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 …

Recent Articles:

First church News

February 13, 2024 February 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on First church News

So, another ecclesiastical year has bitten the dust with the new one well under way. 2023 at First Church was deemed to be a success – whether judged by the performance of the dedicated team responsible for church admin, the credit balance from fundraising activities or even the quality and venue of each Sunday’s choral cacophony. 

The efforts and delivery of our pianist/organist Bob Bargh deserves special note (literally and figuratively!)

Firstly, on account of the continuing dexterity of his venerable playing fingers given their (and his) age of 94, and then for his willingness to turn up rain or shine and deliver every week at the keyboards. We the congregation respond by singing or shouting as lustily as we dare, even if the psalmic melody we hear is a complete mystery.

Church attendance without music would be a drab affair and as rank amateurs we don’t do too badly. Due to their familiarity the organ – assisted Christmas carols verged on the professional (not confessional!).

As you know Sunday services are normally conducted in the community hall adjacent to the church. This is in keeping with the relative informality of these occasions (minus any clapping or shouting) because lively conversations both before and after the service are the First Church way and are evidence of its tight communal spirit.

It is a well-known fact of contemporary church life that congregations are dwindling in size and tending towards the geriatric. You could say that this just confirms that age and wisdom go together!  … Continue Reading

Greytown Music Group diary dates

February 13, 2024 February 2024 Comments Off on Greytown Music Group diary dates

The Greytown Music Group Concert Series 2024 is ready to roll.

Ed and Juliet Cooke, organisers of the annual Greytown Music Group concert series, are pleased and excited to have this year’s concerts settled, and brochures sent to the printer. 

Juliet says “it is wonderful to have old favourites back, especially Donald Armstrong’s Amici Ensemble, this year a string quintet, and to finish with, the Kugels Klezmer Group.” 

Ed adds “As a violinist myself, my favourite for the year will be Andrew Beer, down from Auckland with harpist Ingrid Bauer.” 

Concert dates are as follows: 

Sunday 7 April: Karen Batten’s Amiki Trio – Karen on flute, soprano Barbara Paterson, and pianist Rachel Thomson. Their programme will include works by Delibes, Corigliano,Ravel, Reinecke and Schubert. 

Sunday 28 April: Amici Ensemble – this time made up of violinists Donald Armstrong and Malavika Gopal, Andrew Thomson, and Alexander McFarlane on viola, and cellist Andrew Joyce, playing Mozart and Brahms string quintets. 

Sunday 26 May: Duo Enharmonics – Beth Chen and Nicole Chao – a piano duo combination. playing Bach, Schubert, Ravel, John Psathas, Rachmaninov and Strauss. Look them up on YouTube if you haven’t heard them play. 

Saturday 22 June: Andrew Beer and Ingrid Bauer, violin and harp – programme includes works by Piazzolla, Debussy, Saint-Saens, and Kenneth Young. 

Sunday 22 September: NZTrio: “Triptych 2, Untrodden Ways” – Mendelssohn, Jelleyman/Bach, Higdon and Babadjanian. 

Sunday 13 October: The Kugels Klezmer group, led by Debbie Rawson and Ross Harris – they were very popular here two years ago, with wild and haunting tunes of traditional Klezmer combined with original works by composer Ross Harris. 

All concerts are at 57 Wood St, Greytown, at 4.00 p.m. 

Note that the June concert is on a Saturday, but the rest are on Sundays. 

Contact the Cookes if you would like a concert brochure emailed to you:

or phone 06 304 9497.

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


No post found


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 …

Recent Comments