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 …

Recent Articles:

Tourism set for booming season

November 3, 2023 November 2023 Comments Off on Tourism set for booming season

Spring has sprung and so too has the Wairarapa events calendar, with an incredible line-up of festivals and experiences to welcome in the warmer months. 

With a drier, warmer summer in the forecasts and such an extensive and diverse events program in the region, Destination Wairarapa is confident of a stunning season for tourism.

Already the region has seen exceptional numbers attend the Carterton Daffodil Festival, Longbush Cottage Tulip Festival and World Space Week events, and this will only grow in November with the Wairarapa Garden Tour (4th & 5th), Christmas at the Races at Tauherenikau(12th), 30 years of Toast Martinborough (19th) and Wings over Wairarapa (24th – 26th).

Destination Wairarapa General Manager, Anna Nielson said Destination Wairarapa will continue to drive the extended weekend prospect into Wellington markets.

“Wellingtonians love coming to the Wairarapa and are always on the lookout for reasons to drop by – the wide range of events holds a lot of appeal and draws visitors to stay, eat, shop and explore.” “They also provide us with good images and stories to showcase all we have on offer here so close to Wellington,” Mrs Nielson said.

“The warmer months are our busiest time of year in the tourism industry and if the weather plays its part, we expect the summer ahead to be a show-stopper.”

A full events calendar can be found at

Gin Garden Party

November 3, 2023 November 2023 Comments Off on Gin Garden Party

By Joelle Thomson

For a small town, Martinborough has a lot of gin distilleries and the newest is opening its doors to host a gin garden party on Saturday 18 November, the eve of this year’s Toast Martinborough.

The brand is Lighthouse Gin and the tasting will be hosted by head distiller Rachel Hall.

Lighthouse Gin is a well established brand and it now has a brand new distillery and home at The Runholder; the new cellar door, distillery and restaurant of Te Kairanga Wines on Martin’s Road. 

The garden party will be held in the Te Kairanga cottage, which was the former cellar door for Te Kairanga Wines and Martinborough Vineyard wines.

This year’s gin garden party will include food prepared by Runholder head chef Tim Smith alongside an afternoon of Lighthouse gin and tonics and cocktails, all of which will be designed by Hall.

Local beers and Te Kairanga wines will also be served during the afternoon for those more inclined to grape and grain. The event will be followed by a dinner at The Runholder on Saturday evening from 6pm onwards with food prepared using local produce from the Tora Collective, Clareville Bakery, Olivo and Scotty’s Meats.

Tickets for both events are available from

Wanted: BIG “Ho Ho Ho” Christmas Photo guy

November 3, 2023 November 2023 Comments Off on Wanted: BIG “Ho Ho Ho” Christmas Photo guy

Martinborough’s Toy Library is planning to submit a float for the Christmas Parade, and will be running a koha-based Santa’s Grotto where the kids can meet Santa and have their photos taken. 

But the toy group has run into a problem. 

“We need some Santas!” says Toy Librarian Donna. 

“Do you know someone who would fit the bill? Would you make a great Santa? If so, drop in during our opening hours or email for more information.” 

So, any drawbacks? Says Donna: “Please note that all volunteers must be prepared to undergo a criminal record check.”

The group has made a huge “thank you” shout-out to Jojo Cutforth, the “wonderful woman” behind the Martinborough Community Market. 

Jojo donated the funds to buy a professional Christmas-themed backdrop for the Toy Library _ which was used for our recently advertised Christmas photo event.

“The fundraiser was a great success and we are very grateful to Jojo for all the help and support,” she added.

The Library group is looking ahead to the last two months of the year and is delighted to be taking part in this years Christmas Magic in Martinborough celebrations. 

Speaking of Christmas, our Christmas shutdown period will be 20 December – 27 January. 

The group is also working on setting up a Toy Library Voucher system, so that memberships can be bought as Christmas gifts. For those grandparents with family visiting over the period, they also have a small selection of equipment such as portacots and highchairs which can be loaned out to members. 

If you are interested in becoming a member, rates are as follows:

  • Family memberships are $30 for 6 months and $50 for a whole year
  • Grandparent memberships are $25 for 6 months and $40 for a whole year

Finally, we are still looking to secure a new location for the Toy Library. As soon as we have it confirmed we will email all our members with the relevant details.

P&K: Committed to Martinborough for 150 years

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on P&K: Committed to Martinborough for 150 years

Commitment. Service. Resilience.

These are three of the principles which guide father David Kershaw and son Conor Kershaw as the family business celebrates a rare milestone in New Zealand _ 150 years as a registered company serving the same district. 

Patriarch David had a hint of pride in his voice as he confirmed the company’s original registration number of 1439, granted by the government. It is one of a small and select group of commercial operations founded then which still operate in 2023. 

The “general store” of the day opened its doors just three years after Pakeha settlement began in the district as the township of Wharekaka _ close to the Maori settlement of Waihenga.

It wasn’t until 1879 that local runholder John Martin bought up neighbouring land and named the new township Martinborough. 

Original owner George “Tiny” Pain opened the store in 1873, then shifted from Wharekaka to Martinborough township where later additional buildings alongside the store were used for a butchery, saddlery, hairdresser, pharmacy, a pool room and Arcade.

The Kershaw family became part of the business in 1898 and it has been physically operating on the land now occupied since the store’s “new” construction in 1905.

“It took 100 years to buy them (the other buildings on the block) all back,” David explained, so the just-completed shops and cafe had the land needed for the expansion and storage facilities project which has taken more than two years of effort. 

David Kershaw, son of Harry (in turn the son of John) was asked by his father to help “for six months” with the shop’s centennial in 1973. He remained there until retirement in 2013, 40 years later. … Continue Reading


No post found


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 …

Recent Comments