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February 13, 2024 February 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on EVENTS

Saturday 10 February: 10th annual Citizen Science Kākahi Count at Western Lake Shore Reserve, 18km from Featherson. Volunteers collect all the shellfish they find in designated shallow water to be counted and measured by NIWA and GWRC scientists (with each precious piece of lake life then returned).

Sunday 21 April: Community planting day for carex sedge on Lake Wairārapa shoreline.

If you are interested, email: pae.tu.mokai.o.tauira@gmail.com for all the information

Saturday 10 February 7:30 p.m. Carterton Events Centre

Sassafras – Bluegrass band all the way from North Carolina

Saturday 24th February 7:30 p.m. Carterton Events Centre

Downton Adlib: A cast of Wellington’s top improv comedians make up a brand new show on the spot. We supply the characters, the audience provides the key plot ingredients. Love, laughter, secrets and a wide range of hats!

Sunday 25th February 7:00 p.m. Carterton Events Centre

Michael Jackson History Show – The Worlds Premier MJ Tribute Show

Friday 1st March 7:30 p.m. Carterton Events Centre

Les Femmes – Sirens of the Silver Screen: rip-roaring comedy cabaret drag extravaganza featuring live vocals from the stunning Les Femmes queens _ Miss Manage, Miss Givings and Miss Demeanour. 

From the Mayor

February 13, 2024 February 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on From the Mayor

By Martin Connelly

Firstly, can I wish all readers of The Star a happy and warm New Year. So far it has been the type of summer the Wairarapa is famous for: hot sunny days and blue skies. Beautiful days if we can find somewhere shady and cool to enjoy them.

Sir David Attenborough was recently asked by a five-year-old what could he do to “save the planet?” After some thought Sir David replied, “Live the way you want to live but just don’t waste.” He went on to say: “Don’t waste electricity, don’t waste paper, don’t waste food.” 

In New Zealand over $3 billion dollars worth of food is wasted every year, and we discard 17.5 million tonnes of waste. So, we should listen to Sir David.

Had Sir David been here recently, I think he would have added “and do not waste water.”  I want to thank everyone of you who assists us all by avoiding the waste of water.  Recently the Council asked people to water their gardens every 2nd day (this is actually a year-round rule) using handheld hoses.  From what I can see most people are happy to go along with this.  Most of us recognise that water is a precious resource that must be shared around.  It should be there for everyone to use when it is needed.  

Some people get a bit grumpy about these “restrictions.”  So can I say to those people that the Council is not restricting the amount of water you can use, you can still use the same amount you used previously, as long as you hold your hose while doing so.  People who hold their hoses are less likely to waste water by forgetting that their hoses are running.  They are less likely to randomly water parts of their garden that do not need watering.  A hand-held hose is less likely to over-water your garden.  

If we all do our bit to waste less water, then there is a much better chance that water will be available when it is needed.  For example, if your house goes on fire the fire-service will not need to worry about whether the water pressure is up to scratch. … Continue Reading

Podocarpus Totara – Tree of the Month

February 13, 2024 February 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on Podocarpus Totara – Tree of the Month

Growing tall and proud, but rather alone: Totora in the playground.

By Martin Freeth – Trees of Martinborough

Hot summer days help us appreciate trees like this one – the 70 year old totara in the Waihinga Centre grounds. The tree is looking very healthy, providing shade to play areas and gives high “amenity value” (visual appeal) to the grounds. 

In 2019, a letter signed by 83 Martinborough residents formally asked South Wairarapa District Council to ensure preservation and protection of this totara. Council officers had suggested removing the tree for the health and safety of children: Tree roots were said to be causing damage to the concreted basketball court and skate park next to its trunk. A subsequent arborist’s report said “remedial options are available to retain the tree,” without significant affects on the court or skate park. The arborist put a value of $23,000-$28,000 on the tree, considering all its benefits. Nearly five years on, this totara is looking better than ever – and the concrete appears in good shape too. 

Have a look for yourself! 


Totara, a New Zealand native, grows up to 30 metres high with a diameter of up to 2 meters. It has a juvenile, adolescent and mature form. Starting with spindly, almost weeping branches covered in fine needle-like leaves through a pyramidal tree phase, to eventually acquiring a massive trunk and branches that bear dense foliage. 

Totara trees, also known as Podocarpus totara, can live 800 to 1,800 years.

How Well Do We Know People In Our Community?

February 13, 2024 February 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on How Well Do We Know People In Our Community?

Keryn Banks

Keryn was brought up at Mangatoetoe, an exceedingly small settlement east of Ngawi. The coast was a playground, perfect for motorbikes, with the added delight of a waterhole which lay below the ford. If it was too shallow a bulldozer would ensure it was safe for swimming.

“The school bus would pick us up from Ngawi and take us to Pirinoa School. Then I attended Wairarapa College as a boarder, before going to Victoria University where I took a double degree in Commerce and Tourism.

“After working for a year in The Beehive for Hon George Hawkins, the of Minister Internal Affairs and Police, I went overseas.

“London was not my city of choice. Manchester was the first port of call. I lasted a year. In Manchester there were few green spaces, and a sea of endless concrete. 

“Seeking fresh air and outdoor spaces I moved to Glasgow, working firstly for the Royal Bank of Scotland before taking a job with Christian Aid, where after a period of time I took on a Funding Management position. Opportunities came to travel to see projects in action, in India, Malawi, Zambia, Bangladesh. My role was to check on the progress of development, provide support with finance and compliance, and report back to the donors.

“In Malawi, the project was twofold. The aim was to improve the maternal health of women, educate them about HIV and encourage livelihood farming. Access to fresh water was another prerogative. With a changing climate food production needed to encompass new practices. Rice production worked well.

“In India, the project we were supporting was in an extremely remote area, East Odisha. The community was marginalised as Untouchables. Women undertook the farming. … 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 …

Regular Features

From The Mayor

By Martin Connelly Firstly, can I thank the Deputy Mayor for keeping this column going …


Matariki Rising from 29 June Nine stars herald the New Year Remutaka Hill Closures by …

How Well Do We Know People In Our Community?

By Lyle Griffiths Sue Sullivan is a well-known identity in our community. Where else are …

FIRE BRIGADE REPORT – Call-out milestone: SIX each week

Martinborough’s Volunteer Fire Brigade crews reached the 150 call-out milestone in May. That’s an average …

Matariki and family key to Aratoi winter exhibits

This season, Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History has a group of exhibitions that …


By Brenda Channer – Martinborough BookShop “Why Do Horses Run?” There is a maxim among …

Country Dog City Dog

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