Troublesome Hinekura Road formally re-opened – for now

By Ray Lilley Hinekura Road _ a 23-kilometer stretch of mostly narrow, winding, hilly and massively poor condition access road to rural farmlands east of Martinborough _ formally reopened on April 18, with a red ribbon cut to mark the event. Some 25 people, including the acting mayor, three councillors, …

Electrifying comes to Marty town centre

The Wairarapa’s first EV (electric) delivery van will shortly be trundling P&K orders round the streets of Martinborough. It will be followed by the installation of two EV fast charging stations at the shopping carpark off the Square. Until now, no formal plans for EV charging stations have surfaced for …

Palestine war vigil attracts toots, waves in Square

By Ray Lilley A protest group holding Palestinian flags, posters reading “Toot for Gaza,” “Genocide” and “Free Palestine” is winning solid support – with tooting, waves and thumbs-up from passing motorists and, notably, younger tourists who stop to add to the gathering of between 12 and 20 locals. Some join …

Skyline Challenge “roaring” success for Lions

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 …

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Community Garden News

March 12, 2024 March 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on Community Garden News

By Debbie Yates

This is definitely the month of thank you. Nga Mihi Nui!

We now have well mulched garden beds. Many thanks to “Peastraw Pete” aka Mr. Smith for his generous donation of pea straw. This is such an invaluable addition to our garden in the current conditions…in fact to any garden: retaining whatever moisture is available and suppressing pesky weeds.

Another big thank you to the quiz team who nominated the Community Garden as the recipient of the night’s proceedings, should they win the competition. Congratulations on your quizzing prowess and many thanks for your generous donation.  … Continue Reading

Council looks to commerce sector to boost rates take

March 12, 2024 March 2024 Comments Off on Council looks to commerce sector to boost rates take

By Ray Lilley

Most urban property owners in South Wairarapa’s three main towns face raties changes of just a few dollars a week under changes for their residential properties from the council’s planned move to capital value rating from land value. 

But the council’s own workings are based on data from the current rating system, with a brand new rates level to be struck for every South Wairarapa property before July 1 – which will use capital value as its basis.

The bigger rates rises likely will impact rural commercial properties, notably vineyards operating cellar doors, rural accommodation providers and multiple houses, flats or villas located on a single  town “rating unit.” … Continue Reading

Martinborough Golf Club has tumbled down

February 13, 2024 February 2024, Sports Comments Off on Martinborough Golf Club has tumbled down

Martinborough golf’s clubhouse: down and on the way out.

The demolition of the Martinborough Golf Club is complete. In the last days prior to Christmas a fully-insulated pole shed, much like a top end farm outbuilding, was erected to act as both office and temporary clubhouse.

New septic tanks, internet connectivity, power, water, and Porticom loos were installed.

On December 29 the windows of the old clubhouse were removed for recycling and transported to a new home at Tora. “It is so good to be able to reuse this material,” says Neil Bramley from Tora. “These will become my new glasshouse.” 

The next step was for a certified removalist to clear the asbestos. When completed, an independent surveyor assessed the site and pronounced it safe to proceed. The building site was fenced in readiness for Holmes Construction to establish the new clubhouse site.

Holmes Construction started work on January 23 within the fenced-in area. Barring weather events, the completion date is set for November 26, 2024.

“The new design will be a very strong building at over 150 percent of the Building Code,” says John Thomson who is managing the project. “We are thrilled to be working with Holmes Construction. They are a very ethical firm and provide a lot of support for community projects.

“We are also working to a very tight budget. However, we have been able to contain some of the costs through credited operators who are providing a lot of their time voluntarily. That is one of the benefits of a small but very supportive community.

The building is planned to be multipurpose, catering for community use as meeting venues or for functions, as well as acting as a Civil Defence hub.

“With water on the premises, space for parking, and plenty of room for tents, the Golf Club is ideally placed to function should there be an earthquake or other calamity. The other bonus of this particular site,” says John, “is that it is above the flood plain.” … Continue Reading

Wairārapa Moana wetlands are going wild

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on Wairārapa Moana wetlands are going wild

By Martin Freeth, Trees of Martinborough

Wildlife is flourishing in the wetlands of Wairārapa Moana after three years’ intensive restoration work – and there’s more to come in 2024 and beyond.  Tens of thousands of new plants are growing vigorously, and already there are good signs of increasing bird life.

This summer, collaborators in the Wairārapa Moana Wetlands Project are taking stock of the progress made so far, and identifying sites for the next round of autumn and winter planting.  The project’s goal is restoration of water quality and wildlife habitat in and around Lakes Wairārapa and Ōnoke through mass plantings of indigenous species in adjacent wetland areas.

“Wetlands are obviously a great place to focus because of their role as ‘nature’s kidneys’ to filter water coming off the land,” says Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) biodiversity advisor Sarah-Jane Jensen.  “Progress is reflected in many ways including growth in wetland birdlife and over the past year, for example, we’ve been many more Australasian bittern, or matuku-hurepo, at Boggy Pond. It’s a nationally critical species, one step away from being extinct, so growth in their numbers is exciting.”

The project is a collaboration between GWRC, Department of Conservation, South Wairarapa District Council, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairārapa and Rangitāne o Wairarapa with active participation also by Kohunui Marae and Pae tū Mōkai o Tauira community group of Featherston.  The latter have nurseries that propagate and grow native plants from eco-sourced seed which is supplied for Moana wetlands planting. High quality seedlings are also being supplied by the Norfolk Road and Akura Nurseries.  

The wetlands include Boggy Pond and Wairio Wetlands, Lake Domain Reserve, Lake Ōnoke Shore, Kahutara Lagoon and Te Pouaruhe. (Wairārapa Moana, as a whole, encompasses these wetland areas, the lakes and land reserves around them, and the Ruamāhanga River.)

The project’s planting activity got fully underway in 2022 and over the two most recent seasons, an extraordinary total of 97,423 native seedlings have been planted.  This work has built on the longer-standing, valuable volunteer planting programmes of Ducks Unlimited and South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group at Wairio Wetland and Ōkorewa Lagoon respectively. … Continue Reading


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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 …

Women’s football team in Green, Black and … Pink strip

Martinborough Football Club has unveiled a vibrant new palette of green, black and pink with the introduction of a women’s team, marking a significant milestone for the club. The rise of interest in women’s football, fueled by events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup, highlighted the demand for local opportunities. …

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 …

Regular Features


Pain Farm Estate Future Public Meeting hosted by: Martinborough Community Board  Date: Wednesday 15 May  …

From the Acting Mayor

By Melissa Sadler-Futter It’s great to be able to connect with you through The Star …

Martinborough Community Noticeboard

This new Noticeboard is to list Martinborough community groups and activities. The goal: provide a location …

ARATOI: Jane Sinclair – Quiet Observations

Masterton painter Jane Sinclair has finally finished painting new works for her upcoming exhibition Quiet …

The Star Book Review

By Brenda Channer In 2020, during lockdown, did you drag a chair to the end …

News from First Church

If you should find yourself driving semi-aimlessly up the east coast on the Ponatahi or …

Martinborough fire season still controlled

The FIRE SEASON has moved to RESTRICTED, meaning a permit is required for most fires …

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