Top Brass Delight Wairarapa Schools

A requirement of the funding Martinborough Music Festival received from the SWDC Creative Community Fund was to implement an education programme for the students of the District. This year, Martinborough School, Kuranui College and Wairarapa College were treated to the musical skills of Matthew Allison (trombone), Mark Carter (trumpet) and …

Cycling without age is here in Martinborough – no excuses now!

Through the kind donations of Tom Bunny and Graeme Thomson and the support of local company Green Jersey Explorer Tours Ltd, Martinborough now has a purpose designed electric assist trishaw to support its “Cycling Without Age” endeavours. Together with John Blundell and Simon Daly they currently constitute the Wharekaka Cycling …

It’s the 125th Birthday of this Charming Heritage Cottage

Open Days at the Museum The museum will be open for extended hours over Labour Weekend so come in and check us out. See how people lived a 100 years ago Visit the special exhibition on the history of the Natusch-designed building Become part of history yourself – put an …

Under The Martinborough Stars

Take a look up tonight and you’ll see a sparkling silver band of stars dominating the night sky. Our home, the Milky Way Galaxy is always worth looking at. The Milky Way has always fascinated throughout time and amongst all cultures. The term Milky Way relates to a story from …

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Waihinga Centre

Playground Progress

The playground construction is progressing well and is on schedule and on budget. Thank you to Infinite Landscapes for donating some of the project materials. The weather has been kind and the areas of play can now be identified in the ground works. By the time you read this the concrete pads will have been poured. 

There will be a short period of time, when work moves to the existing play area, when the park is completely inaccessible. We will keep you informed and will be working hard to make sure this time is kept to a minimum. 

The team have talked to the original Martinborough Tree Committee with Kowhai, Flowering Cherry and Ornamental Pear trees to be planted. Our thanks go to M & N Thomas, H Kirk, J & P Kirkup, Down to Earth Gardening Group, Wairarapa Building Society, Kebbell Family, M & S Guscott, J & A Brodie, M & D Hill and J Paterson for your tree donations. We would also love to add some Chinese Elms into the mix if we receive any more tree donations (see our website: for more information). Gardens will be a mix of native grasses, small shrubs and perennials. All of these new trees and gardens will be served by an irrigation system. 

The overflow from the water play hand pump and the drinking fountain will go in to a reed garden which will filter the water and sits over a soak pit. It is exciting to see some of these details coming together. … Continue Reading

Time for some accountability

September 23, 2019 September 2019 No Comments

Richard Rudman’s letter in the last issue of the Star rightly pointed out the over 5% rise in this year’s rates, which is well ahead of any inflation. This is only the latest in the annual rates rises, which are always ahead of inflation.  

 Taking for instance my rates figures, which I would think to be being pretty much average: 

In 2011 they were  $2,016 a year or $504 a quarter ( breaking the $500 for the first time).

Inflation adjusted this would be $2,225 in in today’s dollars.

However my 2019 rates are $2,696 which means that my rates have risen $471 above the rate of inflation over the period. A $471 rate rise in real terms. 

Backing up the conception that South Wairarapa rates were on the high side were figures produced during the referendum on the three Wairarapa Councils combining. These claimed that South Wairarapa rates were 14% higher than Masterton, 22% higher than Carterton, 56% higher than Upper Hutt. These figures, which are presumable correct, would seem to indicate that it is time for some spending accountability.

The ten year plan indicates that rates are expected to automatically keep rising each year. It appears that the management expects to be able to demand more money as of right.

It is to be hoped that among the newly elected council there will be men and women with business and/or accountancy experience. People who can read and dissect the screeds of figures which will be made available – and, when necessary, question spending.  

Mike Beckett

Team Festival

September 23, 2019 September 2019 No Comments

L. Brendan Smythe and Andrew Morrison with the Bill Board they have just erected.

“…it also helps to have a wicked management team that knows what they are doing” STAR, June 2019 wrote 19 years old cello prodigy Matthias Balzat when listing the reasons he accepted an invitation to participate in the Martinborough Music Festival (MMF) again. This remark made the team smile. It also led to several readers wanting to know just who the team was/is behind the MMF- a list of names on the website just did not cut it for some inquirers.  

When I spoke of this idea with the team, there was a pregnant silence. As a prompt I suggested leaving out the stuff of CVs, a short bio was all that was required AND short they were. For those who do not know, the MMF team is led by Ed Allen. Other members are Sharon Cuzens, Andrew Morrison, Murray Pashby (all new on the team), Brendan Smythe, Marion Townend and me. Vicki Jones, with Wilma Smith, is Artistic Director. 

There are common threads. These are people who have achieved in their work environment as well as contributed to community. 

Ed Allen is known for his addiction to cycling as much as for his skills with the French Horn.  It is Ed who plays The Last Post at our local ANZAC ceremony.  His cycling has seen him involved in successful fundraising ventures, notably to help raise funds for the Martinborough Medical Centre. … Continue Reading

South Wairarapa Rebus Club

At our next meeting on Friday 27 September members will hear from John Reeve who spent his professional life as a regulatory toxicologist and risk assessor in NZ Government service. Risk assessment covers pesticides, veterinary medicines, human exposure to foreign chemicals that find their way into food and natural toxins such as those produced by plants and marine species. He was accepted onto the WHO roster of expert toxicologists in 2011 and was leader of the New Zealand delegation to the Codex committee on contaminants of food from its inception in 2007. This committee establishes food standards for toxins in foods in international trade. His talk will include some tales from his working life including toxins in honey and some food additive concerns together with some insights into what went on to combat a blackmail threat to put compound 1080 into infant formula.

At our August meeting Trudie Jones, Manager/Coordinator at the Wairarapa Resource Centre in Masterton, fascinated members with stories from her seven years with the Centre since it started. Now in King Street, Masterton, the Centre has a three pronged mission: reducing waste going to landfill, providing inexpensive secondhand goods for sale and preparing their volunteer staff for employment. As evidence of her success in the latter role we learned that a total of 66 volunteers had progressed from training in the Centre to paid employment, 65 of whom were still in their jobs. That is a noble contribution to the Wairarapa community. Volunteers learn skills in the shop. Volunteers assist with estate disposals on site. Volunteers are used to disassemble old small appliances and electronic equipment to recover and recycle valuable parts and materials. Copper is salvaged from old electric cords. The shop itself is full of bargains, not the least of these is Trudie herself. Her enthusiasm was magnetic.

The South Wairarapa Rebus Club meets in Greytown at the South Wairarapa Working Men’s Club on the fourth Friday of each month. Anyone in the retired age group who may be interested in our activities is welcome to come along to a meeting as a visitor.  Contact David Woodhams 06 306 8319.


Martinborough Junior Hockey – 2019 Results and Prizegiving

Our 1st XI team came so close to victory in their final of the A-grade competition against rivals, MIS Falcons.  Martinborough scored an early goal in the first half of the game and held their defence until MIS scored a late goal in the final 3 minutes to draw 1-1 …

Kahutara School Hockey Wrap-up

Kahutara School managed to enter a total of three teams in various Wairarapa Hockey Association junior grades played at Clareville Hockey Stadium this season, a mean feat for a school of our size.  The Kahutara Blue team played Tuesday nights in the 6 Aside quarter field grade. The team did …

Junior Rugby

Our 2019 JAB season has come to an end, we have had an another amazing season with some awesome results. 2019 saw MRFC have around 75 registered players each year our numbers continue to grow and we have some huge things in the pipeline for 2020. Congratulations to all players …

Regular Features


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Know your town – Soldiers’ Memorial Park

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 Community Garden News

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret …

News from Wharekaka

The AGM was held on 19 September.  Attendees heard that Wharekaka is in good heart …

Under The Martinborough Stars

Take a look up tonight and you’ll see a sparkling silver band of stars dominating …

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