Behind the Scenes at the Martinborough Music Festival

Until he took on the role of Chair of the Martinborough Music Festival Ed Allen thought he had a good sense of what was involved in putting on such an event.  After all he’d performed professionally as a French Horn player all over the world.  “Not so”, he says now.  …

A lively, healthy community 

The Rapaki Walk summit is a beautiful place to celebrate achievement.  In late October, 11 walkers looked down over the village and Te Muna Road as they marked the first birthday of their Walking Group, part of the Martinborough Healthy Community Project. Every Friday morning for a year the group …

Christmas Parade continues with Christmas Magic in Martinborough

There is nothing quite so magical as Christmas, so two years ago Fiona Couchman launched the Christmas Magic in Martinborough Show to create awareness and gifts for children in need in our local community. While she took a break last year to do some gifting of her own donating her …

Community Garden News 

 Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ —Robin Williams Spring is indeed a wonderful time in the garden, and the Community Garden is no exception. Summer hours: Wednesday and Sunday 10am-12noon Our spring planting is well underway, and we seem to have chased away the winter blights and vermin. …

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Know your town 

October 3, 2018 October 2018 Comments Off on Know your town 

The original Martinborough Star

The first Martinborough Star news paper came off the old hand press on  Tuesday October 4th 1904. The proprietor, Mr J H Claridge, had previously started the Kimbolton paper. And so began the twice weekly Martinborough paper. Setting a paper in those times involved meticulously placing each lead letter onto the printing base. When the paper had been printed the process was reversed with the letters being returned to their  respective boxes leaving the  base ready for the next edition to be composed. 

In 1907 the Star was sold to Masterton man Mr Andrew C Nichol.

It by then become a thriving paper publishing three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 

The Star’s impressive building was easily seen  on the right hand side as one entered Martinborough from Featherston (sited behind what is now Peonies). An article in a February 1908 Wairarapa Daily; ‘ Premises comprising of a large well lighted printing room, composing room , public and private offices  plus dwelling’.  The building was among the first fifty to be connected to the town’s new electricity supply.

The old hand press had  given place to a ‘modern’ Paynes and Son Otly D.D. Wharfdale printing machine driven by a Hercules gas engine. The new format Star was four pages  with seven columns on each page. Andrew Nichol was assisted by his son  and Mr J MacDonal of ‘The Gums’  in Dublin Street. 

In September 1915 Andrew Nichol sold the paper to Fred Michell of  Akoroa, Nichol went farming at Hinakura. Fred Michell kept the paper in the Ohio Street building until 1920 when he shifted it to Jellicoe street ( the building now a hairdressers). Fred Michell continued to produce a very interesting and up to date on local news paper until his death in 1944. With local help the paper continued to be published until Fred’s son Charles returned from the War.

Charles Michell continued his father’s good work publishing the local news,  particularly in reporting very accurately all the council and other local meetings. When the final Martinborough Star was delivered on Wednesday the fifteenth of August 1962 people realised what they were going to miss out on – The Wairarapa papers seldom reported events in Martinborough, unless there being a drama.

Mate Higginson 


Cooking corner

October 3, 2018 October 2018 Comments Off on Cooking corner

Spring Vegetable Spaghetti


200gr whole wheat spaghetti 

1 tbsp olive oil

12 baby carrots

2 tbsp butter

½ cup water or chicken stock

9 spears  asparagus

4 spring onions

150gr feta cheese

Method … Continue Reading

A Spring Fashion Show                 

October 3, 2018 October 2018 Comments Off on A Spring Fashion Show                 

Stunning Models wearing sensational Spring lines from The General Store and 17blonde made for a great fundraiser hosted by the Rural Women New Zealand Martinborough Branch. The Spring Fashion Show was close to a sellout Friday 14th September and funds raised are going to the Wairarapa Hospice and our local rural community. 

Martinborough Golf Club very kindly allowed us to host the event there and manned the bar.  Philippa Kershaw from the General Store and Leanne Harpham & Deb Lewis from 17blonde presented their lines.

17blonde has been operating as an Online Business for over a year. Demand has dramatically increased for their New Zealand made clothes, and the expansion of their line meant Leanne and Deb decided it was time to open a Store in Martinborough.  The premises previously known as Scarlet is now home to 17blonde.

Philippa and Conor Kershaws’ vision of The General Store came to fruition 3 years ago. It carries a fantastic range of vibrant lines including local designers. Philippa & Conor are great supporters of the Community and we are very grateful to them and Deb & Leanne for supporting our fundraiser and offering discounts to our guests. … Continue Reading

A trip of a lifetime

October 3, 2018 October 2018 Comments Off on A trip of a lifetime

Brothers Joe and Chris Howells, now both in their 60’s, grew up in Cologne Street, Martinborough. In August this year they joined a group of 15 people who motorcycled over the world’s highest roads in the Himalaya Mountain Range. Joe and Chris joined a 2 week Motosaga Expedition which took them to the disputed border between India and China. 

Riding Royal Enfield 500 motorbikes over several high altitude passes, the ride culminated with the world’s highest moterable pass, Khardungla, at 18,000 feet (5,600 metres). Everest base camp is about 17.600 feet and Mount Cook NZ is 12,218. Joe and Chris rode over a cross section of the famous Himalaya Range of mountains, on what they describe as “the trip of a lifetime”. 

Royal Enfield Motorbikes are early 1950’s technology, still manufactured in India today. Both Joe and Chris were amazed at how well the bikes stood up to the thrashing they got on the sometimes very rough, high altitude roads. Joe commented that he rode the motorbike through a river ford at 15,000 feet altitude, with water coming over the petrol tank. The bike stalled. To Joe’s great astonishment it started again and he powered out of the river. Whilst some roads where great, some were atrocious, pushing the riders to the extreme of their experience. 

Precautions meant that none of the group of 15 experienced altitude sickness, though both Joe and Chris found the going difficult at 18,000 feet above sea level. “We were at that height for about 20 minutes at a time and were glad to start the descent, finding it quite hard to get sufficient breath at high altitude”.  … Continue Reading