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Flights and Fanciers, The Fuel of Local Prosperity, The Year of the Burrito, Titipounamu, Terrific Tussles, Lake Onoke, There to Here Feature - Fertility Specialist, Leadership Expert and Animation Whiz, Top Spots for Summer. Summer 18/19

Rebekah Farr Departures

Recent paintings 15 December - 3 February

Masterton and Me Our Stories | Our People A photographic essay by Anna Rutherford 8 December - 27 January

Come and see these exhibitions and more at Aratoi over summer. Bruce Street, Masterton. aratoi.org.nz

HI SUMMER Kowtow, Huffer, NoaNoa, Standard Issue, From, Marle, Timberland, Ben Sherman, Lacoste, Chaos & Harmony, Birkenstock, Banks Journal, Nature Baby and more.

T H E GE N E R A L STO R E M A RT I N B O RO U G H O P E N 7 DAYS 0 6 3 06 5 5 5 5 Outfit by Nineteen//46

Hello there Editor: Josepha Murray. Writers: Julia Mahony, Lisa Carruthers, Erin Kavanagh-Hall, Josepha Murray, Rebecca Jamieson, Tony Silbery, Hayden Maskell. Photographers: Jannelle Preston-Searle, Josepha Murray, Rebecca Kempton, Hayden Maskell, Robert Brienza, Rebecca Jamieson. Illustration and design: Geoff Francis. Advertising and distribution: Victoria Ross, Gretchen Saulbrey. Thanks to all those who have supported the production of this publication. The Wairarapa Journal is published four times a year by The Wairarapa Magazine Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission from The Wairarapa Magazine Ltd. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or editor. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication; however, the publishers assume no responsibility or liability for errors, omissions or consequences, including losses, due to the material in this publication.

For this issue, we take to the skies. The Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary and we have the pleasure of meeting five people who help make it spectacular. Easily the biggest event held in Wairarapa, Wings attracts over 24,000 people in audience numbers alone. The festival promises to fill our accommodation, restaurants, shops and attractions over three days in February, which is hugely beneficial for businesses and the economy. And for locals, Wings provides an enthralling experience for all the family, right on our doorstep. Continuing the aerial theme is the stunning photo essay on page 28 from local photographer, Robert Brienza, who we chat with on page 21 as part of a special ‘There to Here’ feature. This profiles three people, all from very different backgrounds, each having made Wairarapa their home. On page 8 there is another ‘aerial’ story of sorts. In our regular ‘Wairarapa Wildlife’ slot, we learn about New Zealand’s smallest endemic songbird - the titipounamu, or North Island rifleman. Although the titipounamu is rather poor in the aerial department, it is one of the oldest surviving New Zealand wrens, dating back as far as 85 million years ago to Gondwanaland. Birds also feature in our ‘Small Settlements’ story on Lake Onoke and Denise and Dougal MacKenzie of Te Raukau Birding, who share a love of both birds and the area. There are plenty of fascinating stories of the non-aerial kind

The Wairarapa Journal is proudly printed in Wairarapa by Printcraft on paper from responsible sources, with vegetable-based ink. You can safely add old copies of the magazine to your compost when you’ve finished with it. Alternatively, recycle it and it will be made into something else.

in this issue, as well as our regular columns. ‘Place branding’ is the subject of the story on page 32. Concepts around the identity creation of the five major towns in Wairarapa are discussed - and the key to further economic prosperity, which may just be all of Wairarapa working together as a unified whole. We hope you enjoy this issue and wish you all the very best for

All enquiries to: info@wairarapamagazine.co.nz


ISSN 2537-6861

On the cover: Bottom of the North by Robert Brienza. Exploring the rugged and epic coastline of the North Island’s southern most point, Cape Palliser, from above.

the season ahead! Josepha and the team.


Flights and Fanciers

In this issue Great Stuff


Little Local Stories

Wairarapa Wildlife



Flights and Fanciers


How Some of Wairarapa’s Aviators Found Their Wings

Terrific Tussles


The Story of the Featherston Wrestling Club

There to Here


A Fertility Specialist, a Leadership Expert and an Animation Whiz

Nature Fix


Top Spots for Summer


There to Here

Aerial Views


Pictorial Essay on Wairarapa from the Air

Buy Local


A Selection of Wairarapa Goodies for Christmas and Beyond

Place Branding


The Fuel of Local Prosperity

Small Settlements


Lake Onoke

Create and Innovate


The Year of the Burrito

Food and Drink


Let the Revolution Be-Gin Cool New Things


Place Branding

Summer Events


Arts and Performance Diary



The Year of the Burrito

The Wairarapa Journal


great stuff

New Glamping Spot [Te Pamu Escape] Ever fancied waking up in a king-sized bed to the sound of birdsong after a blissful night’s sleep in a luxury safari-style tent? Then having a hot shower in your own bathroom facilities, making breakfast in a fully-equipped kitchen and wandering out on to the deck to enjoy both your leisurely breakfast and the beautiful view? Te Pamu Escape (The Farm Escape) is just the ticket: a little bit of glamping luxury set in Te Ore Ore farmland, 5km from Masterton. Oh, and did we mention the outdoor bath? Yes please! To plan your escape visit tepamuescape.co.nz

L e t T h e m E a t C a ke

B l a z i n g a Tr a i l [Palliser Ridge wool] Six blazer styles and two waistcoats made with wool from Wairarapa’s own Palliser Ridge were launched by multinational retail giant M&S (Marks and Spencer) in October. The new items are the first to be made with Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certified wool. The New Zealand wool standard traces the New Zealand farm where the wool is produced and sets benchmarks on farm animal welfare and environmental protection. Palliser Ridge is the first farm in New Zealand to be certified under the RWS. Check out palliserridge.co.nz for more information about the farm.


The Wairarapa Journal

[Buttercream Workshop] Who doesn’t love cake? If the number of accomplished cake makers proffering delicious sweet treats is anything to go by - very few! Buttercream Workshop opened in Martinborough earlier this year. The company makes cakes and treats to order for special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries and weddings - but do you really need an excuse? Buttercream Workshop cakes can be supplied on their own ‘real’ plate - so, if you give a cake as a gift, the recipient can keep and reuse the plate, or return it. This cuts down on waste from traditional cardboard cake boards and we think it looks nicer, too! Find out more at buttercreamworkshop.com

Mates Rates

Dining In [Home or away] Proving popular with both visiting groups and locals celebrating a special occasion is Crescendo’s gourmet provisions delivery and private chef services. The private chef service is just that - a professional chef comes into your home or accommodation and prepares food of your choice, anything from old favourites to multicourse degustation dinners. Wait staff come to serve and clean up. The gourmet provision delivery service provides special occasion meals prepared and ready to go - either fully cooked or requiring minimal cooking. Both options are an alternative to going out, allowing diners to enjoy restaurant quality food at home or a homestay, without the hassle of taxis and babysitting. More at crescendocuisine.co.nz

D e s i g n S av v y [Interior design help at hand] Ever wanted a hand with interior design, or to meet a friendly, helpful interior designer to bounce ideas with? The Design Library, based in Greytown, now offers in-home design consultations getting to know your aesthetic, what you like and how you use your spaces. Covering new builds to existing homes, consultations can be arranged for a single room or a whole house. Book a consultation online at designlibrary.co.nz

[For locals] Pūkaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre has launched a new locals rate for residents from Norsewood to Featherston, which allows Wairarapa people to visit Pūkaha for half the usual entry fee. Even better for locals, if they bring full-paying visitors from outside Wairarapa, they get into the park free of charge. More information at pukaha.co.nz

Filling a ‘Loop’ Hole [New creative agency] According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, small to medium enterprises (fewer than 20 employees) make up an astonishing 97 percent of New Zealand’s businesses. No surprise then that small and medium sized businesses dominate the business landscape in Wairarapa, but they do face unique challenges compared to larger organisations. One of these challenges is implementing sound marketing and communications strategies, says Lisa Carruthers of local agency Loop. “Effective marketing is hugely important for any business yet all too often business owners, particularly of small to medium sized operations, find that they don’t have the time to get to grips with it all. “Small business owners are really busy people, usually trying to fulfil all the day-to-day tasks themselves. Being time-short means that, even despite the best intentions, business functions that are considered as non-core or not urgent become a bit ad-hoc or simply don’t get done.” Another barrier to small businesses being marketing savvy is a lack of resources. “SMEs typically operate with skeleton staff and don’t have the luxury of being able to employ someone to specifically work on marketing and communications. This is where marketing tasks can get tagged on to the end of someone’s job, regardless of whether they have the relevant experience or not.” Lisa explains that the most sensible approach for small businesses struggling to implement marketing and communications is to outsource. “Loop is a professional local agency with minimal overheads (no fancy offices) and a talented team of remote workers. We offer an affordable option for businesses in need of an extra pair of marketing hands. This might be for a specific project or for a set number of hours each week.” Loop’s services include all aspects of branding and design, content creation, advertising and PR. “Think of us as a part-time team who will coordinate and take care of everything to do with marketing and communications - leaving the business owner free to focus on what they do best.” To find out more visit loopnz.co.nz

The Wairarapa Journal


Ta s t y To u r s [Artisan bus tour ] The Village Artisan Tour was relaunched in October, bringing visitors to the three South Wairarapa towns of Featherston, Greytown and Martinborough. The tour highlights regional food and shopping and provides an opportunity to meet food and wine heroes of the region. The Village Artisan Tour is one of three Wairarapa tours departing Wellington - the others are Palliser Bay: Off the Beaten Track and Martinborough Gourmet Wine Tour. All three are operated by Tranzit Tours. More information is available at tranzittours.co.nz

E- w a s t e [Finds a home] From October, Wairarapa residents could dispose of their e-waste free of charge at waste transfer stations across Wairarapa. The initiative is intended to reduce the amount of e-waste ending up in landfills and to enable valuable electronic materials to be recovered. So now you know where to drop unwanted electronic goods such as computers, laptops, DVD and CD players! Other household and kitchen appliances like stoves, microwaves, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners are also accepted at transfer stations.

W i n i n g , D i n i n g , S t ay i n g and Learning [Skilful holidays] Spend a few days learning a new skill, along with some free time to relax, while staying in beautiful heritage accommodation, eating quality food and drinking lovely wine. Sound good? Life Enriched Holidays offers courses in cooking, wine tasting, creative writing and astronomy. A relationship counselling retreat is also on offer. Check out lifeenrichedholidays.co.nz for more information.

Certified Gold [Olive oil awards] Wairarapa olive oil has triumphed again at New Zealand’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, winning 46 of the 109 medals up for grabs. Dali, based in Martinborough, was one of only two groves to win double gold medals, for its Frantoio and Picual, in the most important commercial section of the awards. Olivo, also from Martinborough, won gold and Loopline Olives, based near Masterton, took out Best in Show for its Picholene. Juno Olives, from Greytown, won Best in Boutique among the gold medal haul.


The Wairarapa Journal

To p - n o t c h B u s i n e s s [Wairarapa Awards] A family-owned coach company, a popular vehicle outlet, a dedicated promotional team and a Martinborough spirits distillery emerged victorious at the inaugural Wairarapa Awards. The awards, held at the Copthorne Solway Park Hotel and Resort in October, were established by the Wairarapa Chamber of Commerce to celebrate business excellence in the region. About 300 representatives from the business community in Wairarapa attended the awards ceremony. On the night, the Tranzit Group received the Supreme Award, as well as winning in the Innovation category, which recognised businesses that explored new ideas, services and products. Country Village Heaven, formed to promote businesses in Greytown, was declared the winner in the Vibrant category, for leaders in the hospitality and tourism sector; while first prize in the Team category, which recognised investment in people and the community, went to Masterton’s Eastwood Motor Group. The Emerging award, showcasing up and coming Wairarapa businesses, was won by craft gin distillery Reid & Reid. We hear more from these clever spirits connoisseurs, who first featured in one of our earliest issues of the Journal, as part of our Food and Wine column on page 53. We also chat to fellow Martinborough enterprise and competitor in the Emerging category, Cartel Food Co on page 45. In addition to the company awards, two prominent members of the Wairarapa business community were also recognised: Henergy founder Graeme Napier, the pioneer of cage-free egg production, and former Golden Shears president Mavis Mullins.

Moreish cakes & pastries TO MAKE MEMORABLE occasions

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Wines of Distinction

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96 Kitchener Street Martinborough

Wairarapa Wildlife


Blink and you may miss the titipounamu - New Zealand’s smallest endemic songbird. Titipounamu flit about the foothills of the Tararua Ranges and in good numbers at Pūkaha Mount Bruce, their squeaks barely audible. Only on the best days do they become visible - generally when scurrying about in branches searching for small invertebrates among the mosses and lichens. The titipounamu, also known as the North Island rifleman (Acanthisitta granti), is one of the few surviving New Zealand birds whose history stretches back to when the earliest warblers graced the forest with their calls. There were once six native wren species spread across both islands, whose relatives made their presence known as early as 85 million years ago in Eastern Gondwana, eventually sharing the forest with fellow ancient critters such as the wattlebird and New Zealand thrush. Sadly, being small and flightless wasn’t a great asset when mammals arrived on the coattails of European settlers and began to impose a new predatory order on the birdlife. Two of the New Zealand wrens became infamous for their manner of extinction: the Lyall’s wrens on Takapourewa (Stephens Island) were all brought home to the lighthouse keeper’s house by the pet cat while, on Big South Cape Island in the 1960s, the bush wren population was wiped out by an invasion of rats, under the noses of Wildlife Service rangers. Only the titipounamu (and its South Island counterpart, the subspecies Acanthisitta chloris) and the New Zealand rock wren (pīwauwau) have lived to see modern times. At a mere 6 grams and 8 centimetres long, the titipounamu is barely an appetiser for a passing rat, and

can fit into the tiniest of crevices - this may have aided its survival. Males are slightly smaller than females, though both have similarly diminutive features: short, rounded wings, a stumpy tail and a fine bill, handy for extracting insects from bark. It has a fetching colour scheme - males are a vivid green, while females are flecked with brown and lemon. Its English name, rifleman, is believed to be inspired by their plumage, as the colour scheme is similar to a British soldier’s uniform. However, other bird fanciers say it was so named as it follows a spiralling route with its beak when going over bark for food - to ‘rifle’ means to make spiral grooves, as are found in a gun barrel. Like their ancestors, titipounamu are poor fliers, preferring instead to scale tree trunks for a meal, gripping on with their oversized toes (oversized in proportion to the rest of it, that is). They are hyperactive characters, regularly flicking their wings and making constant calls to one another while foraging. Unfortunately, these chirps are pitched too high for most humans’ hearing. Titipounamu were once widespread throughout the country, but numbers have decreased, thanks to clearing of forest and bush. Poignantly, due to their being able to fit into small spaces, bird watchers have noticed titipounamu remaining inside a tree trunk long after it’s been felled. A small, green bird that can barely squeak may not be, on the face of it, that exciting - until it is put into its historical perspective. The Tararua Ranges are among the youngest in the country, barely a couple of million years old. The titipounamu, on the other hand, is nearly as ancient and certainly as precious as its namesake rock. Literally older than the hills.

The Wairarapa Journal


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Century-old wartime planes, champion top dressing aircraft, aerobatic troupes and near-silent gliders: the Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival has plenty on offer for the discerning aviation enthusiast. Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the iconic airshow, The Wairarapa Journal meets some of the aviators of Wairarapa, from the old diggers, to the Boeing commanders, to the newest generation of plane fanciers, who share how they found their wings.

Flights and fanciers

Story by Erin Kavanagh-Hall The Wairarapa Journal


STARTING YOUNG Many parents dread long-haul plane trips. Luckily for Larissa Wiegman, her son Joshua discovered the flight simulator app Infinity Flight on the journey between their native Holland and New Zealand, which kept him entertained. Distraction soon gave way to passion and obsession for Joshua. Now settled at Te Whiti, the 13-year-old is a self-confessed “aviation nerd”, reading anything on aeronautics and airliners that catches his interest. In fact, his choice of secondary school, Kuranui College, was influenced by its aviation training programme. And, in February, he will be the youngest volunteer at Wings Over Wairarapa. Doubtlessly, he’ll fit right in - able to reel off as many facts as the veterans. “I like the expensive planes the most,” he enthuses. “I like the Boeing 787s - they’re more advanced. They can fly more people, but still don’t look as giant as the 747. “And they’ve got a twin engine, which means they fly more smoothly and save on fuel. “I just love that planes can beat gravity and fly into the air.” Joshua, born in the Dutch province of Drenthe, has had a hankering for knowledge from a young age. “He loves learning - if there’s something he’s interested in, he’ll go and read everything there is to know,” mum Larissa says. The Wiegmans migrated to New Zealand last year - suggested by Larissa, who spent her childhood in Waiuku. Though his most recent flight from Holland help spark his

plane fancier tendencies, Joshua got a taste of the piloting life on an earlier holiday, when he and brother Tobias toured the cockpit on a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight before take-off. “He loved seeing all the buttons and switches,” Larissa says. “He was allowed to sit in the seats, wear the headgear, touch the throttle. The crew said the boys were allowed to come in because they were the most polite kids on the plane!” “It’s cool to see all the technology - all the robotics behind the GPS systems and the automatic modes,” Joshua chimes in. “Though it is scary to think that artificial intelligence could take over flying one day.” Joshua plans to do the National Certificate in Aviation, available from Year 12 at Kuranui - the only New Zealand secondary school offering glider flight training. Joshua is starting early, winning a free gliding experience at the Greytown Soaring Centre. He did his first supervised flight in October, which he filmed from a head-mounted GoPro camera. “He was buzzing afterwards - the instructors thought he was a natural,” Larissa says. Joshua looks forward to volunteering at Wings, undertaking tasks such as catering, packdown, and meets and greets. To unwind afterwards, he’ll probably busy himself with Infinity Flight - he is proud to say he’s cracked a level where he steered a plane through 40 knot winds. “I’d love to be a commercial pilot - or do something with computer science.”

Thirteen-year-old aviation buff Joshua Wiegman, here preparing for his first glider flight, dreams of a career as a pilot. Photograph by Larissa Wiegman.


The Wairarapa Journal

SOARING SANS MACHINE For Tim Tarbotton, the sky makes the perfect engine. Most weekends, the Wellington engineering student heads to the Greytown Soaring Centre, an airstrip and glider flight training centre set up on vacant farmland on Tilsons Road, Papawai. When The Wairarapa Journal called in, Tim was camped out in the main hangar, doing maintenance work on his own glider, an elegant fibreglass contraption he picked up half price after its former owner died. He is happiest when a good 3000m off the ground, relying on weather patterns and air currents to keep him airborne. If the thermo-dynamics are in his favour, he could be hovering for several hours. “Gliding is my stress relief,” Tim says. “It’s so quiet up there! You’re under a glass canopy and there’s no engine noise, so all you can hear is the wind whistling past you. “And the view is amazing.” Tim, 24, originally from Ashburton, is a staple of the Wellington Gliding Club, which moved from its past headquarters at Paraparaumu Airport to the Papawai site in 2016. Club members helped build the Soaring Centre’s hangar and clubhouse from the ground - from fundraising, to doing a chunk of the carpentry and plumbing. Tim himself has been “hooked” on gliding since his first trial flight, while on holiday at Twizel as a teen, and is now vice president of Youth Glide New Zealand - which helps support young people into aviation-related careers. Gliding, he says, is a science. Glider aircraft, first popularised in 1920s Germany, have no motor and are winched into the air “like a slingshot” by a cable attached to a V8 engine. To stay skyward, pilots follow the trajectory of different air currents, such as thermals (updrafts of warm air), ridge lifts (where air rises after hitting a hill face) and wave lifts (rising and sinking currents). Experienced glider pilots sense the changes in the atmosphere and chart their course accordingly. Particularly talented aeronauts can identify air bubbles by sight. “You’re always focused on what’s outside the cockpit - the sky is

your engine,” Tim says. “It can be hard to explain at first. Some people ask, ‘if it goes wrong, does the plane fall out of the sky?’” Tim has yet to witness that - pilots are trained to look out for paddocks in which to make a safe landing. In good conditions, however, gliders can go for impressive distances. “We’ve had people go all the way to Dannevirke. Some have even crossed Cook Strait.” Tim has trained as a Class 2 engineer, able to inspect and repair gliders, and is working towards the Qualified Glider Pilot certificate, allowing him to work as an instructor. At Wings, he will be representing Youth Glide New Zealand, where he hopes to promote the sport to the younger generation. The Wellington Gliding Club has 17 members under 25 - though there’s always room for more, Tim says. “We need youth coming through to keep the sport alive.”

Gliders can stay in the aloft for hours in the right conditions. Photograph supplied.

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GIRLS CAN FLY Pip Schofield was never the child handing out lollies on a plane she’d much rather visit the crew in the cockpit. “I got really excited whenever the pilots walked by in their uniforms,” she says. “I’d nudge Mum and whisper ‘I wonder if that’s our pilot!’. I would always ask if I could go and see what was happening at the flight deck.” These days, Pip, born and raised at Castlepoint, is the one capturing children’s attention on her way through the airport lounge. The 32-year-old is a second officer with Air New Zealand, behind the controls of the new Boeing 787 airbuses. A regular working week could see her land in Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, or Texas - and back to Auckland again. The day Pip spoke to the Journal, she had not long disembarked from a 15-hour flight from Houston. “The pilots take turns through the night, checking on the flight plan and monitoring air traffic. I’ll probably take a nap soon. “I got a rest for six hours, but it’s tough on the body. I don’t mind the shiftwork - I hate 8-5 traffic!” Pip has her rural upbringing partly to thank for a love of flight - watching the top dressing planes sail over her parents’ farm. “I’d always hope there was a spare seat for me! I did eventually get to go - it was magic.” While at Wairarapa College, Pip’s father promised her flying lessons - if she passed School Certificate. Two years later, she enrolled at Bay Flight International Flying School, later earning her commercial pilot’s licence. On graduating, Pip worked as a flying instructor in Vanuatu and then as a 10-seater pilot in Queensland. Work with JetStar back home followed and she was then hired by Air New Zealand in 2016. At Wings Over Wairarapa, Pip will hold a stall for New Zealand Women in Aviation, of which she is chair. The group (founded by Featherston’s Rhona Fraser, the first New Zealand woman to gain a pilot’s licence following WWII) was set up to promote aviation as

a career path for women. Important, Pip says, as women are still under-represented in the flight deck - making up five percent of pilots globally. “It’s a boys’ club. [Aviation] isn’t tabled as a serious option for girls. “It’s still seen as something that’s quite macho and masculine and that you have to be a tomboy to be interested in. Which isn’t the case: I’m a girlie girl, who loves handbags! “I’ve been lucky - the guys I work with are very respectful. To them, I’m just another pilot - my qualifications speak for themselves. Though I do insist they put the toilet seat up on a flight!” While at Wings, Pip hopes to inspire the girls visiting as “the kid from Wairarapa flying the big jets”. “When you’re there in uniform, boys will think, ‘oh, cool - a pilot!’ Whereas girls will think, ‘that’s a pilot - I can do that, too’.”

Air New Zealand pilot Pip Schofield hopes to inspire young women to take to the skies. Photograph supplied by Air New Zealand.

FLIGHT AND FIGHT Aviation aficionados can chat for hours about combat aircraft - but Greytown’s Jimmy Field has actual experience of the frontline. In a former life, Jimmy was in charge of the big guns: as a pilot for the Royal Air Force (RAF), he commanded state-of-the art fighter jets, worth NZ$137 million and carrying close to 1000lbs of firepower. In 2011, he put his munitions knowledge into practice, taking part in a NATO operation in Libya against the oppressive Gaddafi government. After 11 years with the RAF, Jimmy returned to Wairarapa and swapped wings for tractor wheels. He does occasionally commute to work - in Triple Whiskey, his 1971 Piper Warrior aircraft. “I needed to be at the farm at Pirinoa, so I flew down,” the thirdgeneration farmer says.


The Wairarapa Journal

“It was either a 20-minute drive, or a seven-minute flight. Though it probably took about 10 minutes to push the plane out of the hangar.” Jimmy became interested in flight as a teenager. Seeing an A4 Skyhawk military plane flying over the family farm, he was inspired by the “extreme noise, speed and projection”. He started flying lessons at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton and was eventually recruited to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as a “baby pilot”. Jimmy later became a fighter pilot, handling the formidable Skyhawks that excited him as a youngster. However, his wings were clipped in 2001, when the then government disbanded the RNZAF’s combat squadrons. So, he joined up with the RAF and picked up

where he left off, first piloting the older Jaguar attack jets, then the brand new Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. “The Typhoons were a big step up. Everything was computerised - the navigation systems, the radar, the comms devices. You had to remember to put in all the correct information.” The pinnacle of Jimmy’s service with the RAF was Operation Unified Protector, a military intervention exercise to enforce United Nations Security Resolutions on Libya. Jimmy, part of the squadron carrying out airstrikes against the Libyan Armed Forces, describes the mission as “empowering, but remarkably stressful”. “You’re in a cramped cockpit for six hours. Between Italy and Libya and back again, I had to stop and re-fuel four times. I burned through about 35 tonnes of fuel! “You have a huge responsibility. You know there are people down there - you need to get through it with no civilian casualties.” In these situations, Jimmy says, the success of a fighter pilot depends on “building good habits”. “You need to be aware. You need awareness of your surroundings, what’s going on below, where there are most likely to be civilians on the ground. There are checks and procedures to follow. “It’s like a 3D, supersonic game of chess - you’re not going to ‘checkmate’ in 30 seconds; you’re always planning your next move.” After leaving the RAF and spending time training pilots in Saudi

Arabia, Jimmy returned to Greytown in 2016 to take over the farm. With his days zooming over the African desert behind him, he and wife Hannah are free to enjoy weekend trips to Taupo in Triple Whiskey, while four-year-old son Tristan snoozes in the back seat. “I love flying over Mt Ruapehu; you can almost reach out and touch it.”

Jimmy Field flew some of the Royal Air Force’s most powerful fighter jets. Photograph supplied.

VINTAGE CLASSICS AND SUCCESSFUL FESTIVALS Tom Williams clearly remembers the first airshow he organised at Hood Aerodrome. It was 1975 and he’d organised a fundraiser for the new Sport and Vintage Aviation Society. “It was quite relaxed. We charged about 50 cents for entry. Most of the aircraft just came in exchange for a tank of fuel.” The next airshow on his resume was a grander affair - held in 1999, it was dubbed The Anniversary Show and featured close to 50 aircraft - and “actually made a profit”. The Anniversary Show eventually became Wings Over Wairarapa, the premier biennial aviation event in the North Island, each show attracting 25,000 spectators and contributing close to $5 million to Wairarapa’s economy. As air show director, Tom had a $1 million budget to play with and iconic machines such as the Vintage Aviator Collection (restored WWI-era aircraft), competitive aerobatics planes and a WWII fighter plane - which attracted guests from as far as Iceland - at his disposal. Tom has retired as director but still works behind the scenes and is anxiously awaiting the upcoming 20th anniversary show. “It’s pretty special - we’re fortunate to have access to the old planes that don’t exist anywhere else in the world.” For Tom, learning to fly was like “an itch [he] had to scratch”. While at boarding school at Whanganui, he received flying lessons for his 16th birthday and was trained by a former officer of the Royal Flying Corps from WWI. He learned in a de Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth, the aircraft used as a training device by the Royal Air Force pre-WWII, which would become his vehicle of choice. Tiger Moths are recognisable by their mustard yellow colour scheme, two tiered wings and their open cockpits in which pilots sport leather caps and goggles as protection from wind chill. “You’d see the pilots wearing scarves - that wasn’t for show. So much oil would spurt out of the engines that they’d need to wipe their googles,” Tom says. “Tiger Moths aren’t easy to fly; they’re light and designed to accelerate. They’re hard to land, as they’ve no back wheels. And they have no starter motor. “If you fly them correctly, you’re a reasonable pilot.” In 1966, Tom bought his own Tiger Moth which was, in those days, a bargain at 400 pounds. Eventually, he founded the Sport and

Vintage Aviation Society, aiming to preserve old-style aircraft. “The Tiger Moths were being sold overseas, or scrapped. They’re made from wood and fabric, so they don’t last if they’re not looked after. “We wanted to keep them here and protect our history.” Vintage aircrafts, like Tiger Moths, have featured heavily at Wings. A particular high point for Tom was when Wings played host to a replica de Havilland Mosquito - a highly efficient 1941 fighter bomber, reconstructed in Auckland from original materials and worth close to $9 million. “I flew the Mosquito back to Auckland and it was the highlight of my career - those things are made to go fast.” From here, the key to Wings’ survival, Tom says, is a “point of difference” every year, such as the aerial lightshow in 2019. “Hopefully, we’re still here in 50 years and flying Tiger Moths.”

Tom Williams in action at Wings Over Wairarapa in 2013. Photograph by David Cornick.

Lacewood is a romantic wedding venue featuring a cathedral-like historic barn nestled within extensive Italianate gardens and olive groves and established trees. On site accommodation is available and options include the stylish and elegant homestead, beautifully restored historic cottages and shearers quarters.

Janelle Harrington & Rob Allen Tuhitarata Estate, 2111 Kahutara Rd, RD2 Featherston, South Wairarapa Email: events@lacewood.co.nz Phone: +64 27 436 6667


Wings Over Wairarapa event. Photograph by David Cornish.

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Story by Julia Mahony

Television show On the Mat was a New Zealand classic. Strong but nimble contenders, wrestling it out, thrilling a pre-internet nation in the 1970s and early 80s. The men were professionals, often facing international stars brought to our shores. In a tin shed in South Wairarapa 35 years on, 15 youngsters prepare for wrestling championships. They practise on the giant bullseye; a yellow, red and blue padded mat dominating the floor space of the Featherston Amateur Wrestling Club. Girls and boys sit still and listen, while their trainers prepare them. As the kids’ names are called in pairs, they solemnly shake hands, then throw themselves together in a tangle of limbs, grappling with head-locks and leg-hooks. Above them on the walls are names of local wrestlers who have made it to the top, the wooden honours board listing national, Commonwealth and Olympic competitors, proof that the Featherston club has an illustrious history. Its members are still winning - a gold and three bronze medals at the national champs in October. But it hasn’t been all glory and gold. On the brink of closure just two years ago due to financial strife, the club now has 100 members registered. It was rescued by a careful fundraising strategy, which included wrestling lessons for local rugby teams as part of training. An annual trail bike fundraiser has become a highlight. The backbone of the Featherston wrestling club is the Sargent family. Three Sargent brothers, Jeremy, Chris and Tom, are coaches, along with their cousin Nathan Sargent. Their partners Danielle,

Makere and Kelly, support through administration, management and fundraising. Twelve Sargent children are wrestlers. The club has a dedicated referee, Warren Hart, who travels with Featherston wrestling squads to umpire tournaments. In 24 months, the little club has begun to thrive. On training nights, wrestling pairs tussle it out, ending their bouts puffing with the exertion of a vigorous fight. Youngsters are taught as beginners how to safely execute a head-lock and to exert force to other body parts. “Stay strong,” the Sargent brothers quietly tell wrestlers. The children respond instantly to the call of “break” to separate. How wrestling has managed to attract children, with such a wide range of more high-profile sports on offer, is down to the dedication and savvy of the current volunteers. For 10-year-old Te Maire Sargent, a pupil at St Teresa’s School in Featherston, wrestling is a sport where he can spend time with his parents and siblings, while building his moves. “You don’t have to be strong to wrestle. It’s more about strategy, moves and speed. It gives me a chance to win at a different sport.” Te Maire explains that wrestlers wear body-hugging “togs” so clothing can’t be grabbed during matches and so referees can see bodies clearly during body pinning and points scoring. “We’re taught exercises to strengthen our necks and are shown what the risks are in wrestling,” he says. “Featherston’s a nice little club and everyone gets a turn without too much waiting. Everyone should give it a go.”

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Wairarapa attracts many highly skilled imports - shaping the professional landscape with their innovation and imagination. Erin Kavanagh-Hall chats with a fertility specialist, a leadership expert and an animation whiz, who have come from afar to make the region home.

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SEED S OF KNOWLEDGE It’s an irony universally acknowledged. A couple can spend years trying to avoid pregnancy - but when the time is right for a bundle of joy, they discover conceiving can take a “miracle”. This sounds familiar for Bex Henderson. As a fertility nurse, Bex has met many such couples whose dreams of a family eluded them; some of whom tried dozens of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) cycles and spent thousands in a bid to have a baby. Following a career in busy fertility clinics in the UK and Australia, the Martinborough-bred mum-of-two has come home - craving “something a bit quieter” for her young sons. She hopes to steer women from her home region on the path to parenthood, but this time, her help doesn’t come from a hospital room or from inside a petri dish, but at her kitchen table in Greytown. Bex, a trained natural fertility educator, has started Seed Fertility Consulting, a business specialising in natural family planning. Through Seed Fertility, Bex aims to help women (via home consultations) increase their chances of pregnancy simply by getting to know their bodies: teaching them to chart their menstrual cycles, monitor hormonal changes and to identify their “fertile window”. Information, she says, that is rarely taught in sex ed classes, or shared at the doctor’s office. “It’s empowering for women to know what’s going on in their bodies, so they can make informed decisions,” Bex says. “I’m excited to pass on what I learned overseas, here in Wairarapa. And it’s good to be home. We got to the point where we wanted a patch of grass out the back and where the kids could bike to school.” Bex has been in the nursing field for 14 years, training at Otago University and going on to specialise in women’s health while working in Edinburgh (where she met her husband). Her international

adventures continued, with a job at the Lister Fertility Clinic in London and later at Melbourne IVF. Her tenure as an IVF nurse came with highs and lows - especially when supporting clients through multiple unsuccessful treatments. “In Australia, IVF is a lot cheaper, as you can claim it back on Medicare. Some people would have 20 rounds and still nothing. It can be crushing for a couple not to fall pregnant; they feel ripped off. “It’s so hard when you get to know the couples. These are people who would make great parents - but infertility doesn’t discriminate.” In Melbourne, Bex did a course in natural family planning, which she describes as an eye-opener. “There are huge gaps in people’s knowledge. I’d had my boys by then, and there was so much I didn’t know.” For example, she says, couples will often mis-time their fertile window. Generally, women are told they are most fertile on the 14th day of their cycle. But cycle lengths and thus ovulation times, vary greatly - which iPhone fertility apps don’t take into account. Stress and illness also affect ovulation. “It’s a miracle anyone gets pregnant - you’ve only got a tiny window. A woman’s egg only lives 24 hours [after being released]. The sperm needs to be in a particular position. The conditions in the cervical environment need to be just right for sperm to swim through. “Lots of stars need to align. But people are often just having sex in the middle of the month and leaving it to luck.” At Seed Fertility, Bex teaches clients how to track their fertility by identifying and recording the changes in their body each month - such as signs of ovulation. She advises on pre-conception health, fertility apps and using a donor - and can refer to IVF providers if necessary. “A little information goes a long way.”

Bex Henderson hopes to help women from her home region become pregnant using the knowledge she learned overseas. Photograph by Jannelle Preston-Searle.


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David ‘Sav’ Savage’s expertise in neuroscience is helping organisations become more effective and positive leaders. Photograph by Jannelle Preston-Searle.

AL L IN THE BR AIN Photos in South African shanty towns, coaching contestants on adventure reality shows, advice in the hallowed halls of government departments: David Savage describes his life as “something like a Yellow Brick Road”. The latest stop on the Yellow Brick Road for Brit-born David, Sav to his friends, is his sprawling five acre property, outside Greytown. There, he and wife Megan are raising three kids, several chickens and some lambs - and have planted close to 500 native species, plus 100 fruit and nut trees. Home at Woodside provides some respite from the working week, where Sav, dividing his time between the main centres, lends assistance as a leadership coach. His clientele, ranging from corporate giants, to respected charities, to the smarts behind the Canterbury rebuild, seek his advice on effective leadership and communication, drawing on neurolinguistics and neuroscience. He does sometimes take work home - one client, an American artist who moved to France, via Featherston, he coaches via Skype from the dining room. It’s a change from his former life, first as a travel photographer, then behind the scenes for British television. However, he was partly inspired to switch location, ironically, by a photo. “I saw a postcard of the Tongariro Crossing - it was like nothing I’d ever seen,” he says. “And I’d met lots of Kiwis in London, and we’d always got on. So I thought, ‘I must go to New Zealand’. “It’s funny - I’ve been here 15 years and still not been to the

Tongariro Crossing!” Sav, who grew up in Leicestershire and Cornwall, has been passionate about photography from boyhood, owning cameras since age six. Later, passion became profession, and he found work with commercial and backpacker magazines. This took him to several intrepid corners of the world - the ramshackle townships of Johannesburg, the crowded market villages of Laos and Thailand, and indigenous Australian tribal grounds, to name a few. He has kept many of his own photos from this time: the pensive faces of mothers in their cramped huts, Londoners confronted by heavily-armed police during the Mayday Riots, and sagacious Aboriginal lawmen peer out from an old scrapbook. Sav’s photography skills would then take him in the unlikely direction of reality TV. He found work with a production company working on a new show - which he describes as “David Attenborough meets Mission Impossible” - where he helped brief and encourage the contestants, as they battled their way through intense physical training at an army base. Though the programme never aired, the participants’ transformation helped activate the next phase of Sav’s career. “After their training, they’d be limping; covered in mud. Physically in pieces but spiritually glowing. They’d pushed aside their boundaries and achieved something they’d never thought possible. I couldn’t go back to photography after that.” Once in New Zealand, Sav researched brain-based coaching

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and enrolled at a NeuroLeadership Group training in Wellington. On completing his studies, he worked as a personal development coach, focused on life goals and personal change. From there, Sav began his foray into leadership coaching, running seminars for managers at New Zealand Post, then making his way to Statistics NZ, where he coached some 150 senior staff. His resume now includes big players such Transpower, Xero, Housing New Zealand, NGOs like Forest & Bird and WWF, and major building projects such as the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team and the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. On his brain-based trainings, he teaches strategies for creating workplace environments that stimulate innovation. “Companies are facing rapid change, so it’s important to foster a creative environment,” he says. “Part of my role is helping people understand the impact of language on the brain. Language can help connect neural pathways that lead to development of greater insights and new ideas. So,

leaders also must avoid the language that shuts creativity down.” He also stresses the importance of creating a reward-based system, and allowing a ‘trust economy’ in workplaces. “People work best in reward state, where they have autonomy. Innovation is most powerful where there is collaboration, and that can’t happen without trust.” Sav still takes photos in his spare time - and often brings up his old snapshots to tell a story during business presentations. “Companies like words such as ‘grit’ and ‘resilience’. In South Africa, I photographed Pumla - she lived in a hut in Alexandra township that was only about the size of our living area, but impeccably clean. “She’d just learned to type on an old-fashioned typewriter and, every day, she went from house to house, asking if anyone needed typing done. So she could bring money home for her kids. That is grit - companies can learn a lot from people like Pumla.”

A L I FE IN MOTIO N You could say Robert Brienza is an unsung hero of New Zealand mad culture right away. rugby. You won’t find him in black on the field, or hear his “We’d never been to New Zealand before and life in Canada commentary as the Man of the Match heads for the try line. had become a bit too familiar,” he says. But his contribution certainly adds to the atmosphere - he’s “We arrived in Auckland, three days before the Rugby World the guy behind the eye-catching colours and fleet-footed animated Cup final, so there was a buzz in the air. We thought ‘wow, this is sporting figures which dart across the TV screen, signalling the such a happy country!’” start of the big game. Before moving across the globe, Robert studied visual effects Robert, hailing from Canada and now based in Masterton, at Seneca College in Toronto. is a motion graphics artist. He is part of the design teams On graduating, he took his portfolio to a broadcast design responsible for the titles, created with the illusion of movement, studio, where he was offered a contract doing rotoscoping used as branding by television companies, and played ahead of TV transferring an image from live action film into another film episodes and sports events. sequence - for a horse racing broadcast. His CV is a veritable who’s-who of the entertainment “They asked me how good I was a rotoscoping. I was like, and sporting industries: HBO, NBC, the National Basketball ‘oh, I’m awesome!’ But we’d only had one class on rotoscoping Association (NBA), SKY TV, Super Rugby and Comedy Central. at university. Robert himself may not be a household name, but his handiwork “I was sitting in front of the computer, thinking ‘how am I on the adorable SKY TV ‘igloos’ (in the ads for the IGLOO box) and going to do this?’ But, I worked it out - and the studio hired me the contestants exploding into coloured powder for The Block NZ full-time.” 2016 promo will be recognisable to Kiwi TV addicts. While working at Big Studios in Toronto, his graphics He even picked up an Emmy Award for his trouble - he and headlined major sports showdowns and news reports all over colleagues back in Toronto won in 2009 for Outstanding Graphic North America. Design for the MLB (Major League Baseball) Network. He continued in broadcast design in Auckland, first He is, however, modest about his achievements, in true freelancing for TVNZ, then was scooped up by design company Canadian fashion. Brandspank. There, among others, he produced graphics for the “In the industry, we joke that our stuff plays whenever people TV channels Rialto, Pulse and The Zone, adverts for GJ Gardner are away getting drinks before the game,” he laughs. Homes and Canterbury University, and the opening titles for the “I used to skip the intros before a show - but I feel bad doing America’s Cup, Investec Super Rugby and 2015 Rugby World Cup. that now, as those opening credits are someone’s hours of work.” The latter was a particular favourite - featuring life-like rugby These days, Robert feels more at home in Masterton, taking stars bursting out from the pitch beneath them. photos of his daughters at Castlepoint, than rubbing shoulders “There was a lot more variety in my work here,” he says. in Hollywood. “My experience in Toronto was very sports-heavy as well, but He and his wife, a teacher at Douglas Park School, settled in North American broadcasters tend to like a particular look. Here, New Zealand in 2011 - where they were introduced to its sports- clients are open to different possibilities, so there’s a challenge.”


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Canadian-born Robert is a man of many talents - among them motion graphic design and aerial photography. Photograph by Robert Brienza.

Robert, now proficient in a range of techniques (computer animation, 3D modelling, stop motion and compositing), says motion graphics can be a painstaking business. One job involved creating a series of stop-motion graphics for Comedy Central, each with a kiwiana theme, which required moving the props inch by inch to create a sequence. “They were about 10 seconds long. But, with stop-motion photography, you’re moving one frame at a time. So, it takes a while. “I still panic in front of the computer sometimes. But I’m stubborn - it’s the Italian in me. I won’t watch YouTube tutorials.

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I like to break things down and figure them out for myself.” Eventually, television budgets in Auckland shrunk and companies downsized - thanks in part, Robert believes, to the increasing impact of TV streaming services. His young family moved to Wairarapa - where Robert busies himself with freelance graphics projects (including clients in Silicon Valley) and indulges his other passion, aerial landscape photography (see page 28). A quieter existence, but satisfying. “It did take us a while to adjust to the country - we were the only people who honked in traffic. It’s weird - Canadians have a reputation for being polite, but I’d say Kiwis are friendlier!”

Top Spots for your Summer Nature Fix Visitors flock to Wairarapa over summer. They come for the sun and the great outdoors. Their vehicles slowly wind over the Remutaka Hill, packed with gear for adventure or a relaxing weekend at the beach. For those who live in Wairarapa, we have it all right on our doorstep. We are spoilt for choice with secluded swimming spots and plenty of bush walks, bike trails and beaches all within a short drive of our towns. Whether you have just an hour or two, a day, or a whole weekend, we’ve got you covered. Check out our favourite spots for your summer nature fix.

Ngawi, Palliser Bay.

1 - 2 HOURS: BIKE THE TRAILS If you’re short on time, take a quick bike ride on one of our town trails. Follow the trail along Masterton’s Waipoua River from Akura Road to Henley Lake, then back to Queen Elizabeth Park for an icecream under the trees. Or ride the Greytown Rail Trail through the countryside into town for a coffee and cake at one of the cafes. Masterton Recreation Trails Time: 1 hour return Location: Akura Road, Masterton Website: mstn.govt.nz/community/recreation-trail

Henley Lake, Masterton.

Greytown Rail Trail Time: 1 hour return Location: Woodside Station to Cotter Street, Greytown Website: wairarapanz.com/see-and-do/greytown-woodside-trail

HALF DAY: BUSH WALK & SWIM A short walk in the Tararua Forest Park offers respite from the sun in the cool shade of the bush. Finish off with a picnic lunch and refreshing dip in one of the nearby crystal clear rivers. Donnelly Flat Loop Walk, Holdsworth Time: 1 hour return Location: Holdsworth Road end Website: bit.ly/donnellyflat Waiohine Gorge Time: Various short walks Location: Waiohine Gorge Road end Website: bit.ly/waiohinegorge

Donnelly Flat Loop Walk, Holdsworth.


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Palliser Bay.

FULL DAY: ADVENTURE TIME If you have a whole day to spare, the Patuna Chasm Walk is perfect on a hot summer’s day and a must-do for all Wairarapa locals. Or spend the day out at Palliser Bay with a morning walk to the famous Putangirua Pinnacles and relax at the beach in the afternoon. Patuna Chasm Time: Allow 3 hours for the walk Location: Ruakokopatuna Road, Martinborough Website: patunafarm.co.nz Note: Booking required Putangirua Pinnacles and Palliser Bay Time: 2-4 hours depending on route Location: Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve, Cape Palliser Road Website: bit.ly/putangirua Beach at Ngawi.

Patuna Chasm.

OVERNIGHT: TRAMPING OR CAMPING For a longer adventure, you can’t go past an overnight stay in a bush hut or tent. Atiwhakatu Hut offers a great location for a young family’s first overnight tramp. Or choose from a range of campsites to pitch a tent for the night. Atiwhakatu Hut Time: 3 hours one way Location: Holdsworth road end Website: bit.ly/atiwhakatu Note: Booking required Camping Websites: www.wairarapanz.com/see-and-do/camping DOC Campsites: www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/ places-to-go/wairarapa

Sign at Mount Holdsworth.

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Beach Run, Riversdale Beach.

The Herd, Masterton.

Ocean View, Cape Palliser.


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Castle Rock, Castlepoint.

Castlepoint in the Winter, Castlepoint.

Around the Bend, Masterton (Double Bridges Reserve).

Wairarapa Coastline, Riversdale Beach.

Wairarapa Summer Sunset, Masterton (Double Bridges Reserve).

Spectacular aerial views of Wairarapa by local photographer Robert Brienza. See more at robertbrienza.com The Wairarapa Journal












1. Gorgeous ceramics by Rachel Bartlett. RRP from $30 and available through Facebook @rachelbartlett or at Ventana Creative Collective, Martinborough. 2. ME by Matahiwi Estate 2018 Rosé is a lovely pale pink in the glass and has aromas of strawberry and melon. Excellent on its own or with crayfish, prawns and salmon. RRP $20.99. Find it at Moore Wilson’s or Fresh Choice. More information at matahiwi.co.nz 3. Christmas is made with a real tree. Buy local at Bell’s Boutique Christmas Trees. Prices start at $75. Open weekends in December for sales at 191 Dakins Road, Gladstone. 4. Handmade in Martinborough, be happy chocolate is ethically sourced, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, raw, organic and absolutely delicious. RRP $11. Available at P&K, Martinborough. 5. Stunning Elena bowl in acqua by OggiDomani. Unique ceramic pieces combining traditional Italian design with a contemporary feel. RRP from $70. Visit oggidomani.net or the studio in Greytown.


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6. Give an extraordinary experience this Christmas - hours surrounded by beauty, creating wonderful things to eat at The Country Cooking School. Gift vouchers start from $80. More information at lavendersgreen.co.nz 7. Beautiful photographic calendar showcasing the stunning Wairarapa by award-winning photographer Rebecca Kempton. RRP $19.95. Available from bookshops, supermarkets, cafes and galleries. For a full list of stockists or to purchase online visit rebeccakempton.com 8. Unique and beautifully handcrafted rings by Mary Wall. RRP from $250. Purchase online at ventanacreativecollective.co.nz or at Ventana Creative Collective, Martinborough. 9. Thunderpants make the perfect gift. Cheeky goodness made from organic certified Fairtrade cotton and sewn right here in Wairarapa. RRP $28. Available exclusively online at thunderpants.co.nz




BUILDING B E AUTIFU L HOM ES Contact us on 06 377 4550 www.thistlebuildingcompany.co.nz HQ 72 Ngaumutawa Road, Masterton 5810


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Photo by Robert Brienza


While destination marketing is sparking imagination worldwide - Wairarapa is already on fire.

Story by Lisa Carruthers

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Place branding has become a thing - and it’s no fad. Behind it lies a whole theory and a set of principles. It is also a growing marketing sector with many companies now specialising in it, making it their job to take towns and cities, give them a narrative and then bring in economy-boosting elements such as visitors, investors and new residents. At the same time, places across the globe are realising that trading on their place name alone is no longer enough. They understand that their local economies need tourism, but for visitors to stop and stay a while they need to introduce a storyline with substance. The key to this lies in creating a distinct identity and building an authentic visitor experience. Many places are bringing in the big gun marketers; others, like Wairarapa, are doing it for themselves.

T H E E X P E R I E N C E EC O N O M Y Our Wairarapa towns are carving out their individual identities and offering visitors a genuine, distinct set of experiences. David Hancock, general manager of Destination Wairarapa understands this ‘experience economy’ and says tourism is absolutely all about experience. “It’s about providing packages to choose from; baskets of goodies that will take emotion into account and be memorable for all the right reasons. Wairarapa does this really well.” He applauds each of the towns for the great work they have done - and are still doing - in defining themselves and delivering experiences that set each of them apart. He says that data from Destination Wairarapa proves that visitors enjoy the local diversity. This is evidenced by visitor spend which reached $188.5 million for the year ending August 2018, up from $134 million four years earlier. The target is $212 million by 2025 but projections already show that this could be achieved by 2022.

I D E N T I T Y C R E AT I O N – A TA L L O R D E R David acknowledges that it’s no easy task to create a distinct local identity. “Knowing where to start, who to ask for help and working out whether you have got it right is hard to gauge but our towns have more than scratched the surface.” He says the hard work and passion of the local communities and business groups has propelled each town to a point where they know what they are about and visitors know what to expect. Adam Blackwell, owner of hand-built bicycle store, Blackwell & Sons, and the driving force behind the branding of Greytown as a country village agrees there are challenges. Trying to include everyone’s ideas is one. He says Greytown was fortunate in that the community put its trust in Greytown Village Heaven, the business group who led the branding project. “The group created a vision that would tell the Greytown story - and ultimately boost the local economy. Having the local residents trust our skills and expertise was crucial to the success of this.” Introducing change is another. “Change isn’t always easy for people to accept and we know that some of the people who came to Greytown for the quiet life have found the marketing of the town a bit difficult.” Adam adds that change is inevitable and that the advantage of the Greytown branding project is that change is being managed rather than being allowed to run wild. Adam says budget is a further challenge - in particular, managing concerns that ratepayers ultimately foot the bill. He is keen to explain that Greytown Village Heaven is entirely self-sufficient, with

Greytown is thriving off the back of its ‘village’ branding. Photograph by Rebecca Kempton.


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Booktown has given Featherston something to hang its hat off. Photograph by Katie Farman.

no ratepayer subsidies - just the funds provided by the people and businesses who believe in creating success for everyone. Greytown is now thriving off the back of its ‘village’ identity. While still technically a town, presenting Greytown as a village has created a positive emotional association for visitors and a real sense of connectedness and community for businesses and residents. And it is paying off. The main street is vibrant, business is booming (with boutique shopping a key activity) and there are more jobs for locals. Add to this a national award for being New Zealand’s 2017 ‘most beautiful small town’ and an award to Greytown Village Heaven for ‘most vibrant’ organisation at the recent Wairarapa Awards. Adam says the awards are great recognition and prove that the marketing campaign is working - and that Greytown is receiving good return on the small financial investment made.

F R O M B O O K TOW N TO FA M I LY TOW N . . . A N D E V E RY T H I N G I N B E T W E E N Featherston too has started out on the identity trail. Once perceived as the somewhat poor relation to flourishing Greytown, a few years ago Featherston residents, business groups and developers decided it was time for change. They made great progress with the development along the main thoroughfare, the building of a new supermarket and car park as well as the introduction of town features such as the Wind Grass sculpture. This, in turn, has attracted new businesses (think C’est Cheese) and, importantly, new residents to the town. But it was the Booktown opportunity four years ago that really gave Featherston a chance of making a new name for itself. Booktown is a global organisation which offers rural towns an exemplary model for self development as well as attracting tourists.

Carterton’s identity is a healthy mix of arts, culture and community. Photograph by Rebecca Kempton.

In 2015 Featherston became New Zealand’s first Booktown and in October 2018 it was awarded full membership to the International Organisation of Book Towns (IOB). Peter Biggs, chairman of Featherston Booktown, says Featherston is still creating micro-identities for itself - with the likes of speciality shops, accommodation and cooking schools - but Booktown has given the town something significant to hang its hat off. “Booktown has provided Featherston with a platform for regeneration. It has put Featherston on the literary map and the town has shifted from being a pass-through place to a destination in itself. It’s a place where people now come and stay. Booktown has made us distinct. This has led to a new influx of visitors, which is helping boost the local economy.” Peter says 5000 people attended the 2018 Booktown festival and more are expected at the 2019 event in May. He adds that Booktown also creates a fitting link to the town’s historic tales, notably the Fell Engine Museum and the WWI military training camp. “The camp was New Zealand’s largest and it saw some 60,000 men pass through between 1916 and 1918. The story of the camp is phenomenal and Booktown events lend themselves well to the narrative being told.” Martinborough’s tale is a different one in that the town started to establish a name for itself some 30 years ago when several entrepreneurial and passionate individuals realised the climate was perfect for wine growing. Martinborough then was an old service town for surrounding farms and coastal stations. Automation had rendered it nearly redundant and many considered the town a dusty backwater that would amount to nothing. This is hard to believe given Martinborough’s reputation as an upmarket get-away destination today. Home to the highly acclaimed Toast Martinborough wine festival, Martinborough is a place where visitors flock to experience everything wine-related: from winery tours to cycling through the vineyards. Conor Kershaw, member of the Martinborough Business Association, says wine is still the backbone of the community, but visitors also come to soak up the ambience and colonial charm of the town centre. He says the town is unique in that it is a destination location. “It’s not a highway town which means locals and tourists have to make a conscious decision to be part of it.”

Resting pretty much slap bang in the middle of the Wairarapa corridor means that Carterton sits at the heart of Wairarapa. It is the gateway to the Tararuas - out via Waiohine Gorge and Mount Holdsworth - and the great outdoors beyond. It’s the Daffodil Capital too - self-named so in 1995 to mark the significance of the spring bulb throughout Carterton’s history. But there’s another dimension to Carterton that is emerging - and that’s its sense of community. Carterton demonstrates ‘neighbourly’ and ‘citizenship’ very well, bringing people together from all walks of life - a likely catalyst for this being the completion of the architecturally outstanding Events Centre in 2011. Longtime Carterton resident and local councillor, Jill Greathead, agrees and says this is demonstrated by the number of active local groups and organisations - including Resilient Carterton, Wairarapa Voice, 3Mile Co-Working Community and Carterton Sports and

Queen Elizabeth Park - Masterton’s jewel.


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Recreation Trust (the group behind a $2 million sports hub proposal). “Carterton is physically distinct from the other towns and I think our identity is a healthy mix of arts, culture and community. I’d also like Carterton to be known for environmental sustainability in the future. Our wastewater project at Dalton Farm at the south end of Carterton is a great example. Here, we are discharging treated urban wastewater effluent on to the land and so keeping it away from the Mangatarere Stream that runs close by. This is helping to improve the quality of this important watercourse.” At the other end of the strip is Masterton, Wairarapa’s largest district and turnstile to the north. “Masterton is our biggest and

boldest Wairarapa town - and proud winner of New Zealand’s Most Beautiful City 2017,” says Masterton mayor, Lyn Patterson. “Historically we have grown as a service town to the rural sector to a thriving ‘little city’ full of surprises and an abundance of activities. Masterton is home to some of our biggest employers, great schools and healthcare providers - and we seem to be making a name for ourselves in the arts and innovation arena too.” From a visitor point of view, data from Destination Wairarapa positions Masterton as a ‘family town’ with lots to do from the jewel that is Queen Elizabeth Park to the Trust House Recreation Centre, Aratoi Art Gallery, movie theatres, year-round events and shopping.

Martinborough: from dusty backwater to destination location. Photograph by Rebecca Kempton.

W H O L E O F WA I R A R A PA A N D T H E S U M O F PA RTS While our individual towns are enjoying the success their identities bring, there is consensus that the region’s full potential is still to be reached. Peter Biggs believes this lies in ‘sharing more’. He says the sharing has started but that there needs to be greater connection between the towns, their events and their people. “We are all part of the visitor journey and we are all complementary. The next step in terms of marketing Wairarapa as a whole is that we all start to work together more and draw on each other’s expertise.” Conor Kershaw thinks the same. He believes there is real leverage in the towns working closer together. “We must remember that we are not in competition with each other and that we actually share the same visitors. A visitor may stay overnight in Martinborough but that same visitor will also likely stop in Featherston, take a trip to Greytown and continue on through Carterton to Masterton.” Adam Blackwell also advocates that “the power of a collective five is much more impactful than the power of five separate ones”. He says increased regional marketing and planning activity is essential to take the towns to the next level. “While there are groups and organisations who are already looking at the big picture, it would be great to have an overall plan - especially for big issues like infrastructure. We need to be able to cope with growth and increased visitor numbers over the long-term. Tourism is our ticket to improved economic prosperity. This is part of our future and we would be wise to start putting the thought into this now.” The recreation centre is part of Masterton’s draw for families. Photograph by Josepha Murray.

FLOCK TOGETHER Story and photography by Hayden Maskell

The south coast is wild and pristine, and it takes a lot of work to keep it that way.

Many people think Wairarapa starts at Featherston and moves north. In some ways, that’s a good thing, because 36 kilometres further south lies some of the region’s most pristine landscapes and secretive species. Denise and Dougal MacKenzie are venerable custodians of this wild expanse. They run Te Rakau Birding at Lake Onoke, offering tours and accommodation for keen birders, cyclists and tourists looking for the wilder parts of the south coast. They, along with many other locals, share a love of birds and a love of the area. “We have lived in the area since 1984 and we are pretty passionate about it,” says Denise. “It’s uncluttered and diverse, too.” In 1994 they purchased a block of land looking out towards the Onoke Spit and Lake Ferry in the distance. They built a home, planted

extensively and have been rewarded with peaceful, expansive gardens - and plenty of bird life. Tui flit between trees and their song mingles with that of fantails, quails and kererū. “In 2009 we set up Friends of Onoke Spit to do some predator control work and restoration,” says Denise. “The Onoke Spit is pretty important because it’s a pristine environment.” Dougal points out the various ponds and lagoons visible from their kitchen window, around which they survey frequently and spend hours setting traps for pests and predators. Over freshly baked scones he pulls out photos showing some of the country’s most endangered birds nesting near four-wheel-drive tracks. Meanwhile, Denise talks animatedly about their campaign for the Australasian bittern to be New Zealand’s Bird of the Year 2018.

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Experienced guides Dougal and Denise MacKenzie run tours and nature walks near Lake Onoke, where guests are lucky enough to see and hear some of the country’s rarest birds.

“It’s critically endangered. We want to give it a profile,” she says. “Part of our role with Friends of Onoke Spit is to educate people into being aware of birds nesting in that habitat,” explains Dougal. “They can’t just drive motorbikes and four-wheel-drives all over, or let their dogs roam off-leash, because all the chicks are vulnerable at this time.” They love to get local schools involved, too: Kahutara School and Pirinoa School both get involved for planting days in May. The area may be sparsely populated, but the sense of community spirit is strong. “We have neighbours who support us financially, such as donations to help with planting and the protection of sand dunes,” says Dougal. “Lake Onoke is very famous in Māori history, and we do a lot with the Ngāti Kahungunu iwi in regards to the wetlands.” They see the wetlands as complementary to regional counterparts Pūkaha Mount Bruce and Zealandia, and the “hard core” of 40 volunteers in the group work to keep the place as predator-free as possible. Education is a big part of the MacKenzies’ activities, but it’s also about the excitement of seeing rare species in their natural environment. “We had a gentleman from London who arrived on our doorstep at six in the morning, with a list of birds he wanted to see,” says Denise. “We dropped him back to [Wharekauhau Lodge] at six in the evening, and even then he didn’t want to stop.” “We were absolutely shattered by the end of the day,” chuckles Dougal. Descending from the house by a number of leafy trails, visitors come across three railway cars, converted by the couple into comfortable huts. In the clearing are tin sheds containing modern amenities - a flushing toilet, gas shower and even an outdoor bath tub. These serve as accommodation for tourists, and more frequently than ever, a home base for cyclists on the wilder end of the Rimutaka Cycle Trail. “About four years ago, [cyclists] made up around eight percent of our guests. Now it’s over 50 percent,” says Dougal. It’s not just birds and conservation that interest the MacKenzies, and their extensive knowledge of local history is woven into the tours, including the ones Dougal runs for the nearby Wharekauhau Lodge. “Most people think Wairarapa starts in Featherston and ends in Masterton,” says Denise. “This end of the valley is relatively unknown.” As tourist numbers grow, particularly along the cycle trail, the couple is searching for ways to share the rich history - but sometimes the wilderness has its own ideas. “It’s pretty hard to display anything along that last bit of the coast,” says Denise. “It’s pretty wild.”

Guests at Te Rakau Birding stay in converted railway carriages, complete with all the modern amenities.

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driveway route. My next bike was previously Dad's and this was the one he ran behind, holding my seat steady, as I learned to balance on two wheels. That bike was an indestructible stunt machine. A three speed metallic blue Raleigh Super 20 was my Evening Post delivery bike and a Red Healing 10 Speed was my college commuter.

I vividly remember every single one of my bikes. My first trike had a tray on the back that seemed to be custom made for my little sister’s backside, for at least one summer. I was a trike taxi driver doing the

Each of these bicycles took me on boyish adventures in the 70s and 80s all over the Hutt Valley, across the Akatarawas and Haywards Hill Road. Through Trentham Memorial Park to school. To the creek at

Dad (Bill Blackwell) around 1951 - Trentham Camp, Upper Hutt

Dad aged about four. He probably designed and made this trike himself.

Kathryn Blackwell (my Grandma), Richard Blackwell (my late Uncle Earl) & William Blackwell (Dad); circa 1947.

Shane Kelly assembles my latest pride and joy; a Pashley 150th Anniversary Brooks Roadster.

Wellington Golf Club where gigantic prehistoric eels waited to attack. To an 11 year old girl’s house (I was 10) to deliver some cheap earrings I had procured in exchange for her hand in marriage. She refused. My bicycles were freedom machines.

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Story by Erin Kavanagh-Hall. Photography by Jannelle Preston-Searle.

When it comes to stocking supermarket shelves, Melissa Philips doesn’t mess around. In fact, the co-founder of Martinborough’s Cartel Food Co made a phone call to a store manager each week for nine months - asking if he’d consider selling her company’s handmade Mexican snacks. “I’d be like, ‘Hi, just calling about the burritos again!’ You could hear him groan on the other end,” she laughs. “Eventually, we made it in.” Like the infamous crime syndicates for which their food manufacturing business is named (“it’s a bit tongue-incheek”), Melissa and husband Jason are “taking over” - dealing not in illicit substances, but in rice, beans and cheese. The couple started Cartel Food Co, specialising in frozen burritos, on relocating to Martinborough in 2014. They rented a space out the back of Providore Food and Catering, where they assembled burritos late into the night - with Melissa dashing home to breastfeed their youngest. Come 2018, Cartel Food Co products can be found in 140 supermarkets from Kerikeri to Bluff, and at convenience stores, school canteens, hotels and ski fields. Back in July, Melissa and Jason achieved their goal of selling 5,000 units per week by the end of 2018 - out of 250,000 sold overall. And, as a bonus, Cartel Food Co was a finalist in the Emerging Business Category at the 2018 Wairarapa Awards. How does a family-run start-up operating from a garage in a tiny New Zealand town compete with the Old El Pasos of the world? Good old-fashioned Kiwi “tenacity”. “We knocked on every supermarket’s door - and if they said no, we’d keep knocking,” Melissa says. “If you’re a nobody, no one’s going to take notice. For example, frozen department managers won’t display your product that properly until you deliver a large amount of sales in 70 stores. “So you have to make yourself visible and let people know you’re there.” Cartel Food Co was partly inspired by the time Jason spent in Southern California as a young man - where he ordered his “fair share of burritos”. “There were really good ones, but plenty of the crappy, dirt-cheap sort from the supermarket. But us teenagers didn’t

care. They were a staple.” Back home, Jason noticed the Mexican category in the supermarket was expanding - and the idea for his own gourmet line began to percolate. After hearing the frozen food category had become “stagnant”, he began scheming to create a high-quality microwavable burrito - an improvement on the $1.89 snacks of his youth. Melissa then quit her job in Wellington, the family moved to Wairarapa to “keep overheads down”, and got the business rolling. Literally - they hand-rolled the first 12,000 burritos themselves. After several weekends of shredding meat and stirring refried beans, Melissa and Jason’s handiwork was picked up by stores Pain & Kershaw and Moore Wilson’s. Eventually, they were able to rent a larger premises and hire a team of nine. However, they partly attribute their success to a shoestring budget at the start - learning from costly mistakes Jason admits making when starting an earlier importing business. “That taught us to be lean and mean,” Melissa says. “We packed our first burritos in food grade bags, with stickers on the front. “There was no point spending $15,000 on packaging when we hadn’t sold one burrito.” She and Jason also do regular supermarket tastings to pique customers’ interest - especially as “the freezer isn’t the sexiest area”. “On average, [customers] spend 90 seconds in the frozen food aisle but four minutes looking at the coffees,” Jason adds. “You need to give them a reason to head for the freezer. “People look a bit sceptical at first. But it’s cool to see them take a bite and change their mind.” For Jason and Melissa, the ultimate endorsement was the seal of approval from the Mexican and US ambassadors. “We met the Mexican ambassador at a tasting at Thorndon New World,” Melissa says. “He picked up a burrito and said ‘I’ll let you know if it’s good Mexican food’. He loved it. “We had a site visit from the US ambassador’s wife and, later, we got a letter from her - she wished our burritos were around to get her through college!”

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Melissa and Jason Philips, pictured above with staff, left behind their life in Wellington to start Mexican food business Cartel Food Co - inspired by Jason’s time in Southern California.


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by Nicola Belsham, Martinborough Wine Merchants

If you recall where the New Zealand wine industry was in the late 1970s, the spirits industry is riding a similar wave. Gin in particular has made a global splash as most popular spirit of the millennium. Due to its fast production when compared to wine, gin is proving good business. With its urbane following, gin has quickly gone from ‘Mother’s Ruin’ to ‘Tipple of Choice’ for the suave and sophisticated. Keeping it sophisticated in Wairarapa, we are fortunate to have two distillers. At Lighthouse Gin, Rachel Hall claims place as New Zealand’s first female distiller. Having grown up in a Greytown pub, Rachel’s background was in apple juice until 2010, when she began learning about gin distilling. Rachel now distills in a 200-litre pot still, built by a Masterton craftsman and using water transported by her truck to Martinborough from a


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natural spring at Wharekauhau. In typical Wairarapa artisan fashion, all production, bottling, labelling and packing is done by her own hand. Having just picked up the award for Best Emerging Wairarapa Business, Chris Reid adds a native twist to his gin recipe. Going bush to hand-pick manuka, kawakawa and horipito, all botanicals are steeped in base spirit to infuse a distinctive peppery note to his Reid & Reid Native Gin. Leaning on his winemaker background, Chris also produces an intensely aromatic barrel-aged gin that has benefitted from time spent in used pinot noir barrels. Chris undertakes all production, whilst brother Stew has been successful in marketing and distributing the product, to become one of New Zealand’s most exported gins. Martinborough Wine Merchants currently range over 40 New Zealandmade craft gins and spirits.

LIGHTHOUSE GIN With obvious juniper, Lighthouse Gin showcases aromatics of liquorice, orange peel and coriander to complement. Create the perfect cocktail with Bootleggers (Wellington) Pink Grapefruit Tonic, or Rachel’s preference: Fever-Tree (UK) tonic for a dry citrus boost to your G&T.

REID & REID NATIVE GIN One of our tonic matches is East Imperial Yuzu (Auckland) for a zesty lift that respects the character of Reid & Reid’s New Zealand botanicals. For a more purist pursuit, Chris prefers East Imperial’s Old World Tonic.

REID & REID DRY VERMOUTH Chardonnay-fortified and aromatised with both traditional and native botanicals, this Wairarapa vermouth has floral notes of orange, nutmeg and juniper and a lovely, long fruit-but-bone-dry flavour. Utilise for the perfect gin martini or enjoy on its own over ice and with a sprig of mint.

Gin tip: now that you have a new stash of quality craft gin for the summer, what to do with those odds and sods of pre-discovery? We’re talking about Seager’s, Gordon’s etc...well, you can still make them good! Try adding Elemental Bitters (from Marlborough). The Grapefruit and Hop Bitters will smarten up the dregs in the cupboard with pep, zest and kick!

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CO O L NEW THINGS Beg, Borrow & Brew have something new for summer: a beer/ wine hybrid! A finalist in the NZ Artisan Awards, these intriguing beverages are made using juice from either viognier or a pinot grisviognier blend. The results are dry, clean-finishing drinks that are unique and tasty alternatives to rosé or bubbles, while keeping beerdrinkers happy, too. The viognier is slightly drier and comes in at 8.6% ABV, while the viognier-pinot gris blend is a touch stronger at 10.5% ABV. This small batch brew is available from Te Kairanga’s Farmers’ Market in Martinborough and the Wairarapa Farmers’ Market in Masterton. You can also buy direct from their Norfolk Road brewery in Carterton, and enjoy live music on the lawns as part of the Sunday Slowdown sessions, which run monthly until April 2019. For more information, visit Facebook.com/BegBorrowBrew. The Top Pub (Greytown Hotel) is hosting Cider Sundays during summer. Refreshing cider is served with house-cured meats, marinated olives, mushrooms, dips and freshlymade bread. The perfect way to to share a Sunday afternoon with friends.

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SUMMER EVENTS There are plenty of wonderful events - big and small - during the Wairarapa summer. Here are some to choose from: DECEMBER Mauriceville Country Fair December 2, 2018 Stalls, fair rides, music and entertainment in classic country fair style at this annual event at Clarke Domain in Mauriceville, north of Masterton. Featherston First Fridays December 7, 2018, January 4, February 1 and March 1, 2019 The summer season of First Fridays kicks off with an artist flea market, music and the opening of the annual ‘bad art’ competition at Loco Coffee and Books. featherstonfirst.com

JANUARY Tauherenikau Races January 2 and Waitangi Day, 2019 Horse racing, free kids’ entertainment and live music. Get your family and friends together, pack a picnic, or sample the local food and wine. tauherenikau.co.nz Pick Your Own Lavender January 5,6,12,13 and 19, 20, 2019 Immerse yourself in the truly summery experience of lavender picking. Lavender Abbey in Carterton hosts ‘pick your own days’ over three weekends in January. lavenderabbey.co.nz Castlepoint Fishing Competition January 11 and 12, 2019 Wairarapa’s best anglers compete to catch the heaviest snapper, kahawai and kingfish. The competition includes kids’ fishing events. Wairarapa Country Music Festival January 11 to 13, 2019 Bevan Gardiner and Marian Burns are the headline acts at this familyfriendly festival, featuring top country and western singers. tauherenikau.co.nz Gladstonebury Festival January 20, 2019 A family festival of music, local craft, food and wine. Featuring two stages with lots of local music and performance. gladstonebury.co.nz

There’s a great range of good quality produce that has been grown, produced or sourced from the Wairarapa.

MARKETS The Wharekauhau Wine and Food Society Market is held on the first Sunday of each month in summer (until April) from 10am-1pm at the beautiful Te Kairanga Vineyard, Martinborough. The Greytown Country Market is held on the third Sunday of each month in summer (until April) from 10am-2pm at Stella Bull Park, Greytown. greytowncountrymarket.com The Carterton Farmers’ Market is held every Sunday from 9am-12.30pm, next to Memorial Square on Park Road (near the roundabout). cartertonmarket.co.nz The Wairarapa Farmers’ Market is held from 9am-1pm every Saturday behind The Farrier’s at 4 Queen St, Masterton. The Featherston Market runs every Saturday from 7.30am. Located at the back of the Lang’s Pharmacy carpark.

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Cruise Martinborough January 24 to 27, 2019 Hundreds of hot rods, muscle cars, classic cars and caravans will be on display at this annual event. Featuring twilight drags, live music, and drive-in movies. cruisemartinborough.co.nz

FEBRUARY The Martinborough Fair February 2 and March 2, 2019 One of the largest markets in Australasia, the fair has close to 500 stalls selling wonderful artwork, crafts, clothing and food. martinboroughfair.org.nz Pedal for Parkinson’s February 17, 2019 Pedal along the stunning Wairarapa east coast and raise money for Parkinson’s New Zealand in this popular fun ride. hurihuri.co.nz Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival February 22, 23 and 24, 2019 The 20th anniversary of the festival is set to be a cracker! Featuring WWI and WWII planes, helicopters, and agricultural, military and civil aircraft on display and in the skies. Food, activities and entertainment for all the family including ‘Airborne Pyrotechnics’ night show spectacular. You won’t want to miss this bi-annual event. wings.org.nz

COMING UP IN AUTUMN: Harvest Wines Festival March 9, 2019 Seventeen of Wairarapa’s finest wineries and nine restaurants and food producers will showcase their wares. Beautiful native trees and a spectacular riverside setting in Gladstone. wairarapaharvestfestival.co.nz

Country Bliss for Business or Pleasure

Golden Shears February 28 and March 1 and 2, 2019 Witness the country’s top shearers and emerging stars compete in the annual Golden Shears, an exciting, threeday international event in Masterton. Shearing, wool handling and wool pressing at its finest. goldenshears.co.nz Wairarapa Balloon Festival April 18 to 22, 2019 (Easter Weekend) Hot air balloons galore during this five-day, region-wide event with competitions and sky-high spectacles. nzballoons.co.nz Featherston Booktown May 10 to 12, 2018 Join in on a chocka-block weekend of activities, workshops, talks and readings at the fifth annual Featherston Booktown. The weekend includes a book fair, music, food and much more. booktown.org.nz

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ARTS AND PERFORMANCE DIARY Last chance to see… Minkisi - Art and Belief in West and Central Africa exhibition continues until November 25, 2018 at Aratoi in Masterton. A Photographic Essay from Uganda - Geoff Walker photography exhibition continues until November 25, 2018 at Aratoi in Masterton. That’s How the Light Gets In - Tim McMahon and Michele Usher photography exhibition continues until December 2, 2018 at Aratoi in Masterton. 100 Years, 100 Lives exhibition continues until December 9, 2018 at Aratoi in Masterton.

Ngā Aho Raranga - Textiles from the Taonga Māori Collection exhibition is on until until April 28, 2019 at Aratoi in Masterton. Mary Wall Jewellery exhibition opens on November 9, 2018 and continues until January 13, 2019 at Ventana Creative Collective in Martinborough.

Regular live

Music Gigs Balter Bar and Kitchen, Carterton, every Sunday.

Little Jewels exhibition opens on November 30 and continues until December 9, 2018 at Aratoi in Masterton. Nidito Ceramics - Carolina Vargas Gonzalez workshop is on December 1, 2018 at Ventana Creative Collective in Martinborough.

Tunes Under the Tower at Tui Brewery, Mangatainoka, on the last Sunday of the month.

See What I Can See - Gregory O’Brien and Greg Donson exhibition opens on December 8, 2018 and continues until March 31, 2019 at Aratoi in Masterton. Masterton & Me - Anna Rutherford photography exhibition opens on December 8, 2018 and continues until January 27, 2019 at Aratoi in Masterton. Anthonie Tonnon - Rail Land concert is on December 15, 2019 at Aratoi in Masterton. Departures - Rebekah Farr exhibition opens on December 15, 2018 and continues until February 3, 2019 at Aratoi in Masterton. Georgie Wiles and Bec Reilly exhibition opens on January 18 and continues until February 25, 2019 at Ventana Creative Collective in Martinborough. Frank Burkitt Band plays on January 23, 2019 at Aratoi in Masterton.

The Tin Hut, Tauherenikau, on the first Wednesday of the month.

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