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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Onward march the Red Road Cones

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on Onward march the Red Road Cones

Red Road Cones take a Christmas break.

The bane of our existence. Discovered in the most unlikely places. Infestations of them have invaded Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and even Masterton, especially SH2.

The construction PVC witches’ hats were designed as a safety and traffic management measure.

Proline Plastics has manufactured and recycled cones since the early 1990s. RTL (Roadsigns and Traffic Control Equipment Ltd is one of the largest suppliers of road cones in NZ. 

Many were originally and still are imported from Asia. Fulton Hogan import about 20,000 per annum.

Should you look on RTL’s website it comes as no surprise that the cost of a “Wide” profile red cone is $40.50 plus GST. A “Slimline Motorway” PVC cone is listed as $41.00 plus GST.

Interestingly, you can purchase 10 cones for $350.00 on TradeMe.

Unofficial figures suggest there may be several million red cones in use throughout NZ. With a projected 200,000 new cones being used throughout the year, costs keep mounting. This is the cost of cones. It does not factor in the vehicles that are used to position the cones on the road and nor does it include the number of workers positioning, collecting, or monitoring them. Those knocked down also have to be repositioned.

Auckland mayor Wayne Brown was quoted last March saying an estimated $145 million was spent _ in Auckland alone _ on road cones and traffic management, an amount he says is unjustifiable. … Continue Reading

Toy Library relocates to Lions Den

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on Toy Library relocates to Lions Den

A New Year brings a new start for the Martinborough Toy Library, as we kick off 2024 in our new premises at the Lion Dens – 1 Oxford Street. 

We’re excited to be sharing this space with The Martinborough Lions Club and thank them so kindly for offering us a fabulous new location for our library members to visit.

A huge thank you also, to the Martinborough Volunteer Fire Brigade, who have hosted us for the past 2 years. We are so grateful to the brigade members for accommodating us during that time!

We are now OPEN for the year and have a slight change in our opening times. You can now visit us on TUESDAYS 9.30 – 10.30 a.m. and SATURDAYS 10.00 – 12.00 p.m.

We will be closed on both Martinborough Fair Days as the team will be running the Parents Room in the Supper Room at the Waihinga Centre – make sure you drop in and see us.

Lastly, if you’re looking for the perfect gift over the next few months, we now have gift vouchers available for purchase. For more information, pop in and see one of our amazing volunteers or email us:

Fire Brigade Report

February 13, 2024 February 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on Fire Brigade Report

By Chief Fire Officer Jake Hawkins

What a year it has been for our Brigade. I am so proud of the dedication shown by our fantastic Firefighters and Medical Responders.

In 2023 we attended a TOTAL of 325 calls. 

A massive 251 Medical Responses was included in that total, making us the busiest First Response unit in New Zealand!

I cannot say how lucky our community is to have all these people so generously give their time to train and be there any hour of the day or night to help in your hour of need. Already this year we have completed 25 Medical calls as part of 32 calls in total, and it’s just the end of the month.

We were able to celebrate this service during our Honours Night late last year, which provides a little recognition to our members and included another 25 Year Gold Star awarded in our Brigade, to Station Officer Chris Hooson.

During the year we have lost three members who have moved out of the district and we thank Station Officer Justin Hudepohl, QFF Callam Tannant, and QFF Tamara Hudepohl for all their time and service. 

I know they are being snapped up on transfer by their local Brigades.

The loss of these members to other towns means we are on the lookout for both Firefighters and Medical Responders, especially during the weekdays. 

If you want to know more please contact me or come down on a Tuesday night for a chat, we start our years training on Tuesday 13 February.

On the training front, congratulations to Dylan Ross for completing his Qualified Firefighter Course, the first course completed in 2024 by the Brigade. 

The District is in a TOTAL FIRE BAN currently and we have already attended several large vegetation fires,\. Please be vigilant operating machinery, and if you are not sure check which has all the up-to-date information and advice around fires.

The much-travelled Booktown Road

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on The much-travelled Booktown Road

By Denver Grenell, Featherston Booktown

Ngā mihi o te tau hou – Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a restful summer break and read some good books in the downtime.

It’s all systems go at Featherston Booktown with both the International Organisation of Booktowns visiting for The Global Conference (14-18 March), the Young Readers Programme (8-10 May) and the Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival (10-12 May).

The International Organisation of Book Towns was started in 1961 in the West England town of Hay–on–Wye. The concept involves small rural towns or villages in which second–hand and antiquarian bookshops are concentrated. 

A Booktown offers an exemplary model of sustainable rural development and tourism as we have seen during the previous Karukatea Festivals, with people coming from far and wide to attend and enjoy the local hospitality and shops during their visit _ including our seven bookstores.

The March event will see delegates from Booktowns around the globe in Featherston for a slice of good old Kiwi hospitality and we will be showcasing our beautiful region to them. We hope you will help welcome our international guests in mid-March, which is also when we launch the Karukatea Festival programme. Tickets go on sale to our Friends, supporters and the local community at 9:00 p.m. on 15 March. Tickets for the general public will then go on sale on Monday 18 March.

If you would like to become a Friend of Featherston Booktown and support our book voucher scheme – where we give book vouchers to every South Wairarapa primary school student – please sign up:  https://www.booktown.. 

We would value your support!

Speaking of which, the line-up for the Karukatea Festival is shaping up very nicely, including the Reader’s Choice event, where we asked you to tell us who you’d like to see at the Festival. We can’t tell you who is coming just yet, all will be revealed on March 15.

Did you take advantage of the Booklover’s Trail – Te Ara Kai Pukapuka audio app over the summer break? The free app gives you a guided tour throughout the Wairarapa through our many fabulous bookshops, 13 to be exact. 

Hear the stories of the booksellers as you travel the region, taking in the literary sites of interest along the way. The app is available now in the Apple & Google Play stores. Look for the Booklover’s Trail – Te Ara Kai Pukapuka and happy trails!


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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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