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 …

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Heartland Community Hub adds fresh heft

May 7, 2024 May 2024 Comments Off on Heartland Community Hub adds fresh heft

Courses on smart phone use, helping people connect with government agencies, joining under-5s with old codgers, visiting outer settlements, providing blood donation and financial support services, interfacing with Age Concern and hosting Digital Seniors _ part of a long list already stacked up by a new service in Martinborough.

Heartland Community Hub duo Hana Makin and Pip Maynard are pleased with progress in helping the community make connections across the board in their first four months of operation.

Hana: “It’s been very well received and people coming in have been pleased to have somewhere and someone local to talk to.

“Obviously we’re still getting to meet people, we’re still new so there are still plenty of people who still don’t know that we’re here – and some people who do know we’re here don’t (yet) need our help.

We’ve got a few services that are available weekly now so that helps people knowing what we can do. So we’ve got Digital Seniors in here once a week, the building and financial capabilities team here once a week, doing free budgeting advice and education so they work with people to help them get on top of their finances. 

We’ve got Youth to Work once a week and they help people into sustainable employment – so they work with young people and with businesses to help them employ young people as well.

Pip: “We have Te Hauora Runanga o Wairarapa, they’ve actually held two 8-week courses here since we opened (in January). 

“They’ve been rongoa (Maori health) courses and really well received as it’s been more traditional harvesting and things like that, some sometimes here and sometimes (fieldwork) out in the district. … Continue Reading

Performing arts lessons hit the local stage

May 7, 2024 May 2024 Comments Off on Performing arts lessons hit the local stage

Starlight Performing Arts has offered drama lessons to children from the South Wairarapa since the beginning of Term 1. 

Jody McCartney, the director, has over 25 years’ experience onstage specializing in musical theatre and has taught singing and drama in Wellington and London.

“We wanted to offer something fun and different to the youth in our community, to bring the kids together to connect with each other while having fun,” she said. 

“We really wanted to work in the amazing Waihinga Centre theatre as it’s such a beautiful space.” “On Mondays and Tuesday afternoons the theatre certainly comes alive when 35 eager and enthusiastic performers from the ages of 5 to 14 bustle in ready to learn, make friends and have a great time!”

Starlight Performing Arts caters to three different groups, each having their own 60 minute lesson. Our “Rising Stars” are 5 to 7-year-olds, “Shooting Stars” are for 7 to 10-year-olds and our “All-Stars” group is for 10 to 14-year-olds. 

The students are mainly from Martinborough School, but also some from Greytown, Carterton and Masterton Intermediate School.

Jody said the group has covered a lot in Term One, including vocal technique, character development, improvisation, as well as a stage combat session! 

“The fact we get to use the beautiful space adds so much to the experience and the children just love getting up on the stage and sharing what they have learnt in their lesson.”

Next term, Starlight Performing Arts are adding additional classes including a children’s singing and dancing “Glee Club” and some adult group singing classes. 

“All of these classes will culminate in a showcase performance at the end of this year, creating a fun event that will bring our community together to enjoy,” she added.

If you or your child is interested in joining, please contact Jody at:

Martinborough fire season still controlled

May 7, 2024 May 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on Martinborough fire season still controlled

Fire brigade medical responders hand over to LifeFlight at Lake Ferry. 

The FIRE SEASON has moved to RESTRICTED, meaning a permit is required for most fires both rural and in town. 

There is still a lot of dry vegetation about so please be careful even when you have a permit. For details: 

The brigade are actively looking for both some new firefighters and some medical responders, especially during daytime hours when we lose people to the “Big Smoke” and out of town for work. We are very adaptable around your availability, and if you can help daytimes we can pretty much cover the evening and nights.

Benefits to you, your family or employer, are the opportunity to develop a range of valuable skills, perhaps increase your physical fitness and the opportunity to work with a great bunch of people, who are often the first point of call in an emergency in your community. 

Not only that: we will fully equip you and train you for free!

Grab one of Martinborough’s firefighters for a chat if you see them around town (they might even buy you a coffee), or pop in on a Tuesday night when we are training.

We are at over 110 call-outs already this year, the majority being for our specialist Medical Response Unit, so we are definitely on target to beat last year’s 350 call total.

As the cooler autumn nights approach, we are all thinking about lighting our fires and relaxing in their glow, so make sure your chimney receives an annual sweep/clean, and always dispose of hot ashes in a metal container away from any flammable materials, like the outside decks.

Be careful on the roads as conditions change and please wear a seat belt.

Skyline Challenge “roaring” success for Lions

May 7, 2024 May 2024 Comments Off on Skyline Challenge “roaring” success for Lions

Peace, space and views of Martinborough’s countryside that are quintessential Skyline Challenge.

After last year’s cyclonic washout, this year’s Lions’ Club Skyline Challenge was a “roaring” success, with around 250 participants turning up to mountain bike ride, run and walk over the challenging hills north of town to enjoy the fabulous views and perfect weather conditions.

“It was such a disappointment last year when, in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle, we had to cancel at the last minute due to flooding,” said Skyline spokesperson, Lee Quayle. 

“This year though, we had a flood of a different kind with around two thirds of the entries coming in the last couple of weeks,” he added.

A large portion of entries are from families and included children and youngsters entering their first event. Entries came from as far afield as Hawkes Bay, Palmertson North and Wellington. “Most of them came from our totally supportive local community,” Lee said.

The Skyline Challenge is a major fundraiser for Martinborough Lions each year. This year’s charity is again the Martinborough Pump Track Project, due to get started later in 2024. 

Proceeds from this year’s event means the Club is able to meet their commitment to the pump track project. … Continue Reading


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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

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