Rainbow of colour saturates Considine Park

Considine Park was filled with colour tossers on Sunday 10 March, as the sun shone down to make it a perfect afternoon for family fun. It is the second time a “colour run” event has been hosted in Martinborough as a colourful way to raise funds for a community project, …

Fifty long years of Wairarapa’s Consumer Advice Bureau

A spirited introduction by Masterton Intermediate School’s Kapa Haka group signaled an impassioned start to the 50-year celebrations of the Masterton-based WaiCAB. As John Bunny, MC for the occasion, said: “These children represent the New Zealand of tomorrow. If their parents or caregivers need support from the CAB and can …

How Well Do We Know People in Our Community?

Susan Stephen Definitely a Wairarapa girl, Susan’s childhood began in Pirinoa, before attending St Matthews College in Masterton, as a boarder.  “Boarding was a totally different experience then. You didn’t go home for the weekends. In fact, we were only allowed to go home every third weekend. After leaving school …

Vineyard gas gun disturbs neighbours, but not the council

A vineyard gas gun bird scarer is exercising, annoying and upsetting a vineyard’s neighbours on Ferry Road – with one council official recommending they consider private legal action in the absence of council enforcing its gas gun rules. “Her (Council CEO Janice Smith) officers seem to be shielding the growers …

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February 13, 2024 February 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on EVENTS

Saturday 10 February: 10th annual Citizen Science Kākahi Count at Western Lake Shore Reserve, 18km from Featherson. Volunteers collect all the shellfish they find in designated shallow water to be counted and measured by NIWA and GWRC scientists (with each precious piece of lake life then returned).

Sunday 21 April: Community planting day for carex sedge on Lake Wairārapa shoreline.

If you are interested, email: pae.tu.mokai.o.tauira@gmail.com for all the information

Saturday 10 February 7:30 p.m. Carterton Events Centre

Sassafras – Bluegrass band all the way from North Carolina

Saturday 24th February 7:30 p.m. Carterton Events Centre

Downton Adlib: A cast of Wellington’s top improv comedians make up a brand new show on the spot. We supply the characters, the audience provides the key plot ingredients. Love, laughter, secrets and a wide range of hats!

Sunday 25th February 7:00 p.m. Carterton Events Centre

Michael Jackson History Show – The Worlds Premier MJ Tribute Show

Friday 1st March 7:30 p.m. Carterton Events Centre

Les Femmes – Sirens of the Silver Screen: rip-roaring comedy cabaret drag extravaganza featuring live vocals from the stunning Les Femmes queens _ Miss Manage, Miss Givings and Miss Demeanour. 

From the Mayor

February 13, 2024 February 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on From the Mayor

By Martin Connelly

Firstly, can I wish all readers of The Star a happy and warm New Year. So far it has been the type of summer the Wairarapa is famous for: hot sunny days and blue skies. Beautiful days if we can find somewhere shady and cool to enjoy them.

Sir David Attenborough was recently asked by a five-year-old what could he do to “save the planet?” After some thought Sir David replied, “Live the way you want to live but just don’t waste.” He went on to say: “Don’t waste electricity, don’t waste paper, don’t waste food.” 

In New Zealand over $3 billion dollars worth of food is wasted every year, and we discard 17.5 million tonnes of waste. So, we should listen to Sir David.

Had Sir David been here recently, I think he would have added “and do not waste water.”  I want to thank everyone of you who assists us all by avoiding the waste of water.  Recently the Council asked people to water their gardens every 2nd day (this is actually a year-round rule) using handheld hoses.  From what I can see most people are happy to go along with this.  Most of us recognise that water is a precious resource that must be shared around.  It should be there for everyone to use when it is needed.  

Some people get a bit grumpy about these “restrictions.”  So can I say to those people that the Council is not restricting the amount of water you can use, you can still use the same amount you used previously, as long as you hold your hose while doing so.  People who hold their hoses are less likely to waste water by forgetting that their hoses are running.  They are less likely to randomly water parts of their garden that do not need watering.  A hand-held hose is less likely to over-water your garden.  

If we all do our bit to waste less water, then there is a much better chance that water will be available when it is needed.  For example, if your house goes on fire the fire-service will not need to worry about whether the water pressure is up to scratch. … Continue Reading

Water woes disclosed in SWDC’s late 2023 report

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on Water woes disclosed in SWDC’s late 2023 report

Dublin St pipe springs another leak amid severe water restrictions.

Water loss in the supply systems of Martinborough, Greytown and Featherston reached 46 per cent last year, and the South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) fell significantly short on response times when leaks were reported.

Furthermore, SWDC cannot confirm that the towns’ water quality met New Zealand drinking water standards last year. The Council has had to give itself a “not achieved” score on its core obligation to provide “reliable and safe drinking water supplies.”

This information and more is disclosed in SWDC’s 2023 Annual Report, finally made public on 7 December. The document sets out significant activity reporting and annual financial accounts in respect of the year ended last 30 June (ie 2022-23). The information would have been publicly available months ago had the SWDC not missed, once again, the statutory deadline – 31 October – for all council annual reports in New Zealand.

SWDC’s significant activity reporting for 2022-23 shows that of 12 performance indicators for water supply, nine were not achieved. The water loss rate in the town supply systems at 46% – up from 43% the previous year – was well above a performance target of under 30%. Urgent call-out resolutions – where faults are fixed within eight hours of being reported – occurred only in 59% of instances which was down from 61% the previous year (target rate is 90%).

On water quality, SWDC has reported “no” for each of Martinborough, Greytown, Featherston and Pirinoa in relation to Ministry of Health drinking water standards (bacteriological and protozoa) throughout 2022-23, but attributes noncompliance to a problem with its water sensors and to a need for “additional investment.” (So, is the water safe? – Ed).

Some progress has been made in reducing both the South Wairarapa’s daily water consumption per resident, and the rate of complaints received over water quality and supply. SWDC has recorded a 51% satisfaction level among ratepayers and residents surveyed in 2023 on water service (39% in 2022), and an improvement to 41% in urgent call-out notifications that were responded to (although not necessarily resolved) within an hour of notification (33%).

Wellington Water is water services provider for South Wairarapa acting on behalf of SWDC, with the latter accountable for service standards and funding through rates, other charges and borrowing. SWDC financial statements for 2022-23 show a surprising fall in operating expenditure on water supply to $4.47 million ($4.68 million the previous year). Capital expenditure in this area was also down, apparently to $2 million, this being largely investment to replace existing assets. At 30 June 2023, ratepayers owned water services infrastructure valued at $43.2 million. … Continue Reading

Martinborough Food Bank demand rising again

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on Martinborough Food Bank demand rising again

Martinborough Food Bank leader May Croft opens the group’s “Priceless on Princess” fund-raising store in mid-December.

Food parcel demand at The Social Crust, Martinborough’s ccommunity food bank, is back on the  rise, with recent weeks seeing at least 63 boxes of food distributed to the needy in the Martinborough and Greytown areas.

And with government funding now ended, the food bank has opened a so-far successful “recycling” shop to help support its cash flow.

Martinborough FoodBank spokesman Peter Croft said the weekly food box output saw “a rise until Christmas time, then there was a drop-off. 

“What we found out was that whanau came to stay over Christmas and they’d  provide additional funding so the need was less. Now that Christmas is over, we find demand is slowly increasing up to pre-Christmas levels. So this (January 24) week we’re doing 63 boxes for Martinborough and Greytown. That’s right up there” with pre-Christmas demand. 

“Most of our (food box) people are working, not full-time work … so people are doing their best to look after themselves and their families and we’re kicking in to help where they’re short.

“What’s depressing is that people have got jobs but are not making enough to cover rent, power and transport – and that’s when food becomes discretionary. We hope to be able to help those people until they’re in a position that they don’t need to come to us any longer. Nobody wants to come to a food bank.” 

Comparing the “list” of food box people from years ago till now “there’s only a very small number who are still on that food list and that’s because most people’s circumstances have changed – they have improved or got a better job or smaller house and don’t need us any longer.”

That also applies to RSE (recognised seasonal employers) workers. … Continue Reading


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New golf clubhouse build, fund-raising up and running

Martinborough golf’s new clubhouse build is well under way _ as are fundraising efforts. It doesn’t seem long since we watched the demolition of the old clubhouse and now the frames for half the new building are in place with scaffolding up ready for the roof timbers. Everything is going …

Golf pro-am success _ without clubhouse

By Karen Stephens A record field of 172 players, including 43 professionals from New Zealand and Australia, battled light winds, warm temperatures and even light early-morning fog at Martinborough golf’s 2024 CER Electrical and Holmes Construction pro-am on February 1. At least that was the range of excuses for some …

Featherston wrestlers go offshore

Two members of Featherston Amateur Wrestling Club’s senior class have again been asked to join a New Zealand team overseas.  Wairangi Sargent and Angus Read will take part in the Journeymen Tournament and Training Camp over Easter in New York state.  Over the week they are there they will be …

Regular Features

News from First Church

 Many folk imagine that going to church is a bit of an ordeal, a waste …


By Martin Connelly In February the local Lions Club invited me for dinner and asked …

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How Well Do We Know People in our Community?

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By Debbie Yates This is definitely the month of thank you. Nga Mihi Nui! We …


Saturday 10 February: 10th annual Citizen Science Kākahi Count at Western Lake Shore Reserve, 18km …

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