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:

A (very) good vintage is in the making

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Pinot Noir clone 115 growing in Te Muna Valley (Credit: Joelle Thomson).

By Joelle Thomson

What does the perfect growing season look like for wine?

Well, 2024 came close. It’s all very well growing grapes in a region that is typically hot, typically dry and has a decent dose of wind (to prevent disease), which are all the big boxes that Martinborough and the wider Wairarapa wine region routinely tick. 

Or should I say, historically ticked, because there is a new normal these days, which ensures that life is anything but business as usual for most winemakers in most wine growing regions around the world. It’s called climate change, (surprise).

It is responsible for the good, the not so good and the downright horribly unpredictable, as torrential rain and a devastating cyclone showed us all over the past two years. We now live in a world in which anybody working with viticulture (grape growing), horticulture or agriculture has to learn to live with the unexpected, which is why it was so refreshingly joyful for winemakers in this region to have such an outstanding lead up to harvest 2024.

That lead up had many winemakers suggesting that 2024 may be one of the best years ever for the quality of Pinot Noir in the Wairarapa. The proof was hanging on the vines; with picture perfect looking grapes, particularly Pinot Noir, which is the most important and highest volume grape in the region with approximately 50 percent of the total vineyard area of 1090 hectares in the Wairarapa. … Continue Reading

How do you like your water? Underdone?

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Council’s consultation on drinking water, waste and storm water offered local punters three options:

– BAU or Business As Usual at the current level (only adjusted for cost inflation);

– BAU Plus, to allow for some extra maintenance, planning, investigation work and modest resilience;

– High level of investment allows for forward growth planning, investigations and resilience.

Councillor Kaye McAulay sat in on the three groups of residents that considered the South’s water issues, dilemmas and crises.

As each group ended, she asked for a “show of hands” as to which option participants preferred.

The strong preference by 2-to-1was for BAU+ – extra spending above the business-as-usual option. No-one voted for the High level investment option, which came with a price-tag clearly seen as beyond current means and budgets.

As for the option costs, they grew to meet greater ambition by officers to repair, plan and upgrade the current failing systems of the three towns, and settlements like Pirinoa and Ngawi. … Continue Reading

Wellington Water recast under way

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Wairarapa and Wellington councils have joined forces to work through proposals to replace the now-abandoned “Three Waters” programme, after the coalition government asked for regional plans which can implement its alternative “Local Water Done Well” project.

South Wairarapa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the region’s nine other local bodies to undertake the design work for a new water services body. 

An alternative to a 10-entity grouping plan could see the three Wairarapa councils coalesce to run a separate water entity and develop their own water delivery plan, the Times Age suggested.

One report suggests South Wairarapa and Carterton will put $10,000 each into the planning fund, with Masterton to pony up double that amount. 

Initial funds are expected to come from the residue of a water programme development fund pool held by the Department of Internal Affairs. Funding beyond August remains unclear.

Currently, the local bodies use Wellington Water as their water services provider. 

Wellington Water describes itself on its web site as “100 percent council owned and funded … to provide safe and healthy drinking water, collect and treat waste water and ensure the storm water network is well managed.”

NZTrio at a Waihinga Centre near you

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

If you can’t wait until the Martinborough Music Festival in September for a quality chamber music fix in Martinborough, NZTrio is here to help.

Nestled in the heart of New Zealand's wine country, Martinborough has charmed its way into the hearts of plenty of Kiwis, and NZTrio’s Ashley Brown is one of them. 

After performing at the Martinborough Music Festival in 2023, Ashley is looking forward to returning with violinist Amalia Hall (another of the Martinborough Music Festival’s alumni) and guest pianist Sarah Watkins as part of their May national tour.

While on the road the musicians love getting the chance to perform in places where audiences respond to NZTrio’s trademark relaxed stage presence and engagement with concert goers.

“We’re so glad we were able to include Martinborough in this tour. We always enjoy performing in nearby Greytown, and we know that Martinborough also has an amazing community of arts lovers and chamber music fans,” said Ashley. 

“Every venue has its own unique feel, and we look forward to sharing the music that we make together and the interaction and response of the audience.” … 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