Footloose and Fancy Free, Celebrating 25 years Round the Vines

While 2020 and Covid dampened the dreams of those who were looking forward to walking or running around the vines, 2021 came up trumps, the 25th year of brilliant organisation and commitment from the Martinborough School Committee and the community.  In the words of Charlies Angel’s, Beth, Anna, Jeremy, and …

Write your memories next month at Martinborough Library

Library also welcomes a big shipment of new books—come find your next read! We’re all full of memories, big and small—everything from ‘That was the year I fell in love’ all the way down to ‘Tuesday lunch was a ham-and-cheese toastie.’ The memoirist’s trick is finding a way to weave …

Under The Martinborough Stars

Have you ever wondered where the constellations came from? Do you know your Crux from your Musca? Or Scorpius from Pavo? Who got to name them? Humans are very good at seeing patterns in just about anything. Clouds. Toast. Rocky outcrops on Mars. Wherever we look we see a shape, …

Aroha String Quartet with Clarinettist Rachel Vernon

After a disappointing cancellation of their June concert due to level 2 lockdown, the Greytown Music Group is hoping all will be well for their next concert, on Sunday 22 August, when the Aroha Quartet will join forces with Rachel Vernon on clarinet. The Aroha String Quartet was formed in …

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Letters – Secretive decisions

August 24, 2021 August 2021, Regular Features Comments Off on Letters – Secretive decisions

2019 election Mayor Beijen stated: “I am standing for South Wairarapa Mayor to bring back common sense and transparency.” Voters were attracted to his statements: “Transparency and openness are essential for this Council. Gone are the days when the public are ok with decisions made behind closed doors. Except in cases of private financial matters or staff reviews, all decisions made by Council should be done openly, with clear explanations as to why and how the decisions were made, and made accessible on the Council website.” 

Less than two years on, is this happening for rate payers? Judging by discontent in Martinborough, Featherston and Greytown, it would seem not.  Living in Greytown I can only draw on our current challenge, but it certainly fits the secretive way the council has worked in Martinborough where a decision to change the road around Martinborough Square was made without adequate consultation. Or in Featherston where there is ongoing unhappiness over the less than transparent decision making over the Underhill Road quarry.

Sept ‘20 the SWDC was presented with a visionary proposal known as Pahikara, This offered development of council land at Greytown’s 85-87 West Street, in the heart of our CBD: a heritage park, amenities to link with the growing cycle industry, a boutique cinema. An estimated 50 jobs. At the time Mayor Beijen was hugely enthusiastic. “It’s fantastic that someone is forward-thinking on what resources may be needed to enable that tourism to occur.” (Stuff Nov ’20) … Continue Reading

Kahutara Hall Centenary

August 24, 2021 August 2021 Comments Off on Kahutara Hall Centenary

Hall celebrations in 1973.

Kahutara Hall is having its centenary on the weekend of 10/11th September 2021. We would love to have current and past residents celebrating this event. There is a specialised committee organising festivities. 

On Friday the 10th 2-4pm, there will be a “high tea” in the hall with the local mayor Alex Beijen welcoming guests, Kahutara School pupils doing a 1920’s dance routine, the Featherston Gentlemen Singers, with delicious food served by the Kahutara Parent and Community group. Please contact: 

On Saturday the 11th, from 7pm there will be a Ball and we are encouraging attendees to dress in 1920s attire. We’re excited to have HIBS Big Band, followed by The Shenanigans performing. A catered supper will be provided.
Please contact: or 027 495 5003 

Tickets for these events are on sale now. Purchase tickets sooner rather than later as numbers are limited. 

Kahutara Hall was part of the Soldiers’ Club at Featherston Camp. Bought by the newly-formed Kahutara Hall Committee in 1921 for £300, the building was dismantled at the camp and re-erected on a site opposite Kahutara School, donated by William Bidwill. The committee used only a 60 foot (18m) portion of the purchase as it thought a bigger hall would be beyond its financial capacity. The committee also bought tables and chairs from Featherston Camp. 

The hall is still being used for community events, playgroup, 21st, weddings, and many other group meetings/celebrations. 

Jazz in Martinborough – From Fund-raising Idea to Annual Festival Celebrating Our10th Anniversary 2011-2021

August 24, 2021 August 2021 Comments Off on Jazz in Martinborough – From Fund-raising Idea to Annual Festival Celebrating Our10th Anniversary 2011-2021

“We never really had a plan for anything long term. We were just rushing to put together a Jazz Festival in 6 weeks,” says Jazz in Martinborough co-founder and long time organiser, Ted Preston.  “It was originally going to the called Jazz from the Gym or something like that because that’s where the late Ian Cresswell first mooted the idea with me,” adds Ted.  “Then Lee (Quayle) came on board and the three of us just got on with it.”

Long time Town Hall supporter and classical music devotee Ian Cresswell had been approached by Rod Andrew from the Adelaide-based Dixie Street Jazz Band to add Martinborough Town Hall to their Spring tour in 2011. Ian had just returned from visiting relatives in Christchurch immediately after the devastating earthquakes.  As Ian is quoted as saying at the time “I sensed a fund-raising opportunity and floated the idea of a small spring  jazz festival.”  And so Jazz in Martinborough was born.

Jazz in Martinborough (JiM) is a community-based enterprise that provides quality jazz music events promoting local jazz talent and incorporating jazz bands and artists from throughout New Zealand.  It aims to promote and benefit our local community, with the focus in recent years turning to the promotion of youth jazz and funding youth jazz scholarships.

“The original festival in 2011 featured many Christchurch musicians who had been unable to play in their own city as most jazz venues in the city were out of action due to the earthquakes there,” explains Ted.  “We also managed to raise $6,000 for the Jazz Schools Trust.”

Subsequent festivals have seen the fund-raising focus move from restoration of the Town Hall, to the provision of quality sound equipment for the new Waihinga Centre, to today’s goal of providing scholarships to the New Zealand Jazz Foundation’s annual Summer school for young and developing jazz musicians.  In 2016 JIM arranged a concert fundraiser for the Kaikoura Earthquake Mayor’s Fund – our community raised $10,000.  … Continue Reading

Invented in America

August 24, 2021 August 2021 Comments Off on Invented in America

America have had a pretty bad press of late, maybe it’s a good time to remember that in the mid twentieth century they were at the top  of their inventive game:

The manufacture of clothes washing machines began in America in 1926, the clothes driers did not get into production until 1949. Dishwashers were also invented in 1949. Air conditioners came along earlier , 1945 . Colour televisions came onto the market in 1959. More recent American firsts were microwave ovens in 1972 and video cassette recorders 1977. By 1978 15% of Americans owned a personal computer  and a pioneering 2% owned a mobile phone.  

Plus, earlier on two San Francisco men had invented jeans. THeywere invented in 1873  when the Bavarian dry goods merchant Levi Strauss and Reno tailor Jacob Davis secured the patent for using copper rivets to strengthen  the pockets of miner’s ‘waist overalls’ they made in San Francisco. The  material used was denim, from originally called ‘serge de Nemes’ – just as Jeans comes from Genoa the name given to the material used produced at the Amoskeag mill in New Hampshire.


Watch out Cobra Kai!  Local karate club takes out Champion Dojo Trophy

On Saturday 12 June, Wairarapa’s Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate (OGKWI) club competed against karate clubs from across the lower North Island to win the overall Kāpiti Karate Academy Championships.    13 karate students from South Wairarapa travelled to Kāpiti to compete against students from 12 other karate clubs in kata (technique), …

Bruce Henderson – LIFE MEMBER

At the recent Club Day of MRFC Bruce Henderson was awarded Life Membership to the Club, a well deserving recipient. Bruce started playing rugby in the JAB grade and played right through to a Senior, where he played 3 seasons (this was cut short as his son Nigel was very …

Junior Football

Martinborough Junior Football Club is halfway through the 2021 season, so it is a good opportunity to provide an update. The Club is made up of two parts – Juniors (4 to 13 year olds) and Seniors. All of our teams play in competitions run by Capital Football. Capital Football …

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“Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink”.  This well-known line from ‘The Rime …

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Letters – Community Boards

Recently my husband and I took up the invite from the Mayor, June edition of …

Letters – Secretive decisions

2019 election Mayor Beijen stated: “I am standing for South Wairarapa Mayor to bring back …

How well do we know people in our community

Rex Mc Intosh  Click Suite, Magician and Technical Wizard Rex is one of the cofounders …

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