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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Family Food Box

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on Family Food Box

Several weekly “Food Box” options offered to clients come with all the ingredients, down to the printed recipe, spices and cooking instructions, priced from $5.00 (e.g. potato chick pea curry) to $10.00 (pineapple chicken casserole).

“We try to provide nutritious and really tasty meals on a budget. They’re popular with the people,” said May Croft.

“What was really lovely is that two people sent me photographs of the Big Pork Sausage Roll coming out of the oven,” May said. 

“That is really rewarding, that someone has made it and are so pleased with themselves that they’ve sent you a photo. That $10.00 would have fed six people.”

“The Social Crust” helps hundreds each week

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on “The Social Crust” helps hundreds each week

Anne Firmin and John Gellatly, two of the dozen weekly volunteers at The Social Crust, load some of the 59 Food Boxes for afternoon pick-up by clients.

Martinborough’s Food Bank, recently renamed “The Social Crust,” currently every week is feeding a surprising 250 people _ women, men, children _ despatching 59 boxes of food and other essential family supplies into the community.

Each Wednesday, a dozen volunteers from Martinborough and Greytown work to fill the boxes of food and essentials “orders” that have come in from the needy. These range from families of six to single pensioners living alone in rural accommodation without even a phone as support.

Under the “supermarket” system the group operates, those in need choose their weekly food and supplies allocation from a detailed product list of more than 150 items, up to a maximum of 75 “food bank dollars” for 5 – 6 people – enough for a family for four days.

As for the the dollar value of the food boxes “it’s a fair bit of dosh. It will cost us $100,000 a year to run it,” said “Social Crust” head May Croft.

 The list of goods in the bank is extensive, with a full range of foods plus, for no “food bank dollar” cost, breads and a bag of fresh fruit and vegetables. “It’s not an option whether you get fruit and veges,” May Croft adds.

The first Martinborough food bank distribution began in November 2019, “just before Covid.”

The change since “has been huge. We started it on the back deck (of the family home)  then from a cupboard at St Andrew’s Church and then we partnered with the Masonic Lodge for three years.”

Last month the group relocated to a warehouse at 45 Elizabeth Street and is looking to further expand its activities.  

“Now Greytown have come alongside us. We manage it (thee food bank) and they supply volunteers,” she said.  … Continue Reading

Real economic “squeeze” impacts on lower paid, sick

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on Real economic “squeeze” impacts on lower paid, sick

Real people in real need coming for help to The Social Crust exposes for everyone to see that there is a significant “hole” in the social safety net that this society believes already catches the needy.

May and Peter Croft insist there are structural issues within the society which mean that until the government and people sort them out, the food bank is an interim back-up for the people who in most cases work and just don’t get enough financial reward. 

“That’s a combination of short hours … of 30 hours a week or whatever … they just don’t have enough money after they’ve paid the rent, run the car _ and food becomes kind of an optional thing,” Peter Croft said.

“The other problem (contributing to food need) is people who become sick. 

“Have an accident and break your leg, our system is very good, ACC – 80 percent of your wages gets paid. 

“(But) if you get cancer, you get sickness benefit _ your income may be a half or a quarter, but you’ve still got a house with a mortgage,” he noted.

“So what do you do? According to the system you’ve got to sell your house and become poor.

“So we step in and say no, we’ll help you to the extent we can for as long as you need it and get your job back.

“We help people through a year or 18 months till they’ve got their job back and they no longer need support from the Food Bank,” he said

The couple said that Martinborough responds well to some of the desperate need which is emerging.

“It is an incredibly generous community, just incredibly generous, said May Croft. “ And now that Greytown has come on board, it looks like their community is just as generous.”

Peter Croft said community generosity means “no-one in New Zealand is going to starve, they’re not going to die of hunger. 

“But because they lack the money to buy decent food on a regular basis, they’re eating rubbish, and their dignity goes out the window because they can’t afford anything else.” … Continue Reading

How Well Do We Know People In Our Community?

October 13, 2023 October 2023, Regular Features Comments Off on How Well Do We Know People In Our Community?

Lindie and Mike are the two talented designers who own “Dustyandlulu”. They work from home serving the community and beyond. Every month they bring our Martinborough Star to fruition.

Lindie was originally a Wairarapa girl, who couldn’t wait to leave home. After finishing a three-year Design degree, working a summer job for the Yellow and White Pages as a proofreader, where her eyes were falling out of their sockets due to the thick cigarette smoke, she went to Tokyo to teach English. “It was a totally new experience, definitely diving in the deep end. I couldn’t speak Japanese. The age range in my class went from 2 years old to 70.  But the attitude was “Here you are, Away you go, Just teach English, so I did”.  

As a child Lindie had travelled extensively with her parents.  Her father was a pastor undertaking missionary work. When she was 10 the family travelled in a motor home for 9 months, visiting 31 of the States of America. And at age 14, a VW van transported them throughout Europe for 5 months. 

Returning from Japan, Lindie worked for the Dominion Post, which proved to be a steppingstone to working in an Advertising Agency in Dublin. “I loved Dublin, the friendliness of the people, the relaxed working hours from 9.30 to 5.30pm, the hour and half for lunch and who can forget the pubs? I once worked till 5.45 and found myself locked in. Work finished at 5.30pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Back in New Zealand Lindie joined Moxie Design in Wellington.

Meanwhile Mike grew up in Whanganui. His sister is an artist, his brother a musician, and Mike was no exception to the rule. A 4-year Art Degree with First Class Honours paved the way for travelling to London. “For the first 6 months I slept on someone else’s couch,” he said. “But I found accommodation and worked in the UK for 5 and a half years. My first job at the Science Museum in South Kensington involved making displays, exhibits, posters, and publications.  In my spare time I played rugby and cricket.

Another leap and a position became available at Paling Walters, a global agency which specialised in pharmaceutical advertising. “It was fun. I have never ever worked in another firm where you left after a Thursday client lunch and didn’t come back until Monday morning. It was a different culture. We were working for big companies, where clients and advertising account managers interacted. There were a lot of perks.”

Despite the perks, New Zealand was pulling at the heart strings. The thought of having a motorbike, learning Karate, and creating screen prints was alluring.  I applied for a position at Moxie Design, where Lindie had become the Manager.  After all the normal interview questions Lindie asked me “What sort of biscuit would I be and Why?” “A Squiggle Top”, replied Mike. Lindie laughed and Mike was hired.

A change in ownership at Moxie made Lindie and Mike question where they really wanted to live and work. Martinborough topped the charts. Space, their own home, a great place to bring up their son Dusty and no commuting won the day. We are fortunate to have them here in our town.


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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

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

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

Country Dog City Dog

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