Coming slowly to a Remutaka Summit near you

By Ray Lilley Is it a bird, is it a plane? It’s a Billboard statement to travellers that they are entering a globally-acknowledged Dark Sky Reserve – one of only 21 such high-quality star-gazing environments operating worldwide.  Another 200 lower-ranked dark sky “places” across the globe have also been recognised …

Determined Pain Farm public meeting wants answers

By Ray Lilley More than five years after the Martinborough Community Board (MCB) asked South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) to see “the books” (financial records) for the 85-hectare Pain Farm Estate south of the town _ only the board members have changed. Despite repeated requests to SWDC, they have seen …

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 you greeted by “Hello Darling,” giving an immediate uplift to your day? And the Havana coffee is now a basic necessity of life.  Bruce and Sue both lived in Martinborough when the children were small, …

Wairarapa Moana – the long path to its return

Dishonesty, theft, treachery. Three little-used words in the history of colonisation in New Zealand. Those words don’t appear in the official documents which, in late 2021, set out the end to Crown ownership of Wairarapa Moana _ Lake Wairarapa, and its return to  local Iwi ownership. They do, however, underpin …

Recent Articles:

Non-contact boxing for Parkinson’s agility training

June 13, 2024 June 2024 No Comments


Budding boxers at the Counterpunch NZ training weekend.

Wairarapa Boxing Academy has generously supported Parkinson’s Wairarapa over the past few years by allowing the to hold weekly exercise classes in their gym. 

In late April the two joined forces with Counterpunch New Zealand to bring non-contact boxing to the region. 

The weekend wouldn’t have been the great success it was without the financial help of Smash Fit Gym in Auckland and the United Lodge of Masterton (Freemasons).

A crowd turned up at the Wairarapa Boxing Academy on the Saturday to hear Lisa (Gombinsky) Roach talk about the benefits of keeping fit and exercising, and about Counterpunch Boxing, a high-intensity, non-contact, specifically designed programme for people with Parkinson’s.

Lisa came to Wairarapa to train coaches of the Wairarapa Boxing Academy on Counterpunch for Parkinson’s. A Canadian-born rehab therapist, she has joined former New Zealand heavyweight boxing champion Shane Cameron to create Auckland-based Counterpunch Parkinson’s 

Newly-trained coaches Laurence Titter and Abel Ripine put an even larger group of budding boxers through their paces during a Counterpunch class on the Sunday. The session was crafted to improve posture, balance, gait, size and speed of movement, strength, agility and flexibility in a fun and supportive way.

It was judged an awesome weekend – thanks to all who participated in and supported this new Parkinson’s activity. Come and give Counterpunch Boxing a go. 

For more information: Laurence Titter at  Wairarapa Boxing Academy,

Information about Parkinson’s in the Wairarapa: please check our Facebook page ( or contact the local Action Group: and 027-264-8623.

Troublesome Hinekura Road formally re-opened – for now

May 7, 2024 May 2024 Comments Off on Troublesome Hinekura Road formally re-opened – for now

Clayton Hartnell points to the next big slip on Hinekura Road.

By Ray Lilley

Hinekura Road _ a 23-kilometer stretch of mostly narrow, winding, hilly and massively poor condition access road to rural farmlands east of Martinborough _ formally reopened on April 18, with a red ribbon cut to mark the event.

Some 25 people, including the acting mayor, three councillors, Martinborough Community Board chair, roading contract workers and local residents spent a couple of hours at the event.

The group quietly noted the formal reconnection of more than 30 farming families to Martinborough by the much-patched roadway after some $800,000 was spent _ 71 percent of it from Waka Kotahi/New Zealand Transport Agency.

The road slippage story so far:

First came a slip in winter 2021 which was repaired. Another slip which cut the road occurred during the Christmas 2021 stormy weather was also patched up.

“Mid-2022 saw a devastating road slip,” district councillor Aidan Ellims told the ribbon-cutting assembly. Half a million cubic meters of soil and tarsealed roadway slumped down the hillside.

It impacted all transport through the area, with the only other route out of the valleys a full hour- and-a-half of driving – both out and back in. Three hours.

“It impacted children getting to school. It impacted the community getting to Martinborough for supplies, for medical attention. It impacted almost all farm stock movement and transport and even farm home-stays,” Ellims said. … Continue Reading

Electrifying comes to Marty town centre

May 7, 2024 May 2024 Comments Off on Electrifying comes to Marty town centre

The Renault Kangoo battery-powered delivery van will shortly be driving Martinborough streets.

The Wairarapa’s first EV (electric) delivery van will shortly be trundling P&K orders round the streets of Martinborough. It will be followed by the installation of two EV fast charging stations at the shopping carpark off the Square.

Until now, no formal plans for EV charging stations have surfaced for either local or tourist use.   

P&K ceo Conor Kershaw said the latest addition to the company’s fleet is a 2016 Renault Kangoo delivery van, freshly decked out in P & K colours. 

While it’s not the latest model, it has plenty of resilient battery life for recharging.

Four electric forklifts will also go into service in the complex within the next few months, leaving only one of the five forklift fleet powered by fossil fuel.

“We have deliberately kept one diesel for the larger lifts as well as resilience – if we were to have a prolonged power outage,” he said.

In good news for EV drivers, Conor told The Star that the company is “in discussions with two providers to locate two” public-access fast vehicle-charging units in shop carpark spaces.

“Unfortunately, this is a long and slow process.”

“We are also in the early design phase for a solar farm on (the roof of) Four Square (shops) with a local provider,” he added.

“It feels there is lots not done in this (electric development) space – but we have started.”

SWDC acknowledges Hinekura hardships

May 7, 2024 May 2024 Comments Off on SWDC acknowledges Hinekura hardships

Acting mayor Melissa Sadler-Futter cuts the “road open” ribbon to end two years of Hinekura anguish. (Left) Council CEO Janice Smith; (Right) Councillor Colin Olds.

A red ribbon cutting on April 18 “officially acknowledge(d) the end of the tough journey for Hinekura residents since mid-2022,” South Wairarapa council said in a statement.

SWDC Acting Mayor Melissa Sadler-Futter cut the ribbon accompanied by councillors Aidan Ellims, Kaye McAulay, Pip Maynard, Colin Olds and chief executive Janice Smith.

“The photo that sticks in my mind is mothers and their children climbing over the slip, holding onto the fence line to get to the school bus, which was on the Martinborough side of the slip,” Aidan Ellims told the assembly.

“This resulted in houses being rented in town so that children could attend school during the week and return home to the farm each weekend to be a family.”

“The road closure impacted you getting to Martinborough for sports, social events and even the basics like getting mail, groceries, vet and farm supplies. 

“It impacted farming businesses, getting trucks in to sell and shift stock and impacted your businesses in Hinekura,” he said.

In its statement, SWDC acknowledged “the challenges which all Hinekura residents faced, with particular mention of the support of John and Liz Hancock and family, Don McCreary and Anna Johnston and Clayton and Karen Hartnell for assistance with rebuilding a temporary road, working with contractors and support over the past 18 months.”

The council expressed “enormous gratitude” to Sarah and John Booth and Sarah Donaldson from the East Coast Rural Support Trust. 

“Special mention was made of Brownell Earthmoving & Plant Hire for completing the road rebuild earlier than the projected timeframe and within budget. SWDC noted it had worked on the rebuild with funding partner, Waka Kotahi, which provided geotechnical advice and funded 71% of the cost.” 

While Hinekura Road reopened on 27 March, “repairs are still being worked on but it is now traversable by all vehicles,” the council noted.


No post found


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

Recent Comments