My Masterton

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Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Masterton New Zealand’s best little city


Win a weekend getaway to Masterton



Airfares, accommodation and activities included

The kiwi gem that offers a new lease on life

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Visiting Masterton We’ve got activities for young and old

Smart moves feature People choosing Masterton over the big smoke

Brought to you by My Masterton – an initiative of Masterton District Council

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Contents 4

Masterton map


Our story



Things to do




Smart moves feature: Business spotlight: We chat to people who have chosen Featuring family friendly Masterton over the big smoke entertainment hot spots in Masterton A big shout out to our sponsors: Fallow Hills

Matahiwi Estate

The NZ Sport and Vintage Aviation Society

Changes Medi-Spa

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Win an exciting weekend getaway for two to Masterton, NZ’s best little city.


xperience all Masterton has to offer – we’ve got a summer escape up for grabs with the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation.

Prize package includes airfare vouchers to cover flights and two nights’ accommodation at Fallow Hills canopy camping; safari-style glamping with sweeping 180 degree views of the Wairarapa countryside. Revel in the breath-taking starry sky at night as you sip on premium, award-winning wine sustainably produced in Masterton’s Matahiwi Estate.

We’re not finished yet. Take to the Wairarapa skies from Hood Aerodrome during a Tiger Moth flight, courtesy of NZ Sport and Vintage Aviation Society. After the excitement, prepare for an indulgent spa experience at Changes Medi-Spa, Wairarapa’s largest day spa. Visit Manukura, NZ’s only white Kiwi in captivity at Pukaha National Wildlife Centre, pop into Masterton’s popular Screening Room for a movie and meal, enjoy delectable delicacies at the lovely Don Luciano café and lots more!!! You’ll also receive a gourmet hamper containing premium Wairarapa artisan food and beverages.

Enter through the My Masterton Facebook page simply by clicking the ‘Sign Up’ link or through the My Masterton website:

Entry forms available at stand #761 at the Auckland Home Show. You can also enter through the My Masterton Facebook page simply by clicking the ‘Sign Up’ link or through the My Masterton website:

Entries close 10.00am Monday, 10 September 2018. Our lucky winner will be announced on Friday, 14 September 2018. NB: airfare vouchers are included in the prize package. Masterton is about an hour’s drive from Palmerston North – the closest airport. Rental car fees are not included in the prize package. Booking of accommodation, spa experience and Tiger Moth flights are to be made by package winner and are subject to availability and weather. Full Terms and Conditions are on

Pukaha National Wildlife Centre

Leafyridge Olives

Screening Room

Don Luciano

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Welcome to Masterton Attractions 1



Masterton Golf Club




Masterton Railway Station


Henley Lake


Millennium Reserve


Henley Lake Rec. Trail


Queen Elizabeth Park


Kuripuni Village


Soldiers Settlement Memorial Park


Lansdowne Rec. Trail


The Wool Shed


Lansdowne Village


Trust House Recreation Centre


Mahunga Golf Club


Waipoua River Rec. Trail

Cafes and Restaurants 1

10 O’Clock Cookie Company


Food for Thought


Apache Jack’s Family Restaurant




Aroymaak Thai Express & Restaurant


Jackson Street Bar


Cafe Anatolia


Lone Star


Cafe Strada


Spices of India


Chans Restaurant


Sushi Planet


Curry Twist


The Farriers Bar & Eatery


Don Luciano Cafe & Coffee Roastery


The Grill at Solway Park


Entice Cafe


The Screening Room Cinema & Eatery

Accommodation 1

Acorn Estate Motel


Discovery Motor Lodge


Amber Inn Motel


Gateway Motor Inn Boutique Hotel


BK’s Chardonnay Motor Lodge


Highwayman Motel


Colonial Cottage Motel


Masterton Motor Lodge


Copthorne Resort Solway Park


South Park Motel


Cornwall Park Motel



Rivenrock Mountain Bike Park 20min via Norfolk Rd


Mount Holdsworth

18min via Norfolk Rd 8



11 5 17


Wellington International Airport

1hr 35min via SH2

Hood Aerodrome

1min via South Rd or Manaia Rd

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Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre 18min via SH2 8

Kirwhakapapa 17min via SH2





Tinui Village

39min via Masterton Castlepoint Rd 16 8

Castlepoint Beach Resort

1hr via Masterton Castlepoint Rd


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14 15 10 1

12 5





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Riversdale Beach Resort

51min via Masterton Castlepoint Rd & Homewood Rd







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Master-where? Masterton is giving kiwis a new lease on life with affordable housing, work-life balance and plenty of activity to keep things interesting.


asterton is far enough to be peaceful, yet close enough for convenience. The Wairarapa town is 90 minutes drive north of downtown Wellington in the heart of the Wairarapa Valley. To its west Masterton is flanked by the majestic Tararua Ranges while an hour’s drive east is Castlepoint, voted one of New Zealand’s top ten beaches. The town has strong agricultural roots; named after Joseph Masters, the originator of the Smalls Farms Association which led to the founding of the town. The rural history plays a key role in everyday life in Masterton – you know you’re in a rural town when gumboots are sitting alongside the door to the bank!

The average house price in Masterton is sitting at $326,000, just under half the national average of $659,000.

But it’s not all about farming these days - we’re seeing a lot of changes in our employment demographics as population growth brings specialist businesses and entrepreneurs to the region. Many of these are thriving in the IT sector as they make the most of the Masterton lifestyle while running successful businesses locally. It’s easy enough to jump on the train to Wellington when it’s necessary to head into the big smoke.

It’s safe to say Masterton is booming. GDP growth is well outperforming the national average. Many people

ask why… it’s a combination of factors, but most significantly driven by strong population growth off the back of housing affordability and our reputation for providing a great lifestyle. We have seen population growth of 2.6 per cent in the last year (around 630 people). We’re continuing to see increasing numbers of young people, families and active aged moving into our region to take advantage of our affordable housing, great schools, hospital and community services, vibrant community and amazing lifestyle. This is driving some amazing new building developments in our region. We’ve seen a 76.5 per cent spike in the number of residential building consents issued in the last year. We’re also seeing strong growth in house prices with a 15 per cent increase in the year to March 2018 making it one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Despite our strong growth, housing affordability remains a strength for the region; the average house price in Masterton is sitting at $326,000, just under half the national average of $659,000. It’s all go down here in Masterton, come and visit the place judged New Zealand’s Most Beautiful City 2017.

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In the summer, be part of one of the many fun activities - model boat racing, waka-ama paddling, kayaking, wind-surfing and dragon-boating.

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Variety aplenty Masterton may be little, but we’ve got plenty to keep the whole family busy.


e’ve got some of the best beaches, wonderful walking tracks, the greatest parks and adrenaline-filled activities.

Stroll boutique retail stores and grab a coffee or hire a bike and explore our urban trails – no matter what your definition of relaxation is, we’ve got all the options.

Eating Out Masterton boasts a range of culinary treats including modern kiwi fare and international flavours.

Cafes and Bakeries We love a good scone. Masterton’s cafes and bakeries will keep tummies full. Some local favourites: »» Food for Thought »» 10 O’clock Cookie »» Café Anatolia »» Entice Café »» Café Strada »» Don Luciano café and coffee »» The Dish »» The Village Grinder

Restaurants and Bars Looking for something a little more substantial? Enjoy a wine with dinner at one of our local restaurants. »» »» »» »» »» »» »» »»

The Grill at Solway Park The Farriers Bar & Eatery Lone Star Apache Jack’s Family Restaurant Jackson Street Bar & J.B.S Downtown Diner Iberia The Screening Room Cinema & Eatery Craft Bar & Kitchen

Flavours from around the World Pleasure your palate with some new flavours. Give one of the international-cuisine restaurants a go. »» Aroymaak - Thai Express & Restaurant »» Chans Restaurant »» Spices of India »» Curry Twist »» Sushi Planet

Recreational Trails and Parks Walking, cycling and tramping trails set amid lush green landscapes make for an active day out. Masterton boasts around 10 kilometres of recreation trails throughout the town, and plenty of reserves. Set out to explore the beautiful trails at Millennium Reserve or hop over to Henley Lake.

Henley Lake Stroll around Henley Lake or hire a bike for the family to get around. A favourite with tourists and locals alike, the reserve has 43 hectares of wetlands and native plantings - more than 72 different species of birds have been spotted here. Viewing towers over the lake and wetlands allow for a range of different viewing perspectives. In the summer, be part of one of the many fun activities - model boat racing, waka-ama paddling, kayaking, wind-surfing and dragon-boating.

Queen Elizabeth Park Let the kids be kids while also getting a chance to discover your own inner child. Queen Elizabeth Park will keep the family busy for hours: feed the ducks, take a ride on the miniature railway, have a hit at mini golf, explore the epic Kids Own Playground with your little ones or enjoy the paddle boats in the summer. Don’t forget to nip across the river via the suspension bridge and feed the deer, including our resident stag. >>

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Active adventure Tararua Forest Park If you’re after a longer walk, in just under 20 minutes you can be in the beautiful bush that envelops the majestic Tararua Range – both Mount Holdsworth and Kiriwhakapapa entrances to the Tararua Forest Park are easily accessible from Masterton. One of many family favourites is the short trek up to Rocky Lookout via the Gentle Annie track from Mount Holdsworth (be warned – the inclusion of Gentle in the track’s name is a little misleading!). If you have really little ones with you, a meander around Donnelly Flats is an easier option. NB: Be sure to check information on the Department of Conservation website before heading out for a bushwalk and, with all tramping, make sure you’re well prepared.

For more coastal scenery head out to Tinui or the lovely Castlepoint or Riversdale beaches which feature a range of trails and coastal walks. The lookout at Castlepoint lighthouse is sure to leave you spell-bound, and if you’re Make a up for it, climb the deliverance track up day of it –see the 162 metre Castle Rock.

conservation in action while you take a stunning walk in the bush, experience beautiful flora and fauna, and enjoy delicious food and drinks at the on-site café

Just 15 minutes’ drive north of Castlepoint are some of the best rock pools on offer – the Mataikona Rocks - providing hours of exploration.

Whareama Coastal Walk

Sports Masterton’s Trust House Recreation Centre is an integrated health and fitness centre offering hours of aquatic fun for the kids. The hydro slide will keep them busy while Mum and Dad relax in the spa or sauna. There’s also a pool for the toddlers, a lazy river, 25 metre lap pool and an 8-lane slide. The Centre also features a well-equipped indoor sports stadium for mini ball, basketball, netball, tennis, soccer, badminton, children’s holiday programmes and before and after school care.

The two to three day fully-catered walk is an experience over private farmland and isolated Wairarapa coastline – making it a perfect weekend getaway. Starting at Whareama between Castlepoint and Riversdale beach resorts, pick the length of your walk and get ready to be amazed by the Wairarapa scenery.

Masterton also boasts an excellent range of outdoor sports facilities and fields popular for rugby, cricket, netball, football, basketball, athletics, BMX, bowls and croquet.

Opaki Cycle Tour & Rivenrock Mountain Bike Park

Aratoi is the heart of art and culture in the Wairarapa - Museum of Art and History exhibits the region's story through history, Māori artefacts and contemporary artwork. Visit the Aratoi website for latest updates about activities and events at Aratoi.

If you fancy cycling through lush vineyards, check out the Opaki Cycle Tours or head to the Rivenrock Mountain Bike Park for a mountain biking adventure.

Surf, Swim, Fish on the East Coast Castlepint and Riversdale Only an hour’s drive (and a very picturesque one) from Masterton, Castlepoint and Riversdale rival the best beaches in the country. Book a bach or camp out at one of the friendly camp-sites. There are plenty of options to suit all ages and wallets.

Arts & Culture Aratoi & ConArt

Next to Aratoi is ConArt Gallery & Studios - a space for Wairarapa artists to create, exhibit and sell their art to local and visiting art lovers. ConArt is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-4:30pm.

The Wool Shed The Wool Shed celebrates Masterton’s sheep farming history. Experience the ambience of two historic wool sheds. Videos, models, photos, wool handling and shearing equipment combine to tell the

story of the 160 years of shearing history that have resulted in New Zealand being so highly regarded for its quality wool industry.

Other popular recreation activities Pukaha, National Wildlife Centre Pukaha is a stunning conservation reserve and visitor centre located just 20 minutes north of Masterton. Check out native and endangered wildlife such as tuatara, longfin eels, kākā, kōkako and kiwi including Manukura – the rare white kiwi. Make a day of it – see conservation in action while you take a stunning walk in the bush, experience beautiful flora and fauna, and enjoy delicious food and drinks at the on-site café.

Fancy Flying? Check out Hood Aerodrome Named after Masterton man George Hood, Masterton is home to one of the friendliest Aerodromes in the country. It’s not often that you can simply drive in the gate and take a look at vintage aircraft. It’s all part of what Hood Aerodrome has on offer, including skydiving, tiger moth flights, aviation history and recreational flying lessons for the enthusiasts.

Masterton Golf Club Overlooking stunning views of the district from every hole, the Masterton Gold Club welcomes all visitors, providing a full range of on-site professional golf services, complete with a café and bar. Visit i-Site, the local visitor centre for more information, maps and brochures about Masterton.

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The lookout at Castlepoint lighthouse is sure to leave you spell-bound, and if you’re up for it, climb the deliverance track up the 162 metre Castle Rock.

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What’s on Toast Martinborough (18 November 2019)

Waifest (6 February 2019)

Just down the road from Masterton, Martinborough is a delight for wine lovers. Join fellow enthusiasts for the annual Toast Martinborough event. Festival tickets include entry to the Martinborough Wine, Food and Music Festival, tasting glass and lanyard, festival programme, access to hop off the free shuttle buses that circulate around vineyards and live music from over 15 of NZ’s best live entertainment acts.

Waifest is Masterton’s way to celebrate and commemorate Waitangi Day. We celebrate our Tangata Whenua, people of the land, and everyone else who is lucky enough to call this region home. It is an opportunity for people of all cultures to explore what Waitangi day means. 2019 marks the 179th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty - we’ll be commemorating with live entertainment, arts, food stalls, storytelling and history.

Wings over Wairarapa Air Festival 2019 (22 to 24 February 2019) Every two years the skies above Wairarapa come alive with one of New Zealand’s largest air shows – Wings over Wairarapa Air Festival. Featuring WWI, WWII aircraft, agricultural, helicopters, modern military and civil aircraft, Wings draws crowds from far and wide. We also have, for the first time, a stunning Saturday Night Show featuring the UK 'Airborne Pyrotechnics' gliding team as well as other night flying, all set to music.

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Even though we’re only a little city, we have some fantastic events in Masterton. These are unique to the region, making them very popular with locals and tourists. We recommend booking for accommodation sooner than later to avoid missing out!

The Golden Shears (28 February to 2 March 2019) Our rural history plays a key role in everyday life in Masterton. One of the biggest events bringing people to town is the annual Golden Shears competition – now the world’s premier sheep shearing and wool handling event, it all started in 1958 when a group of enthusiasts from the Young Farmers’ Club wanted a local shearing competition.

Wairarapa Harvest festival (9 March 2019)

Castlepoint Beach Races (March 2019)

Fancy a party in a paddock? Check out the Wairarapa Harvest Festival, held at a beautiful, sheltered riverside setting locally known as ‘The Cliffs' on the banks of the Ruamahunga River. Set in rural Wairarapa 10 minutes from Masterton, its remoteness and vineyard setting make for the perfect fall festival. The festival features a wide variety of wines from the Wairarapa Valley, food and entertainment throughout the day with a variety of live music, art exhibitions and static displays.

Dating back to 1872 when local farmhands would race each other for bottles of rum and stray coins, today thoroughbreds have replaced farm hacks and the day is as much about picnicking and family as it is about horses. You’re definitely not going to want to miss out. Betting is allowed but you'll be allocated a horse at random, for a ticket price of $2. The races are dependent on weather and tidal conditions.

Wairarapa Balloon Festival (18 to 22 April 2019 – Easter Weekend) There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing hot air balloons dotted throughout the Wairarapa skies. Masterton is lucky enough to host some key events as part of the annual Wairarapa Balloon Festival including the splash and dash at Henley Lake. But don’t take our word for it. Come and see for yourself!

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Smart moves: Masterton’s population has been growing steadily in recent years – defying the nationwide trend of rural provincial towns losing people to the big cities. So what makes Masterton different? We chat to people who have chosen to gain a new lease on life by moving to Masterton.

Turning the lifestyle There is so much to like about living in the city. The variety, the vibe ... not a day goes by when there isn’t something worth seeing or getting involved in. Then there is the opportunity, created in part by the fact that so many people - of different skills and interests - are living in close proximity.


ardly a metropolis by global standards, but nonetheless our biggest city by far, Auckland, is a magnificent place. If you could afford it, why wouldn’t you want to live there? A terrific climate, beautiful beaches, dangerously good food, a host to all of the big international acts, the list goes on. Oh, but the curse of the traffic! And then there is the depressing reality of the housing market with urban sprawl so intense it seems the further away from the city centre the more limited and smaller the options are. Warren and Lianne know it all too well, and like many citified folk imagined life swanning around on their very own lifestyle block. With family in Masterton Lianne was more determined than Warren to make it happen, although regular trips to Wairarapa and he was fast warming to the idea. “My stipulation was that if we were going to move it had to be a lifestyle block,” he says. Despite his growing enthusiasm they were both locked into the thinking that any move would be better done in retirement, as opposed to Warren giving up his job. That was until Warren woke up one day declaring to Lianne’s delight, let’s do it. “He said to me, you know what, we could move in as little as 18 months,” Lianne recalls.

So the search for their dream property swung into action, and well before the 18 months were up, their dream lifestyle property was on the market, and so to was a potential job in the offering in Masterton. The latter, Warren was able to decline because his employer was keen to keep hold of him, working remotely from home in Masterton. “So for us it’s the best of both worlds really; I get to keep my Auckland job with an Auckland salary, and move to this fantastic property on the outskirts of Masterton.” He hasn’t completely severed his ties with Auckland, returning once a month for one to two days. Flying out of Palmerston North - just over an hour drive from Masterton - is “very easy”. Having been in Masterton a little over a year, Warren and Lianne are thrilled with how seamless the transition has been. “We are still pinching ourselves, everyday.” From an 800 square metre section in Takanini, the former Aucklanders now knock around on 3.5 acres of bush and pasture, complete with a bigger house and a collection of utility buildings. Warren says looking after an established lifestyle block is no walk in the park, but that’s a good thing.

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dream into a reality “I’m a lot more active here, which is good for me. Every weekend I’ve got no problem finding something to do, and there’s no stress. I finish work, I walk out the door, grab the dogs and go for a walk,” Warren says. All of the extra space has given Lianne the opportunity to pursue her interest in fashion and garment design. Both Warren and Lianne admit to missing some aspects of Auckland, but certainly not the traffic which on average adds a couple of hours to your working day, and that’s a good day! “The reality is, living like that is just not good for you. It’s bad for your health and its bad for your spirit,” Warren says.

“So for us it’s the best of both worlds really; I get to keep my Auckland job with an Auckland salary, and move to this fantastic property on the outskirts of Masterton.”

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Smart moves:

Masterton proving popular for 20-somethings Masterton has long been a favourite for those bringing up families or wanting to live life at a more relaxed pace. But they’re not alone - those in age groups which would typically flock to the city are realising the benefits of rural provincial living.

Masterton a “new adventure”


hile there are many people choosing to make Masterton their home, not everybody is exiting the bright lights of the city for the same reason. Recent arrival Ashley Mitchell lists “new adventure” as one of the reasons she has turned her back on Wellington in favour of Masterton. An environmental scientist based in Greater Wellington Regional Council’s head office on the waterfront in the capital, Ashley jumped at the offer of a posting to Masterton. The position is a more senior role and also an exciting opportunity to take a chance and give a town, that she knows nothing about, a go.

Born and educated in the Waikato, Ashley moved to Wellington after graduating a couple of years ago. From Hamilton to Wellington to Masterton, it could be argued that she is definitely moving up in the world. “I guess you could say I’m broadening my geographical area. I’m really excited about exploring another part of the country ... it’s going to be a new adventure.” With that in mind, Ashley doesn’t anticipate that there will be too much hankering for a night out on the town, but when it does call she has some good options.

Neither Wellington nor Palmerston North are far away, with Wellington in particular year round hosting fantastic events and concerts, she says. She admits to not knowing a great deal about Masterton, but her early impressions are that the place seems to have everything a provincial town should have. There is no escaping the landscape and outdoors, which is another big attraction. “It’s a really beautiful place with amazing landscape, from forest parks to untamed beaches.” A shift to Masterton also brings with it the opportunity to buy a house.

A decade of rampant house prices is making home ownership increasingly unattainable in the main centres. In the provinces the dream is still very much alive, she says. “Buying a house was quite a draw card. Rent is going to be the same as my mortgage and I get to have my own home. Whilst this might be achievable in Wellington I'd have a much bigger mortgage, a smaller home or apartment, traffic issues, and no lawn! “In Masterton, I get a cool job, a house, no traffic issues, less financial stress and a big city down the road if I want more!”

“If I stayed where I was that wouldn’t really be possible. “It’s what I would like to do one day and I feel that living in Masterton there is so much more opportunity to do it.”

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A land of opportunity


riana Rose Kohu reckons Masterton will prove to be her land of opportunity.

When she shifted over from Hutt Valley to Wairarapa in January this year she always knew it would be good, but perhaps not this good! “I just love it here, it’s got everything,” she says. Passionate about horses, living in Wairarapa means that she can be closer to the action with better access to facilities and events. Among these is the historic Solway Showgrounds in Masterton which hosts numerous equestrian events throughout the year. The 27 year-old’s strong interest in riding means that she regularly goes to events in neighbouring regions, but is always happy to return to her new home town. Notably for her some of the best horse sports events are held in Wairarapa - such as Alfreton, Bideford, Gladstone and Lansdale - all a relatively short drive. “They are really popular with competitive riders, kids and farmers, so there is always lots of cool people there.” An equine veterinary nurse for region-wide South Wairarapa Veterinary Services, Ariana Rose’s working day is full of variety dealing with small animals and large, in particular horses when wearing her equine technician hat. She floats between South Wairarapa Vets’ clinics meaning that no two working days are the same. There are lots of employees across the business, including two new vets from the UK and Canada, making for a really interesting working environment. When living in semi-rural Hutt Valley she rarely went into the city so doesn’t miss it at all. A big attraction in Wairarapa is the coast with awesome beaches such as Castlepoint and Riversdale. From a horse buff’s perspective the Castlepoint Beach Horses Races are an annual highlight. Lucky enough to have friends with a beach house at Riversdale Ariana Rose gets to experience life on the coast and has got to know some of the locals well. The envy of her friends back over the hill, many regularly call in at her place on weekends as if it were a “holiday hideaway”. Ariana Rose says her plan one day is to also buy her own home, preferably something with a couple of acres so she can keep her horses. “If I stayed where I was that wouldn’t really be possible. “It’s what I would like to do one day and I feel that living in Masterton there is so much more opportunity to do it.”

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Smart moves:

Making the most of new surroundings Relishing all that Wairarapa has to offer, Hitiri and Jacqui Turner could easily be the poster family for living and loving life in Masterton.


o smitten with their new environment, the family of six encourages others to be bold and follow suit.

It’s a message that has already resonated with one of the extend whanau - Jacqui’s sister - who just couldn’t resist, and has convinced her husband and family to also re-locate to mighty Masterton. Originally from Te Awamutu, the Turners packed up their belongs and made the move in the middle of last year when Hitiri landed a promotion with his employer, Manuka Health. He is the national extraction manager at Manuka Health’s state-of-theart extraction facility just south of Masterton. Since arriving Jacqui has also secured a good job, as a legal clerk in an established practice in town. Both busy professionals, Hitiri says it is awesome living in a region where there is so much that you can do to unwind and live life to the fullest. “We’re quite an outdoorsy family, so having the ranges and all the camping that is on offer is something that we really love,” Hitiri says. “There are heaps of options for hunting, and people are really helpful and welcoming.

“Also the beaches here are really good, and they’re not crammed full of people like Raglan which was the only beach that was near to us back home.”

“We perhaps didn’t think enough about how much adjusting for the kids was going to be required, especially for the older girls, it was really tough.”

A surprising aspect about Masterton is that for a town its size it doesn’t really want for anything, Hitiri says.

It became apparent that they needed to be more proactive in making themselves known, and before long one or two contacts morphed into many and now they feel very much part of the community.

“Everything that you need is here. If we do need to go somewhere, there is ‘Palmy’ just down the road, and Wellington is not far away either. There is nothing much that you can’t get here to be honest.” There is a great range of options for dining, two terrific movie cinemas and heaps of first class amenities, he says. Although totally enamoured with the Wairarapa now, the couple freely admit that there was a settling in period. “For us it was a really big decision. Waikato is where we are from and all of our whanau are there.” With no family and no mates, after the first couple of months they began to have doubts that they had made the right decision.

“People here are actually really welcoming, that’s surprised me a little bit to be honest ... you have to be prepared to make an effort, but when you do it is really easy to make friends. The kids just love it here now.” A big factor for any family with young kids considering moving to another district are the options for schooling. The Turner’s are blown away by the choices in Masterton with a mix of single sex and co-ed colleges in town. For their two youngest children the local Te Kura “Everything Kaupapa Maori has made a big that you need impression. “The kura in Masterton is really awesome, one of our boys is there and the other one will start soon.”

is here. If we do need to go somewhere, there is ‘Palmy’ just down the road, and Wellington is not far away either.

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“My partner has made the move as well and he’s equally enamoured. From Auckland to Masterton is a jump, but he loves the vibe.”

Smart moves:

From Manhattan to Masterton H

aving tasted life in the “Big Apple” Annie Wright concedes it was always going to be challenging finding fulfilment back in little Aotearoa. Imagine the surprise to her friends then when she should end up in Masterton! It wasn’t by accident, instead the result of good homework, plus some previous trial and error elsewhere in the country. Masterton, just like Manhattan was, is perfect for the next chapter in her life. To be fair, having lived in the most populous city in the United States for six months with its iconic skyscrapers and the sprawling Central Park, for scale Auckland did seem a logical place to start. And Annie was already familiar with the City of Sails, living in Newmarket either side of her American adventure. But after a few months back New Zealand’s biggest city was losing favour with its traffic woes and the preoccupation of many residents with real estate prices and their own first world issues such as parking and keeping up appearances.

Keen to get out, Annie thought of her formative years, growing up on a farm north of Kaikoura. “I love the East Coast climate with its dry summers and cold winters, so thought that I would give Masterton a go,” she says. The town ticked a lot of important boxes, among them good health facilities. Easy access to an international airport was also an important consideration with all three of her children living and working overseas, including her daughter in New York. Masterton is only a 90-minute commute to Wellington which has a very “reliable” airport enabling Annie to connect to international flights. Another significant factor, although not a prerequisite, is that Masterton has job opportunities and a buoyant local economy. Soon after arriving Annie secured a job as manager of the Masterton A & P Show Solway Showgrounds at the southern end of town. A Category 2 historic precinct of 29 buildings, some dating back as far as 1878, the facility hosts major Wairarapa events.

The showpiece of the group of buildings is the restored grandstand, which creates a stunning vista through Annie’s office window. After eights months Annie can find few pitfalls in her new town of choice. The coffee is perhaps not what she is used to, and dog owners could make more of an effort to pick up after their pets, but other than that there is little to quibble about. There is no shortage of variety, plenty of parks and open spaces, and the people are “very friendly”. “My partner has made the move as well and he’s equally enamoured. From Auckland to Masterton is a jump, but he loves the vibe.” She hasn’t yet bought a house, but reckons she better get a hurry on. Renting a property in a leafy street not far from the CBD her neighbours in all four directions are also from out of town signalling the growing interest in the Wairarapa. “They are from both the North Island and the South Island and they have moved here pretty much for the same reason as me, the lifestyle, it’s just wonderful!”

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Smart moves:

Fighting fit and loving it H

ad former Wellingtonian Rochelle Walker known just how good life was on the other side of the Remutaka Ranges she would have ditched the capital years ago. As it was, this thirty-something solo mum arrived in Masterton early 2016. Two and half years on she is in no doubt that it was one of her better life decisions. A mental health community support worker, it was the job that took Rochelle to Masterton, but there was a lot to consider with her teenage daughter moving to unfamiliar territory. It also meant leaving behind her grown-up son who was staying put in Wellington. There is no denying that it took a wee while to adjust, Rochelle says, but other than friends and family there is nothing that she misses about living in central Wellington.

Life in Masterton is considerably easier on the pocket, paying roughly half the rent that she was in Wellington for twice the amount of space. Time is unquestionably more plentiful, the scenery “beautiful” and - despite being so far away from the coast - the air surprisingly fresher, Rochelle says. “Life over here feels so much more relaxed ... moving from Wellington to Masterton you all of a sudden feel like you can breath a little easier,” Rochelle says. There is another reason why the lungs are functioning with more purpose, and that can be attributed to the time Rochelle spends down at the martial arts hub The Fortitude Gym. “I think one of the lessons I learnt about moving to a new place is that you have to make an effort to get out and meet new people. Joining a gym like

“It’s amazing here - there is no shortage of artists and with regular exhibitions there is always something new to see.”

Fortitude, which is like a big family, has been really great, plus I’ve got myself in pretty good shape too.” While climbing into the ring for a bit of one-on-one combat is not for Rochelle’s 16-year old daughter, there is plenty of things to fill her time and if that means a city fix, well then Wellington is only a train ride away. Coming from the arts and cultural capital of New Zealand, it is interesting that Rochelle makes a point of commenting on the art scene in Masterton. “It’s amazing here - there is no shortage of artists and with regular exhibitions there is always something new to see.” Iconic events such as the annual Golden Shears and Balloon Festival or a scenic drive to places like Castlepoint add further variety and spice to what is a fantastic place to live, Rochelle says.

22  |  Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Business spotlight:

The Screening Room


he Screening Room Boutique Cinema & Eatery has become a go-to dining and entertainment destination in Masterton, thanks to its boutique feel and impressive menu. Masterton was treated to an exciting new addition to its entertainment and hospitality scene in late 2017 when The Screening Room first opened. The venue features a contemporary purpose-built building which combines two 60-seat boutique cinemas with the very latest technology. It means movie-goers can enjoy an exceptional sound and vision experience, while relaxing in custom-made armchairs which are generously spaced for viewing comfort. The Eatery has seating for a total of 120 people including a large outdoor veranda and smaller intimate alcoves for those wanting to enjoy a coffee or cake before or after the movie.

Perhaps most exciting is the food on offer. The venue is run by Eve and Travis Clive-Griffin – a couple known around the Wairarapa for running Greytown’s Salute restaurant, which they oversaw for 16 years. Travis says the menu is about bringing modern, fresh flavours from around the globe. Travis has also created a dessert menu and “take-to-themovie” treats for those wanting to snack on something while enjoying the latest indie flicks, arthouse treasures or Hollywood movies. “The great thing about The Screening Room is the variety of ways people can enjoy it,” Eve says. “You can enjoy a delicious meal before going to the movies, just go to the movies, pop in for coffee and cake, or simply come and enjoy dinner and drinks with friends.”

“You can enjoy a delicious meal before going to the movies, just go to the movies, pop in for coffee and cake, or simply come and enjoy dinner and drinks with friends.”

The Screening Room was developed by local businessman Dave Borman, who has been instrumental in creating the colonial look of Kuripuni Village. The sophisticated décor includes a parquet floor which has been re-laid having been relocated from The Chilton Building. This floor was originally laid by the Country Woman’s Institute in the early 1940s.

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Queen St, Kuripuni Village, Masterton Opening Hours: 10am – late For all movie bookings or to book a table for The Eatery phone 06 378 6191 For up-to-date movie timetables, visit Available for private functions.

Business spotlight:

Don Luciano

Wednesday, 29 August 2018  |  23

“I want to create a memorable and unique experience for people so that every time they leave us they walk out the door with a smile on their face.”


ood food and coffee can sometimes be hard to find in the provinces - not so in Masterton with Don Luciano Café bringing a taste of Central America to town. The warmth and vibrancy of the Central American culture hits coffee-goers as soon as they walk through the door of Don Luciano, especially if owner Marvin Guerrero is behind the counter. For Marvin, hospitality isn’t just about keeping people fed and watered, it’s about doing it with kindness, intertwining his cultural heritage and supporting local communities. There is evidence of Marvin’s ethos throughout the venue, with kiwi café food sitting alongside Central American streetfood and flashes of colour across the walls bringing a distinct Latin vibe. Named after Marvin’s grandfather, a coffee grower in Honduras, Don Luciano was established with Masterton locals in mind. After spending years in hospitality in South Wairarapa, Marvin leapt at the opportunity to open a café in Masterton. “I wanted the opportunity to cater specifically to locals and not be as dependent on visitors from out of town coming through the door,” Marvin says. “I want to create a memorable and unique experience for people so that every time they leave us they walk out the door with a smile on their face.” Coffee is key for Marvin; he sources coffee beans from Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia for his own coffee label ‘Gracias’ – look out for the beautiful new packaging. Roasted using a stateof-the-art coffee roaster, Gracias is sold throughout the Wairarapa and will soon be available for sale online. Going forward, a portion of profits from the coffee sales will be donated to social welfare projects back in Marvin’s home country of Honduras. Then there’s the food. Marvin focuses on making fresh, authentic and locally sourced food, which is made to order. The menu also includes a wide range of gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. He favours local producers where possible, but is committed to finding the best (he has three different tortilla suppliers!). After nine months in business Marvin says it’s going well. “We’ve got a strong customer base … I’m excited about where we can take things”.

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9 King Street Masterton (just off State Highway 2) Café email: Coffee orders:

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Monday: 7am – 2:30pm (espresso bar) Tues – Fri: 7am-4pm Sat: 7am-3:30pm Sun: 8am – 3:30pm

An initiative of Masterton District Council