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Regional Council notes

May 15, 2019 May 2019, Regular Features Comments Off on Regional Council notes

It’s that time of year again when Councils turn their minds to doing the budgets for the next financial year.  It’s called the Annual Plan and by far the majority of residents and ratepayers don’t take much notice of it unless there is something happening in their district that really irks them.

In previous times councils spent an awful lot of time presenting their plans at public meetings but as people’s time became more and more squeezed, attendance at these meetings became fewer until it reached a stage where there were usually more staff and councillors than attendees.  Now while this type of connection with the public suits some, it obviously isn’t going to interact with the majority and that is a challenge for local government up and down the country.

Now for the district councils the services they deliver affect most residents on a daily basis.  Roads, footpaths, signage, water supply, sewerage, street lights and amenities are all reasons for people to take an interest in the ongoing plans and budgets of their neighbourhoods.

For Regional Councils though the challenge of connecting to people is even greater.  Many of the services we deliver relate more to the future than the here and now which takes the most attention.  That is of course unless you catch the train. … Continue Reading

News from First Church

May 15, 2019 May 2019, Regular Features Comments Off on News from First Church

If we can affirm each other, be as friend and not as foe, 

We can meet and share each other; plant respect and let it grow

At First Church we have celebrated Easter as told in the Gospel of St John.

We began our Easter journey on Passion or Palm Sunday by joining with the four other local churches in a thoughtful service of hymns and readings, The Road to Easter in which each church shared in the readings and chose a hymn as we traced each day of Easter week leading to Good Friday. This service was beautifully accompanied with music from Elizabeth Patchett, Milly Young and Bob Bargh. 

  On Good Friday we focussed on The Final Hours in the Life of the Galilean Preacher Jesus of Nazareth with seven further readings taking us to burial of Jesus. On Easter Sunday we looked at the conclusion of this Gospel that signalled a new beginning for the disciples of Jesus, as following their shock and grief after the crucifixion of Jesus, they rallied to work together to share the Jesus way with others. … Continue Reading

Martinborough Community Board

May 15, 2019 May 2019, Regular Features Comments Off on Martinborough Community Board

Water, water everywhere but to drink it boil it first’…. The second water contamination incident in Martinborough this year has been a major cause of concern and frustration for residents, businesses and South Wairarapa District Council. This is a public health issue that has the potential to impact our most vulnerable residents the most, with the possibility of serious consequences.

I attended, and spoke at, Council’s emergency meeting on 24 April to discuss temporary chlorination of the Martinborough water supply.  The complexity of the issues and the difficulty in identifying the source of an intermittent contamination of the supply were clear. There will be some more disruption ahead as Council flushes the system to remove the build up of manganese in the pipes prior to temporary chlorination.

 In the short term it is clear that chlorination is the only option for lifting the boil water notice whilst a permanent solution is found. The independent report into the first boil water notice makes it very apparent that there is no quick fix for the problem, we should all expect chlorination of the supply for 6 months or more and it may be that permanent chlorination of the supply will be the only acceptable way forward for the safety of our water. 

In the meantime the boil water notice remains in place, please do not become complacent.  The Council website (swdc.govt.nz) is the place to find the most up to date information, whilst Council will be using a range of methods to share important information with all residents, please share updates with friends or neighbours who may not have access to the internet. We can all play a part in ensuring that no illnesses result from this event. 

Lisa Cornelissen

Lisa.Cornelissen@swdc.govt.nz, (028) 2553 4857 (calls only, no text messages).

Maree’s musings

May 15, 2019 May 2019, Regular Features Comments Off on 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