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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Vet clinic leaves for Greytown upgrade

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on Vet clinic leaves for Greytown upgrade

Martinborough’s vet clinic is leaving town – decamping for a new premises on the edge of Greytown by mid-2024.

“It will replace our ageing clinics in Martinborough and Featherston, which will close when the Greytown clinic opens,” Aidan Smith, managing director of South Wairarapa Veterinary Services, said in a statement.

The new Greytown clinic will provide modern, sustainable veterinary services and allow the group to maintain a high standard of service in the South Wairarapa, he added.

“Directors thought long and hard about having to close the Martinborough and Featherston clinics but, unfortunately, we cannot provide the consistent hours and high quality service that we want to deliver in South Wairarapa if we are stretched too thinly.”

Located at the south end of Greytown, behind the Five Rivers Medical Centre, the new clinic will feature modern equipment and facilities. 

“All team members who have been working in Martinborough and Featherston will shift to the new clinic, so clients will see the same friendly faces when they bring their animal to see us and hear the same voices when they ring for farm supplies,” Smith said.

There will be no change to after hours services for Martinborough and Featherston.

“We will have more options to see emergencies during normal hours and fewer referrals to Carterton,” Smith said. 

“Our night and weekend services will be run as they are now, through the Carterton clinic.”

SWVS farm vets and sales team will be regularly on the roads around Martinborough and Featherston to assist with product supply and to make the transition as easy as possible for farm clients.

Company clinics at Carterton and Masterton will continue operating as usual.

Local winter tourism bucks national trend

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on Local winter tourism bucks national trend

Wairarapa tourism showed minor growth across July _ one region bucking the national tourism winter spending trend, according to the latest Tourism Evidence and Insights Update from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

While much of the country has seen a dip in spending over the heart of winter, domestic expenditure by visitors to the Wairaraparegion during July was up.

Data shows credit card spending by domestic visitors to the region of $12.5 million in July 2023, compared with $12.3 million in 2022. 

Destination Wairarapa General Manager Anna Nielson said the increased spend figures further cement the success of domestic tourism in the region post-Covid. 

“The Greytown Festival of Christmas, Matariki celebrations and an increasing  awareness of how much family appeal we have for school holidays have all contributed to a domestic visitor spend that bucks the national trend,” she said in a statement.

“Now, with the addition of these festivals and celebrations, we have been able to establish Wairarapa as an appealing winter destination.”

“Data reveals … people will come regardless of the weather, regardless of the season,” she noted.  

“Our reputation as a go-to destination for the warmer months, is further buoyed by an enticing winter programme. This will develop more with the opportunities provided by our Dark Sky Reserve status, with winter providing prime dark sky viewing conditions.”

Cape Palliser Road support funding urgent

October 13, 2023 October 2023 Comments Off on Cape Palliser Road support funding urgent

By Councillor Aidan Ellims

It’s hard to believe that it has been one year since the local body elections, where that time has gone, as well as what has happened in the council space in that year. I can truly say that I did not realise how much time council work would take.

Cape Palliser Road update: Waka Kotahi has proposed removing the Cape road’s Special Purpose funding. 

In June our Interim CEO Paul Gardner wrote to the Waka Kotahi Board advocating that they continue to fund the road at the current 100% level as SWDC would struggle to maintain and keep it open if that funding was removed. This letter pointed out the wellbeing of our coastal communities along the Cape Palliser Road, as well as the business and tourism benefits that are provided along our southern coast.

The Waka Kotahi Board were scheduled to make their decision at the end of August on all Special Purpose funded roads across NZ, however this decision was deferred until their September meeting because out of ten Councils which receive Special Purpose funding, only SWDC and one other objected and asked for the funding to continue.

As chair of the Infrastructure and Community Services Committee I wrote earlier this month to the Waka Kotahi Board, supporting the earlier letter from our Interim CEO, as well as the letters which the Ngawi Residents and Ratepayers Association and MP Kieran McAnulty had sent, all requesting that Waka Kotahi continue to fund the Cape Palliser Road.

I asked that Waka Kotahi continue the funding at its current level while it works with SWDC to help identify and fund a more resilient route using the EcoReef trial or other options which would be sustainable well into the future.

The Waka Kotahi Board met on 28 September, so I imagine by the time the Martinborough Star is in your letterboxes, we will know what has been decided. I have my fingers crossed for a good result. … Continue Reading

South Wairarapa Rebus Club

October 13, 2023 October 2023, Regular Features Comments Off on South Wairarapa Rebus Club

Rebus Club member, Dr David Woodhams, challenged the group’s August meeting to consider the ethical issues surrounding our developing capability of editing human genes.

Early genetic engineering involved the joining of DNA from different species and subsequently inserting the hybrid DNA into a host cell, often a bacterium. 

A common example, dating from 1978, is the production of insulin by bacteria into which the human insulin gene has been inserted. Until then, a single gram of insulin for treatment of diabetes, equivalent to about 28,800 units, required its extraction from eight kilograms of pancreas glands taken from more than 50 slaughtered pigs or cows. 

Another example, more controversial, is the development of crop plant varieties that are resistant to herbicide.

In 2002 the method which bacteria have evolved to make themselves immune to viral attack was discovered, known by the acronym CRISPR, and from this discovery scientists have learned to insert genetic material into human genes with convincing precision. 

There are two forms of genetic editing. 

One embraces treatment that influences the DNA only of the cells of an individual – the edit can’t be passed on to descendants – that’s somatic treatment. 

The other, germline editing, specifically includes the ability to pass on the edit to succeeding generations. Therein lie the ethical challenges. … Continue Reading


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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 …

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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 …

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