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Volume XX1V February 2019 Issue 1

‘An Awfully Big Adventure’ at the Heritage Museum

In November the Featherston Heritage Museum celebrated the dedication of the sculpture Featherston Stand ­— He Tino Mamao on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice with an exhibit featuring the end of hostilities and remembering those who died during the influenza pandemic. The Committee is grateful to all who assisted with construction of storage facilities and erection of the commemorative exhibition. November also heralded the installation of our summer exhibition An Awfully Big Adventure — Our Voices, fea-

turing a touchscreen computer with two headphones and two freestanding touchscreen kiosks providing access to New Zealand WW1 veterans telling their stories. The material in this exhibition will be updated on a regular basis and underpin our educative programme for schools. In the time to come it will cover all New Zealand military campaigns. The appeal of these exhibits is evident in the increase of visitor numbers from 57 in November-January last year to 219 in the same period this year.

Cross Creek hosts Joy Cowley workshop Local author Joy Cowley will conduct a writing workshop on 2224 February 2019 for those interested in writing children’s books. Her assistant will be young adult author and poet Jillian Sullivan, who regularly teaches writing in the United States. This weekend will be held at the Magnificat Retreat Centre, Cross Creek, Featherston. Accommodation and meals will be provided. The cost is $500 for a shared room, $550 for a single room or $400 for a day delegate. All proceeds will go to Featherston Booktown. For more information and to book your place, please contact Mary Biggs at 1

Mayoral comment By Mayor Viv Napier Happy New Year, Featherston. Last year was a big year for Featherston as it played host to many well-attended community events. In 2019, the town will continue to attract new residents and visitors, bringing greater prosperity to the area. Events for the diary include Tauherenikau Races on 6 February, Mysteries of the Moana (Lake Domain) on 10 February, the 76th Anniversary of the Featherston Camp Incident on 25 February, Booktown on 9-12 May, and Kokomai Creative Festival events to name but a few. Featherston really is thriving, with passionate and motivated people keen to support the enhancement of the town. A case in point is the work being done by the Featherston councillors, the Community Board, Fab Feathy and Pae tu Mokai o Tauira to gather ideas from the community for a public space at the vacant lot on Fitzherbert Street. If you would like to get involved, please make contact via their Facebook page - Featherston’s Vacant Lot. This work continues in parallel with the district-wide spatial planning work, which will identify what are communities should look like, where growth should occur, and Featherston Phoenix Post: 44c Fitzherbert Street, Featherston 5710 Email: Facebook: Twitter: @feathyphoenix The Featherston Phoenix is published 11 times each year on the first weekend of each month (except January) and is distributed free to residents in the greater Featherston area. All material is received in good faith and responsibility for its accuracy resides with the contributor. We reserve the right to reject or to edit contributions for space and/or clarity. Advertising sizes and rates are available on request. Editorial contact: Annelise Schroeder, annelise@outlook., 021 262 4597 Deadline for booking advertising: 16th of the month Deadline for submitting contributions: 20th of the month Layout and production by Lovett Graphics Printing by The Sign Factory Distribution by Raewyn Russo, Helen & Bill Walker, and Gordon Wyeth


how much growth is desired. Initial preparation for spatial planning work is underway, and this will be followed by workshops to gain input from a variety of interest groups. It is anticipated that a draft map and spatial plan discussion document will be ready for public consultation before the end of this Mayor Viv Napier year. Last month, Council submitted a short-term consent application that, once approved, will result in highly treated wastewater being discharged to council-owned land furthest away from the township at the wastewater treatment site. Scientific assessment of the land identified in this new proposal (part of stage 1B in the earlier long-term consent application) indicates that treated wastewater could be discharged to it for most of the summer period, and into the autumn period. This short-term consent is a favourable, cost-effective, interim option for moving towards our goal of having 100% of wastewater discharged to land (except in exceptional circumstances), while we await the outcome of the longer-term consent. Finally, South Wairarapa District Council is calling for nominations for the 2019 Civic Awards. The awards recognise an individual, group or organisation that has contributed significantly to the wellbeing of the South Wairarapa District. Nomination forms, including details of conditions and guidelines, are available at, Council offices, and Featherston and Greytown Libraries/Service Centres. Nominations close at 5pm on Friday 7 March. Please contact Barbara Gavan if you’d like more information on 06 306 9611 or We look forward to hearing from you, our community, via our various community engagements and consultations that will take place this year. Of course, we welcome your feedback and ideas at any time. You can contact us via Facebook messenger ‘South Wairarapa District Council’, by email or via our website at To stay up to date on Council projects, follow us on Facebook or visit our website.

Councillor comment By Ross Vickery Featherston is booming. There are more businesses looking to establish themselves in town than there are available premises to house them. Yet it is a paradox and ironic that prime land on the main street has been vacant for years. The reasons why this has been so do not need retracing here; it is time to go forward! On Sunday, 20 January, a meeting was convened by a Council working group consisting of the Community Board, local councillors and the Mayor, to seek the community’s wishes as to what it wants the land used for. Local shops and the Community Centre also had feedback boards up for collecting community input. Email input and Facebook comments were also part of the mix. Attendance at the meeting was encouraging and the dialogue was constructive. Three boards have been collated with the results as the individual feedback items could be grouped into: “Commercial/Retail”, “Commercial/Community” and “Community”. These rough groupings will be further sorted into subgroups and our findings publicised on social media (check out the Facebook pages for “Featherston Community Board” and “Featherston’s Vacant Lot”). Your views are still welcome and are able to be considered; email a working group member or comment on one of those pages. The working group is hopeful that a sound, community-derived recommendation can be discerned, communicated back to the community at large, and submitted to Council as a recommendation before the end of March. We don’t want to rush this process, but that land has been empty for rather a long time now.

Lioness Club completes memorial to children By Barbara Love We would like to invite the Featherston public to attend the ribbon-cutting of our Lioness Project at the Featherston Cemetery. Our Lost Children Project ribbon-cutting will be at the cemetery on Friday 22 February 2019 at 2pm. In the November issue of the Phoenix I wrote of our project and how it came about, and now with the help and encouragement of so many our project will be officially opened. The memorial has been erected to recognise the many children who are buried in this area without headstones. There are many reasons why this happened but we, along with the Council and our many supporters, have set aside this place in their memory. The winner for the best-dressed Christmas window was Featherston’s Own op shop. Their prize is free advertising in the Phoenix for the year. We sincerely thank all who took part in the competition. It certainly made our town a little brighter. This year our club will celebrate 30 years of service to our community, so why not contact us to find out more about us and how we have fun whilst helping our wonderful community? Please telephone either Faith on 308 9245 or Barbara on 308 9330. We look forward to hearing from you. We missed the last Phoenix issue. Shirley, our President, and club members all wish you the very best for 2019. Please do come along to our ribbon-cutting on 22 February at 2pm at the cemetery.


OUR NEW AFTER HOURS PAYMENT OPTION 32 Fitzherbert St Featherston 06 308 9760 3

Creating shared space at Community Centre

By Paul Mason

New Medical Centre building approved and underway

The new Featherston Medical Centre has been designed with five consulting rooms, along with nurses’ rooms and a separate procedures room. The aim is to ensure the practice has space for more doctors, nurses and allied services. This new building will be located on the vacant lot behind the Featherston Community Centre, with an additional entrance from Fox Street. The main entrance will be facing into the Community Centre’s carpark and staff will use the Fox Street entrance. Patients will access the Medical Centre from a shared entrance on Wakefield Street and the complex’s shared space and carpark area is to be redesigned to accommodate the parking needs of both concerns, as well as the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, prams and mobility scooters. The design brief also provides space for shade and seating. The redesign work is to be carried out by Jessica Smith and Alex Prujean, who have generously offered to donate their time and skills as landscape architects for this project. This young couple are looking forward to contributing their talents to the betterment of Featherston. This is an exciting opportunity for the Community Centre. The partnership with the Medical Centre provides the opportunity for the Community Centre to raise its profile and increase the value it adds to the community it serves, creating a coordinated complex focused on wellness and communality.

Time to tidy up – can you help?

Henri from All Seasons Tree Services has kindly offered to come and trim back all our foliage again – what a hero! It is difficult to imagine how we would get on without his ongoing support. We need a hand dealing with foliage offcuts and to carry out the usual multitude of routine maintenance jobs like weeding and cleaning up in and around the Community Centre, so we are organising another working bee to coincide with the foliage work. Please phone or text Emily on 027 313 8402 if you can give us some time on Saturday 16 February any time between 9.30am and 12.30pm to help tidy up. We will provide some light refreshments as we work. It would help if you could bring some gardening tools like wheelbarrows, secateurs, gloves, trimmers, and perhaps a water bottle!

New storage units

Our thanks go to the Featherston Menz Shed for building a set of window seat/storage units, which has now been installed in the Kauri Room (the main meeting room). As in many homes, storage is at a premium and these will go a long way towards catering for our storage needs.

Volunteering opportunities

We have several opportunities for you to help our Centre and the Community - thrive. We have three vacancies on the board. The board meets monthly and are keen to talk with you. Please contact Paul at


Jessica Smith and Alex Prujean, landscape architects for the shared carpark area

Maybe you could help organise the upcoming Featherston Art Sale? We are now meeting weekly to plan this May event. Please call Sian at 027 631 4048 if you can give us some time or resources. For other opportunities such as Meals on Wheels or helping to open and close the office, please call Siv at 06 308 8239 or check out our website at nz for all our news and contact information.

A tribute to my father, who died 50 years ago By Owen Rippey Up until the mid-20th century, the children of single mothers were given the derogatory label of ‘bastard’. One such child was Donald, born out of wedlock to an attractive 18-year-old seamstress. The father was a young soldier in training for the Great War (1914-1918), who was killed in Belgium in 1916. Growing up, Donald lived in several foster homes and institutions and went to work at the age of 14 in the rural sector (farming). In 1940 he met and married Eileen. As a married couple they worked in Wharekauhau Station for the Eglinton family. With the birth of their first child they moved closer to town. Don worked for various branches of the Donald family and was a member of the Home Guard. At 9pm on 14 January 1969 Don passed away, leaving a 48-year-old widow and three adult children. Yes, Donald was a bastard: a loyal bastard, a loving bastard, a hardworking bastard, an honest bastard, a bastard who could fix anything, a good bastard. He was our father! RIP.


Red Cross gathering fascinated by humanitarian speaker By Barbara Love Brian Love of Featherston, Wairarapa’s Red Cross President, at the 2018 Branch Volunteer Christmas morning tea presented service awards to Maureen Thurlow of Martinborough for 20 years’ service and to Geoff Cave of Carterton for 10 years’ service. Brian thanked members for volunteering for Red Cross and welcomed a very special guest speaker Jenny Percival. Jenny is a Wairarapa District Health Nurse Educator who has always had a passion for humanitarian aid work and on three occasions in the past five years has spent time overseas working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Jenny’s account of her decision to become an aid worker and of some of her experiences kept the audience spellbound. Jenny said she had been in the nursing profession for some time when one evening she was watching a TV programme about the Red Cross and made the decision to volunteer her services. Her application was successful (very fortunately for the organisation) and she became part of its New Zealand Employment Development Group. This group involves not only nursing and medical aid but also building, sanitation, etc, so team delegates have wide experience. Jenny initially did her aid training with Red Cross here. She then had to wait for an email or a phone call to see if she was available for a posting. The first of her three deployments came in 2014: a month spent in Sierra Leone at the time of the Ebola epidemic there. This was a stressful time, Jenny said. “We had a tent hospital, and there was little escape from the heat. The hospital was in the diamond mining area, so it was noisy from explosions and very dusty from the resulting massive dirt mountains. We could not see the sky. Ebola meant lots of very sick people and many tragic deaths, so it was a joy to see survivors.” All members of the team and particularly nursing staff needed to multitask as infection prevention was paramount, so help was also needed dealing with corpses and families of the dead. Although the living conditions were okay, Jenny found her return to New Zealand difficult with realising how lucky we are to have for example a clean environment, rubbish disposal and a police force that isn’t corrupt. Jenny’s second deployment was for six months in 2016,

Aid worker Jenny Percival with colleagues at the community hospital in Maiwut, South Sudan


this time in South Sudan as a nurse, one of several fellow Kiwis in a surgical team. The onset of a civil war there in 2011 resulted in tribal fighting, risky travel and lots of refugees in a poor, underdeveloped country. Jenny worked first in the capital, Juba, and then in a field hospital, which was a tent. With war raging there were lots of patients with burns, gunshot wounds and fractures. Because of the infection risk the use of bone pins was not an option, so people spent months in traction and healing took ages. Jenny emphasised that one of the tragedies of a war such as this is that it doesn’t discriminate between which people are affected; age, gender and social standing make no difference. She clearly remembers one little boy of six months who had his leg amputated, so was very grateful to Red Cross who provided funds for rehabilitation and things like wheelchairs. It was a long time before this young patient could return home but he was well cared for in the interim. Although the living conditions and food were adequate, Jenny said they were not great and with the heat and tropical climate together with the working long hours she lost weight while there. It was good to return home. Early in 2018 Jenny’s third trip was completed, a month in Bangladesh, this time to work at the Red Crescent Hospital set up near the refugee camp home to hundreds of thousands of people who fled from violence in Myanmar. This was the only surgical hospital there. Jenny explained that the refugees are not what you normally associate with the term; there were many professionals and well-off families now living in shantytowns; forced to escape because of their religious beliefs. There was a variety of patients from road crash victims, to domestic violence, traumas, births and C-sections and others. This hospital was also in a tent with no electricity and, with generators cranking away day and night, it was very hot. Even showering two or three times a day Jenny said you always felt dirty, but interestingly things did become normal. At first though she felt angry at the conditions compared to back home with facilities like clean streets and rubbish collections, etc. But then Jenny realised that her feelings were destructive and affecting her work; and she overcame the unconscious bias. Her return from Bangladesh saw Jenny feeling jaded and disheartened. She wondered why the Red Cross was supporting countries which would continue to accept help as long as it is available. However a rethink changed her feelings, what was so important and worthwhile was the help provided to individuals who suffer through no fault of their own. Jenny recalled a severely burned woman she had treated in Bangladesh whose husband was missing and the joy both of them experienced when he was found. There was the boy she had told us about with the amputated leg being able to return home and another fitted with a prosthetic arm. He would also grow up to be accepted and successful. In all three deployments Jenny also trained local nurses so that the work could continue. She summed up by saying that when observing the “big picture” we realise that the political side may be insoluble but each of us can still do what we can. Even the little things make a difference. And they are being done everywhere, even locally, and she thanked the volunteers for what they do here in the Wairarapa, perhaps not as dramatic as her experiences but still much needed and appreciated. The morning concluded with a delightful morning tea.


School rebuilds Coral’s playhouse By Tana Klaricich On the morning of Tuesday 9 September 2003, a little girl never made it to school and was subsequently found to have been murdered. That little girl’s name was Coral Ann Burrows, and that school was ours – South Featherston School. There are still many in our community who remember both Coral and that terrible time, which are now part of the fabric of our school history. Last year marked the fifteenth year since Coral was killed and we wanted to do something to honour her. We decided on two things that we felt were appropriate forms of remembrance. One was a bench to be constructed from a donated piece of New Zealand timber, which will be used as a ‘Friendship Bench’. The other involved Coral’s playhouse. Following Coral’s death, the school community of the time felt that the children needed something good to come out of such a heinous act, so they constructed a playhouse and planted a tree in her memory. The tree continued to thrive in our school’s New Zealand native bush area, but over the years the little playhouse began to show its age. It was given a spruce-up last year during the school holidays just prior to the actual anniversary of her death but towards the end of last year I was approached by one of our current parents who offered to do something really special. Once she knew the story and was given a few other pieces of information about Coral, Rochelle Connell offered to recreate the playhouse as an artwork which would stand as an homage to a little girl who never got to grow up and who would forever be six.

Rochelle and her mum, Dianne, with paint donated to the project by Resene, have given us this. The stylised hills represent our beautiful South Wairarapa hills, the sun is to make us remember there is still brightness and beauty in our world, and the little girl’s silhouette is Coral herself, holding a balloon in her favourite colour. We hope there will continue to be generations of our school’s children who play in Coral’s playhouse and see it purely as a joyful place to be, never knowing the dark history behind why it’s there.

Next Longwood Life Lesson set to captivate By Marguerite Tait-Jamieson With a title such as Plundering Beauty, one might be forgiven for thinking this slim grey volume is of the same ilk as Fifty Shades of Grey. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hidden between its covers is a fascinating story of humankind’s wars down the centuries, paralleled by an equally extensive catalogue of the theft, destruction, plundering, displacement and concealing of some of the world’s greatest works of art. In the second of the Longwood Life Lessons series, presented by Friends of Kokomai, comes Arthur Tompkins, Wellington District Court Judge and the author of the above book, subtitled “A History of Art Crime during War”. A regular guest of Kim Hill on Saturday mornings on RNZ, Arthur Tompkins will present a talk entitled “Gentlemen art thieves: persistent myths and great art”, in which he will explore and trace the stubborn and recurring myth of the gentleman art thief, who steals masterpieces for solitary enjoyment in exotic hideaways: from Adam Worth, the original ‘Napoleon of Crime’, to James Bond’s first arch-villain Dr No, and finally Thomas Crown’s theft (and return) of Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk. During the course of the talk, several questions will be posed. For instance, if such a mythical master thief did exist, which of the world’s greatest stolen (and still missing) artworks might be languishing in his hidden art collection? And is there a new commitment to the idea that a society’s artistic heritage belongs to itself or all humankind? Tickets for this illuminating lecture on Sunday 24 February at 4pm at Longwood, Featherston, can be purchased from Eventfinda.



Featherston RSA sit-rep

By Peter Jackson Kia ora koutou and happy New Year, everyone. We hope this RSA situation report (sit-rep) finds you all fit and well, and having had an enjoyable Christmas/New Year holiday with family and friends. We had a pretty soggy end to 2018 with two separate instances of water ingress to our building (21 November and 2 December). This caused our lessee, MBJ Trading, to cease or reduce their trading for a short time as a result. Clearly this is less than satisfactory, and so the committee has commissioned a local contractor to investigate and rectify these issues as a matter of urgency. Once the building is watertight again, we will starting on some improvements to both the exterior and interior of our premises. We are hoping a bit of a spruce-up will make our clubrooms a more attractive proposition for club members and the public alike to frequent and enjoy. This renovation won’t happen overnight but we are committed to bringing our premises back to their former glory, and a place we can all be proud of visiting. We held our end-of-year function on Sunday 9 December 2018. There was a modest turnout to what was ultimately a very enjoyable event, with great food and excellent company. Our sincere thanks those who took the time to attend, and especially to Mayor Viv Napier and our guest speaker, Bob (Bukit) Hill, National Vice President, RNZRSA. A special thanks also to the Featherston Gentlemen Singers for their musical pre-lunch entertainment, and also to Paul Broughton at C’est Cheese for the wonderful selection of cheeses provided. Looking ahead, we would be very interested in any suggestions for this year’s end-of-year function, especially if it would encourage more members to attend and support the club. Talk with a committee member or contact us via email (fstnrsa@, snail mail (PO Box 24, Featherston 5740), or our Facebook page. We’d love to hear your ideas. The RSA’s annual Christmas draw was also held on 9 December with the winners as follows: 1st prize Ian Simons (no. 104) , 2nd prize Neil Lloyd (no. 197), 3rd prize Peter Jackson (no. 60), 4th prize Louise (no. 88), 5th prize Judy Le Gros (no. 20), 6th prize Pat Codlin (no. 70). Congratulations to our winners, and thank you very much to everyone who donated items and those who bought tickets. We are very grateful for your support. A commemoration of the 76th anniversary of the Featherston Incident will take place on Monday 25 February 2019. This will be a lower-key event than last year, but all are invited to attend. Further details to be advised separately. With the end of our membership year looming, it is time to start thinking about renewing your membership. Invoices for club fees will be sent out no later than Thursday 28 February 2019, with fees due by Sunday 31 March 2019 (the various payment options will be included on the invoice). Please pay your invoices promptly so we are not delayed in providing your 2019 membership cards – many thanks! Membership of the RSA is open to all, but we are especially keen to bring contemporary veterans and retired members of the armed forces into the fold. With 30,000 post-1974 veterans, plus other former and current members of the NZDF out there, we should have no shortage of members, but the reality is the opposite. If you know of anyone who fits this description, how about recommending they get in touch with us, especially if they are in need of assistance. We’re here to help. Ngā mihi nui from your Committee.


Rebus South Wairarapa update By Dave Woodhams At our next meeting on Friday 22 March Denise and Dougal MacKenzie of Te Rakau Birding ( will describe their restoration work at Ocean Beach. The following Friday, 29 March, the club has organised a bus trip to visit the restoration site and then to visit the Lake Ferry pub for lunch: pick up and drop off in Greytown and Featherston. Our November meeting was a very pleasant lunch together at Peppers Parehua in Martinborough, whose staff manged to serve 40-plus hot, tasty meals pretty much simultaneously with a smile. Following the precedent set in 2017, members brought a gift for a Christmas food basket, which we passed to Turret House, Featherston for distribution. The following Friday, the fifth Friday in the month, members met for a picnic at the president’s house in Martinborough. Rebus South Wairarapa provides opportunities to people of retirement age to meet for company, friendship, information from our talented invited speakers and special interest groups that meet separately during the month. Anyone who may be interested in the SW Rebus Club is welcome to come along to a meeting as a visitor. Please contact Dave Woodhams on 06 306 8319.

Happy New Year from Featherston Knitters! By Virginia Kunz We had a busy year distributing our knitting to many centres including Wairarapa rest homes, where most residents now have colourful knee blankets on their laps. Our latest project is knitting “fiddle muffs” for folks with dementia, Alzheimer’s and autism.

All sorts of ‘fiddle’ objects — buttons, baubles, beads and keys — are attached to these muffs, both inside and out. We have not forgotten the babies in our community, the schoolchildren, the sick and the needy as we continue with our knitting for them. These articles are distributed through the medical centre, district nurses, Plunket, etc. As usual, we are grateful for any financial donations, donations of knitting yarn, objects to sew on “fiddle muffs”, etc. For further information please phone Virginia (308 8392) or May (308 6912). The Featherston Knitters meet every Friday from 10am to 12 noon at the Featherston Community Centre.



So now Christmas is over... By Christyn Moses, Wairarapa Citizens Advice Bureau Ahh, Christmas is over and your thoughts are on 2019. During the festive season did you become a little too generous? If so, your thoughts this New Year will be on how to recover from your overindulgence. Credit card payments come due and the kids are going to going back to school. Stop and think carefully. Make a plan to deal with all the bills. Firstly, every dollar you can put aside to pay your credit card will save you many more dollars in interest over 2019. Even $10 a month paid off above your minimum payment if you can manage it will make a huge difference. Then give your credit card a holiday - put it away on top of the wardrobe. If you want a card, get a debit card using only money you have. Secondly, try this for a month - cut back on magazines, coffees out, the alcohol you may drink, takeaways and snacks, things you may want but not need. Make a list of what you may normally spend on these things. You might be surprised. Try buying only the amount of food that you need. You can resist the temptation of buying those extras at the supermarket - order online and then drive down to pick them up. Don’t go into the supermarket at all except to pick up your order. These strategies will relieve your budget and also reduce your waistline! Thirdly, get your family on your side and say that once you have paid off the credit card, all the savings will go towards having a debt-free Christmas next time. Fourthly, do not borrow more to pay off your debt. And fifthly, remember you can still have fun! Spend less time shopping and more time with your family. The coin shops sell balloons, kites and frisbees. Make up sandwiches, walk to the park and have a shady picnic. Relax - enjoy your family. Helpful budget-making websites are at nz and Very helpful in Wairarapa is the free Budget Advice Service (phone 06 377 0017), just around the corner from Chapel Street on Jackson Street in Masterton. Wairarapa Citizens Advice Bureau for free, confidential information at 43 Perry Street, Masterton Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Phone 06 377 0078 or 0800 367 222 Email Website


Letter to the Editor I am writing about people feeding my ponies over the fence on Harrison Street East. I am aware they are doing this because they think the ponies are starving and don’t have access to enough grass. The issue with the restriction of grass is by design, in consultation with my vet and ongoing supervision by my farrier, due to laminitis disease. The programme I have in place is also supported by the SPCA as best practice, especially in the Wairarapa, which has a big problem with the disease due to the very rich grass (perfect for fattening sheep and cows but deadly to some horses). Feeding someone else’s horses without consultation with the owner, because you think they don’t have enough grass, could in fact could be killing them. This may sound drastic, but laminitis is sort of like diabetes for horses, only much quicker acting, and it can be more drastic. When some horses have too much sugar in their diet, a bone in the foot actually rotates and causes them lots of pain and to go lame, and many horses every year in NZ have to be put down because of this disease. But like diabetes, it can be managed with strict access to grass and supplemented hard feed (specific to the individual horse’s needs) and many laminitis prone horses still can be ridden and enjoy a healthy life like mine currently do. However any laminitis-prone horse can never be grazed (especially during summer and spring) on any paddocks that could be good for fattening sheep or cows. The main person in question feeding them was seen giving them handfuls of clover. That, or even an apple, could be too much sugar and enough to bring on a laminitic episode

for some horses. I also need to monitor their feed and their weight closely. Having someone else do secret feeding missions of buckets of food is so damaging to their health, even if the person means well. The SPCA has been really helpful and is trying to educate the person that has been secretly feeding them that what they are doing is actually quite damaging. The most common treatment for laminitic ponies is to put them in a small enclosed pen with no access to grass other than an hour to two per day, and hard feed only. I am lucky to have these marginal riverside paddocks where they can still get plenty of walking and running in, but with very limited access to grass. The best way to know if a horse in a paddock with no grass is being neglected is to look at the pony itself. Are they overweight (like one of mine still is)? Are their coats glossy? Are they energetic, playful, inquisitive? And yes, mine sure are. I have shared my story with other horse people and have heard many similar stories of supposed “do-gooders” secretly feeding ponies when they think there is not enough grass in the paddock. One lady had her neighbours let her ponies into one of her other paddocks with long grass, not understanding that this could kill them. My hope with this letter is that it may help to educate other people that when you see a horse in a paddock with no grass, it may actually be the thing that is saving their life. Wendy Jasper


Mysterious ghost story at Limelight

By Rachel Norman Limelight Theatre has been busy with rehearsals for our first play for the year, a ghost story that must be told, The Woman in Black, written for stage by Stephen Mallatratt and adapted from the book by Susan Hill. Director Margaret Jesson brings this ghost story to life with a stunning cast starring Danny Clenott, Bernard Vose and Samantha Fitzgerald. The Woman in Black tells the story of Arthur Kipps, a solicitor who is sent to the remote town of Crythin Gifford to attend the funeral of a client, during which he sees a mysterious woman dressed in black. He is tasked with sorting his client’s papers, and so visits Eel Marsh House where she used to live. In the play, Kipps enlists the assistance of an actor to help tell the unsettling things he witnessed. One of the West End’s longest-running plays, The Woman in Black has been terrifying audiences since 1987! The play runs from 27 February to 3 March. Tickets are just $24 from Eventfinda or from Eventfinda outlets. Please note booking fees may apply at some outlets. Follow Limelight Carterton on Facebook or visit www. for more 2019 events, including the upcoming One Act Play Festival.



Free transport to Round the Bays book now!

By Kirsten Kilmister To encourage stress-free participation from across the Greater Wellington region, Sport Wellington with the support of Watermart Wairarapa has organised a free bus from the Wairarapa for participants doing the Round the Bays fun run on Sunday 17 February. The bus is scheduled to arrive in Wellington in time for the start of the 6.5-kilometre events, the run/walk, the buggy walk, and the Active Families category - where children under the age of 12, accompanied by an adult, can ride their scooters. Following the event, it will depart from Kilbirnie Park (the finish line) at 12.30pm. The bus is free of charge but there will be a donation bucket onboard for koha with 100% of the proceeds being given to the Round the Bays official charity, Kaibosh Food Rescue.

There are 50 seats available, so participants need to get in quick and book. Leaving from the Masterton train station at 6.30am, the bus will make a 7am stop at Featherston train station for anyone who wants to be picked up from there. Seats can be booked by contacting Shona Bunny, Sports House Coordinator, at the Sport Wellington Wairarapa office on 06 370 0157 ext 700 or emailing “When you book you need to have your bib number as you need to be fully paid before you can book on a bus,” advises Shona. “Buggies, scooters and wheelchairs can be taken on the bus, but we must be advised of this when the booking is made.” Participants will need to be at the station at least 15 minutes before the departure time and will need to show their registration bib as they board the bus. Since its inception in 1979 with just under 4,000 participants, Round the Bays has grown from strength to strength over the last 40 years. 2018 saw over 14,000 registered participants take part, with this year tracking to have similar numbers. Sport Wellington prides itself on delivering an event that ensures a wide range of the region’s community can participate. Having a low entry fee, a range of distances, and providing a festival atmosphere at both Frank Kitts Park and Kilbirnie Park, the Brendan Foot Supersite Round the Bays event encourages people to take part in active recreation and celebrates their achievements.

Featherston Amateur Swim Club news

By Sally Walker Summer is now in full swing and haven’t we had some cracking good days lately? We will be back into swimming club this week to make the most of the warm weather. This is the time now that metro swimming events take place over the Wairarapa area between clubs. It is fantastic to see children enter these events and see them beating their personal bests in the swimming races and continue to improve their skills. Featherston club is holding their swim metro on 17 February 17. We hope to have as many children join in as possible. It is always good to have clubs from around the district attend the metro events and great for our kids to host their fellow swimmers. It has been great to have the new shade sails installed alongside the toddler and learner pools at the end of last year -and don’t they look great! New pool covers are arriving shortly as well, due to be installed this week. Their new design will see a change in the pool area. The old covers by the grandstand will be removed, leaving this space clear and with better access and vision from the grandstand into the main pool. The swim club is having a working bee and general tidy-up in the next week, so it’s all go down at the pool. Also happening on the evening of Tuesday 19 February is Featherston’s annual community swim relay from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. This is the swimming club’s main fundraiser of the year and a fantastic chance to get together as a community and come down to support our local pool. It is a fun-filled evening with some great prizes. If you want to enter, please email the club for an entry form at or phone Sally on 021 0263 5249. All ages and abilities are welcome to enter, or if you’re a non-swimmer come down and watch as a spectator and grab a sausage from the BBQ. Thank you to Featherston residents, parents and our volunteer swim club coaches for your continuing support of the Featherston Amateur Swim Club. Your support and dedication ensure that our kids gain fantastic swimming skills for enjoying and keeping safe in the water.



Rugby Club looks to the future

2019 welcomes a new chapter, a new Committee and President for the Featherston Rugby Club. Last year saw the club gain national media attention as it celebrated its 140th anniversary. Over the past 18 months there have also been a few bumps in the road for the club. However, without the old ‘bump in the road in life’, how can any club learn and improve? The club’s former Team Manager, Ritchie Wards, has taken on the challenge of President. Ritchie’s vision is to restore the club’s mana. This will be achieved through hosting family-friendly events (discos, family days, etc), working alongside and with the community, opening the clubrooms up for use by other sporting groups, and practicing good governance. “If we want to stay viable, we must have the backing of the community,” says Ritchie Wards. “The 2019 Committee acknowledges the hard work and dedication of all previous presidents, committee members, players and volunteers. Without these dedicated people we would not have a rugby club in Featherston.” “Rugby is no longer just about 15 men or women on a field – it’s about bringing people together in a safe, positive environment – while letting off some steam,” says Shaana Snowdon, Club Treasurer. So what is happening at your club in 2019?

Open day

Ever wanted to learn to tackle? Maybe you’re new to town and want to meet some locals and make friends? Or perhaps you just want to have a nosey around that big building at Card Reserve? Now’s your opportunity – come on down to the club’s open day on Saturday 16 February. The BBQ will be on, with loads of games and activities for the kids – and the big kids. In the evening there will be good music and lots of food and the bar will be open. This is also an opportunity to register for the Senior Men’s, Women’s and Junior (JAB) rugby teams.

Summer touch – for men and women

Want a bit of extra fitness over the summer months and stretch those legs after you get off the train, or keen to join the team as they prepare for the 2019 season? Come down to touch rugby every Wednesday from 6pm to 7.45pm.

Women’s rugby – let’s bring it back

The club wants to work with the community to set up a women’s rugby and touch rugby team in Featherston. They have gone through their archives and found numerous team photos, cups and plaques from the 70s and 80s when Featherston led the Wairarapa in women’s rugby. Keen to be involved? Message the club on Facebook or email.

Senior men’s rugby

Senior men’s rugby is back for the fourth year in a row. This year the team will have no head coach but a dedicated four-person coaching team. Wayne and Junior will coach the forwards while Ants and Hemi will coach the backs. This team is bought together through one of our most experienced and recently retired players, Shane, as Team Manager.

Fundraising and books

Perhaps you have a backyard in need of clearing, want to sponsor the club, need a venue for a party, function or regular meeting, or


your sports club needs a venue. Give Shaana a call on 027 237 4679 or 06 308 8980. The club’s President is also keen to hear from you if you would like to donate to our fundraising campaign or if you have Featherston Rugby Club memorabilia at home you could donate or lend to the club. You can contact Ritchie on 027 408 7704. Want to know more? Check out Featherston Rugby Club on Facebook or email

Featherston Athletics news 2019 is underway and we are gearing up for the Annual Children’s Triathlon to be held from 9am on Saturday 23 February at Card Reserve in Featherston. We offer something for all abilities with four courses to choose from and lots of great spot prizes, including vouchers for junior and senior bikes, sports gear and vouchers from local businesses. You don’t need to be a club member to join in. • Yellow: run/walk 300m, bike 200m, swim/walk 4 x 5m • Green: run/walk 450m, bike 400m, swim 1 width • Blue: run/walk 850m, bike 600m, swim 2 lengths • Red: run/walk 1250m, bike 5.5km, swim 4 lengths To register email or visit our Facebook page “Athletics Featherston” for further information. The season will be back underway on 4 February at 6pm for preschoolers to year 6 and on 5 February at 4.30pm for Year 7s and up, followed by the community walk/run at 5.30pm up One Tree Hill. New members are welcome, especially those wanting to get in some extra practice for college athletics. We look forward to seeing everyone on the track.

125 years ago —Railway Improvements

Wairarapa Daily Times, Volume XV, Issue 4638, 2 Feb.1894 There will possibly be under the newly constituted Railway Board some chance of obtaining concessions in the direction of improved facilities for travelling. The main requirement is a daily local train between Eketahuna and Featherston, which would develop Wairarapa’s passenger and parcel traffic, but there are some minor advantages which are already underway, such as an improved carriage or two. It has been suggested to us that lower passenger fares between the various townships of this district would increase traffic, and to a certain extent this may be the case, but we question whether the additional travelling facilities, which a purely local train would give, would not be more valued. The right thing to do would be to concede a local train at low fares and putting the cumbrous through arrangements on a better basis. The main line service is horribly slow, and could be shortened by an hour if it were backed by a local train which would relieve it of some of its laborious delays. A fast train from Wellington to Eketahuna, stopping only at principal stations, and a local train up and down between Featherston and Eketahuna is what is really needed to place the service on a decent footing. There is a large and remunerative stock and goods traffic in the Wairarapa for which facilities are duly provided, and there would be a large and remunerative passenger traffic also if proper facilities were extended to travellers. Six local trains leave the Lower Hutt daily, with a few extra on Saturdays and Sundays, for at the Wellington end of the line there cannot be too many local trains, but in the Wairarapa, although our population approximates the populaThe variety of gardens offered in Pūkaha’s annual garden tour tion of the Empire City, the idea of a single local train is scouted by fundraiser late last year proved a popular drawcard. Enjoyed the authorities. (Condensed) by many out-of-towners as well as locals, over 1,200 garden (Source: lovers of all ages flocked to the Wairarapa for a weekend in November to be inspired and delighted by gorgeous gardens of all shapes and sizes. Tour-goers also enjoyed the selection of locally made refreshments on offer and local artists and sculptors showcased their wares in some of the bigger gardens. Overwhelmingly, feedback from tour-goers showed they loved the diversity of the gardens in the garden tour. One ticket provided access to 15 gardens in the South Wairarapa. As well as big country estates like Old Tablelands in Martinborough and Richmond Garden in Carterton, there were little ones like Helen Dew’s Garden for Life, a tiny flourishing edible garden in an urban setting. “Pūkaha’s garden tour celebrates diversity of gardens, people and lifestyles in the Wairarapa. It’s a perfect fundraiser for our national wildlife centre as our conservation work is guided by the mantra: rongo te mauri – feel life’s essence,” explains Emily Court, Pūkaha’s General Manager. This year, the tour will explore stunning and unique gardens in northern Wairarapa. “We’re on the lookout for new gardens and welcome interest from locals who might be interested in opening their gardens to the public to support Pūkaha in 2019,” says tour manager Rachael Dell. “It’s wonderful seeing the great sense of pride our gardeners have in their gardens, and the joy they get in sharing them on the tour. It’s also a great motivator to get things done in the garden!” To register your interest, email The dates for this year are 9 and 10 November 2019. Tickets for the 2019 tour will be on sale from 1 August. Gardens will be revealed as they come on board for 2019 at 19

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Featherston Phoenix February 2019