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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Muddling in a pool of (govt.) uncetainty

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on Muddling in a pool of (govt.) uncetainty

By Adrienne Staples, Greater Wellington Regional Council

Sadly, the festive season is well and truly behind us and the wheels of local government are turning again, albeit slowly, as we navigate the bumpy roads in front of us this year.

The change of central government has produced wailing and hand wringing from some and jubilation from others. The altered direction in many policies and priorities is vast, provoking letters to the paper and meetings organised to fight back some government proposals.

Local government though must work with whatever central government is delivered by the voters but has been muddling around in a pool of uncertainty since the election last year, as it comes to

grips with what the changes mean for councils.

Two previous government proposals, regionalisation of both water infrastructure delivery and planning management have both been canned and we are again looking to more localised models.

This has drawn a sigh of relief from some councils. But the problem is that the current ways of delivery for both were no longer fit for purpose and it is far from clear how this matter will be addressed.

The shift in focus from cycleways and road safety to fixing potholes will also be welcomed by many in Wairarapa given the distances many of us must drive to carry out our daily lives. Environmentally though, we cannot bury our heads in the sand and ignore the need to reduce our carbon emissions.

Finally, the elephant in the room remains the reorganisation of local government. The discussions are back on the agenda on both sides of the Remutakas and so they should be. The problem is though, without good leadership around the matter, the conversations always fall to who would be mayor and where should the council offices reside? 

Both are actually irrelevant and we should be discussing what is the best model of local government for Wairarapa to function as a strong, cohesive region in its own right.

So back to our bumpy roads. Classic cars are beautiful. They’re lovely to own, bring out on a fine day and give a good polish before you put them away. 

To navigate modern-day Wairarapa, however, we need power steering, anti-skid braking, side intrusion bars, air bags and hands-free – none of which are available on the model we run. 

Water woes the immediate focus – or not?

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on Water woes the immediate focus – or not?

By Councillor Aidan Ellims

Over January we have experienced a summer which we haven’t had for a number of years, with high temperatures and no rain, resulting in water restrictions being imposed in our communities.

We are facing water restrictions due to environmental conditions, lack of rainfall, lower levels of the underground aquifers that the water supply bores access, low levels of our water reservoir’s at times and of course the leaks that we have in our pipe networks.

With the water restrictions being imposed by Wellington Water and Council, there was lots of commentary around this and the number of water leaks. It is crucial that we take heed of the water restrictions as the consequences are huge if we use all the water stored in the reservoir and the bore/pumps can’t keep up with the demand. We face not having enough pressure in the network for the Fire Brigade if they need water in an emergency or struggling to cope with events such as Cruise Martinborough or the Fairs when we have a large influx of visitors to town.

Due to resources and funding, Wellington Water isn’t able to repair every leak immediately, so they prioritise the leaks which means that some will be fixed ahead of others. The link below will take you to the Wellington Water Job Status map which shows all reported leaks across the district, the priority assigned and a description of the priorisation system.


I, along with every other ratepayer, don’t like to see drinking water running down the kerbs from a leak, especially when there are water restrictions. However, since coming onto Council in 2022, I have heard that our water infrastructure which is largely underground is old and in serious need of complete renewal.

In September last year, we attended a workshop where Wellington Water advised us of the condition of the 209 kilometres of pipes, (both drinking water and waste water) which service the  communities throughout the district.

Some 26 percent of that 209 kilometres of pipes (drinking and waste water) are considered to be in critical condition and over the next 30 years we need to be replacing a minimum of 2.6 kilometres every year. Currently we are only replacing 1.2 kilometres annually. … Continue Reading

Talking about the past … Martinborough Museum

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on Talking about the past … Martinborough Museum

Anne Dodd, volunteer extraordinaire at Martinborough Museum.

Anne Dodd says being a long-term volunteer with Martinborough Museum “is all about conversations.”

The former town librarian, Anne has been a volunteer at Martinborough Museum since 1985.

Enjoying people contact, she says “it’s pleasing to see visitor numbers rising, as people discover Martinborough’s diverse history.

“Obviously, not everyone wants to chat, but usually we can pick up a sense if visitors would like to know a little more about an exhibit or the village.

“People can be reticent about asking questions. So, I believe it’s the volunteer’s role to gauge how much is enough. I like to help them feel comfortable about asking questions. Then we can share as much (or little) information and local stories as visitors want.

“People are generally interested in the ‘slice of early Martinborough life and times’, and we often hear comments like “my granny had one of these” as they find an appealing item.

“Then, I can often add a wee bit more context or detail, and allow the conversation to grow, if they wish. Not everyone wants depth,” she says.

Anne particularly enjoys conversations with visitors who have a local connection. … Continue Reading

Bumper Season for Magical Martinborough Museum

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on Bumper Season for Magical Martinborough Museum

A young visitor tap-tapping on a vintage Museum typewriter.

By Winifred Bull

“A fantastic place,” “wonderful displays,” “well curated,” “I remember visiting my grandmother as a very young girl and seeing tea sets like this,” “so different to the large museums we have been visiting” … 

These comments are some of those recorded by nearly 800 visitors over the summer break when the Museum opened for extended hours. They came from far and wide. Besides visitors from our own shores, others came from Australia, Canada, the USA, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, England, Wales, Scotland, and Japan.

There is no doubt that many felt the “WOW” factor that stepping into a drawing room of days gone by can create. The specially designed wallpaper is something that captures the imagination. 

Wonderment is also expressed at the tiniest corset that many have ever seen, with a waist of 54cm. “How could anyone fit into that” said one woman, “With a great deal of difficulty and pain I would have thought” replied her husband. An inspection of the lovely dresses on the models beneath which this, and similar corsets, would have been concealed shows that women were certainly a lot smaller at the turn of the 19 th century.

There are interactive exhibits to interest young and old. It was particularly delightful to witness the pleasure experienced by many of the younger visitors, “the kids loved the typewriters.” For some, it was something of an ordeal to drag their children away from thumping on these ancient predecessors of the modern computer keyboard. 

The moa bones were another display that enthralled “the Moa bones were so cool.” The “Treasure Hunt” was also fun for many children: they have to find objects tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the Museum. Some had never heard of a mantelpiece (where one of the treasures was sitting); another relic of the past as central heating and heat pumps have replaced the open fire.

If you have people staying bring them to visit for an enjoyable step back in time or a chance to catch up on some local history.

The Museum is No.7 The Square. It opens 10.30 – 2.30 Saturdays and Sundays and public holidays. It has been open every day from 26 December until 6 February. 


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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 …

Driving Growth and Collaboration: Martinborough Business Assn Committee

The Martinborough Business Association Committee plays an important role in fostering economic growth and collaboration …

How Well Do We Know People in our Community?

Michael Bing talks to Lyle Griffiths Michael was raised in Auckland, attending St Peters College …


By Brenda Channer – Martinborough Bookshop “Whether Violent or Natural” by Natasha Calder This debut …

Community Garden News

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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