Westpac Rescue Helicopter named New Zealand’s Most Trusted Charity – 2018

Westpac Rescue Helicopter is New Zealand’s Most Trusted Charity of 2018 according to the annual Reader’s Digest public poll. Westpac Rescue Helicopters service the four main New Zealand centres: Wellington, Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch; and from these bases cover the majority of New Zealand. These services are operated by the …

The bags have landed

In 2017 two motivated local women, Carolyn Irwin and Amanda Ritchie, introduced the Boomerang Bag model to Martinborough.  The community embraced the concept, donating fabric and countless sewing hours to create a wonderful array of over 1700 colourful bags for locals and visitors to use as an alternative to single …

Thank you Martinborough

Day two of DIY Marae. What an amazing community we have. Our whānau do us proud. I have never seen our trustees smile so much. The mahi continues, with returning and new whānau each becoming part of our marae and making their mark. If your local in Marty take a …

Pony Club enjoys a successful season.

The South Wairarapa Pony Club has completed a very successful season in which they provided four of the five riders in the Wairarapa- Wellington Team which won the NZPCA Mounted Games Teams National Title. This was capped by the team captain Jeremy Thurston being selected for a national team to …

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Huck the postie

June 11, 2018 June2018 Comments Off on Huck the postie

If you enjoyed riding a bike as much as  “Huck” Houghton did it was probably a sure bet that one day you’d become a postie.  You certainly had to be keen to tackle the Rimutakas on a lady’s bike, especially one that had no gears. Why a woman’s bike? “It was the only one our family had!” He used it to cycle to Masterton too, to catch the bus to the Palmerston North races, and to ride all the way back again. “I was pretty fit” Huck says, with masterful understatement.

Huck arrived here on the 3rd of October 1960’s (after a detour to the Westport Races) to join family who’d already moved up from Rununga on the West Coast.  He took up an adult apprenticeship with local builder Brian Cunliffe but unfortunately a rugby injury eventually limited the construction work he could do.   So, in 1978 he took over as Martinborough’s postie.  

On a beautiful fine day it’s easy to envy someone like Huck, out there enjoying the sunshine.  But the reality is often quite different. There’s Martinborough’s notorious wind, although Huck reckons it didn’t slow him down much, and plenty of rain and cold in winter. At one stage Huck even made his deliveries wearing a tie, part of the Post Office uniform at the time! 

Then there were the dogs. Huck’s been bitten on the legs (favourite of the bigger dogs) and on the ankles (the preferred target of the smaller breeds).  Even the bike didn’t escape the attentions of one particularly feisty Blue Merle. … Continue Reading

Huge Dark Sky potential

June 11, 2018 June2018 Comments Off on Huge Dark Sky potential

New Zealand has the potential and the opportunity to become the world’s first “Dark Sky Nation,” the environment director of the International Dark Sky Association, Dr. John Barentine, told an audience in Wairarapa recently.

Bought to the region by the Martinborough Dark Sky Society, Dr. Barentine told the 150-strong audience that the country has a unique opportunity to become a dark sky nation as it has only six cities which pose serious light control issues. 

His satellite picture of night-time New Zealand highlighted Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin as major sources of light pollution.

New lighting technologies meant this night sky pollution could be mitigated, he told the “Dark Skies & the Science of Light” talks held in the Carterton Events Centre, together with an exhibition of Wairarapa night sky  astrophotography.

Dr Barentine, greeted with a powhiri at Martinborough’s Hau Ariki Marae,  visited the site at Lake Ferry where Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa plans to build a Maori star compass and observatory. … Continue Reading

“Disastrous Eyesight” has a Silver Lining for Clarinet Player, Mark Walton

June 11, 2018 June2018 Comments Off on “Disastrous Eyesight” has a Silver Lining for Clarinet Player, Mark Walton

Mark Walton has been described as a “virtuoso clarinet and saxophone performer, inspiring teacher and charismatic musician”. He is another of the top drawer musicians who will be performing during the Martinborough Music Festival in September.

Looking through the credits for Mark’s long and successful career, his name does not feature as having belonged to an orchestra  “I was born with disastrous eyesight”. Instead of sending him to a school for the blind, Mark’s parents sent him to mainstream schools “I struggled trying to see the teacher let alone the blackboard. While Mark did play in orchestras early in his career he soon realised that this was not going to be a long term option for him – he couldn’t see the conductor clearly.

Mark Walton’s family was not musical “when I was 11, I wanted to play the trumpet. I didn’t know what a clarinet was. Some friends from England visited and bought me a second-hand clarinet because it was cheaper than a new trumpet. I am forever grateful to them”. He has concentrated on performing as a soloist and with chamber music ensembles, made CDs and countless recordings that can be found on You Tube. Mark attributes his big international following in this medium to having “recorded a lot of works that no-one else has”. … Continue Reading

Construction update

June 11, 2018 June2018 Comments Off on Construction update

If you stop and look at the Waihinga Centre site today you can get a real sense of what the finished project will look like, with much of the exterior work on the buildings completed.    

The key areas now are the interior and the landscaping of the surroundings including the playground and park.   The services contractors are all now on site and the colours and materials for the interior décor are being finalised.  

The original floor boards are being re-laid in the supper room and the foyer.  Sadly, budgets were as tight in 1912 as they are today.  Turns out that not all the boards were matai as thought but had been substituted with some cheaper hardwood from our neighbours across the Tasman.  Some clever blending will be required using totora salvaged from elsewhere in the building

The foyer will feature a wallpaper specially designed for the project by Martinborough’s  own Ben Masters at Paperhands.  Ben and Helen have very generously gifted this to the project.  

South Wairarapa’s bid to become a Dark Sky Reserve has been recognised in the lighting choices made for the Centre, with all lights being power-saving LEDs.  The installation of these will be especially important outside the building, to minimise skyglow and help keep our beautiful starry skies as dark as possible. (The Council will be using Dark Sky compliant LEDs for all future street lighting, for the same reason). … Continue Reading


Pony Club enjoys a successful season.

The South Wairarapa Pony Club has completed a very successful season in which they provided four of the five riders in the Wairarapa- Wellington Team which won the NZPCA Mounted Games Teams National Title. This was capped by the team captain Jeremy Thurston being selected for a national team to …


It has been a while since I last wrote about the club and we have had a few changes – mainly with a newly formed committee to oversee both the Junior and Senior teams and ensure that moving forward we continue to grow as a Community based club. We have …


The 2019 is well underway for our Senior teams, we are enjoying some good rugby and look forward to the rest of the season.  With our Premiers and Reserves often playing at different places we often have at least one of them playing at home. Congratulations to Nikora Ewe,Tristan Flutey, Tipi Haira, James Pakoti and Christopher …

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