Reviving and reshaping Wharekaka’s elder care

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 …

Native birds mural new to Marty Mural Walk

Martinborough wine village has a new wall mural depicting a family of native birds with strong connections to the Wairarapa region. The new mural has been designed and painted by Manawatu artist Joe McMenamin and is part of the reignited Marty Mural Walk – a continuation of The Martinborough Mural …

Travellers vote Wharekauhau best Pacific resort

Wharekauhau Country Estate in South Wairarapa has been awarded “Best Resort in Australasia and the Pacific,” and 46th among the top 50 resorts on the planet by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2023. Voted for by over half a million travellers, the awards reflect recognition of the exceptional experience …

Big Red Suit Guy: back by popular demand

Santa has the date in his diary, the Mens Shed have finished the sleigh, and now its off to be painted.  Storm Robertson from the Community board has been working on the Traffic Management Plan, so it’s all go for the 2023 Martinborough Santa Parade on Saturday 9 December at …

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Fire Brigade Report

November 3, 2023 November 2023, Regular Features Comments Off on Fire Brigade Report

Brent Townsend

By Chief Fire Officer Jake Hawkins

We reached the milestone of 200 Medical First Responses so far this year at Labour Weekend and we are rapidly approaching 300 calls in total. 

Our new Medical Responders are on board with training completed, and are now out responding to help in the community. A big thanks to everyone whom generously donated at the Town Hall Market Days over the long weekend, it will ensure we have the best equipment on hand when we are called to assist.

We are starting our planning and training for the forecast El Nino summer ahead. Remember, if you smell smoke or see smoke its time to Dial 111 immediately.

We have responded to several vegetation fire lately, its drying out, and a worthwhile reminder for people to be careful with controlled burns, check the weather and fire seasons with permit requirements for all types of fires (including braziers and cooking fires) – these can be checked anytime online at 

Congratulations to Brett Townsend on completing thye Station Officers Course and his promotion to Station Officer and to Tamara Hudepohl, John Crighton and Corina Lawson on completing their Qualified Firefighter Course, all the feedback was hugely positive with lots of new skills ready for consolidation over the next few months. … Continue Reading

Native forests coming back to South Wairarapa

November 3, 2023 November 2023 Comments Off on Native forests coming back to South Wairarapa

By Martin Freeth – Trees of Martinborough

Great progress is being made on native tree planting of “forest corridors” across the lower valley of South Wairarapa. The 2023 planting season ended in August, with a further 29 hectares added to the Tonganui Corridors project.

Farmers, landowners and other volunteers put nearly 51,000 native trees and shrubs into the ground during May-August and the Tonganui Corridors plantings now cover a total of 109 hectares.

The goal is to establish new blocks of forest across the rural landscape so these become, in time, ecological corridors linking the Aorangi Forest Park and the Remutuka Forest Park. Birds are already loving it, and so are New Zealand’s indigenous lizard species.

This planting season has been the fourth since work on the Tonganui Corridors was launched by the Aorangi Restoration Trust in 2020. Trust Operations Manager Aaron Donges says thousands of young trees are now thriving and good canopy cover has already been achieved on some blocks as a basis for regeneration over the decades ahead.

“It’s amazing to see how quickly the birds, skinks and other lizards are thriving in the planted areas, and how new seedlings are appearing and expanding the biodiversity,” Aaron told The Martinborough Star. 

Progress with the corridors has huge interest from ecology students at Victoria University who have various wildlife and plant study projects underway.

In total, there are now 40 blocks planted, each reflecting a deep ecological commitment by South Wairarapa farmers and landowners.

“Bush regeneration is becoming a real passion for many rural people and on farms, it can be a perfect fit with plans for increased riparian planting to enhance freshwater quality and for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions,” says Aaron.  … Continue Reading

Country Dog City Dog

November 3, 2023 November 2023, Regular Features Comments Off on Country Dog City Dog

Maree’s Musings

November 3, 2023 November 2023, Regular Features Comments Off on Maree’s Musings

Sandcastles and Sundry stuff 

I’m over election fever, and probably you are too. Something completely different was called for. But sandcastles? The word actually popped up in an electioneering speech. I have no idea why now, but that was enough. 

We all have a sandcastle in our life. Their utility value is nil, although their artistic merit makes up for that. Size doesn’t generally matter, and they only last until the next big wave or deliberate demolishment [I made that up] by its creator, making me wonder if transience is in the builder’s mind, perhaps reflecting the transience of life. Golly! 

The art of sandcastle building is nearly as old as time, but documented evidence started much later. The first recorded ones were built by the 14th Century [that’s the 1300’s – to save you doing the math] by Indian poet Balaram Das as an expression of devotion. I do hope his devotion lasted longer than his icons. 

Inevitably, the competitive spirit soon took hold. In 2021, the world’s biggest sandcastle was created in the small Danish seaside town of Blokhus. At higher than 69ft, it toppled the previous German one [figuratively speaking, naturally]. And it also had a message. 

Here’s the story. The Dutchman Wilfred Stijger and 30 of his mates used nearly 5,000 tonnes of sand, with 10% clay added to aid cohesion, and a protective layer of glue so it would survive for a while. The completed work was a pyramid, with a replica of the coronavirus wearing a crown on top, and built to represent the power that Covid had had since the pandemic’s beginning.  … Continue Reading


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Eight medal haul for local wrestlers

The wrestling season came to a competitive end with the National Championships held in Tauranga in early October. The Featherston Club team of Duncan Allen-Alloway, Nate George, Wairangi Sargent, Tommy Read & Angus Read came home with four gold and four silvers, an excellent result as the wrestlers competed in …

Marty Rugby Club winners and grinners

The club doesn’t forget to say a Big Thanks to all its sponsors and supporters of the 2023 season. We look forward to seeing you all in 2024. Premiers – winners Lane Penn Cup & Hodder Steffert Cups Reserves – finalists Presidents Cup Congratulations to all the recipients of our …

Featherston wrestlers continue winning

The penultimate tournament of the year the Wellington Regional Championships were held at Kapiti College on Saturday 9 September.  A strong team from Featherston attended with some of our junior wrestlers building towards this tournament through two terms of training. It also signalled the end of the junior and intermediate …

Regular Features

From the Mayor

Martin Connelly I want to spend some time on the role of the Community Board. …

How Well Do We Know People in Our Community?

Gemma Wilkie Gravesend in Northwest Kent was home.  Gemma grew up in the small suburb …

Star Book Review

‘Vincent and Sien’ by Silvia Kwon   Reviewer: Brenda Gale Silvia Kwon is a Korean …

News from First Church

Hands up all those who will admit to dozing off in the middle of a …

Fire Brigade Report

By Chief Fire Officer Jake Hawkins We reached the milestone of 200 Medical First Responses …

Country Dog City Dog

Maree’s Musings

Sandcastles and Sundry stuff  I’m over election fever, and probably you are too. Something completely …

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