huge’. Instead nowadays it’s ‘ginormous’, or frequently ‘humungous’. I struggled with that one, but my Oxford dictionary – with 1700 pages, humungous too – revealed the combination of huge and monstrous. Of course. Silly me!

Recently in a newspaper account of a large fire, someone worked out that the flames had the heat equivalent to 100,000 one-bar heaters. The one-bar bit doesn’t sound like much, but I get the feeling that so many of them would be horrifying. Volcanoes, which fortunately only rarely go off, have a measurement scale of zero to eight – when it’s all go! The biggest ever recorded (so far – which is a bit scarey), Mt Tambora, ranked at seven and was described by the experts as ‘super-colossal’; harking back to ancient statues which aren’t that massive in modern terms. Humungous is more apt, I think. Talking of disasters, we all know about the ill-fated Titanic. Maybe the ship itself wasn’t so large but its name has a way of sticking to any sizeable event. 

Then we have weighty things like a ‘ton of bricks’ which today would be a tonne. I’m old enough to recall the metric changeover, but a ton or a tonne still weigh an awful lot. Give or take a few bricks probably makes little difference if you’re underneath. … Continue Reading


Ripped off

The magnificent Terracotta Warriors have revealed themselves and given us a glimpse back in time of a hugely resourceful, probably coercive,  imaginative and spiritually connected civilisation. Unfortunately, at the same time, Te Papa choses to demean itself and all it’s local and international visitors by banging a ‘service fee’ on top of its entrance fee. For the privilege of paying cash for my entrance fee of $19, i paid and extra $2.50, an increase on their advertised price of over 13%.

After much unforthcoming correspondence, which i won’t bore you with, Te Papies PR Man Syd Duflou finally stated baldly  “We felt this fee was a way of being able to generate additional revenue for us”. Consumer NZ sighed with despondency. Ticketek didn’t trouble themselves to take the time to respond.  I’m still waiting on the Commerce Commission to see what they might have to say about this devious price gouging that many people i’ve spoken with are also offended by.

Doug Harris

Know your town

Terry Trotman erecting stalls for the Bush Carnival held at Kansas Street.

The highs and lows of Martinborough

Martinborough Fairs

The first Martinborough Fair started out as a Bush Carnival to raise money for the replacement of the Ambulance with great success. Three years later Mr Bill Fetch ran with the idea and so tha Martinborough Fairs put us on the map.

TV series ‘Pukemanu’

Filmed during the 1970s at the Club Hotel renamed the Pukemanu when the series became popular, it became the pace to be seen and to have a drink.  Quoted in a newspaper as ‘ A Must Thing To Do’. Shortly after the series finished the Hotel was demolished and replaced by the Pukemanu Tavern.

Toast Martinborough

Mr Tom Draper and Mr Richard Riddiford made an excellent job , both here in New Zealand and overseas, in making such an event work in a backwater town as Martinborough then was. With the realisation that the wines were so good that a need for food and accommodation became apparent. In keeping the accommodation had to be up to a high standard which started the upgrade of many places , historic and new.  And the food  not just pies and sammies or fish and chips.  … Continue Reading

From the Mayor

Today, 24th April, the Council resolved to the temporary chlorination of the Martinborough water supply

It’s been an incredibly busy couple of weeks as we’ve been responding to the second positive E.coli test result on 9 April 2019. This time it was traced back to the reservoirs and Shooting Butts Road areas. Thankfully, subsequent tests have come back clear, but our Boil Water Notice has remained in place.

It’s certainly disruptive to daily life having to boil our drinking water, but protecting the health or residents and visitors to Martinborough is our number one priority. We’ve been working closely with Regional Public Health towards establishing a multi-barrier approach of UV treatment (in place since 2011) and temporary chlorination of the Martinborough water supply, while investigations into the source of recent positive E.coli test results are under way.

This isn’t something that we’ve done lightly as it’s a significant change the community and for our wineries and beer making industries. In light of that, we’ve made sure that there’s reasonable lead-in time for these industries to respond and make sure that products are not affected in any way. The date for the temporary chlorination of the Martinborough water supply has been set at 13 May 2019. 

We will be doing everything possible to reduce the community impact of temporarily chlorinating the water. This will involve proactively flushing the water infrastructure network in the next few weeks. Some people may experience a bit of water discolouration initially, but it shouldn’t be too bad. This short-term problem is part of having safe water while working towards a permanent solution. 

More information about why we need to temporarily chlorinate, and how to manage chlorine in the drinking water has been added to our website at swdc.govt.nz/Martinborough-town-water-situation.                                    

In the meantime, please continue to boil your drinking water as the presence of E.coli has proven to be intermittent. 

Viv Napier