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:

P&K Milestones from 150 years

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on P&K Milestones from 150 years

1872 – 73

In the beginning …

In 1872, George ‘Tiny’ Pain, the entrepreneurial travelling salesman son of settler parents, reached agreement with Wellington merchants Frederick Krull and W. Whitten, to supply him with goods for resale. After a short time trading, he was able to open a store at Wharekākā in the vicinity of what is now Martinborough Transport. It was moved to the new town of Martinborough in 1873.


Thomas Haycock became a partner and Pain & Haycock was formed.


In 1889 George Pain sold his business to John Gallie, but remained the landlord. Gallie relocated to Martinborough in 1887 and became the postmaster at Martinborough, before taking over the general store from Pain. Within two years, Pain bought the business back.


John Kershaw joined the business as a one-third  partner in 1899. Two years later Pain changed his business focus to farming, allowing Kershaw to take over running the store as managing partner. Pain remained a silent partner in the business, alongside Kershaw and Thomas Haycock, a partner since 1881. 


Thomas Haycock sold his shares to John Kershaw to concentrate on his  farming interests at  Whakatomotomo and Homeburn. 


John Kershaw increased his holding and the business became Pain & Kershaw. Plans were developed for a new and substantially larger store, with the tender for construction awarded to Mr H. Trotman of Greytown at an estimated cost of £3,500. During construction the original timber building, which adjoined the new construction, was destroyed by fire _ causing an estimated £300 damage to the new premises. … Continue Reading

70-plus years – from horse and cart to sidecar

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on 70-plus years – from horse and cart to sidecar

By David Kershaw (Occasional Columnist)

People have been very complimentary about the new P & K Supermarket and retaining some of the old brickwork to enhance the interior and to keep a link with the old building.

The old brick entrance from the carpark has received most of the comment. It is interesting that this wall has been reborn from being the back end of the old shop, to become the main entrance and it has many stories to tell.

Its main function over time has been the main Inwards Goods receiving area, but the original use was as the loading out bay. This is where the P&K horse-and-cart teams were loaded for local deliveries and unloaded from the daily Featherston Railway Station trip to collect shop stock.

The horse and cart teams came into the loading area from the stables and holding paddock which were situated on Naples Street, behind the shop. Considine Park was the main grazing area for the horses. There was also a barn and stables there.

Once in the loading bay the horses had to be held in position for loading. There were long wooden spars that fitted into the walls of the building. These spars were placed behind and in front of the horses to keep the carts stable for easy loading.

The main brick wall in the entrance reveals the old spar holes [missing bricks] which the spars were fitted into _ although they are now filled with grey concrete for new building standards [a pity].

Once the carts were loaded, they pulled out onto the square and went off on their journeys.

According to some old company accounts I have viewed there were up to sixteen horses and three carts owned by P&K. I believe the horses were all Clydesdales or part Clydesdale. … Continue Reading

George Pain the silent partner

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on George Pain the silent partner

A three-day trek from Wellington in 1865 saw then 19-year-old George Pain arrive in the Wairarapa,  where he found work as a shepherd _ with no experience, but in short order he proved himself capable of handling dogs and sheep.

Pain’s entrepreneurial talents quickly emerged and within months he was hawking clothes from horseback to station workers around the south coast of Wairarapa.

By 1872 he had built a small store at Wharekaka and was doing regular 2-monthly sales trips round the coast while his new wife ran the store.

Within a year, after Martinborough was founded, George Pain had moved his store to the town, continued his hawking trips and invested in both town and farm land. The town land included the section on the corner of The Square and Jellicoe Street where the stores remain.  

Among farms he bought – and sold – were Admiral Station, Te Mai, Clifton Grove, Tully’s Long Bush, Palliser Bay Station and Pain Estate, the latter gifted to the town by his second wife Mary when she died.

As one historical collation on Pain notes: “This seams (sic) to have been the way for George Pain (“Tiny” as he was known as) of making money and then investing into land to farm.’ 

Prior to Kershaw family involvement in 1899, Pain had partners John Gallie and Thomas Haycock. 

At one stage he sold the venture to Gallie, but two years later bought it back as he was unhappy over Gallie’s refusal to buy the freehold.

When Gallie stalled, Pain warned he would set up a rival store, a proposal Gallie “did not consider a very honourable thing to do.” Eventually Haycock joined the investment. 

By 1900 Pain had gone farming, leaving Haycock and new partner John Kershaw to run the business. When he finally sold the land and buildings, he included a condition that his name remain on the title.

Pain also had a determined streak. 

After he received what is called “some very shoddy trreatment (from the Proprietor) at the Martinborough Club Hotel” and was evicted, Pain warned the man hadn’t seen the last of him. “Two days later he was back in the hotel as the new owner with a new proprietor.”

Connected Community is a Resilient Community

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on Connected Community is a Resilient Community

By Angela Brown, Community Board

We have now completed our Emergency Resilience Series _ a collaboration between WREMO (Wgtn Regional Emergency Management Office), SWDC and the Community Board. 

This series is the start of Emergency Resilience planning for our community. We are so fortunate to have such engaged, supportive and skilled individuals who are prepared to step forward in the event of an emergency.

The recent Leadership Skills Workshop attracted more than 30 people and we are confident the Emergency Community Hub Open Day which took place after this article went to press will have been well supported. If you would like to know more about the Community Hub and be involved in future activities, contact

Resilience planning was just one of the goals set by the Community Board this year – another commitment was to fully understand our role as governors of the Pain Farm Estate.

We have been working with the council to update the policy which determines how this valuable asset is managed and how the funds are distributed. This has been a much longer process than anticipated but we are hoping to announce a funding application round before the end of this year.  … 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