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Continued from page 1. Neil Sinclair from the Marlborough Mountain Bike Club says the benefits of hosting the championships will be ‘far reaching’ as they anticipate the increased profile from hosting the event will encourage local riders to take up the sport. Neil adds hosting the event will put Marlborough on the Mountain Bike map in New Zealand.
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Recent investment in trails and new land access agreements will ensure the sport has a strong future in Marlborough, benefiting both local and visiting riders. In addition they have received very generous support from a number of Gaming Trusts, Marlborough District Council and sponsors that have seen the purchase of shuttle trailers, timing equipment, safety equipment and a mini digger. The region has hosted National Mountain Bike events in the past, but the Cycling New Zealand Schools National Championships is one of largest mountain bike events in the country. So what sets Blenheim's terrain and courses apart?
Park and the new Gentle Annie Skills Area with its rolling hill country is ideally suited to Cross Country racing. Cross Country tracks are typically easier, but have a number of technical features to test the rider’s skills, such as rock gardens, small gap jumps and off camber sections. The planned cross country course, which includes the newly constructed Gentle Annie MTB track was used in a recent MMBC club race and received some great post-race feedback.
The Downhill event will be hosted at Homebrook (Taylor Pass) with 330 riders competing over two days.
“DH tracks typically feature steep chutes, tight corners, chunky rock gardens and drops and jumps of varying sizes. The terrain at Homebrook is ideal due to the rocky nature of the hill and the great shuttle road,” says Neil.
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“The club is extremely fortunate to have the support of the Marlborough District Council (Wither Hills Farm Park), One Forty One (Taylor Pass Forest) and some very supportive private property owners” says Neil.“We have selected three separate locations to host the differing disciplines. Each area having its own unique terrain.”
The Wither Hills Mountain Bike
The Homebrook track was built by the club in 2021 and is a course that will challenge the riders and result in some great racing. Neil says its most memorable feature is a large step down jump at the end of the track that will make great viewing for the spectators. The event finishes on the Saturday with the Enduro with 396 registered riders.
“We are very lucky to have one track on Jentree amongst regenerating pines and two tracks in Taylor Forest under mature pines. The three Enduro tracks are all very different and combined will create a fantastic
memory for the racers,” says Neil.
“There has been a lot of hard work from our local mountain biking community to help create these tracks, so we are excited to be hosting this event and sharing the trails with our visitors.”
There are over 120 schools registered from across the country. The largest teams are Nelson College with 31 riders, Marlborough Boys’ College with 29, Christchurch Boys’ High School, 27 and Cashmere High School with 23.
From a Marlborough perspective, there are some strong riders com-
peting with Finn McKenzie and Lachlan McNabb in the Under 20 Boys aiming for a podium finish. Lachlan is the 2023 South Island Schools Cross Country Champion and Finn has previously won a Cross Country National Schools title.
In the U20 Girls, Maddy Sinclair (also the reigning SI Schools Cross Country Champ and Woman Sport National Champ in XC and CX) will be pushing hard in all three events, but has a very competitive field in all the events, including riders just back from racing in Europe.
Tuakana-Teina, a traditional Māori practice, refers to the relationship between an older and younger sibling or close family members. In effect, a buddy system where an older person helps guides a younger and is reciprocal.
When it comes to Blenheim’s Rural Fire Brigade the definition and philosophy is apt indeed.
“The only scary part about joining up was having to walk into the training room on the first night,” says Kyla Fransen. “Then I got introduced to Jenn Ruffell, one of the other women in the crew, and straightaway she gave me her phone number and offered to buddy-up with me that night, and I knew everything was fine.”
Blenheim’s newest recruit firefighter was only seven-years old when she first thought that, one day, she would like to be one.
“I was with my dad and we were walking past the fire station just as one of the trucks was leaving on a call. Its lights and sirens were going and one of the firefighters waved to me. I thought they were the coolest people in the world,’ says Kyla Fransen.
Last month, Kyla finally took the plunge and made contact with Fire and Emergency through its website, expressing an interest in joining a brigade. Due to her young age at 17-years, parental consent
“My dad and I met with the Chief Fire Officer at Blenheim Rural, Steve Smith, and it was like an interview. He told me that if I could provide the commitment they would provide the training,” she says.
Kyla‘s father expressed the thoughts of any parent when their child said they wanted to join a group who respond to 111 calls - he was concerned for the safety of his daughter.
“Steve spent a lot of the interview focusing on health and safety and by the end Dad was reassured that whilst there would always be risk involved the training is all about minimising it,’ says Kyla.
Having been with the rural team for a little over a month she has yet to experience her first callout.
“They’re quite protective of me and I’ve been told I’ll get to go when I’m trained and ready for it. I’m not in any rush. I’m just getting started and this is a longterm thing. So far I’ve attended trainings and was part of a team at the Springlands School gala. That was good fun as I got to engage with others in the crew. It was also great to see how happy the kids were when we let them play with the hoses,’ she says.
Meanwhile, Angela Pahl is at the other end of the scale in terms of experience. By the end of this year she will have 25 years service un-
der her belt and has only recently returned from a deployment to Canada.
“I joined my local Wainuiomata brigade when I was the same age as Kyla. I was also still at school and I remember being issued with a pager and it going off in Biology class. In those days I’d jump on my bike and ride to the station.”
Both Kyla and Angela are in agreement that joining Fire and Emergency has been one of the best decisions they could have
The rural team in Blenheim is Angela‘s third brigade during her career.
“Firefighting becomes a habit that’s hard to break. It can be exciting and fun and I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of the world while doing it,’ she says.
“I also love the social side of it, the teamwork and meeting like-minded people. The work can be hard but you learn skills and have experiences that stay with you for the rest of your life.”
The Marlborough Emergency Response Team (NZ-RT20) recently spent 30 hours tending to ‘casualties’ from a range of simulated disaster sites at a South Island-wide training exercise.
The team was one of nine in attendance at the event, Exercise Tempest, based on a severe and damaging weather event in Canterbury.
The teams, made up of 130 responders, were mixed to form composite teams and worked together to tend to 170 role playing casualties, who acted out their injuries in more than 25 different disaster sites, including demolished apartment blocks and high rise buildings.
The deadline for applications for Round 1 of the 2023/24 Commercial Events Fund has been extended until Monday, 9 October.
This fund was established to help create economic benefit to Marlborough by attracting new events and helping to build on existing ones. There is up to $100,000 available for allocation for 2023/24 events.
To be eligible, commercial events must be held within the Marlborough District Council boundaries. Community events, conferences, conventions, trade shows and exhibitions are not eligible. Funding is granted on an annual basis, and past applicants who have been unsuccessful are invited to re-apply. Applications must be completed via Council’s website - https://www. marlborough.govt.nz/.../commercialevents-fund
Life Education Marlborough has a new chairperson. Francois Cuccurullo (front row left) is an accountant who recently moved over from Wellington and has shown a real passion for Life Ed plus has great leadership skills which means they’re in good hands. Francois says, “I love that Life Ed has impacted so many kiwi kids over a number of years, including mine. Back row left to right: Jackie Baker, Harold, Craig Rohloff and Tracy Null. In front is Tash Knox.
Dahlia Clarke’s passion is now a career pathway.
A dancer with the Marlborough Academy of Dance, Dahlia has been accepted into the Ettingshausens Pro full-time dance course in Sydney. She will be completing her Diploma of Professional Dance - Elite Performance - from January - December 2024.
Founded by Natalie and Michael Ettingshausen, Natalie is a renowned dance teacher while Michael or Mick is a former Australasian karate champion. Ettingshausens is an industry leader in both Performing and Martial Arts. The centre has been operating in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire for over 25 years.
Dahlia says on a ‘normal day’ she will be attending up to five master classes all composing of various dance genres.
“Special guests and international choreographers and mentors are regularly added to the timetable when they are in Australia,” she says. “Days are structured around our needs, allowing us to get the most out of every class and perform at our best for maximum growth.”
Dahlia has been dancing with the Marlborough Academy of Dance for three years and is currently teaching Hip-hop and Junior Contemporary at MAD for eight – 16-year-olds. She holds a United Dance Organisation Hip hop qualification in Grade 3,4,5 and 6.
Hip Hop, also known as Rap and formerly known as Disco Rap, is a genre of music that was originated in the Bronx borough of New York City in the early
1970s by African Americans. So what is it about the genre that motivates Dahlia?
“It brings people together, allows me to be creative in new ways, and helps create powerful messages,” she says. “It allows me to be creative through my form of movements and expressions.”
The 19-year-old has been dancing since the age of five and has represented New Zealand in competitions internationally. She says dancing has been an enormous learning experience for her and taught her the importance of teamwork as well as leadership skills. She says she is grateful for the ongoing love and support from her family,
friends and the dance community throughout her journey. One person she would like to thank is Fleur Hebberd, Director of Hip-hop and Contemporary Dance at MAD.
“Without her, everything I have achieved in the past three years wouldn’t have been possible. I also would like to thank the Inspire Foundation, Meaters of Marlborough and Robyn Simmons for supporting me.”
Dahlia leaves Blenheim in January and says she is looking forward to exploring all different types of genres of dance, meeting new people and beginning her new career path.
Let’s put Marlborough’s feral cat population on hold for a moment. It seems the cost of living is impacting on puppies finding a forever home in the region.
SPCA general manager of animal services Dr Corey-Regnerus Kell says that on average dogs were staying at centres roughly 20 days more than they did the same time last year adding with the ‘busy kitten season’ fast approaching the SPCA would be ‘hard pressed for room’.
Renwick Centre Manager
Susanne Owen says they currently have two dogs available for adoption – Roxy and
Dahlia. Roxy has been with them for 12 months while Dahlia has been with at the centre for seven months.
“This is a long time for any dog to be in the Centre and we would love to see them find their forever homes,” says Susanne. “Sadly, these lovely dogs have had little interest, but we feel the cost of living and housing is a barrier for most people when it comes to adoption. We know the perfect families are out there for Roxy and Dalia who continue to wait patiently.”
As a result, the centre is halving their adoption fees. The problem of long-term stays for dogs is a nationwide issue, so the SPCA will be
running 50% off adoption fees from Saturday, September 23 - October 1. However, Susanne says they hope that by halving the adoption price, it will encourage those who are currently unsure or on the fence about getting a dog to adopt.
“We still follow all our application criteria for adoptions and encourage people to think about the ongoing costs of owning an animal and not just looking at the reduced fee as a reason to get a dog.”
The SPCA Centre in Renwick (previously Marlborough SPCA) has been dedicated to caring for all animals throughout the Marlborough region since 1946.
The Interislander bid farewell to one of its ships last week as it sailed away to Greece after being bought.
Duncan Roy, the general manager of Interislander operations, says it was a good time to sell the Valentine and realise the financial benefits.
“With our renewed focus
on asset management and increased maintenance, we have sufficient freight capacity on our other three ships,” he says.
Duncan says having additional crew available from the sale of Valentine will support the increased focus on delivering reliability in Interislander’s core fleet.
“While the exact terms
of the sale are commercial-in-confidence, we are happy with the sale.”
Roy says in June Valentine had served its purpose by providing additional capacity, but he says it has not been required consistently.
“Keeping her ready for sailing and crewed is taking funding and resource that could be better invested in
strengthening reliability in the rest of the fleet.”
Valentine was originally leased to provide additional freight capacity when Kaiarahi’s gearbox was catastrophically damaged in August 2021 and was out of action for more than a year.
Valentine was subsequently purchased at the end of this lease period in January 2023.
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Letters on issues of community interest are welcomed. A maximum of 150 words please.They must be signed and a street address provided to show good faith, even when a nom de plume is provided for publication.
The editor reserves the right to abridge letters or withhold letters from publication. Email them to email@example.com or drop in to our office at 72 High St. Please note that your name and street address MUST be provided with emails.
Letters/Opinions not necessarily those of the Sun management.
On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank you very much for your support of our annual Marlborough SciTec Celebration. Your article and photos were great.
Once again the regional SciTec Fair/Cele-
A valuable asset
I recently spent most of August at Wairau Hospital, our little town on the hill.
The ambulance crew arrived promptly, applying pain relief then nonchalantly cutting off my clothes. At A and E I was sent along long corridors to specialists who diagnosed my injury then sent to the ward to await surgery.
My surgery group was a well-oiled team with an excellent outcome. I expect other teams are similar. Then we come to the nurses and healthcare assistants. Their eyes twinkled above their face masks even when completing menial or disgusting tasks but were all business if an emergency threatened. They were always there when needed and created an air of cheerfulness and hope.
From the orderlies to the cleaners to the food assistants friendliness pervaded. In three weeks I did not hear a harsh word from
I am gratified by the responses to my letter Cultural Dinosaur.
It’s comforting to know I am not alone. As well as Sun readers, Winston Peters spoke about the NZ government’s overuse of Te Reo at his meeting on September 11.
Regarding Blenheim library, Councillor Jamie Arbuckle told me that, as far as he knows, MDC was not involved in the library signs; the idea seems to be shrouded in opacity.
Marlborough ratepayers have a building
bration at the stadium was a great success. We are truly appreciative of your support and we look forward to your continued support again next year.Ngā mihi, Ali Kay C/o Marlborough SciTec Celebration Committee
The house doctors and surgeons made their rounds daily and attended to any anomalies presented by the blood tests.
Early in the stay the physiotherapists appeared and with gentle but firm methods they began the process of rehabilitation.
The hospital is always busy. Ambulances often queue to admit their patients, helicopters can arrive day and night, patients are discharged and admissions occur constantly.
There are always beds being shifted to accommodate new arrivals. Even on discharge the physiotherapists supply homework and the OT team moves in with appliances to make your home safe and user friendly. We must NEVER lose this most valuable asset. It is there for everyone.Judith Gray
with a Māori name where over 99% of the books are in English. I am not comfortable going there, and that’s a shame. Blenheim library is a beautiful building to be shared by everyone Māori and non-Māori alike.
Is our library a cultural asset or a political statement? I don’t know. But it has some wonderful books on dinosaurs. So, maybe I’ll put up with the signs.Evan Robinson Redwoodtown Blenheim
The long-awaited resurfacing of Picton’s Coathanger car park gets underway on 9 October.
Councillor Brian Dawson, who holds the parking portfolio, said the resurfacing of the Picton waterfront car park had been deferred for several years due to a variety of reasons including Covid-19 and the response to weather events for Marlborough Sounds residents.
“It’s fantastic that we are finally able to get underway and the end result will be a vast improvement for the public, visitors and commercial users,” he said.
The car park will close from 6am Monday 9 October to 6am Monday 16 October with
works carried out by the Marlborough Roads. Those who lease car parks in the Coathanger car park will temporarily move to the nearby High Street car park for the duration of the improvements, Clr Dawson said. The Dublin Street car park, Foreshore car park and onstreet car parks will remain open and available for the duration of the project. The work has been programmed to avoid the school holidays, Marlborough Anniversary and Labour Weekend.
Picton’s town wharf and waterfront space will also remain accessible to operators under a temporary two-way system, and there will be traffic management on site during the works to direct traffic flows and pedestrians.
Mayor Nadine Taylor paid tribute to Marlborough’s firefighting fraternity at the Blenheim Volunteer Fire Brigade annual honours night held recently.
She offered a special congratulation to station officer Tim Smith who received the FENZ long service and good conduct medal, saying 14 years was an awesome achievement.
The old Marlborough Clubs’ building on Russell Terrace in Blenheim’s CBD is to be demolished, it was confirmed at last week’s full Council meeting.
In May 2017, Council purchased the 1700m2 site for $1.33M from the Clubs of Marlborough, who benefited from the cash injection at the time. The land, at 6 Russell Terrace, included the building and 15 car parks. The value of the site has increased significantly since then, according to a local independent valuation.
Deputy Mayor David Croad, who holds the property and development portfolio, said the land had always been viewed as having strategic development opportunities, being central and next door to the Marlborough Events Centre and ASB Theatre. Despite Council working
proactively with several commercial organisations and potential developers who had expressed interest in the site since its purchase, none had been able to realise their aspirations, he said. Significant fit-out costs to upgrade and convert the old building for potential lessees had proved prohibitive, Clr Croad said. “This combined with zoning challenges, market complexities and changes to industry demands due to Covid-19 have all impacted Council’s ability to lease the site,” he said.
“The site continues to have great potential as a hotel or residential development, amongst other possible uses, which would create wider and ongoing economic benefits for Blenheim and Marlborough. Clearing the site will better allow its potential to be realised.”
The impact of winter ills on waste collection services is at an end with Metallic Sweeping back operating to full capacity.
Council’s Solid Waste Manager Mark Lucas acknowledged there had been challenges in past months with Metallic Sweeping, who provide the kerbside collection service in Blenheim, and who have been operating on reduced staff due to winter ills and skills shortages.
“This has unfortunately resulted in recycling on some occasions being put in
with general refuse towards the end of a run,” Mr Lucas said.
Metallic Sweeping has confirmed they are now fully staffed with five drivers and 11 sorters. Systems are in place to avoid this happening in future, he said. “There is the potential on some days, because of staff sickness, this could still occur, but we expect it will be a rarity. Metallic Sweeping have new drivers due to arrive from overseas as well to shore up their staff capacity, so we anticipate these issues are now at an end.”
“It is particularly special being here to recognise our volunteers – those who put themselves in harm’s way and run towards the danger when the rest of us are running away,” Mayor Taylor said.
“Of course, it’s not just fires. You are also first
responder to many incidents and accidents. An unpleasant task, but one which is so necessary in our community. It is heartening to know that when the worst happens to you, be it a house fire, car accident or even a cat stuck up a tree, we have a group such as yourselves to call on – well trained, enthusiastic, but also volunteers – giving up your own time to help others.”
Tim’s award was one of several presented on the night including an acknowledgement of Lewis Jones’ 49 years of service.
Mayor Taylor also took the opportunity to thank the family and friends of firefighters who support them to serve the community.
The Malaghan Institute is a charity and located at Victoria University. It’s New Zealand’s world-class independent biomedical research institute with a focus on breakthrough discoveries in immunology and immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment. It uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to boost the immune system and help the body find and destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy can treat many different types of cancer and can be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy and/or other cancer treatments.
Leading the charge is 67-year-old Graham Le Gros. Born in Blenheim and educated at Marlborough Boys’ College when it was a ‘sheep farming land’ with a population of about 12,000.
When this writer met Graham there was a sense his academic head is full. His insights and elaboration are like a glossary from a medical school post graduate diploma. Full of clinical, immunotherapy vernacular and data that would make any statistician proud.
Graham has spent 27 years, alongside Italian immunologist wife Professor Franca Ronchese, pioneering New Zealand’s effort for treatments to cancer and inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s and Covid-19. World-class immunological research and clinical trials come together on a single site at the Malaghan Institute. This enables scientists and clinicians to work side by side, making new discoveries in the laboratory, translating them into new treatment options, and testing them in the clinic.
So how do we bring innovative new medicines to the people of Marlborough and get the green light from the likes of Pharmac and Medsafe?
“By being independent (Malaghan Institute), that’s what we’re set up to do,” he says. “We don’t have to play by the rules that the government institutions have to play. We just do one. We are research animals. We are actually tough, resilient people. We may look sweet and nice (looks across to his wife) but we work really hard to chase what is the goal, a cure.”
there yet. That’s not to say we can’t do it.”
Graham explains that when one has a ‘solid tumour’ like a colon cancer it ‘sets up a wall’ which is hard for the immune cells to get in. He says the ‘cutting edge research’ currently underway is combining ‘certain drugs’ which breaks down parts of the tumour so the immune cells can make their way into the cancer.
“They’re cells trying to survive and grow in hypoxic regions (oxygen not available in sufficient amounts) or the fibrosis (development of connected tissue) around it all and make suppressive molecules – there goes that glossary again.
Graham says he is ‘old enough’ to have seen the suffering from cancer of many he has worked alongside personally and professionally. He recalls a poignant conversation with a concerned father back in 1994, back when the country was led by National’s Jim Bolger.
“This man came in and had a 30-year-old daughter with three kids and says I hear you’re looking at cancer research but my daughter is going to die, what have you got going? It just broke my heart,” he says.
“For some cancers we are close. Something like bowel cancer is a mean, nasty one which mutates. If you get it early, you can whip it out before it spreads but once it’s gone into your liver and lungs….it has become such a beast. We’ve had to unlock immunological tricks to focus on such a cancer. We’re not
When asked how one gets ‘the balance with their immune system’ where there are various complexities, ethnic, cultural, medicinal or holistic approaches to wellbeing his insight depicts a dry humour.
“Ask it,” he says. “We’re by no means perfect as human beings. There is a question of (bad) luck or chance. When you get obese it does impact on the immune system.”
The concept of a Wellington-based, independent medical research institute was first proposed in the early 1960s. At that time, relatively little medical research was carried out in New Zealand due to a lack of facilities and support by hospital boards. Using funds from a trust established by the Wellington Medical Research Foundation and the Wellington Division of the Cancer Society, the Wellington Cancer and Medical Research Institute was opened on 26 July 1979. In 1986, the name of the institute was changed to the Malaghan Institute of Medical
Research in recognition of the generous support of Len and Ann Malaghan.
At the peak of his career Len was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer originating from white blood cells called lymphocytes.
During his treatment Len recognised the value of medical research, so he and Ann established a medical research trust by gifting shares in their company to the Wellington Medical Research Foundation. This was used to establish the Len and Ann Malaghan Medical Research Trust and the Wellington Cancer
and Medical Research Institute, later renamed the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research. Graham believes the only thing which has evolved over millions of years to discriminate cancer is the immune system.
“We’ve tried to radiate the tumour and stop the likes of chemotherapy but it doesn’t go anywhere. In some ways you start to kill yourself more than the tumour as it has ways to develop and resist the drugs,” he says.
“We’ve got to hang in there. It (a cure) is not going to happen today or tomorrow but believe you me, it will happen.”
BlenheimProfessor Graham Le Gros of Wellington’s Malaghan Institute
of MedicalResearch sat
down with journalist Chris Valli to talk about cutting-edge research and clinical trials which are advancing understanding of the immune system.
“For some cancers we are close.”Blenheim’s Graham Le Gros says the only thing which has evolved over millions of years to discriminate cancer is the immune system.
The second annual Alzheimers Art Trail was held at the weekend and was a huge success. An estimated 270-plus visitors navigated their way around the Arts Trail and were treated to a wide array of art, crafts, and collections.
Foundation committee members
Viv Broughton and Helen Knapp were delighted with the turnout and the wonderful reception the artists received from visitors.
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From humble beginnings to our new modern cleanroom facility, we have come a long way. It has been a long road with many challenges, but we have survived thanks to all of you. You can’t fault nature with its amazing healing properties and 30 years in business is a milestone we are truly grateful to be fortunate enough to reach with the continuous support of our bee-utiful customers.
Come in and celebrate with us at our shop on Grove Road with exclusive discounts, spot prizes, gifts and more or check out our exclusive online specials and go in the draw to win a 12 month pamper package.
There’s some irony that the definition of the word ‘weld’ means to join together (metal parts) by heating the surfaces to the point of melting with a blowpipe, electric arc, or other means.
So it is apt indeed, contractors will resume essential maintenance work on State Highway 1 Weld Pass early next month.
It will see three nights of full closures on the route – meaning the highway will be closed to all traffic.
Rob Service, System Manager
Top of the South, says the works are planned for Monday, Tuesday, and
Wednesday nights (2-4 October) between 8pm and 6am.
“Contractors will lay asphalt across the full width of the road in the middle section of Weld Pass and will carry out a sump cover replacement, signage and edge marker post replacement, guard rail inspection and general maintenance.”
“The nature of the work, the road’s narrowness, and the size of the machinery involved means the road has to be closed. It is the best way to finish the work quickly and efficiently. “We appreciate that drivers have strong feelings about roadworks delaying their journeys. It is why we do these closures at
night when traffic volumes are lighter to reduce disruptions as much as we can,” Rob says.
Rob says regular maintenance is crucial and reduces overall delays and disruptions for drivers.
“There’s an old saying a ‘stitch in time saves nine’. Highway maintenance is exactly the same. Regular upkeep of Weld Pass helps prevent bigger problems down the track,” Rob says.
Although there will be a midnight opening each night to allow queued traffic through, the closure will create delays for people travelling between Blenheim and Christchurch. Rob says as there are also other
minor works being carried out on State Highway 1 in Marlborough around this time, it is important drivers plan their travel accordingly.
“This is crucial for drivers with ferry connections as the inland route detour is a significantly longer
Further maintenance work is planned for Weld Pass in January/ February and then again in April/ May. More information about the timing and nature of these works will be provided before they begin.
Additional Planned Marlborough Roadworks:
Marlborough anglers joined over 500 like-minded individuals at the 2023 New Zealand Trout Festival in Christchurch recently. Anglers from across the country came to the Groynes Fishing Lakes and Clearwater Resort to learn from trout fishing experts from across the globe.
One of the foremost casting instructors in the world, Brian Henderson from Australia, attended and ran several sessions to train the
trainers and diagnose casting issues for the anglers. He was joined by the leading lights in the freshwater angling industry, such as Peter Scott from the NZ fly fishing team.
The joint event hosted by North Canterbury Fish & Game and the Canterbury Fly Fishing Club covered all aspects of freshwater trout fishing, not just fly fishing.
Organiser John Roche says the day was great for anglers of all skill levels to learn how to catch more fish.
“ T here was something for all anglers, and our goal was to let as
many anglers as possible be exposed to the skills and expertise that our presenters have,” he says.
The new fishing season starts on October 1, and thousands of anglers will be hitting the rivers and lakes to celebrate the opening day. Around 135,000 people buy a fishing licence each year.
Fish & Game manage trout, salmon and game birds to provide healthy recreation for all users. They protect the environment that anglers and hunters have enjoyed as a tradition for over 150 years.
It was a huge success last year, and Marlborough’s Chinese community is working hard to make this year’s community event even better than before.
The Marlborough branch of the New Zealand Chinese Association is holding a cultural event on Saturday September 30 from 1pm till 4pm at the Marlborough Events Centre.
The event is free entrance, and all members of the Marlborough community are welcome, president Mandy Li says.
The event is part of national celebrations for New Zealand Chinese Language Week. It will provide the opportunity for a Chinese culture and language experience for our community.
At Rātā Foundation, Chief Executive Leighton Evans says that we want people to feel connected to, supported by, and involved in their community to help reduce isolation and build resilient communities. “Healthy communities allow people to connect with people, places, and cultures”.
The Chinese Language Week in Marlborough provides an excellent opportunity to promote and preserve the Chinese culture’s customs and languages by providing opportunities for learning and connecting socially. It also allows Marlburians to learn new things about Chinese culture and enjoy everything the event offers.
This week of celebration features interactive stage performances and cultural exhibitions, aiming to foster a sense of cultural pride among the Chinese community in Marlborough, preserve their culture,
and enhance their overall well-being. It also allows the local community to understand Chinese culture better and promote positive cross-cultural interactions.
This event strongly aligns with the Rātā priority under its Connect Funding Focus Area of fostering a sense of belonging and cultural identity. It provides opportunities for people to engage in their heritage through traditional Chinese language and art forms and for the local community to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture.
Events like Chinese Language Week emphasise the significance of embracing diverse ethnicities in our communities and the richness and inclusion they can bring to New Zealand life.
For more information about Rātā Foundation, visit – www.ratafoundation.org.nz
Chinese is one of the languages widely spoken in New Zealand.
Mandy says Marlborough has a strong local Chinese community, and formed a Chinese Society three years ago, focused on ensuring Chinese language and culture is celebrated.
“We have an active group, and it is exciting to be able to show our neighbours and friends in the Marlborough community some of the treasures of Chinese culture.
“One of the things our group does is run a school for children to learn Chinese. It is good to encourage other Kiwis to give the language a go.”
The event will be held in the Marlborough Events Centre in Alfred Street, and organisers are inviting locals to watch Chinese traditional dance performances, and take part in calligraphy, tea art, and cultural displays.
A koha is highly appreciated for taking part in making lanterns and taking photos with different ethnic costumes.
The Chinese Community would like to say thanks to the event sponsors: Rātā Foundation, Marlborough Multicultural Centre, Marlborough District Council, and the Lotteries Grants Board, as well as event supporters: $3 Dollar and More Shop, Blenheim Bridges Holiday Park, PAK‘nSAVE, and Resene. The management committees would like to say thanks to our great volunteers, Noodle Canteen, Blue Penguin New Zealand Gifts, and Master Roast; who make the event possible.
For more information, contact: Marlborough Branch Chinese Association at firstname.lastname@example.org
Considering a significant update to your home or investment property? Or are you dreaming of a brand-new build? Cowan Building guides you through the crucial factors of a substantial home renovation or creating your dream home from scratch.
Embarking on a home transformation is both thrilling and rewarding. However, the allure of DIY, while charming on TV, can be a real-life nightmare, often resulting in unforeseen costs and unexpected challenges.
“Realism is crucial from the outset,” Clayton Cowan from Cowan Building says.
“It’s important to consult the experts to determine what’s feasible for your budget, ensuring you achieve the desired results without unnecessary stress.”
New Zealand’s renovation scene is thriving. Driven by factors like property price surges and limited housing, many homeowners have also been inspired by spending more time indoors post-COVID-19. The trend? Large windows, natural tones, and open layouts mark spaces that quickly transition from home offices to family sanctuaries. While renovations boost property value and can provide impressive returns upon selling, they also offer homeowners the chance to tailor their spaces without the hassles of moving.
“If selling post-renovation is the plan, professional advice can help ensure your upgrades yield a profitable return,” Clayton says.
Critical considerations for a smooth renovation include:
• Building Consent: Familiarise yourself with local regulations and acquire necessary permits.
• Budgeting & Financing: Set a realistic budget. Sudden changes can disrupt finances and project timelines. Clear plans and some budget flexibility are vital.
• Hiring Professionals: Ent rust experienced professionals for quality results. A project manager can alleviate the stress, ensuring timely, budget-friendly results.
• Time & Disruption: Major renovations can upend daily life. Plan for possible alternate living arrangements and essential amenities.
Home renovations are a journey, you can successfully transform your space and elevate its value with Cowan Building’s guidance and a well-considered approach. “New builds also need consideration from a trusted professional,” Clayton says. “It’s that personal local approach that sets Cowan Building apart. We can help ensure the entire process runs smoothly and streamlined, allowing you to enjoy the experience without all the headaches.”
Just had my family over from Hawkes bay. They asked what the big building was as we had lunch. We said the new library. Took them upstairs and they said where is the view of beautiful river?
The gang violence up north is out of hand. Another ruination of NZ. Nasty inhumane individuals each and every one.
Rang to check on processing of a building consent.
Gave all my details and name of person dealing with.
Put through to her line waited 6.04 minutesno answer.
No opportunity to leave message, no opportunity to return to reception.
MDC - this is abysmal customer service.
Reluctantly I’m forced to accept it !!!!
Totally agree with All Feathers. I’m part Maori myself but was horrified when I saw that re the cloaks and can’t imagine how many kiwis suffered their fate because of it.
Yet another moaning visitor to the library. If it bothers you that much why visit it.
The reason the library windows are covered up is to keep the Marlborough sunshine out so that the staff are not working in a hothouse environment and the books don’t suffer heat damage and fade.
Because after all the library is where you go to borrow books you don’t go for the view.
I’m a Pākehā but I love the library’s name Te Kahu o Waipuna after all Māori is also an official language of New Zealand along with English.
A Huge Thank You to one and all at ‘The Mighty Warriors’ for one heck of a highly entertaining season. The only disappointment....having to wait ‘til February for the all action code to kick off again. Just hope the NRL adopt video reviews for ‘match affecting OBVIOUS forward passes’ in future. Go The Warriors in ‘24.
My partner laughs when I read out the 3 anti Maori rants. Fixated on an official language of NZ (Maori). Of which English is not. The cloaks, comment didn’t make any sense. The naming of the library, the lack of view from the library - give it a bone peeps! Tourists have far more idea and respect, as they come here for exactly that - culture.
All feathers those cloaks Korowai actually may have had kiwi feathers, that’s fine as any dead native birds (should) go to DoC to be examined for mortality cause. Then returned to the local Iwi, if not wanted by the person handing them in, so what’s the problem??
Person that is dumping their fire ash in bag in Lansdowne street, then putting it in other people’s recycling bin, do not do it. We are not here to dispose of it. You are. Have some decency.
Who was the killjoy who scrubbed the Banksie artwork off the side of the Herb and Olive cafe?
Whatever happened to presumed innocence until PROVEN guilty..?
What’s in a name
Seems funny that since the Government changed its Ministries to Maori names not one has made any difference to better the economy.
So over seeing maori written everywhere a lot of people feeling the same, way too much NZ.
40,000 goats shot by DOC is a lot of protein just left to rot and that’s a lot of lead shot left for the kea’s to eat too.
Some things Marlburians have to say is ridiculous! Your attitude is SHAMEFUL. Did you think your words did well to hide your racism? Pathetic.
Te reo Maori has been spoken in this country for at least 800 years. English has only been here for a fraction of that time. And you have only been a racist blemish on this good earth for a, thankfully, tiny moment. What I wonder is how we stop your “gobbledygook”.
Airport parking $3HR also your first 30 minutes free. 4 o’clock till 20 past 5 I get charged $6 GO FIGURE. THIEVING.
Went to Greenwaste facility this morning the girl up there sits in their smoko room yelling and screaming at us. It’s not acceptable. The service is very, very poor up at Greenwaste. Please get this sorted MDC it’s not good enough.
Seems that the new generation of checkout operators are trained not to help customers pack their groceries. Obviously that doesn’t contribute to the huge profits you make from your customers.
Thank you to the regular contributors to this column. Especially those who use CAPITALS and the phrase ‘you know who you are.’ You bring much pleasure. As an older person Dame Susan Devoy also brings me pleasure by stating that the social dinosaurs of this country will eventually die out.
So please keep the entertainment going until your last bigoted, racist, homophobic non inclusive archaic breath.
Carry on young people of Aotearoa. You are doing fine.
Thanks to the small local businesses that truck on year after year in our town, providing us with great necessary services.
Great to see
Great to see Marlborough come alive with so many events on at the weekend. Looking forward to summer!
It’s important to vote so have your say on Oct 14. Change is needed to correct NZ before it’s damaged any further.
We welcome your texts on 027 242 5266.
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Leave it where it is.
What’s going on with this council. Good idea would be move a third of them out to grazing paddock.
Make the ones left, perhaps use their remaining brain.
Situated where it should be amongst all other historical sites.
Great family days have had up in the area. Sure things could have a lick of paint, but this is all volunteer, who comes up and helps?
When you are walking around taking in history, you are not looking at what should be done. If you are, volunteer to help. Town is NOT the place for the museum.
Are you a dog or cat person?
We used to own a wonderful English Bulldog, bu t n ow that he is gone we have three fluffy cats who I adore. So, if I had to choose, I’d say both.
My friends would say I am...?
Loyal, caring, fun.
The best advice I ever received was?
Be a jellyfish and go with the flow.
What would you buy if money was no object?
A new car, maybe a Tesla.
Local coffee haunt?
No need for me to buy coffee, my Hubby makes me one every morning.
Chinese. Love a good sweet and sour pork.
The shop you can’t walk past is?
Any jewellery store. My husband says I’m a Magpie when it comes to sparkly jewellery.
What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever received?
I received a little Mickey Mouse toy when I was three years old. He has travelled the world with me, and still sleeps by my bed every night.
Where is your happy holiday place?
Cruising in the South Pacific on a cruise ship.
Favourite programme or series currently watching?
The Last Kingdom. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Destiny Is All!
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
To travel overseas with my hubby. We have a long list of places we both want to visit together.
The first thing too realise is that plants will take up any minerals or elements that are in the growing medium along with any chemicals.
For instance you avoid growing vegetables next to an older house as there is a likelihood of lead in the soil from lead paints used in the past on the house.
This is even more so for any root crops such as potatoes or carrots because roots store more of the lead than the foliage.
I read also that in old gold fields, planting of big rooting plants such as hemp can be used to take up the minuet gold particles and then later extracted from the mature plant.
This morning I read the latest newsletter from Guy Hatchet in which he says:
As you know, public health is my major concern. Little is possible without robust health.
So the most important question is what alternatives are available to solve the public health crisis?
Our political leaders and the nation’s medical administrators have fallen short of explaining to the public what has gone down, not so much during the pandemic but post pandemic, what is happening now.
The long wait lists for surgery and the appalling response times for emergency treatment are not so much a reflection of a health service in disarray, but primarily the result of a massive increase in illness among the general population.
Heart disease, cancers, strokes, reproductive health issues, neurological illness, mental health episodes, immunological deficiencies, disability, and excess mortality have been increasing at rates never seen before. We have repeatedly reported on these. For example the rate of hospitalisation for heart disease has increased by 83% and strokes by 40%.
None of these frightening developments have been mentioned during the election campaign.
Guy goes on to suggest: According to scientific studies, what really can improve health outcomes?
Food is the answer. Improving diet is a powerful approach.
Many studies show that the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables for health are not only significant but they are very large studies.
Research published in 2015, with 150,000 participants over 32 years found that vegetarians live longer. Even a tiny 3 per cent increase in protein from plants led to a huge 12 per cent drop in risk of death from cardiovascular-related disease.
A study published by the BMJ found:
“Participants with Covid-19 who reported following ‘plant-based diets’ and ‘plant-based diets with pescatarian elements’ had 73% and 59% lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19 severity, respectively, compared with participants
who did not follow these diets.”
I replied back to Guy with the following: ‘Hi Guy. Yes you are right about diet being the key to better health outcomes but produce commercially grown found in supermarkets is not healthy food with good nutritional values; it is unhealthy, force grown and containing numerous chemicals from sprays and fertilisers.
For instance NZFSA in one of their past analysis of food found 23 different chemicals in cucumbers tested; these were from sprays used to protect from diseases and insect pests.
That was one of the worst cases but most others also had too many chemical poisons in the produce.
Commercially grown produce is also relatively tasteless when compared to naturally home grown vegetables, which are delicious to eat and brimming full of minerals and nutrients.
Organic grown is half the answer as it removes the chemical poisons but it does not necessary increase the nutritional values and taste.
The simple test is if the produce tastes really good then it has great health values and you do not need to eat much to feel satisfied. Regards Wally Richards.’
I believe that most readers of my columns already know these aspects and hence do grow as much of their own food chain as possible and have better health outcomes as a result, for them and their families.
Putting the goodness into the soil so the plants take it up will not only increase the goodness of the food but the taste will be that much better as well.
We have two products which are from the ocean, one of which is Wallys Ocean Solids containing all the 114 known minerals and elements.
Lightly applied to the soil or occasionally diluted and sprayed over the foliage of your plants it will increase the health and goodness of your vegetables.
Then there is our special fertiliser made from the fish of the sea: Bio Marinus™ which is manufactured by the enzymatic hydrolysis of fish offal, blended with humate, seaweed and biology including
Bacillus subtilis, Trichoderma, mycorrhizae fungi etc, together with gibberellic acid which promotes growth.
Designed to provide a high quality, cost effective fertiliser.
Use at 30ml per litre of non chlorinated water for soil drench and feeding plants, or 15ml per litre of non chlorinated water for foliage spray.
Biologically active soils have the ability to retain moisture and release nutrients ensuring greater production, faster rotation and more rapid recovery from stress.
To build a healthy biological soil we need products that can feed living organisms. Soil health and soil fertility requires much more than NPK fertiliser.
Without the right biology, plants and animals cannot reach their full potential. Biology is essential for the recycling of nutrients and the fixing of atmospheric nitrogen.
Bio Marinus™ is produced in Christchurch made with fish from our Southern Oceans and available in one litre containers for the home gardeners.
The company has focused its products to the commercial growers and have given me the rights to decant and relabel the product, which soon will be labeled as Wallys Fish Fertiliser.
The cost savings of us doing the product has reduced the retail price down by $2.00 to $16.00 a litre.
We also can now supply garden shops with a wholesale price so they can offer their customers the best fish fertiliser in NZ brimming full of goodness and microbes for your gardens.
The product is suitable to add Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL) to the spray but as there are living microbes in the fish fertiliser you need to use it soon after adding or otherwise do not seal the cap as the microbes can grow their populations and balloon the plastic container.
You can use this to advantage by placing the fish fertiliser into a bucket of non chlorinated water and then add some molasses to the brew and grow over night your own billions of beneficial microbes to add to the soils of your garden.`
Schools from all over the region showcased their inquisitive curiosity in the Marlborough Science and technology Celebration at the Stadium last tuesday, September 19. Journalist Chris Valli was there to take in all the excitement. the Nelson Marlborough truck Modellers Club also held their annual Model Show in Redwoodtown.
Definition: “Wine Person” (noun) Creative, Intelligent, Sassy, Hard-working, Talented, Devoted. That’s enough about us, tell us about you!!
Sole practitioner leaving Marlborough to pursue other interests
Stand alone office operating 260+ Income Tax Returns plus Administration and GST etc
Please phone 0274 785334 for more information
Reluctantly having to sell my business due to personal circumstances.
Great client base to start with, and a purpose built mowing trailer.
Good time to takeover a business like this. Would suit someone who wants to work for themselves and earn a good income.
Ph 027 246 6363 for full details.Clothing
Alterations:by Lynette Atkinson-Parker
For your sewing requirements
Mobile Wine Technician
Vintech Pacific Limited is looking for a Mobile Wine Technician to join our team. The position includes a company vehicle, company phone and a competitive salary to the right applicant.
Full drivers license, and machinery, engineering or winery experience is essential. Give us a call today on 027 260 9052
Maataa Waka Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust
Full time, Permanent
Maataa Waka Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust is based in Blenheim and is contracted by Marlborough District Council to deliver the Animal Control service for the Marlborough region. We have a permanent position available for an energetic, motivated and fit person to join the team as an Animal control officer.
This is a 40hr per week position and will involve dealing with the public investigating complaints about dog nuisances and attacks, and working within the community to ensure dog owners are abiding by the relevant acts and bylaws. As this service is 24/7 you will be required to work rostered weekends and be on call on a 3 or 4 weekly rotation.
To be considered you will need the following skills and attributes:
• Ability to work within regulatory compliance constraints.
• An ability to handle and identify dog breeds.
• An understanding of dog behaviour issues and providing education and advise to dog owners.
• Competency with stock handling.
• Work well as part of a team.
• Excellent communication and customer relation skills (both written & oral).
• Calm temperament.
• Excellent computer skills.
• A clean full drivers licence.
• We offer a supportive team environment with professional development opportunities.
Relocation support may be available for the successful candidate.
If you are interested in this position please contact Leona@maataawaka.co.nz or phone 03 5779256 to request a job description and an application form.
Applications close 5pm Friday 6th October 2023 Completed applications and CV can be sent to the above email or PO Box 1016, Blenheim.
a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Marlborough Girls’ College needs a full-time, fixed term assistant caretaker to ensure that the school is kept secure and well maintained. Duties include;
• locking and unlocking of the buildings
• repairing/maintaining buildings, property and grounds
• liaise with and monitor onsite contractors
• set up and breakdown of activities around the campus
Any of the following attributes would be considered an advantage:
• Previous experience in gardening and general grounds care
• Team player with ability to work independently
• Quick to learn new skills or procedures, adaptable and flexible
• Experience in spraying, planting and other general gardening tasks
• Experienced in working with Health and safety requirements and chemicals
• Able to manage multiple tasks and organise workload appropriately
• Confident communicator with the ability to engage with a wide range of people
This role is fixed term until February 2024 to cover staff on extended leave. Please apply by email to email@example.com with a CV or drop your CV off to Reception at Marlborough Girls’ College 21 McLauchlan Street
Applications close 9 am Thursday 5 October. Applicant to start as soon as possible.
Vector Free Marlborough (VFM) wishes to advise the public of its intention to aerially apply the toxin Sodium fluoroacetate (1080) in the Yarra – Five Mile area of Molesworth Station for the purpose of controlling possums. The Molesworth possum control operation is being carried out on behalf of OSPRI as part of its TBfree New Zealand programme, which aims to eradicate bovine tuberculosis from wildlife vectors that pose a risk to farmed cattle and deer.
Description of Control Area
The Yarra – Five Mile control area lies between the Boddington Range in the west and the Acheron River in the east and extends from the Acheron Accommodation House in the south, to Pudding Hill in the north. The most notable waterways flowing through the control area are the Five Mile Stream and Yarra River.
The Yarra – Five Mile control area is part of the permission area for the 2023 Molesworth operation, which takes in approximately 104,000 hectares of publicly owned land, administered by various agencies including the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand and several local authorities. A detailed map may be obtained from VFM as per contact details below.
The 2023 Molesworth operations is being carried out in two stages:
Bush Gully – Tarndale Control in the approximately 96,000 hectare Bush Gully - Tarndale block was completed in August 2023.
Yarra – Five Mile Control in the approximately 8,000 hectare Yarra – Five Mile block is scheduled to commence from 1 October 2023, with the aerial application of non-toxic cereal pre-feed pellets. This will be followed approximately 7-10 days later by the aerial application of bait containing biodegradable Sodium fluoroacetate (1080).
All work is weather dependent, and commencement may be later than indicated. In the event of an extended delay, further notices will be placed to advise the public.
Aerial and ground control using 1080:
• Prefeed - Non-toxic cereal-based pellet, approximately 16mm long, cinnamon-lured and dyed green.
• Toxic bait - Cereal-based pellet, approximately 16mm long, cinnamon-lured and dyed green with a toxic loading of 0.15% Sodium fluoroacetate (1080).
Note - all 1080 bait for aerial and ground application will contain deer repellent.
The public are reminded of the danger that toxic baits and possum carcasses pose, particularly to children and dogs.
An established support group meeting in Blenheim for men and their families living with a prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. Spouses, partners and family members welcome.
• Do not touch or eat baits
• Children must be kept under strict supervision in the control area.
• Dogs must be kept under strict control at all times and not have access to, or be taken into the control area, as they are particularly susceptible to harm from contact with toxic baits and poisoned carcasses. The risk that poisoned carcasses pose to dogs may extend downstream of the control area.
First Tuesday of each month* 7.15pm
An established support group meeting in Blenheim for men and their families living with a prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Spouses, partners and family members welcome.
• Toxin warning signs will be installed at main public entry points and the public are reminded that it is an offence to remove this warning signage. Please follow the instructions on the signs.
Cancer Society Blenheim House
76A Maxwell Road, Blenheim 0800 477 678
Date: Tuesday 3rd October 2023, at 7.15pm.
*No meeting December and January
Venue: Cancer Society Blenheim House, 76A Maxwell Road, Blenheim
For more information please contact:
Support Group Coordinator Murray Eyles
For more information please contact:
M: 027 608 5667
Support Group Coordinator Murray Eyles
M: 027 608 5667
• Game animals should not be sold or taken for eating from within or adjacent to this area until it is declared clear of pesticides.
0800 477 678
**If you suspect poisoning
Contact your local hospital, or dial 111
National Poisons Centre 0800 POISON – 0800 764 766
In the case of a domestic animal being poisoned, contact a local veterinarian.
For further information please contact
Operation Controller - Molesworth
Vector Free Marlborough PO Box 5171, Springlands, Blenheim 7241
Free Phone: 0508 548 008
OSPRI helps protect and enhance the reputation of New Zealand’s primary industries and currently runs the TBfree and National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) programmes.
This year’s rugby world cup in France is an even playing field with the final on Saturday, October 28. However, after Fiji beat the underperforming Australians it’s posed the question, how far can the ‘Flying Fijians’ go in 2023? Chris Valli spoke to Blenheim’s Solomoni Tui to gauge the emotion and interest of an island nation who are starting to believe.
Fiji’s history of spirituality and religion is a rather interesting one.
It wasn’t until the ‘70s when the Methodists came over and told the Fijian people to put on clothes that they finally found faith in God and accepted so-called Christianity. At that time they were still a superstitious people, grounded in their primitive, cannibalistic roots.
Missionaries before spoke without success, mainly because other religions did not embrace the Fijian traditions such as hierarchies.
However, today many of the Fijian people go to church regularly and they have replaced many of their superstitions with the Bible and prayer.
Methodist is by far the most popular religion, but the Revivalist, which is really similar to Pentecostal, is increasing in popularity. A Fijian church service is very simple. Often, it is in someone’s house or in the middle of a village –no doors, windows, or pews.
Prayer and faith is like that. Anytime, anywhere. A connection.
The Fijian culture and religion is closely aligned with all things Christianity and belief. A belief in a greater being. A spirituality which encompasses their values, morals and who they are as a people.
It’s fair to say, they now believe in their rugby world cup destiny after beating the Wallabies 2215 in their Group C pool game which includes Wales, Georgia and Romania.
It’s clear when this writer spoke to Solomoni Tui, a proud Fijian, that his Christianity beliefs are at the foremost of everything.
Solomoni has lived in Blenheim for four years and arrived in the region and work provided an opportunity where he now works as a vineyard supervisor for the family owned Marisco Vineyards up the Waihopai Valley, home to the iconic wine brand The Ned.
The 28-year-old says he likes the socialisation aspect of his job and meeting people from other cultures and ethnicities that is Marlborough’s multicultural potpourri.
Every patch of grass one encounters in Fiji is big enough for a rugby match and usually has goalposts on each end of the ground. Often these goalposts are not just made of steel but wood or anything that can be modified to kick balls through or get a score under.
Solomoni himself grew up in Nameka Village, north of the capital Suva and played for the Tovolea Rugby Club.
He also played rugby for Blenheim’s Central Rugby Club as a winger and says the world cup has evoked all kinds of emotions for a nation that is making its mark on the 15 a side game after years of success on the 7s circuit.
“I didn’t want to miss that game, especially those back in Fiji,” he says. “It was a great effort for the boys, scoring that win against a higher ranked Australian team.
“You know, sometimes that hasn’t happened. The win against Australia is not only important but necessary for the Fijian rugby world cup dream and to reach for the knockout stages. I’m
proud to be Fijian, everywhere I go.”
Fun fact, it hadn’t happened for 69 years since the Fijians last defeated the Wallabies in 1954. Indeed, the ‘Flying Fijians’ – a reference to their acrobatic style of play - kept its Rugby World Cup quarterfinal hopes alive with a thrilling and deserved win.
Man-of-the-match Josua Tuisova scored a second-half try, and scrumhalf Simione Kuruvoli contributed 15 points with the boot as the Flying Fijians bounced back from a narrow Pool C defeat against Wales in their first game.
“I know it’s a long time for us, Fiji, since 19...I don’t know, back in the day,” Tuisova said. “It’s history for us.”
One major reason for the result and improvement is their Super Rugby franchise, the Fijian Dr ua. Having a fully-professional club side taking part in top level competition to complement the star players playing overseas has removed one of the team’s historic weaknesses in which their domestic-based players were essentially amateurs.
“With Drua, you see not only do they try and educate them around being professional, they also give them quality game time at the Super (Rugby) level,” says Fiji’s kicking Coach Seremaia Bai after the emotional victory over the Wallabies.
“I think it’s massively positive for the development of rugby and you can see the way most of the boys who played in the Drua, it’s really improved the performance of the team.”
There’s never a dull moment watching Fiji play, with their fast, inventive and incredibly skillful players - they often hold the ball with only one hand.
In this respect, they’re armed to the teeth: Their wings and centres look like an all-star line-up (Nayacalevu, Tuisova, Wainiqolo, Radradra, Habosi, and so on).
Increasingly effective in the forwards department – as demonstrated by a very good summer preparation season, marked by an unprecedented victory over England and a beautiful performance against France – the Fijians could well reach the quarter-finals despite a recent change of coach.
Sevens King Waisale Serevi, who was in the crowd supporting Fiji, said the Flying Fijians team in France is the best ever.
“I think it is the best team ever to play at the World Cup because we are going up and we have beaten Australia now,” he says. “They played to the plan, they played to the strengths of the game they wanted to play. They did everything right and they did compete at the breakdown which is not really the Fijian way of playing rugby.”
Solomoni says the comment from the likes of former stars such as Serevi will boost the boys ten-fold in the remaining pool games.
“Mentally and spiritually it will have a difference. I am looking forward to the remaining games and Fiji making the quarter finals.”
Providing quality care and education for children aged 3 months - 5 years, Omaka is a space for children to grow, explore and flourish as unique individuals, through a child-led, nature play based environment, where children are given the wings to fly.