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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Performing arts lessons hit the local stage

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Starlight Performing Arts has offered drama lessons to children from the South Wairarapa since the beginning of Term 1. 

Jody McCartney, the director, has over 25 years’ experience onstage specializing in musical theatre and has taught singing and drama in Wellington and London.

“We wanted to offer something fun and different to the youth in our community, to bring the kids together to connect with each other while having fun,” she said. 

“We really wanted to work in the amazing Waihinga Centre theatre as it’s such a beautiful space.” “On Mondays and Tuesday afternoons the theatre certainly comes alive when 35 eager and enthusiastic performers from the ages of 5 to 14 bustle in ready to learn, make friends and have a great time!”

Starlight Performing Arts caters to three different groups, each having their own 60 minute lesson. Our “Rising Stars” are 5 to 7-year-olds, “Shooting Stars” are for 7 to 10-year-olds and our “All-Stars” group is for 10 to 14-year-olds. 

The students are mainly from Martinborough School, but also some from Greytown, Carterton and Masterton Intermediate School.

Jody said the group has covered a lot in Term One, including vocal technique, character development, improvisation, as well as a stage combat session! 

“The fact we get to use the beautiful space adds so much to the experience and the children just love getting up on the stage and sharing what they have learnt in their lesson.”

Next term, Starlight Performing Arts are adding additional classes including a children’s singing and dancing “Glee Club” and some adult group singing classes. 

“All of these classes will culminate in a showcase performance at the end of this year, creating a fun event that will bring our community together to enjoy,” she added.

If you or your child is interested in joining, please contact Jody at:

Martinborough fire season still controlled

Fire brigade medical responders hand over to LifeFlight at Lake Ferry. 

The FIRE SEASON has moved to RESTRICTED, meaning a permit is required for most fires both rural and in town. 

There is still a lot of dry vegetation about so please be careful even when you have a permit. For details: 

The brigade are actively looking for both some new firefighters and some medical responders, especially during daytime hours when we lose people to the “Big Smoke” and out of town for work. We are very adaptable around your availability, and if you can help daytimes we can pretty much cover the evening and nights.

Benefits to you, your family or employer, are the opportunity to develop a range of valuable skills, perhaps increase your physical fitness and the opportunity to work with a great bunch of people, who are often the first point of call in an emergency in your community. 

Not only that: we will fully equip you and train you for free!

Grab one of Martinborough’s firefighters for a chat if you see them around town (they might even buy you a coffee), or pop in on a Tuesday night when we are training.

We are at over 110 call-outs already this year, the majority being for our specialist Medical Response Unit, so we are definitely on target to beat last year’s 350 call total.

As the cooler autumn nights approach, we are all thinking about lighting our fires and relaxing in their glow, so make sure your chimney receives an annual sweep/clean, and always dispose of hot ashes in a metal container away from any flammable materials, like the outside decks.

Be careful on the roads as conditions change and please wear a seat belt.

Skyline Challenge “roaring” success for Lions

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Peace, space and views of Martinborough’s countryside that are quintessential Skyline Challenge.

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 year when, in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle, we had to cancel at the last minute due to flooding,” said Skyline spokesperson, Lee Quayle. 

“This year though, we had a flood of a different kind with around two thirds of the entries coming in the last couple of weeks,” he added.

A large portion of entries are from families and included children and youngsters entering their first event. Entries came from as far afield as Hawkes Bay, Palmertson North and Wellington. “Most of them came from our totally supportive local community,” Lee said.

The Skyline Challenge is a major fundraiser for Martinborough Lions each year. This year’s charity is again the Martinborough Pump Track Project, due to get started later in 2024. 

Proceeds from this year’s event means the Club is able to meet their commitment to the pump track project. … Continue Reading

Wairarapa Moana scene of UN Special Rapporteur visit

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

It went under the radar locally.

UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Francisco Cali-Tzay, visited Wairarapa early April to hear directly from the Moana’s customary owners about the Crown’s actions that stopped the the Waitangi Tribunal returning Iwi lands taken in 1949.

Kingi Smiler, Chair of Wairarapa Moana Incorporation, noted it was the first visit by a UN Special Rapporteur to Wairarapa Moana.

“The Special Rapporteur visited our Wairarapa Lakes and was told the story of their gifting to the Crown in 1896 in return for land reserves in the Wairarapa, and the trail of broken promises by the Crown that followed,” Smiler said in a statement afterwards.

The site visit was followed by a hui at Masterton’s Te Rangimarie Marae, with descendants of the customary Māori owners of Wairarapa Moana:  Rangitāne o Wairarapa, Ngai Tūmapūhia-a-rangi hapū, Pouākani hapū and Mangatu.

“Our whānau … told the Special Rapporteur that the Crown’s actions in stopping the Waitangi Tribunal return our Pouākani lands was a breach of our human rights, and the Treaty of Waitangi, and (has had a) significant impact on our whanau over the last 160 years.”

“This is not an issue which will simply fade over time. We remain resolute in our pursuit of our lands, for justice and for redress,” he said. … 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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