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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Walking the kids’ books at Considine Park

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Martinborough’s StoryWalk at Considine Park was nominated for a Kumara Award (category: Kei tua atu i te kaupapa / Beyond the brief – physical spaces that are more than what is expected or required) in April. 

The annual Kumara Awards celebrate innovative, transformative placemaking. 

Over 250 projects were nominated nationally, each one recognizing the people whose work resulted in vibrant, inclusive spaces that enhance the well-being of their communities. 

Inspired by an idea that originated overseas, Assistant Librarian Sylvia Arnold adapted the StoryWalk concept for Considine Park with generous support from the Friends of Martinborough Library, the Men’s Shed, publishers and writers. 

The walk has pages of a children’s book displayed on raised boards, and the idea is to walk, skip, from one display to the next as you follow the story’s progression. It’s fun for reluctant readers, an opportunity to connect with those who may not be regular library users, and an easy way to enjoy gentle exercise in a lovely outdoor setting. 

Residents and visitors alike are vocal in their praise for this local attraction. 

According to Sylvia, “The StoryWalk embodies the whakatauki ‘Kāora te kumara e kōrero ana mo tōna ake reka’ (the kūmara does not talk about its own sweetness). 

“While it was a privilege to be nominated for the award, the real satisfaction and pride lies in seeing so many people enjoy the StoryWalk – it brings a smile to people of all ages.” 

Check out the current featured story “The eels of Anzac Bridge” by Ali Foster & Viv Walker (Faber Books).

Use new eyes as you walk the road again

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Netted Martinborough vines as harvest looms and autumn clouds gather. Photo Credit: ‘Town’ by Madeleine Slavick.

Wairarapa author and photographer Madeleine Slavick has a newly published book of photographs, stories and poems, all set in New Zealand, with many in Wairarapa.

“Town” is published by The Cuba Press and distributed by Bateman Books.

Slavick’s “Town” features at the Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival ‘Late Night Lit’ event on Friday 10 May (sold out). Slavick will also be present at her exhibition at Featherston’s Common Ground Art Gallery on Saturday May 11 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. with a Q+A session at 11:30 a.m. All welcome.

“Town is reminiscent of Robert Hass at his most beautifully imagistic, or Georgia O’Keeffe telling deep stories in flowers,” notes Hinemoana Baker, who contributed an endorsement for the book.

“The art is in the structure, the layering of images,” writes author Jillian Sullivan who will join Slavick at an event at Aratoi Museum on 11 June at 12 noon. 

“At once humorous, poignant, arch, illuminating and matter-of-fact, Town gives you your hometown as if you had always remembered it that way yourself. … Continue Reading

Familiar and new faces to grace Music Festival

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

New face: pianist Paavali Jumppanen heading to Martinborough Music Festival.

Martinborough Music Festival returns in September with an amazing lineup of talented musicians from New Zealand and overseas to bring this year’s four-concert Festival to life.

Co-Artistic Directors Wilma Smith and Donald Armstrong have invited back familiar friends of the Festival – violinists Gillian Ansell and Harry Bennetts – along with some new faces.

“I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming four new guests to Martinborough this year, all extraordinary musicians and great fun too,” says Wilma.

“Two are Finnish and now living in Sydney and Melbourne. Cellist Tipi Valve and pianist Paavali Jumppanen are very excited to be involved and I’m sure our audiences will be blown away by them.

“The other two are clarinet and cello sensations – David Griffiths and Svetlana Bogosavljevic – who have toured previously for Chamber Music New Zealand and can’t wait to come to Martinborough.” 

The four concerts include audience favourites such as Beethoven’s ‘Appassionato’ sonata, Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet in B minor and Mozart’s Trio for clarinet, viola and piano. The Finnish connection brings works by Sibelius and Kuusisto—and is also the inspiration for this year’s Festival logo and colours, with the swirling brilliance of blue, green and purple of the Northern Lights.

Festival dates are 27-29 September, with all four concerts once again taking place in Martinborough Town Hall.

There are two new faces on the Martinborough Music Festival Trust board that organises and runs the annual event. Trust members Scilla Askew, Rosemary Brown, Andrew Morrison and Marion Townend have been joined by Mike Armour (as Treasurer), while Sharon Cuzens, who has been on the Trust for five years, has taken on the role of Festival Director.

As well as the Festival itself, the Trust is hard at work planning the education and outreach programme. It’s going to be an exciting year—visiting Wairarapa schools and working with the Wairarapa Youth Orchestra.

Tickets will go on sale to our Earlybird subscribers on 1 June, so email to make sure of your seats. Public sales start from 1 July.

Martinborough Wine & Food Society: Chardonnay night

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Six wines were tasted from different parts of the world: South of France, California, South Australia and New Zealand.

We were lucky to have with us past president Shelley and former cellar master Laurence Goldsmith who have shifted south but were passing through.They showed wonderful hospitality and kindness to members over the years but especially during lockdown, for which we again thank them.

Wine presentation was given by the knowledgeable John Penney accompanied by an excellent hand-out, which aptly described the parameters of Chardonnay. 

It will grow in most districts and display the characteristics of that region, from full-bodied to mineral and more elegant styles. Other considerations include: how much oak is used, or not; the use of malolactic fermentation to soften the wine, whether made in stainless or a barrel ferment and how long it is left on lees. 

Chardonnay is capable of a range of expressions depending on what the winemaker chooses to do with it.

The first pair of wines were from the Languedoc, not made under strict appellation control but the Pays D’Oc.

First was Domaine La Baume Les Vignes de Madame Chardonnay 2020.The wine is grown in silty clay limestone, fermented in stainless steel. It says made in the presence of wood!!!! So presumably oak chips. I personally found this wine very drinkable and good value.  … 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 …

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By Brenda Channer In 2020, during lockdown, did you drag a chair to the end …

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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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