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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Wairarapa Moana scene of UN Special Rapporteur visit

May 7, 2024 May 2024 Comments Off on Wairarapa Moana scene of UN Special Rapporteur visit

It went under the radar locally.

UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Francisco Cali-Tzay, visited Wairarapa early April to hear directly from the Moana’s customary owners about the Crown’s actions that stopped the the Waitangi Tribunal returning Iwi lands taken in 1949.

Kingi Smiler, Chair of Wairarapa Moana Incorporation, noted it was the first visit by a UN Special Rapporteur to Wairarapa Moana.

“The Special Rapporteur visited our Wairarapa Lakes and was told the story of their gifting to the Crown in 1896 in return for land reserves in the Wairarapa, and the trail of broken promises by the Crown that followed,” Smiler said in a statement afterwards.

The site visit was followed by a hui at Masterton’s Te Rangimarie Marae, with descendants of the customary Māori owners of Wairarapa Moana:  Rangitāne o Wairarapa, Ngai Tūmapūhia-a-rangi hapū, Pouākani hapū and Mangatu.

“Our whānau … told the Special Rapporteur that the Crown’s actions in stopping the Waitangi Tribunal return our Pouākani lands was a breach of our human rights, and the Treaty of Waitangi, and (has had a) significant impact on our whanau over the last 160 years.”

“This is not an issue which will simply fade over time. We remain resolute in our pursuit of our lands, for justice and for redress,” he said. … Continue Reading

Walking the kids’ books at Considine Park

May 7, 2024 May 2024 Comments Off on Walking the kids’ books at Considine Park

Martinborough’s StoryWalk at Considine Park was nominated for a Kumara Award (category: Kei tua atu i te kaupapa / Beyond the brief – physical spaces that are more than what is expected or required) in April. 

The annual Kumara Awards celebrate innovative, transformative placemaking. 

Over 250 projects were nominated nationally, each one recognizing the people whose work resulted in vibrant, inclusive spaces that enhance the well-being of their communities. 

Inspired by an idea that originated overseas, Assistant Librarian Sylvia Arnold adapted the StoryWalk concept for Considine Park with generous support from the Friends of Martinborough Library, the Men’s Shed, publishers and writers. 

The walk has pages of a children’s book displayed on raised boards, and the idea is to walk, skip, from one display to the next as you follow the story’s progression. It’s fun for reluctant readers, an opportunity to connect with those who may not be regular library users, and an easy way to enjoy gentle exercise in a lovely outdoor setting. 

Residents and visitors alike are vocal in their praise for this local attraction. 

According to Sylvia, “The StoryWalk embodies the whakatauki ‘Kāora te kumara e kōrero ana mo tōna ake reka’ (the kūmara does not talk about its own sweetness). 

“While it was a privilege to be nominated for the award, the real satisfaction and pride lies in seeing so many people enjoy the StoryWalk – it brings a smile to people of all ages.” 

Check out the current featured story “The eels of Anzac Bridge” by Ali Foster & Viv Walker (Faber Books).

Use new eyes as you walk the road again

May 7, 2024 May 2024 Comments Off on Use new eyes as you walk the road again

Netted Martinborough vines as harvest looms and autumn clouds gather. Photo Credit: ‘Town’ by Madeleine Slavick.

Wairarapa author and photographer Madeleine Slavick has a newly published book of photographs, stories and poems, all set in New Zealand, with many in Wairarapa.

“Town” is published by The Cuba Press and distributed by Bateman Books.

Slavick’s “Town” features at the Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival ‘Late Night Lit’ event on Friday 10 May (sold out). Slavick will also be present at her exhibition at Featherston’s Common Ground Art Gallery on Saturday May 11 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. with a Q+A session at 11:30 a.m. All welcome.

“Town is reminiscent of Robert Hass at his most beautifully imagistic, or Georgia O’Keeffe telling deep stories in flowers,” notes Hinemoana Baker, who contributed an endorsement for the book.

“The art is in the structure, the layering of images,” writes author Jillian Sullivan who will join Slavick at an event at Aratoi Museum on 11 June at 12 noon. 

“At once humorous, poignant, arch, illuminating and matter-of-fact, Town gives you your hometown as if you had always remembered it that way yourself. … Continue Reading

Familiar and new faces to grace Music Festival

May 7, 2024 May 2024 Comments Off on Familiar and new faces to grace Music Festival

New face: pianist Paavali Jumppanen heading to Martinborough Music Festival.

Martinborough Music Festival returns in September with an amazing lineup of talented musicians from New Zealand and overseas to bring this year’s four-concert Festival to life.

Co-Artistic Directors Wilma Smith and Donald Armstrong have invited back familiar friends of the Festival – violinists Gillian Ansell and Harry Bennetts – along with some new faces.

“I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming four new guests to Martinborough this year, all extraordinary musicians and great fun too,” says Wilma.

“Two are Finnish and now living in Sydney and Melbourne. Cellist Tipi Valve and pianist Paavali Jumppanen are very excited to be involved and I’m sure our audiences will be blown away by them.

“The other two are clarinet and cello sensations – David Griffiths and Svetlana Bogosavljevic – who have toured previously for Chamber Music New Zealand and can’t wait to come to Martinborough.” 

The four concerts include audience favourites such as Beethoven’s ‘Appassionato’ sonata, Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet in B minor and Mozart’s Trio for clarinet, viola and piano. The Finnish connection brings works by Sibelius and Kuusisto—and is also the inspiration for this year’s Festival logo and colours, with the swirling brilliance of blue, green and purple of the Northern Lights.

Festival dates are 27-29 September, with all four concerts once again taking place in Martinborough Town Hall.

There are two new faces on the Martinborough Music Festival Trust board that organises and runs the annual event. Trust members Scilla Askew, Rosemary Brown, Andrew Morrison and Marion Townend have been joined by Mike Armour (as Treasurer), while Sharon Cuzens, who has been on the Trust for five years, has taken on the role of Festival Director.

As well as the Festival itself, the Trust is hard at work planning the education and outreach programme. It’s going to be an exciting year—visiting Wairarapa schools and working with the Wairarapa Youth Orchestra.

Tickets will go on sale to our Earlybird subscribers on 1 June, so email to make sure of your seats. Public sales start from 1 July.


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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 …

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