The Journal ARTS, CULTURE, FOOD, EVENTS, BUSINESS AND LOCAL NEWS
Planting a Foodie Future - Coast Kids Father of Foresight, Clive Paton - KĹ?kako, the Diva Witloof - We Live Here - Eat, Drink, Do, See, Shop & Stay in Wairarapa The Saddle Builder - Buy Local - Bubble Trouble - Nature Fix
E XPER I ENC E PA L L IS E R R ID G E email@example.com WWW.PALLISERRIDGE.CO.NZ
T HE GENERA L STOR E MA RT INBO RO UGH O PE N 7 DAYS 06 306 5555 Outfit by Noa Noa
HELLO THERE Writers: Walt Dickson, Julia Mahony, Lisa Carruthers, Erin Kavanagh-Hall, Rebecca Jamieson, Amy Williams, Josepha Murray, Tony Silbery. Photographers: Lucia Zanmonti, Jannelle PrestonSearle, Rebecca Kempton, Rebecca Jamieson, Josepha Murray. Illustration and design: Geoff Francis. Advertising and distribution: Gretchen Saulbrey.
The environment, climate change, and the effects of farming and human habitation seem ever increasing in our consciousness as a nation. Arguments abound - but no matter their beliefs and values, I think most people agree protecting our environment and restoring what we can is no bad thing. The will to safeguard the planet is definitely there - but there are different ideas about whose responsibility it is, how to resource protection and restoration and,
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.
of course, how to look after the many people in Wairarapa whose livelihoods come from the land. There are a number of people who punch well above their weight in their work for our environment and protecting it for future generations. Martinborough’s Clive Paton is one such person. We meet Clive on page 22 and explore his many accomplishments. Speaking of the future and farming, we look at the growing trend towards plant-based food production on page 31 and, on page 41, we meet Pieter Solleveld, who has carved out a unique career growing a European delicacy, witloof. There are some beautiful recipes for summer salads on page 47 from Featherston’s own Michelin starred chef, Ant North. And is there a better way to celebrate the festive season than with some beautiful bubbles? We review some of the best locally-produced
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. All enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the cover: ‘Plant Power’ by Lucia Zanmonti.
sparkling wine for you on page 48. Oh, and for those of you who had the pleasure of growing up on or around coastal New Zealand, reminisce with our story ‘Coast Kids’, about growing up in coastal Wairarapa. We hope you have a safe and happy festive season and summer! Josepha and the team
IN THIS ISSUE Great Stuff
Little Local Stories
Kōkako, the Diva
Wairarapa Goodies for Christmas and Beyond
Growing Up Coastal
Father of Foresight
Eat, Drink, Do, See, Shop and Stay in Wairarapa
A Taste of What’s on Offer
Planting a Foodie Future
Visualising a More Healthful, Resilient and Eco-friendly Region
Create and Innovate
Father of Foresight
Prized Veggie Sprouts in the Dark
History and People of Wairarapa
The Saddle Builder
Food and Wine Summery Salads Wine News and Views - Bubble Trouble
Discovering Wairarapa’s Urban Nature Reserves
We Live Here
Arts and Performance Diary
Stitching Masterton Together - Heather Bannister
Kōkako, the diva
Planting a Foodie Future
great stuff Canary & Co Creative Collective [Lovely and local] Always wanting to open a store for themselves and sell handcrafted goods, Carterton residents Amelia Eve and Hayden Maskell have set up shop on the outskirts of Greytown. Their shop, Canary & Co Collective, sells mostly locally-made products with a focus on the sustainable and eco-friendly. “Often the local shops tend to stock the similar items,” Hayden says. “So we wanted to branch out and show off different products, and sell the kinds of things you can usually only buy at craft markets and fairs. “But more than that, we wanted to tap into all the passion and expertise of the locals, create a community, and have a space available for people to teach workshops and classes as well as being a venue for special markets.” We wish Amelia and Hayden the best for their new venture and will keep an eye out for events, workshops and markets. To find out more, check out canaryandco.co.nz
It’s All Go On The Buses [New connections in South Wairarapa] Thanks to Green Jersey Tours and the Martinborough Business Association, Martinborough now has a Sunday bus connection that links up with the Wairarapa train service from Wellington. Greytown also has a new bus tour that links up with the train service from Wellington, four days a week. The Greytown Country Village Heaven Tour is a full day experience, departing (and returning) from the Wellington Railway Station. The tour visits the beautiful Wairarapa towns of Greytown, Martinborough and Featherston. On the tour, you can experience a ceramic artist’s studio, gourmet chocolate, fashion, and homeware, along with lunch and a Wairarapa wine tasting at a small family-owned vineyard in Martinborough. For more information, check out greytownvillage.com
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‘Tis the season [Spreading Christmas joy]
Christmas is the season for giving - and the Wairarapa community is giving big this year. Each year, Wairarapa businesses and community groups get into the spirit, and organise Christmas gift and food drives for needy families, both locally and overseas. Masterton District Council and Connecting Communities are collecting children’s gifts, donations to a Givealittle page and food for the Masterton Foodbank in their “Te Rakau Koha” appeal. Donations can be made, and gifts placed under the big Christmas tree, at the Christmas on Queen event on December 2, 2017. The Wairarapa News has been collecting toys from readers to give to local children for over 10 years. The Wairarapa Times-Age also does its bit for the community, inviting readers to add food items to a trolley in the building’s main foyer, and put gifts under its Christmas tree. Even the young ones are as keen on giving as they are receiving. For example, children at Hadlow School fill shoeboxes with gifts, to send to children less fortunate than themselves in places such as Vanuatu. Carterton School has also supported the Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal. St
And it’s not just groups dedicated to spreading Christmas
Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Masterton hosts refugees
cheer. Last Christmas, by putting out an appeal on social
from Wellington for a weekend of Christmas celebrations,
media, Elaine Leggott of the Wairarapa Care Network
while each year Masterton Community Church hosts
collected over 100 presents for needy Masterton kids.
Room at the Inn, a community Christmas lunch, serving
She plans to do the same this year.
hot meat, veggies, and pudding to those without family on Christmas Day.
With such generous souls in Wairarapa, Christmas is looking a lot warmer and brighter for 2017.
New Eats and Drinks [Openings] Brac and Bow opened in Fitzherbert Street, Featherston, in spring. A bar and grill with a regularly fired-up pizza oven, the new eatery is proving a popular dining option for residents and visitors alike. The revamped dining room at the White Swan in Greytown has opened as The Village Wine Store. With an emporium, bar and tapas, it adds another option to Greytown’s well-known eateries. Staying in Greytown, Jack and Jill’s will transform into The Offering. Extending its opening hours for family-friendly, casual dining into the evening, it is due to open in early December. And, last but certainly not least, look out for new coffee house and cafe, Don Luciano, in Masterton and the newly refurbished Royal Hotel, in Featherston. Both are due to open in December.
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Sweet shorts [Recent awards and accolades]
Two of the four winners of the Enterprising Rural Women Awards, held in October, came from Wairarapa this year. First place in ‘The Love of the Land’ category went to our very own Tora Coastal Walk. The three-day, fully catered walk, which has now been in operation for 23 years, is set in a stunning natural landscape, incorporating hill-country farms, native bush and the rugged Tora coastline. It combines walking, fantastic Wairarapa scenery and great hospitality. Happy Belly Ferments, which produce fermented probiotic drinks (such as kombucha tea and water kefir), won in the ‘Emerging Business’ category. The businesses are two of four nationwide up for the ‘Supreme Enterprising Rural Women Award’, to be revealed in November. We feature Happy Belly Ferments’ delicious ginger beer-flavoured ‘Water Kefir’ in our Buy Local section on page 14.
Winning the best ‘Business Event’ award in the New Zealand Event Association Industry Awards was the locally organised event, Pinot Noir NZ. The awards were held in Auckland in October and the judges recognised the contribution that Pinot Noir NZ made to the nation’s economy, how it enhanced our culture, and provided attendees with an enriching and engaging experience. The Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards held last month saw Martinborough Brewery pick up a silver medal for ‘A Wee Scotch Porter’ and bronze medal for its ‘Ohio APA’. Greytown chocolate company Schoc Chocolates won a gold award for its lavender and salted caramel chocolate; two silvers for its lemon white tablet and orange and geranium stirrer; and two bronze awards for its peanut bar and Wellington tablet at the annual New Zealand Chocolate Awards, held in September.
There was another huge haul of medals for Wairarapa at the 2017 New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards in October. Juno Olives from Greytown won in the ‘Best in Boutique’ category, while the ‘Reserve Best Boutique’ winner was Blue Earth, also from Wairarapa. ‘Best Flavoured Oil’ was won by The Olive Press, also from Greytown. Loopline Olives, from Opaki, took out the 2017 ‘Supreme Best in Show’, while 44 medals (out of a total of 95) were awarded to Wairarapa producers, among them Juno Olives, and Olivo and Dali from Martinborough.
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[Recent awards and accolades continued] And what a way to round off this collection of accolades: Wairarapa is home to not only ‘The Most Beautiful Town’ but also ‘The Most Beautiful City’ in New Zealand. Greytown and Masterton won the respective titles at the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards last month. Greytown is well known for its preserved Victorian main street and, being the home of Arbor Day in New Zealand, its trees. And while Masterton is home to a number of beautiful parks and historic buildings, the title was awarded for its wide range of environmental and heritage conservation projects, and the strength of its community, which is working hard to make Masterton a safer and more beautiful place to live.
Greytown, New Zealand’s ‘Most Beautiful Town’, 2017.
Henley Lake, Masterton. Masterton is New Zealand’s ‘Most Beautiful City’, 2017.
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Splash of colour [Martinborough murals] The Kokomai Creative Festival is done and dusted for another
The mural walk also includes an eighth mural, placed outside
couple of years - but a splash of its artistic colour remains, in the
Neighbourhood Coffee and created independently of the Kokomai
form of the Marty Mural Walk.
project. Each of the businesses worked with the muralist for the
Organised by Ventana Creative Collective for the festival, the new mural walk consists of seven large pieces of street art displayed
design concept - many of them tying in with their venue’s line of work and brand.
outside various Martinborough businesses, venues and attractions.
After painting, the muralists - Wairarapa locals Tina Rae Carter,
Each mural, commissioned by the displaying businesses and
Rebekah Farr, and Andy Shaw; Wellingtonians Gina Kiel, Greta
painted by a different artist, has been placed on a map, which
Menzies and Olivia Nonoa; and Andrew Steel from Auckland - got
visitors can use while exploring Martinborough.
to chat with locals at a meet-and-greet held at Ventana.
The idea for the murals, most of which were painted during Kokomai’s opening weekend, coincided with a survey distributed
Auriga says more Martinborough murals are a future possibility. “We definitely want to add to and enlarge the map over time”.
by the Martinborough Community Board, asking for suggestions on further “beautifying” the town. One of the ideas explored as part of the survey was street art, Ventana co-ordinator Auriga Martin says. “We thought it was good timing - we could do something fun for Kokomai, and also create a more vibrant Martinborough. The murals add a bit of extra colour,” Auriga says. “Plus, it’s another activity people can do when they’re out and about in town. They can add it to our wine-tasting map.” The murals can be viewed at Pain & Kershaw, Thunderpants, Margrain, Palliser, Ata Rangi and Te Kairanga vineyards, and on Ohio Street.
Left: Greta Menzies paints at Thunderpants. Above: Rebekah Farr at Margrain Vineyard. Below: Andy Shaw at Ata Rangi Vineyard. Opposite page (clockwise): Dusty and Lulu’s mural at Neighbourhood Coffee; Rebekah Farr’s finished mural at Margrain Vineyard; Andrew Steel’s mural at Te Kairanga Coffee; and Tina Rae Carter’s mural at Palliser Estate. On page 11 (clockwise): the finished murals at Ata Rangi Vineyard and Thunderpants; Olivia Nonoa’s mural at the Ohio Street shops; and Gina Kiel’s mural at P&K Martinborough. A map and more information about the artists and murals can be found at ventanacreativecollective.co.nz
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WA I R A R A PA W I L D L I F E
Kōkako THE DIVA
As befits any diva, kōkako have an air of mystery and unapproachability. Story by Tony Silbery and Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Theirs is a venerable lineage, stretching back to an early stage
previously untested for kōkako, called ‘hard release’ - where
of evolution. Along with distant cousins the huia (sadly no
birds are released into their new habitat immediately on arrival,
longer with us) and the saddleback, kōkako are part of the
with no time to become accustomed to their new surroundings.
ancient wattlebird family (Callaeidae), present back when
This is now an integral part of kōkako management.
dinosaurs walked the land and New Zealand was part of
Research before the first kōkako release into Pukaha
the Gondwana supercontinent, some 80 million years ago.
indicated that intensive pest control for about a decade would
New Zealand wattlebirds have no living relatives, and their
see a sustainable population of 25 pairs establish. As it turned
taxonomic relationships to other birds are difficult to define,
out, the maths was just about spot on, with 32 pairs found in
even with modern DNA investigative techniques.
2016, 13 years after that first release.
The kōkako, voted New Zealand’s Bird of the Year in 2016,
These days, Pukaha positively rings with the kōkako’s
is attractive as it is mysterious - a smoky blue-grey in colour,
distinctive call - easily the bird’s most enchanting characteristic.
with black legs and bill, and a black Zorro-like “mask”. The
These calls have been described with a baffling array of words:
North Island kōkako are distinguishable by cobalt blue wattles
“majestic”, “haunting”, “mournful”, “organ-like”, “flute-like”
under the throat, while their South Island relatives have orange
would be among the more common. None of these does justice
wattles. South Island kōkako, are believed to be extinct - though
to the reality of a sound that can fill the air and seem to arrive
some swear they have heard their haunting song in the bush.
from all directions. Ever the diva, the kōkako begins a dawn
Similar to the other wattlebirds, the kōkako is a poor flier,
chorus performance by opening its wings, and fluffing its tail.
preferring to use its long, powerful legs for leaping from branch
It will then make some quiet buzzing sounds, before beginning
to branch. As Māori legend would have it, the kōkako provided
its song. As the notes hang in the air, another kōkako will answer.
aid to Maui as he slowed the sun, offering him water stored in
As part of their “pair bond” and to defend their territory, the
its wattle. The demi-God rewarded the benevolent creature by
male and female will sing together, often in perfect harmony,
making its legs long and slender, allowing it to bound through
for up to half an hour. And they say romance is dead!
the forest to find food.
With a voice of such strength and purity, it is no surprise
As with many of New Zealand’s ancient inhabitants, kōkako
Dame Malvina Major agreed to be patron of the national
were affected by the arrival of humans and their attendants (such
Kōkako Recovery Programme, an initiative so successful that
as ship rats, possums and feral cats), their population relegated
North Island kōkako are no longer a threatened species. The
to a fraction of its original range. One key to the recovery of the
Department of Conservation’s latest threat classification places
species by conservationists was to be a series of transfers into
them in the “Recovering, conservation dependent” category.
mainland areas where numbers of key pests such as possums,
Even now, more people have heard kōkako at the Westpac
rats and stoats could be lowered, allowing kōkako to thrive. This
Stadium than in its natural home. During the Wellington Sevens,
coincided with the first steps toward pest control at Pukaha
each new game was heralded with its call. Though the Sevens,
Mount Bruce. Eventually a healthy and sustainable population
and likely its bird call, met the oblivion that kōkako so narrowly
of kōkako became a goal of the Pukaha restoration project.
missed, we’re lucky to have that magnificent sound greet each
Pukaha’s project, beginning in 2003, involved a technique,
dawn in Wairarapa.
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Handcrafted leather â€˜Leaf â€™ earrings in silver by Odi Boutique Jewellery. RRP $37. Stockists include Hebe Boutique, P&K General Store, The Village Art Shop, The Land Girl and Nirvana Interiors.
Handpainted Marguerita bowl in red by OggiDomani. Unique and beautiful ceramic pieces combining traditional Italian design with a contemporary feel. RRP from $70. Visit oggidomani.net or the studio in Greytown.
Celebrate in style with Columbine Methode Traditionelle 2013 (limited release). RRP $39. Find it at Martinborough Wine Merchants or online at brodieestate.co.nz
Unique box artworks from Wairarapa-based artist Gavin Chilcott. RRP $200 (small) and $300 (medium). Available from Aratoi Museum of Art and History, Masterton.
Thunderpants make the perfect gift! Made from organic cotton and sewn right here in Wairarapa. RRP $28. Available at P&K Martinborough and thunderpants.co.nz
Beautiful photographic calendar showcasing the stunning Wairarapa, by award winning photographer Rebecca Kempton. RRP $19.95. Available at bookshops, supermarkets, cafes and galleries. For a full list of stockists and to purchase online visit rebeccakempton.com
Rich and evocative original painting ‘Llama City’ by Janie Nott. RRP $590. Framing, original artwork and a great selection of gifts and artist supplies available at The Village Art Shop and villageart.co.nz
Pure Wairarapa Gift Box bursting with fantastic local Wairarapa products. The perfect Christmas pressie! Gift boxes and baskets start from $55. See the range, or get in contact to create your own at purewairarapa.co.nz
NZ Farm Girl gumboot socks are made from a blend of wool and nylon to make them durable and warm. RRP from $20. Farm tested by girls for girls and in pink or purple in both girls’ and women’s sizes. Available at nzfarmgirl.nz
Happy Belly Ferments ginger beer flavoured Water Kefir is a little spritzy; like summer; with hints of ginger, lime, elderberry and lemon. Refreshing and delicious. RRP $13.90. Find at Martinborough Wine Merchants and Moore Wilson’s.
Send some happy mail with the seasonal range from Sidonie’s Kitchen. Delicious personalised biscuits that are delivered nationwide from $14.99. Order online at sidonieskitchen.co.nz
Christmas is made with a real tree, so buy local at Bell’s Boutique Christmas Trees. Prices start at $60. Find them on Facebook @bellsboutiquetrees. Open weekends in December for sales at 191 Dakins Road, Gladstone. He Putiputi (Māori for flowers) is an online flower delivery business based in Carterton that creates contemporary style flower bouquets for $35 with free delivery to Wairarapa towns. Order online at heputiputi.co.nz
Kupeâ€™s Sail rock formation, both precarious and majestic.
Story by Amy Williams Photography by Jannelle Preston-Searle
Bulldozers happy in their retirement as beasts of burden for the local fishermen.
As I drive towards Cape Palliser there is a poetry of names that
been there and in a way they had. The remnants of pre-European
takes me home. Names of farms, hills and rivers that create a
gardens peek through the ground as a reminder that this place has
rhythm as each one passes, calling me closer to the sea - Pirinoa,
been farmed since well before the landing of the first sheep. Stone
Whakatomotomo, Whangaimoana, Hurupi. Some of the names
lines stretch out to the horizon, marking the edges of garden beds
claim their space as if there has only ever been one - The Castle,
and territories. As children, they made for the best BMX tracks;
The Pinnacles, The Washpool. We summed it all up by simply
as adults a solemn reminder we are only here for a moment.
saying â€˜The Coastâ€™. The rugged landscape tumbles down to the sea - to a bay that wraps around itself as far as you can see.
a world where kids with imagination were king. We were continually exploring, with bivouacs cobbled together in the
As coast kids, this was home. A red and cream Bedford bus
tawini undergrowth. Imaginary townships sprang up as the
drove us the 45 minutes inland each day to Pirinoa School, but
network grew, and we encouraged our friends to make their own
our heart lived at the beach. We came from families that farmed,
when they came to visit. Shiny patches of flattened grass lined the
fished, and simply wanted to get away from it all.
hillside where we slid down in our smooth bottomed fish bins.
Everywhere there are reminders that this place is older than
Games often consisted of daring each other to launch from higher
your imaginings. There was something to learn everywhere and
and higher up on the hills, always on the lookout for the sheep
we were encouraged by parents who asked us to look closer.
tracks that would leave us tumbling head first.
Where else could you park a car on the side of the road and let
To the untrained eye, the landscape looks unforgiving.
children climb cliff faces, looking for fossils? Dinosaurs paled
The trees cling to the sides of windswept hills and even the
in comparison to real shell fossils in papa cliffs that washed out
kowhai becomes dwarfed and prone to share the space with us.
of the grey mudstone after each storm. Sometimes, the rocks
For us, the coast kids, it was home, a place where imaginations
offered up fossilised whale bones in their freshly eroded faces.
could grow. I count it as a privilege to have been able to grow
The lower paddocks stretch out to the sea with patterns of stone that we took for granted. They look like they had always
After school explorations of hillsides and valleys created
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up here and even more of a privilege to be able to share it, unchanged, with my children.
Shearing sheds, the hub of the agricultural industry.
Generations of names inscribed on woolshed walls, marking all who worked there.
Naturalised echuims, garden escapees dotting the coast.
View towards the Mangatoetoe, from the base of Kupeâ€™s Sail.
The Wairarapa Journal
Bicycles, love and � joys of simplicity When you see genuine joy on the face of the person you love the most, and it comes from an action you have instigated, well, there’s nothing that can replicate that. Several years ago, I was facing the dilemma of finding a perfect gift for my wife as we celebrated our first
Millie and Adam Blackwell on their wedding day at their Greytown home.
Christmas together as a couple. Lots of self-imposed pressure! Millie loves handmade items that have a history and story behind them and she is a lady in every old-fashioned sense of the word. That’s a good starting point in narrowing down the options.
Thanks to a business trip to the UK, I discovered Pashley in Stratford-UponAvon was one of the last companies in England still hand-making beautiful traditional bicycles. The components had been updated with modern technology but the design and craftsmanship to make them had remained the same since the 1930s. After a few phonecalls and emails to Pashley, a stunning Red Pashley Britannia was on its way to the opposite side of the world. The bicycle remained hidden at my office until I could sneak it into our house, put a bow on it and get it ready for the big day. Christmas morning dawned. Millie awoke, saw her new Pashley and instantaneous, audible joy filled the house. Within minutes, I was jogging along beside her as she cycled her way around Wellington’s Oriental Parade on a perfect blue sky morning. Heads turned. Questions were asked. ‘What is that bicycle and where did you get it?’ That’s what started it all. Today, we have a little shop and gallery in Greytown that offers the full range of Pashley bicycles to romantics like us all over New Zealand. Bill Blackwell, my father, helps assemble and maintain the bicycles. It’s a real family operation. And most days, we get our Pashleys out and simply go somewhere, like our lovely village cafes or shops, a nearby picnic spot or to visit our local friends. Without fuss, or extreme speed or form-fitting lycra. We know our Pashley bicycles have helped us slow down and appreciate the simple joys of living at a pace that reflects what’s important to us as a couple. Isn’t it funny how something as simple as a bicycle can change your life for the better?
Adam Blackwell, Proprietor
101 Main Street Greytown, South Wairarapa www.blackwellandsons.nz
Itâ€™s not every day you come across someone who is looking ahead 200 - 250 years, the time it takes to regrow a forest. But Clive Paton is not your everyday kind of man. Story by Lisa Carruthers Photography by Jannelle Preston-Searle
Future-proofing for the long-term
His other ambition is to establish a native timber forestry
Clive Paton is a man with a double, if not triple, dose of foresight.
operation. Many of the eucalypt species he is planting yield a high
When he thinks about the future he doesn’t stop at 10 or 20 years.
quality, ground-durable timber and Clive foresees that, in time,
He goes beyond his own, his daughters’ and even his grand-
this timber can be harvested for building. He explains that certain
children’s life expectancies, and projects his thinking to a future
eucalypts can also be used for vineyard posts. Their durability
that none of us will ever know - and few of us will ever contemplate.
and resistance to rot means they could provide a future, organic
While most of us struggle to get our heads around what the next
alternative to the CCA (copper chromium arsenate) treated wood
five years will hold, Clive, with the help and support of friends and
that is in widespread use today.
family, is quietly shaping the outlook for the year 2250. Driven
Clive sees no reason why Wairarapa couldn’t be producing
by a calm determination to right the unknowing wrongs of the
substantial volumes of organic, untreated eucalyptus fence and
pioneers of the past, he is committed to doing his bit to future-
vineyard posts within the next 20 or so years.
proof the environment. “His bit” is planting trees - and so far he’s planted over 60,000. “I’ve studied the disastrous impacts on wildlife that our forefathers unwittingly made when they came and cleared away the forests,” he says. “They had no idea how logging and burning would change New Zealand’s future ecology. They didn’t know the vital role that our trees played in providing food for our birdlife, and they didn’t think about renewing timber sources when they ramped up exports of kauri in the mid-1800s.” It is Clive’s belief that because we now know the detrimental effects of deforestation and the introduction of predators, we have the opportunity to redress the balance. He is currently planting out a 120 acre bush block 17kms
This isn’t the first time Clive has helped change the course of local land use - and industry. Clive is the founder of Martinborough’s Ata Rangi Vineyard, one of New Zealand’s revered makers of Pinot Noir. It was down to Clive’s innate foresight, coupled with his natural instinct for opportunity, that saw him standing in the middle of Martinborough, then a dusty and barren backwater, thinking about the future potential of the town. That was back in June 1980; a time when the township was fading away. Martinborough was originally established as a service town for the outer-lying sheep farms stretching out to the coast. Farming in the immediate area had never taken off due to
south of Martinborough, with a mixture of indigenous trees - rata,
the rough, stony ground and clay covered hills. Low rainfall, hot
pohutukawa and totara - as well as “trees for purpose”, including
summers and dry winds also prevented the early settlers from
a range of the non-native eucalypt species. Clive’s main goal is to
cultivating the land, since cropping and grazing were impossible
return a large part of the block (which has been covenanted to the
under the conditions.
Department of Conservation (DOC)) to natural forest, a task that will take a minimum of 200-250 years.
Sitting off the beaten track with diminishing importance due to mechanisation and agricultural automation which lessened
Pinot Noir vines thrive in Martinborough’s hot, dry climate.
The Wairarapa Journal
reliance on the town’s trades and services, Martinborough was struggling economically. People were starting to leave and few newcomers were moving in. Ten months earlier in late 1979, Mayor Dawson Wright had called a meeting to discuss how the town could be saved. Clive read about the meeting and learned of the work of soil scientist Dr Derek Milne who had prepared a report for the then Government on the potential of Martinborough for viticulture, in particular for Pinot Noir. The report stated that the Martinborough climate was similar to the Burgundy region of France. This struck an immediate chord with Clive who had already developed an interest in wine, inherited from his father who had served in Italy’s wine growing regions during World War II. “I was sharemilking in Kahutara at the time, but was looking for a challenge,” Clive says. “I was curious about the plight of Martinborough and intrigued by Dr Milne’s soil and climate report. I knew that Martinborough would need to embrace its climate and think innovatively about what industry would best suit the land. I realised after reading Derek’s findings that growing grapes was the obvious answer.” Aged 29, Clive bought a five hectare block of free-draining stony land near the
WALKING, TALKING, TASTING WINE AMONGST THE VINES BEHIND THE SCENES
northern edge of the town, and began planting out 5,000 Pinot Noir vines. He extended his love of planting by developing shelterbelts around the property, as well as shade trees and copses of natives throughout the winery.
Conservationist at heart
“I’ve always had a love of nature and an appreciation of trees and birds even before I was aware of their environmental importance,” he says. “In my early 20s, I would devour each issue of the Forest and Bird magazine, thanks to my aunt who would send me her own copy every month.” You could say Clive was a conservationist way before conservation was ‘a thing’.
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He was caring for the environment before it was deemed necessary, and well ahead of the term becoming part of today’s zeitgeist. “I guess I’ve been a conservationist in my heart, all my life. I believe we need to observe and learn. Through the generations, we have watched the lands being cleared and we have watched the devastation wrought by introduced predators - possums, rats, stoats and ferrets. We have finally learned that the land has no protection without trees, and that our birdlife cannot thrive while it is prey to other creatures.” Clive is a supporter of the Predator Free New Zealand 2050 programme, facilitated by DOC. “DOC’s programme aims to rid New Zealand of these predators altogether. It is an ambitious task and hugely challenging. This is the only way we will ever halt the extinction of many of our endangered species, and it is our only hope of increasing our bird numbers.” Clive adds that community participation is vital to the success of the programme. There is now a large predator control operation in place in South Wairarapa, run by local volunteers including landowners, local Lions clubs, a mountain running group and interested individuals from the Wellington and Rangitikei areas. Preserving heritage and culture
Project Crimson is another initiative with which Clive and the Ata Rangi family is involved. Volunteer-led, Project Crimson seeks to restore pohutukawa and rata (better known as New Zealand’s native Christmas trees) to our forests. Both species were in decline until planting commenced in earnest in 1990. Ata Rangi has since named its ‘Crimson’ Pinot Noir after the project to help raise awareness. It also supports the project with an annual donation and helps out on planting days.
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through Ata Rangi during the first few years of establishing the vineyard. He and the team have watched anxiously as spring frosts have slashed yields in half, and waited patiently for ripening when summer temperatures have been lower than average. “Climate change is just another excuse for me to plant more trees,” he jokes, before adding that if climate change predictions become reality, and if Wairarapa is set to become more like Hawke’s Bay, we need to start thinking about irrigation now. “If Wairarapa warms up and becomes drier, as estimated by NIWA, it makes sense for us to think about how land use might change again. Importantly, we need to think about what will facilitate such a change.” For Clive, with his immense foresight, investment in water storage and distribution systems is part of the answer. “We have good water here but without the means to harvest and share it, Wairarapa won’t be able to diversify if climatic conditions so prevail. Without irrigation, we as a region won’t be able to go to that next level of, say, growing high value crops on a commercial scale.” A sense of selflessness
Clive acknowledges the importance these trees play in terms of our heritage and culture. “Besides their beauty, they feed the native birds, they provide the pollen for great bush honey and Māori have used them through the ages to make medicinal remedies.” So passionate is he about re-establishing rata in inland areas that he propagates his own cuttings. He has over 1,000 young plants in his nursery and, having spent 15 years planting the species, estimates that he has dug-in over 1,500 individual rata trees. Clive also plays an active part in the Aorangi Restoration Trust. A long-term trust member, Clive is chairman of the group which aims to return the birdsong to Aorangi Forest Park and surrounding areas, as well as improve the forest’s biodiversity. Research and common sense
All of the work Clive is involved in draws on scientific research studies. He works closely with the likes of DOC, the University of
Alongside Clive’s mission, there also lies a personal quest to leave a lasting legacy. He tells the story of how he grew up with high hopes of taking over the family farm in Waikato, only to be disappointed when his grandfather died unexpectedly and the property was sold for family reasons. “I was devastated. I loved that farm, I loved the place. I had worked on the farm as a child and, up until then, all I ever wanted was to stay there.” From that day, Clive resolved that whatever he did in life he would create something he could pass down to his children. “I wanted our children to at least have the option of taking over the family business. I didn’t ever want them to feel the disappointment I had felt. I knew that the children might not want to be involved, but the day I invested in Martinborough I secretly hoped they would.” It’s 37 years since Clive first started planting vines at Ata Rangi.
Wellington, and TBfree NZ, as well as local and regional councils.
He says he is lucky to be doing what he loves, but he takes joy in
But he also draws on his own observations. He’s aware the
the fact that he is “doing his bit” for his country - and his family.
climate is no stable force. He witnessed El Nino, which blew
Recognition for which, he says, is not important.
Inspired by you, designed for you.
Eat and drink: Main Street Deli, 88 Main St, mainstdeli.co.nz Village Wine Store at The White Swan, 109 Main St, whiteswangreytown.com Greytown Hotel, 33 Main St, greytownhotel.co.nz Salute Tapas, Bar and Restaurant, 83 Main St, salute.net.nz Brasserie 74, The Hub on Main St Cuckoo Pizza, 128 Main St
Eat and drink: Balter Bar and Kitchen, 9 High St North, balter.co.nz Clareville Bakery, 3340 State Highway 2, theclarevillebakery.co.nz Gladstone Vineyard, Gladstone Rd, gladstonevineyard.co.nz Regent 58 Brewery and Alehouse, Stubbs Lane, regent58.co.nz
Do: Cobblestones Museum, 169 Main St, cobblestonesmuseum.org.nz Fantail Grove Tastings and Farm Tours, 179 Bidwills Cutting Road, fantailgrove.co.nz Juno Olive Tours and Tastings, 1931 State Highway 2, juno-olives.co.nz Greytown Country Village Heaven Tour, greytownvillage.com Shop: Tapestry, 86 Main St Village Art Shop, 98 Main St, villageart.co.nz The Lolly Jar, 100 Main St, thelollyjar.net.nz Blackwell and Sons, 101 Main St, blackwellandsons.nz Linarte Lifestyle Store, 108 Main St, linarte.co.nz The Design Library, 115 Main St, thedesignlibrary.co.nz Jet Fabric and Haberdashery Emporium, 130 Main St Hall Designer Clothing, 132 Main St, hallnz.co.nz Schoc Chocolates, 177 Main St, schoc.co.nz Oggi Domani Ceramics, 157 West St, oggidomani.net Merino Kids, The Hub on Main St, merinokids.co.nz Encore Designer Recycle, The Hub on Main St Deluxe, The Hub on Main St Taylor Road Homewares, The Hub on Main St, taylorroad.co.nz Canary & Co Artists Collective, 2595 State Highway 2, canaryandco.co.nz
Do: Waiohine Gorge, Waiohine Gorge Rd, doc.govt.nz Wairarapa Garden Escape Tour, wellingtonsightseeingtours.co.nz Rivenrock Mountain Bike Park, 217 Mt Holdsworth Rd, rivenrockmtb.co.nz Stonehenge Aotearoa, 51 Ahiaruhe Road, stonehenge-aotearoa.co.nz Daysh House and Historic Gardens, 393 Chester Rd, dayshhouse.co.nz Awaiti Gardens, Chester Rd, awaitigardens.co.nz Fensham Reserve, Cobden Rd, forestandbird.org.nz Shop: Take Note and Pick a Lily Florist, 80 High St Almo’s Books, 42 High St, almobooks.co.nz Paua World, 54 Kent St, pauaworld.com Clareville Nursery, 3348 State Highway 2 Stay: Casita Flora Homestay, 19 Park Rd, casitaflora.co.nz Cottier Estate, 290 Dakins Rd, Gladstone Belfry Villa, 16 Howard St, belfryvilla.co.nz
Stay: The White Swan, 109 Main St, whiteswangreytown.com Greyfriars Motel, 138 Main St, greyfriars.co.nz Briarwood, 21 Main St, briarwoodgreytown.co.nz Shy Cottage and Piquillo Apartment, 39 Main St, shycottage.co.nz For multiple holiday home options check out holidayhouses.co.nz and bookabach.co.nz and for more information on Greytown visit greytownvillage.com
FEATHERSTON Eat and drink: Baker, 33a Fitzherbert St (behind the Pharmacy) C’est Cheese, 19 Fitzherbert St Everest Cafe, 21 Fitzherbert St Brac & Bow Eatery and Bar, 29 Fitzherbert St Sweet and Salty, 11 Daniell St Do: The Country Cooking School, 298 Underhill Rd, lavendersgreen.co.nz Fell Locomotive Museum, Lyon St, fellmuseum.org.nz Saturday Farmers Market, 33 Fitzherbert St Tauherenikau Races, State Highway 2, tauherenikau.co.nz Shop: Mr Feathers Den and Sweet - Kitchen & Delights, 19 Fitzherbert St The Colonial Trading Company, 50 Fitzherbert St, colonialtrading.co.nz Monsieur Fox, 93 Fitzherbert St EscVelocity, 74 Fox St Stay: Underhill Cottage, 89 Underhill Rd, underhillcottage.co.nz Little Branches Cottages, 42 Moroa Rd, littlebranches.com The Cook's Loft, 298 Underhill Rd, lavendersgreen.co.nz
NGAWI, CAPE PALLISER & TORA Eat and drink: The Land Girl, 2779 Lake Ferry Rd, Pirinoa Lake Ferry Hotel, 2 Lake Ferry Rd, lakeferryhotel.co.nz Do: Tora Coastal Walk, toracoastalwalk.nz Fishing at Ngawi, Lake Ferry, Ocean Beach and Tora Palliser Ridge Farm Tours, 226 Te Rata Rd, palliserridge.co.nz Putangirua Pinnacles, Cape Palliser Rd, doc.govt.nz Cape Palliser Lighthouse and seals, Cape Palliser Rd, wairarapanz.com Stay: Longspur Eco Cottage, 763 Tora Rd, holidayhouses.co.nz Gray Bach - Ann’s Abodes, 2 Ben Avon Grove, holidayhouses.co.nz Waimeha Cabins, 2805 Cape Palliser Rd, Ngawi, waimehacamping.co.nz
A little taste of what’s on offer...
For multiple holiday home options and baches dotted along the coastline check out holidayhouses.co.nz and bookabach.co.nz
EKETAHUNA, MANgaTAINOKA & PAHIATUA Eat and drink: Tui Brewery Kitchen, Beer Tastings and Brewery Tours, Mangatainoka, tuihq.co.nz The Lazy Graze, 40 Main St, Eketahuna Red Chillies, 92 Main St, Pahiatua Do: Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre and Cafe, State Highway 2, pukaha.org.nz Eketahuna - Mellemskov Musuem, 16 Bengston St, Eketahuna Cwmglyn Farm and Middleton Model Railway, Eketahuna, cwmglyn.co.nz Stay: Eketahuna Camping Ground, Stout St, eketahunacamp.com Otapawa Farmstay, Haunui Rd, Eketahuna, otapawafarmstay.co.nz Annie’s Log House, 553 Mangaroa Rd, Eketahuna, anniesloghouse.co.nz
MASTERTON Eat and drink: Paper Road Winery, Wingate Rd, paperroad.co.nz Ten O’Clock Cookie Bakery Cafe, 180 Queen St, tenoclockcookie.co.nz Cafe Strada, 232 Queen St, cafestrada.co.nz Tripoli Bistro, 452 Queen St, tripoli-bistro.co.nz Do: Aratoi - Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, Bruce St, aratoi.org.nz The Wool Shed - Museum of Sheep and Shearing, Dixon St, thewoolshednz.com Queen Elizabeth Park, Dixon St, mstn.govt.nz The Alpaca Place, 365 Bluff-Rangitumau Rd, thealpacaplace.co.nz The Pointon Collection, 68 Mckinstry Ave, pointoncollection.co.nz Vintage Aviator Museum, South Rd, thevintageaviator.co.nz Shop: The Whole Nine Yards, 209 Chapel St, thewholenineyards.co.nz Hebe Designer Boutique, 437 Queen St, hebeboutique.com Churchfields, 440 Queen St, churchfields.co.nz Hedley’s Booksellers, 150 Queen St, hedleysbooks.co.nz Stay: Copthorne Solway Park, High St, solway.co.nz Llandaff Country Residence, 183 Upper Plain Rd, llandaff.co.nz Dursley Garden B&B, Bideford Rd, wairarapanz.com
MARTINBOROUGH Eat and drink: Palliser Estate, 96 Kitchener St, palliser.co.nz Neighbourhood Coffee House, 4 Memorial Square, intheneighbourhood.co.nz Cafe Medici, 9 Kitchener St, cafemedici.co.nz Poppies Martinborough, 91 Puruatanga Rd, poppiesmartinborough.co.nz Tirohana Estate, 42 Puruatanga Rd, tirohanaestate.com Martinborough Brewery, 10 Ohio St, martinboroughbeer.com Do: Martinborough Wine Walks, 6 Kitchener St, martinboroughwinemerchants.com Olivo Tours and Olive Oil Tastings, 136 Hinakura Rd, olivo.co.nz Mural Walk, ventanacreativecollective.co.nz Wairarapa Quad Adventures, wairarapaquads.co.nz Martinborough Gourmet Wine Tour, tranzittours.co.nz Green Jersey Cycle Tours, 16 Kitchener St, greenjersey.co.nz Patuna Chasm, Haurangi Rd, patunafarm.co.nz Shop: P&K General Store, cnr Jellicoe St and Memorial Square, pandk.co.nz Martinborough Wine Merchants, 6 Kitchener St, martinboroughwinemerchants.com Soeur of Martinborough, 4 Kitchener St, soeurdesign.com Ventana Creative Collective, 8 Kitchener St, ventanacreativecollective.co.nz Peonies of Martinborough, 9 Kitchener St, peonieshomeandliving.co.nz Stay: Aylstone Boutique Retreat, 19 Huangarua Rd, aylstone.co.nz The Old Manse, 19 Grey St, oldmanse.co.nz Martinborough Top 10, 10 Dublin St West, mtop10.nz Corner Cottage, Cork St, bookabach.co.nz River’s Edge Retreat, 307 Ruakokoputuna Rd, canopycamping.co.nz. For multiple holiday home options try ‘Go To Martinborough’ gotomartinborough.co.nz and, for more information on Martinborough, check out martinborough-village.co.nz and discovermartinborough.co.nz
TINUI, RIVERSDALE & CASTLEPOINT Eat and drink: Tinui Tearooms, 24 Charles St, Tinui About Thyme Coffee Shop, Bodle Drive, Riversdale Beach Castlepoint Beach Store, 46 Jetty Rd, castlepointstore.co.nz Do: Deliverance Track to Castle Rock and Castlepoint Lighthouse Castlepoint Tours, castlepointtours.co.nz Fishing at Castlepoint, Flat Point, Mataikona and Riversdale Swimming and surfing at Riversdale Beach, Bodle Drive, slsnz.org.nz Riversdale Beach Golf Club, Pinedale Cres, riversdalebeachgolfclub.co.nz Orui Coastal Walk, Riversdale, oruiwalk.co.nz Stay: Bach No.5 at Riversdale, 5 Blue Pacific Parade, holidayhouses.co.nz Rawhiti Luxury Retreat, Mataikona Station, bookabach.co.nz Glenburn Station, Glenburn Rd, Te Wharau, glenburnstation.co.nz For multiple holiday home options and baches dotted along the coastline check out holidayhouses.co.nz and bookabach.co.nz
For more information on travelling to Wairarapa, check out Destination Wairarapa at wairarapanz.com, and for more places to stay visit holidayhouses.co.nz and bookabach.co.nz
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The Wairarapa Journal
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PLANTING A FOODIE FUTURE Story by Erin Kavanagh-Hall Photography by Lucia Zanmonti
It’s no secret Wairarapa loves its animals. With renowned producers of paddock-to-plate beef, award-winning butchers, and a burgeoning artisan cheese industry, there’s no shortage of quality tucker in our corner of the globe. But even this carnivorous region has caught on to the phenomenon of plant-based eating - one of the most popular dietary trends of the last few years. With walnut burgers on the menu in Greytown, pea-based cheese on supermarket shelves, and a plethora of organic veggies at markets, there are plenty of options for those preferring more vegetal fare. Is it time for Wairarapa to diversify its food production, and head away from lamb shanks towards legumes and grains? Here we meet some Wairarapa growers who visualise a more healthful, resilient and eco-friendly region. Customers hang out on the back lawn at Food Forest Organics at lunchtime.
An organic empire
Far from experiencing backlash in an area for which pastoral
On Greytown’s main street sits the over 130-year-old Baillie House.
farming contributes to a fair chunk of its economy, the store has
Once home to Scottish settler James Baillie, who reportedly
gained a loyal customer base - happy to sample a lentil curry, or
discovered gold in a well nearby, the heritage building houses
“Not Meat” burger. Clear favourites are the chickpea, walnut, and
Food Forest Organics - a treasure trove of organic and vegan products, sourced from all over New Zealand. Chia cereals, quinoa
black bean and beetroot patties. “We were very pleasantly surprised,” Maxine says. “We’ve had
spaghetti, coconut yoghurt, and salami and smoked salmon made
people tell us they come to Greytown just to have lunch here - it’s
from dried soy, soya sauce and carrot, to name but a few.
at the top of their list of cafes.”
Though one thing the store can never seem to get hold of is Sunfed Meat’s “Chicken Free” chicken, produced in Auckland.
Clean and green?
“It’s made from pea protein, but it tastes exactly the same,” A sharper environmental conscience is one of the main drivers Food Forest Organics marketing manager Maxine Yule says. behind the popularity of plant-based food, Chris says. “Apparently, it sells out at the supermarkets within days.” The store’s most popular items are probably the mozzarella
about the effect of pastoral agriculture on New Zealand’s
and parmesan crafted from pea and maize starch in Grey Lynn,
supposed “clean, green” environment. According to Ministry
Maxine’s partner (in business and life) Chris Lester says.
for the Environment data, pastoral farming has intensified since
“People like their cheese - that’s one thing they might find hard to give up. So, they’re happy there are tasty alternatives.” Food Forest Organics is the “shop front” for Cameron
the early 1890s - with cattle numbers and weight increasing, while pastoral land availability has decreased. This results in “intensive agriculture”; farming with higher levels of output per
Family Farms - an organic arable operation east of Greytown,
unit of agricultural land area. This style of farming has since been
spearheaded by Hollywood heavyweight and vegan convert
linked to river contamination, due to animal faecal matter and
James Cameron. Under the leadership of farm manager Chris, the
commercial fertilisers, and increased greenhouse gas emissions.
farm produces linseed and industrial hemp as its main earners,
Chris, who was “a conventional farmer for many years”, says
but has also started growing walnuts, flaxseeds and lavender,
plant-based food production presents an ideal opportunity for
and producing small batches of honey. Plus it has a 40 hectare
Wairarapa - home to 3 per cent of New Zealand beef cattle, and
block for planting vegetables, to appear fresh on the shop shelves
almost 4 per cent of its dairy herd - to “try something new”.
every morning. Cameron launched both the farm and shop to promote
For several decades, there have been mounting concerns
“New Zealand cannot keep on intensifying livestock farming at the expense of the environment,” he says.
plant-based food in Wairarapa - as well as the Food Forest
“We need to recognise the impact on our soil health. You’ve
Organics eatery, which serves lunches cooked fresh with the
got all these heavy animals grazing, all packed together per
store’s daily produce.
square metre on a small piece of land, and it degrades the soil.
The Wairarapa Journal
It’s depleted of its nutrients, and the beneficial organic material.” Such degradation renders land useless for further growth,
as on-land discharge, planting in riparian areas, and fencing off waterways to stock.
and increased fertiliser use. Plus, degraded soil is more prone to
Chris believes there is still a place for traditional livestock
flooding, resulting in the distribution of sediments, pesticides
farming in Wairarapa. However, the region is “well placed”
and nitrates into waterways via runoff. Which, say scientists, is
to expand its arable industry. And, as crop farming is typically
catastrophic for aquatic life.
labour intensive, it could create more employment opportunities.
“Also, resistance to [pesticides] is well recognised - they’re not working anymore,” Chris adds. In good news, both farmers and consumers want to be part of the solution.
“We have significant areas of arable land and a lack of urban sprawl. Wairarapa is also hugely diverse in its soil types, climate and topography, so we could potentially grow several types of crops.”
“I mix a lot with farmers - they are aware of the environmental parameters around livestock farming. I think many farmers have
Keep the doctor away
been forced into intensification because of economic demand.
Chris says consumers are also waking up to the health benefits
Right now, they’re looking at remedies, or are considering
of a plant-based diet, thanks to a wealth of media. He became inspired to adopt a greener diet by The China Study, penned by
alternative practices. “Our customers are more aware of what they’re consuming - they want to be part of creating a cleaner environmental
US biochemist T. Colin Campbell. The book, which convinced Bill Clinton to try veganism, examines the relationship between animal products and chronic
footprint.” Larger farming groups, such as Federated Farmers, have
illness, and concludes that a plant-based diet can both prevent
also expressed commitment to more environmentally friendly
and reverse a number of ailments. The study has also inspired
farming practices - with the group’s national president pledging
documentary films such as Vegucated and Forks Over Knives.
earlier this year to help make all New Zealand rivers swimmable.
Such films, Chris says, have piqued local curiosity.
Wairarapa Federated Farmers president Jamie Falloon has previously stated farmers have been working on solutions, such
“Not all our customers are strictly vegan, but they recognise the health benefits of having a meat-free meal,” he says.
Chris Lester, farm manager at Cameron Family Farms, says an environmental conscience is a big driver of the plant-based food movement.
The Wairarapa Journal
“It’s another option for them - they’re adding variety. They realise they can order a curry from down the road, or they can have a lentil burger,” Maxine adds. “You only need to look at a cafe menu, and see all the vegan options on offer, to see it’s not a passing fad.” Down the road on the Tauherenikau Plains, the van Steensel family also enjoys a clean bill of health. “We’ve raised four kids here,” patriarch Frank van Steensel
coriander, and mizuna (a mustard-flavoured salad green). Unsurprisingly, the Eco Farms crew have a diet rich in leafy produce - and are “sharing the love” with the community via the farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project. CSA schemes, originally pioneered in the US, allow consumers to buy a share into a local farm and, in return, receive a box of fresh, seasonal produce directly from the farm for each week of the growing season. Through the CSA, Wairarapa Eco Farms provides vegetables to over 130 families in the Wellington region - though Frank and Josje say interest in Wairarapa has “tripled” over the past year. “I think people are more concerned about what they’re feeding their kids,” Frank says. “They want to know who’s growing their food, they want to be healthy, and to help stimulate the economy.” Frank and Josje believe New Zealanders eat more than their fair share of meat. Excessive consumption of animal protein can raise the body’s acid levels, while vegetables provide an alkaline balance. The bulk of an ideal diet, they advise, should come from plants. Luckily, “the perception of vegetables is changing”,
says. “And they wouldn’t be able to tell you any of the doctors’ names in town.” “Although we’re not that extreme - we have nutella in the pantry,” wife Josje Neerincx quips. Dutch imports Frank and Josje are the brains behind Wairarapa Eco Farms - organic vege growers extraordinaire. The couple arrived in Wairarapa in 1996, where they bought
Josje says. “They are becoming more trendy throughout the world, more acceptable. “You’ve got these TV shows and Youtube channels on vegetables. There are more cookbooks dedicated to vegetables chefs are getting a lot more adventurous. “And taste-buds are changing and evolving”.
a dry, stony patch of land, built a straw bale home, and planted
Josje also attributes the surge in interest down to people
some olive trees. Nowadays, their land - which has grown to
having neither the time nor space, particularly due to the
include a large market garden east of Masterton - is bursting
increase in subdivisions, for their own garden.
with greens; from the humble tomato, broccoli and new potato, to the more “exotic” kale (a nutty-tasting cabbage), Vietnamese
“And it gets people buying local. I’d hope people see us as not just these silly organic dudes, but with something to offer.”
Wairarapa Eco Farms' Frank van Steensel and Josje Neerincx, at work in their market garden, say the perception of vegetables and plant-based food is changing.
Opening the gates
Back towards Greytown, Lisa Birrell has her own ideas for
growers and producers. That way, the product they’re eating means more.”
adding some coins to Wairarapa’s back pocket - in the form of Challenging times
farm tourism. Lisa and her family bought olive orchard Fantail Grove on
Lisa agrees Wairarapa has the potential, weather and available
Bidwills Cutting Road last year, and have converted the business
land for a successful plant-based industry - and says the influx of
into an organic operation.
new arrivals settling in the region could add their skills to the mix.
More recently, she has been expanding the business to include
However, cautions fellow organic horticulturalist Anne Opie,
tours of the grove - which also produces hazelnuts and table
growing a variety of crops requires careful research and planning,
grapes - and has set up a “Farm Shop” for Fantail Grove produce
given the challenges of Wairarapa’s micro climate and different
The tours have so far been an opportunity for customers to
For example, Anne’s Woodside Road olive and artichoke
look behind the scenes of an eco-friendly olive grove - lime in the
orchard lies on an old bed of the Waiohine River - so, when
soil to ward off peacock spot, liquid compost for fertiliser, and a
starting out, it took a “great deal of exertion” to clear rocks from
flock of Romneys as “grass trimmers”. The Birrells are adding to their “brood”, planting figs, horseradish, garlic, and wasabi - the latter to be planted in the “peat-y” back garden, as it usually grows in a stream bed.
the artichoke beds. While alluvial soil lends itself well to certain crops, there are concerns much of the region’s prime growing land may disappear, thanks to the current construction boom. “And once that land goes, there’s no getting it back,” Anne says.
If Wairarapa were to expand its plant-based food production
A further challenge, adds Chris Lester, is a lack of suitable
industry, Lisa says, farm tourism - “huge” in her native UK - could
infrastructure to support a large-scale arable industry in
be a viable earner.
Wairarapa, such as seed dressing, drying and storage facilities.
“I’ve noticed there’s been a wave of people who are keen to know where their food comes from, and what goes into it,” Lisa says.
Plus, Anne warns, changing weather conditions mean some crops won’t manage well in new and uncertain conditions, resulting in
“People want to form that connection with what they’re buying
crop losses. Also, pesticide residue in some areas may contribute
- to connect with where, for example, their olives and honey were
to profit losses because some vegetable crops absorb the
produced, and get to know and form a relationship with the
carcinogen DDT, which remains in some soils.
The Wairarapa Journal
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W W W. A R AT O I . C O . N Z
New growers “have to know what they’re doing”, she says. “You need an intimate knowledge of your property and what’s going to grow in its soil.
“There were some good ideas discussed - things like seed oils, hops for beer production, vegetables for juicing, ancient grains for cereals,” she says.
“If you’re going for large-scale, you’ll need to graduate
“This is a good time to talk about what we could do here.
to a mechanical rake, or you’ll need a chainsaw to
Wairarapa has close proximity to markets, so we have the
manage your shelter belts, which can get expensive.
potential to be the food bowl for the rest of New Zealand.”
If you’re selling, you need to be aware of standards in the
For a dry area like Wairarapa to reach its potential as a plant-
Food Act. Cost structures can be radically changed by new
based hub, irrigation of its arable land is necessary for producing
government or industry requirements.
high yields. With Wairarapa’s forecast to heat up further - NIWA’s
“It’s possible, but it’s hard work.”
recent climate change predictions have the region reaching the climate of Hawke’s Bay by 2040 - fresh water reliability
A watershed project
Carterton farmer Karen Williams knows well the ups and downs
is uncertain. Karen is therefore supportive of Wairarapa’s proposed largescale water management scheme - to harvest rainwater at its most
of crop growing. On their property at Ahiaruhe Farm, Karen and husband
plentiful, store it at two large reservoirs, and make it available
Mick have been growing wheat, barley, ryegrass and red clover
to farmers and growers via pipes to the farm gate. As a result,
- and, until recently, peas. When pea weevils were discovered in
an additional 30,000 hectares of the valley could be irrigated.
Wairarapa last year, she was one of the growers appointed as
A spokesperson for Water Wairarapa, the body in charge
the arable representative on the Ministry for Primary Industries’
of progressing the scheme, has confirmed that, with reliable
governance group - which recommended a two-year ban on pea
water, livestock farming could be replaced by “more plant-based
production. In response, Karen formed the Wairarapa Cropping
Strategy Group, to come up with alternative suggestions.
“There has been negativity - people seem to think it will be
Chris, with some of his staff, says a plant-based food industry in Wairarapa could create more employment opportunities.
The Wairarapa Journal
used to grow more grass, and therefore justify more cows,”
All chicken feed in the North Island is imported; 75 per cent of
our milling wheat is imported. I think it would be awesome if
“But irrigation isn’t just for dairy. It’s also for things like lettuces and cucumber - which we’re paying an arm and a leg for in the supermarket.”
Breadcraft and our artisan producers can use grain grown right here in Wairarapa.” Fellow grower Anne, however, is more cautious - fearing the
She says a reliable water source can help create more
dams could “dry up” as they have in other parts of the country.
financial security for farmers and growers - especially by way of
Our best option for combating dry spells to come, she says, is trees.
more seed-growing contracts - which will, in turn, contribute to
“Re-planting native forests areas like the Eastern Hills, which
have been cleared over the years, will help attract rain. Shelterbelts
Plus, it could create more opportunities to “buy local”.
provide shade and, therefore, more moisture for plants.
“At the moment, Weetbix is produced with Australian grain.
“The more trees you clear, the more the opportunity gets lost.”
Lisa Birrell, at Fantail Grove, says farm tourism could contribute positively to Wairarapa’s economy.
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Rose &Smith At Tauherenikau
Rose & Smith at Tauherenikau is a stunning boutique venue offering exceptional service, delicious cuisine and breath-taking scenery.
Discovered by accident, witloof is highly prized in parts of Europe.
C R E AT E A N D I N N O VAT E
Prized veggie sprouts in the dark Story by Walt Dickson
In many respects, Wairarapa witloof is New Zealand’s witloof - as this is the only region in the country where the pale leafy vegetable is commercially grown. Its mildly bitter and nutty taste is highly prized in parts of Europe. Called endive in France and Belgium, and sometimes referred to as chicory by the British, witloof is unlike any other vegetable and its unique flavour is gaining popularity
rotation cycle, essential for removing the risk of disease. All of the seed is imported from Holland and France. With 5 hectares to plant, it is a considerable investment. Seeds are planted only 10mm deep in very finely worked soil. Too dry, and the seeds won’t germinate. It’s also essential the seeds all germinate at the same time and grow at the same rate.
in restaurants throughout
“The seeds are just too
expensive to get it wrong, so
Marnius van der Put started
irrigation is vital. Without
[water], germination could
with witloof in Wairarapa
be perhaps just 30 per
in the 1980s, eventually
cent, and you just can’t
selling his business to
former employee Pieter
Planting is done late in
Solleveld four years ago.
the year, to avoid frosts.
What makes witloof
After about 22 weeks, the
such a fascinating crop,
roots are dug up and the
Pieter says, is that it has
leafy green tops (too bitter
two stages of production.
to be eaten) cut off. The
The first takes place outside, growing the seed through to a
roots are transported up to Solleveld Produce’s headquarters,
mature plant. The second is done inside - hydroponically - and
west of Masterton, where they are graded and then shut away in
entirely in the dark.
storage at -1°C. Roots can be stored for up to 12 months.
It is therefore not surprising to learn that witloof was first
The roots are then cleaned, planted upright in trays and
produced by accident. As the story goes, a Brussels farmer in
moved to dark rooms where they are fed a hydroponic mix of
1830 stored witloof roots in his cellar, intending to dry and
nitrates, with calcium, potassium and other trace elements.
roast them for coffee (a common practice in 19th century
In the dark, over the next 19-22 days, the roots sprout fat,
Europe). But when he discovered that, after several months in
pale yellow spears of tightly packed leaves. These are then cut,
the dark, the roots had sprouted small, white leaves, he took
packed and put into cold storage ready for market.
a bite and found them to be delicious. And so, a new taste was born. By the 1870s, Parisians were calling witloof ‘white gold’. Pieter applies much of the same principles, although he has a lot more control over production than did the unsuspecting Belgian farmer nearly 200 years ago. He grows the plant in
Witloof is available year round. Much of the crop is exported to French Polynesia and New Caledonia, and provided to cruise ships, restaurants and supermarkets in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch. Witloof is often enjoyed raw in a salad, adding a great
Greytown, where he owns 17 hectares and also leases another
block to ensure enough available land to maintain a five-year
Check out some recipe ideas at witloof.co.nz
The Wairarapa Journal
CREATING A FRAMEWORK FOR SMART DECISION-MAKING
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• local wine • homemade preserves • superfood salads • great vegetarian dishes
Apartment 88 is our luxurious apartment above Main Street Deli & Café. Ideal for a fun getaway for one or two couples or a family - Greytown is literally on your doorstep! 88 Main Street Greytown ph. 64 6 304 9022 www.mainstdeli.co.nz email@example.com
The Wairarapa Journal
JOIN THE CHOIR Guided tours available 11am & 2pm. www.pukaha.org.n z
State Highway 2, just north of Masterton
The Saddle Builder Pete Carlisle makes trees. Not the living, growing kind. Carved from wood and wrapped in rawhide, these trees are the backbones of his splendid western saddles. Story by Julia Mahony Photography by Rebecca Kempton
A mottled logbook from 150 years ago, found by a family in a
and bridles at a time when horse was the main mode of transport.
Wairarapa attic, lists a Greytown saddlerâ€™s sales between 1869
Fragile but intact, the blue logbook is proof of a thriving and
and 1875. Beautiful cursive writing curls its inky way across the
essential trade in the 19th century.
columns, reading like the townâ€™s street map.
Today, south of Greytown, saddler Pete Carlisle hand crafts
Mr Hastwell - from the coaching stables - was a regular
ornate western saddles in his aromatic home workshop. Maverick
customer, with Bidwills, Cotters, Udys and McMasters bringing
Saddlery sits up a quiet rural driveway, where quarter horses
their saddles and coach collars for repairs, or buying girth straps
graze in the paddock opposite.
The Wairarapa Journal
A century-old leather stitching machine, once owned by Greytown’s last shoemaker, sits at the centre of the workshop, its wheel turned by hand. Rows of hand tools - knives, punches and mallets - line Pete’s walls and combine with his artistic bent and modern knowledge of a good fit. “I make saddles to fit individual horses,’’ Pete says. “You can imagine how it is wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes - you don’t feel like moving much and it’s the same for horses.’’ Saddle trees, the inner “chassis’’ of the saddle, are his forte. Pete uses a saddle gauge, like a giant rib cage, to fit a horse up. Each tree is carved from wood, then strengthened by a rawhide shell. Rawhide is cowhide soaked in lime to remove hair, then soaked in cider vinegar and water, before going into the freezer. “When it comes out, it’s laced onto the wooden tree and when it dries, it’s like shrink wrapping - it shrinks into shape and gives the tree its phenomenal strength,’’ Pete explains. “There are all sorts of trees made from plastic and other materials - but I haven’t found anything like rawhide, which people have used in different ways for hundreds of years.’’ Gathering the finest components - including wood, rawhide, tanned leather, rubber, suede, sheepskin, steel and silver, Pete turns out up to 20 custom made saddles a year, some fetching
Pete sources cowhides from a Wairarapa farm-kill business and makes four or five saddle tree covers from one hide. This quiet man has skill and patience accrued over decades of passion for the craft. His reputation ensures word-
$8,000 from top show riders.
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A saddler’s record from Greytown’s past, buried in an attic for decades.
The Wairarapa Journal
GLORY UNDER THE GREEN GIANTS Down the country highway from Pete Carlisle’s Maverick Saddlery is Tauherenikau Racecourse, home of Wairarapa horse racing. Its tradition stretches back to 1874, when the Wairarapa Racing Club established its permanent home at Tauherenikau, between Featherston and Greytown. A track was marked out amongst scrub, flax and thistles on the Old Ferry Reserve near the river. Horses and jockeys navigated hazardous ground, the earth having been mangled from Wairarapa’s earthquake of 1855. Today, thousands of race goers relax at the track, ringed by magnificent stands of totora, rimu, titoki, tawa and kahikatea native trees, shadowed by grand British species. The horse racing club holds five race meetings a year at the picturesque course, highlights of the summer calendar in Wairarapa. Other events including the Country Music Festival have found a home at the racecourse. See page 54 for more details on events. The peaceful tree-rich venue can be hired for weddings, conferences, corporate breaks and private accommodation. For more information on using the venue, check out roseandsmith.co.nz Youngest son Adam is learning fine skills from his father.
of-mouth business and Pete’s waiting list is at least three months.
pony club supplies until I reached retirement age, and decided
As a young man, Pete was working as a farm hand north of
to just do what I loved - western saddles,’’ Pete says. “There’s
Masterton when an interest in leather carving began.
more artistic expression in them. I can make a plain one
He asked local saddlers to give him their saddles to decorate.
in a week but a fancy saddle will take four-five weeks full-
“They all said a polite ‘no’; probably out of fear I’d pinch their
time - about 80 hours a week.’’ A new opportunity has opened
saddle patterns,’’ Pete says. “So, I found a library book on cowboy
up. Long cavalcade rides in the South Island call for endurance
gear - there was one chapter on how to make western saddles.
My first saddle - well, I wouldn’t make one like it now.’’
“They’re using Clydesdale cross horses, which are so big
Saddle making remained a hobby until 15 years ago, when Pete
they can’t get saddles to fit. We’ve found a niche market making
bought Ross Wyatt’s saddlery in Greytown, working from the
plain work saddles for them. I’ve made modifications along the
Cobblestones Museum complex, before relocating the building
way to make the saddle better for the rider too, so they don’t
to his property 12 years ago.
“I was making [plainer] English saddles, horse covers and
Pete, an ex-rodeo rider, took up western riding with quarter
horses in the 1970s. He and wife Sue - who competes and trains quarter horses - included their three sons in the family sport without pressure. However, all three have learnt the skills of western horse riding at top event level, and have picked up Pete’s tools to carve leather and make saddles. Dan and Nicky have competed at world cup events, while 14-yearold Adam is trying out for the New Zealand national team to compete at the Quarter Horse Youth World Cup in Texas next year. Pete isn’t too surprised but is obviously proud. “There’s a bit of cowboy in everybody.’’
Handcrafted details are layered over the trees.
FOOD AND WINE
Summery Salads by Ant North, Ant North Catering
Duck and Watermelon Salad I cannot think of a more pleasant afternoon than starting with a round of golf on a Wairarapa course, and finishing with refreshing food and a glass of wine. For me, watermelon is a quintessential summer fruit and it has become one of my favourite additions to dishes. I find it marries well with a rich meat like duck, whether it’s confit leg or breast. Pair this salad with a local Pinot, a scattering of friends and top it off with some laughter in the summer sun. Ingredients: 4 duck breasts (from Greytown Butchery or Moore Wilson’s) Salt and pepper 1 watermelon 1 pomegranate 1 green mango or papaya (from Pinehaven or Moore Wilson’s) 100g mesclun 300ml pomegranate molasses (available at Moore Wilson’s) Pea shoots 1 tablespoon black and white sesame seeds as garnish Score the skin side and season the duck breast. Cook on a high heat, with the skin side down to render the fat to make it crispy. Pan-fry for eight to 10 minutes, flip over and cook for a further two minutes. Remove from the pan and rest for 10 minutes. Dice watermelon, extract the pomegranate seeds, julienne (finely slice in matchstick size) the mango or papaya. Toss these with the mesclun and pomegranate molasses. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. To serve, slice the duck breast, top the salad with the duck, and garnish with the pea shoots and sesame seeds.
Featherston Market Ceviche It’s great to wake up on a Saturday morning in Featherston. I wander down from home, enjoying the buzz created by the addition of the local market. People arrive from all directions, with a takeaway coffee in hand and a bag over their shoulder ready to fill up with fresh goodies. Rows of veges, a stall of meat and fish - so much fun for a chef as ideas spring to mind. I grab a few bright coloured capsicum, a bunch of coriander, limes and chilli - and think ceviche! A great Latin American dish of refreshing, tangy flavours. Ingredients: 500g fresh fish (terakihi, snapper, trevally, or kingfish) 1 red onion 1 red chilli 3 capsicum, one of each colour 1 bunch of coriander 4 limes Salt and pepper to taste 100g chilli garlic cheese (from C’est Cheese) Slice or dice the fish, and put into a bowl. Dice the red onion and chilli. Slice the capsicum into thin batons. Chop the coriander. Juice the limes. Combine all the ingredients and mix with salt and pepper to taste. Put into the fridge to marinate for 20 minutes. To serve, place in a bowl by local Featherston potter, Howie Griffith*, for a true Featherston experience! * Howie Griffith’s bowls can be purchased from Mr Feather’s Den at the back of Sweet - Kitchen & Delights, Fitzherbert St, Featherston.
The Wairarapa Journal
WINE NEWS & VIEWS Nicola Belsham, Martinborough Wine Merchants
Whether for holiday gatherings, special events and weddings,
to choose. At Martinborough Wine Merchants we have trade-
or simply because it’s a Tuesday - popping the cork on a bottle of
tested, tasted and trialled all that is made available in the
bubbly, to tinkle the glasses with effervescent fizz, summarises
region. This is arduous work for the sole purpose of being able
to guide you to the summer bubbles most suited for you, and
Having the same health benefits as two of our other favourite things - red wine and chocolate - sparkling wine is actually really good for you. Wines made in the methode traditionelle style, first created in the Champagne region of France, contain
your occasion or celebration. Even if said celebration is simply because you have a bottle of bubbles to open! Here are a couple of our picks to keep you in good health for the summer season.
polyphenol antioxidants. These are believed to reduce the effects of cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Not only helping us stay younger for longer, these antioxidants slow down the removal of nitric oxide from the blood, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart problems and strokes. Illuminating and interesting health science aside, sparkling wines offer so many other benefits: • You can smash a bottle against your new yacht, safe in the knowledge the use of beverages for ceremonial ship launching dates back to pre-Christianity. • You can spray it all over yourself and others, a ritual famously created in 1967 by Dan Gurney after winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans. • It is the perfect accompaniment to an air-kiss - being a social gesture far more comfortable than actual kissing, hugging or touching. • You can drink it when you are “thirsty”, which is a bow to the famous quote by Dame Lilly Bolinger (1899-1977).
Brodie ‘Columbine’ 2013 - 100% Pinot Noir and showcasing a subtle strawberry-fruited elegance, perfectly suited for the excellent ‘elevenses’ tipple. A lovely brunch of berry compote pancakes will suit this elegant bubbles.
Palliser Methode Traditionelle 2014 - a long-time favourite and crowd-pleaser that balances elegance with power. Rich and rounded, this methode can sustain the most serious of celebrations. It is the perfect accompaniment to hot and spicy seared prawns or barbequed calamari.
Although the Wellington Wine Country of Wairarapa is a long way from France, we are grateful for the superb selection of sparklers made right here. The only trouble being which one
Personal Chef Dinner parties, degustation and special events.
Have a restaurant experience come to you with your own personal chef. Chef Ant North will produce a mouth-watering seasonal menu for you whether it’s an intimate dinner gathering over a seven course meal, a quick two course lunch or to celebrate a special occasion or wedding. So hand over your apron, pour a glass of your favourite tipple and relax with your guests as your personal chef does what he does best - cooking for people with a passion for great food.
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Nature fix Story and photography by Rebecca Jamieson
Summer is a great season to explore nature. If you’re short on time, urban bush reserves are perfect for getting a quick nature fix. Masterton local Rebecca Jamieson discovers these special places, and how they can benefit our well being.
those with little time or limited transport options. That’s why urban reserves are so vital. They allow you to fit a quick walk in your lunch hour, between appointments, over a busy weekend, or after school with the kids. So where in Wairarapa can you get your nature
There is something almost magical about
fix? As well as Millennium Reserve, Masterton’s
small urban bush reserves. They remind me of a
Manuka Reserve in Lansdowne is a favourite of mine,
scene from The Secret Garden. High walls hide an
and puts on an amazing display of white lacebark
oasis of nature in the middle of town. Masterton’s
flowers at certain times of the year. The reserve
Millennium Reserve is one of my favourites. Beyond
connects onto one of the Masterton Recreation
the fortress of trees are meandering trails, pure
Trails leading back to Fourth Street - making it the
water springs, joyful bird song, and a rich diversity
perfect interlude to a longer walk.
of plant life.
Greytown has the Soldiers Memorial Park where
I explored the reserve recently with my son
the grand old totara trees stand guard over the play
John. We stopped along the track to admire the
area and campground. Take a short walk through
abundance of bright yellow kowhai flowers and
the neighbouring O’Connor’s Bush and you’ll find
delicate red kakabeak. John climbed trees and
rangiora leaves as large as dinner plates.
searched for bugs in the stream, while I admired
Featherston is spoilt for choice. Featherston
the view and the song of a grey warbler. I felt calm
Domain provides an energetic climb, rewarded with
views of the town below and the Wairarapa Moana
We emerged back out onto the street as a car
beyond. Or you can take a short walk around Barr-
rushed past. I was quickly transported from the
Brown Bush Reserve, just down the road. Dorset
tranquility of the reserve back to busy urban life.
Square is also worth a visit to see the acrobatic
Nature has a way of doing that - taking you away
troupe of tui who love the plentiful kowhai trees.
from the business of life and leaving you feeling
Though you won’t find any urban bush reserves
more rested. In fact, it’s proven that walking in
in Carterton and Martinborough, a quick stroll
nature benefits not only our physical wellbeing, but
through Carterton’s Carrington Park or along
also our mental health.
Martinborough’s Palliser Vineyard Walk is just as
A study led by Chiba University in Japan compared the effects of a 15 minute walk in a forest setting with those of an inner city walk. The study found the forest walkers showed a lower level of cortisol, the stress hormone, compared to the city walkers. But access to forested areas is challenging for
good. Or you could explore a bit further afield and visit Fensham or Carter Scenic Reserves. Now you know where to find your local ‘Secret Garden’ - get out and explore! A special thanks to local councils and the hard working community groups who look after these precious green urban spaces.
Urban Bush Reserves in Wairarapa Featherston Dorset Square - Moore Street Featherston Domain - Revans and Bell Streets Barr-Brown Bush Reserve - Underhill Road Carterton Carter Scenic Reserve - Gladstone Road Fensham Reserve - Upper Belvedere Road Greytown Soldiers Memorial Park and Oâ€™Connorâ€™s Bush Kuratawhiti Street Masterton Millennium Reserve - Corner of Hillcrest and Pownall Streets Manuka Reserve - Manuka Street
The Wairarapa Journal
The Wairarapa Journal
WE LIVE HERE
STITCHING MASTERTON TOGETHER Story by Erin Kavanagh-Hall Photography by Jannelle Preston-Searle
On Heather Bannister’s dining room table sits an 80-year-
“My kids kept saying, ‘when you die, we’re going to start a
old sewing machine. Black with gold trimmings, it was made
museum with your machines.’ I said, ‘that’s nice - why wait ‘til
by English manufacturing giant Vickers, most famous for its
Supermarine Spitfire aircraft, favoured by the Royal Air Force
Heather remembers when she was growing up, that
during World War II. Beside it, in pale green, is a machine by rival
“everybody’s mother was a sewer. Nowadays, kids’ grandparents
Messerschmitt - whose Bf 109E planes, piloted by the German
don’t even seem to have that skill. But I think there is a yearning
Luftwaffe, battled the Allies during the Battle of Britain.
amongst us to learn these old skills, and make something out of
Flash forward to 2017, and Heather is using both contraptions
nothing. It’d be lovely to pass that on.”
to piece together her latest quilt. “You’ve got two companies
Heather was given her first vintage hand crank machine
whose planes were fighting each other in the skies in the
in 2012. Finding the historic appliances “lovely” to sew with,
war. And now we’ve got their sewing machine counterparts
she began adding to her collection, scouring charity shops and
here, sitting together in peace and making beautiful things.”
TradeMe. “People cottoned on, and showed up at my door with
Heather loves a sewing machine with a story.
machines. We joke that if you leave them alone, they breed.
Her Masterton home boasts a collection of more than 100
My husband keeps tripping over them.”
vintage machines; some were made in the 1880s, her most
Early on, Heather struggled to find locals who could fix her
contemporary date back to the 1970s, and there’s everything in
vintage machines. Impressively, she taught herself, with help
between. Some play music when a crank is turned, some sound
from YouTube and Facebook communities. Once “cleaned up”,
like “tractors starting up” and folklore has it that others were
the machines are as hardy as in their heyday - being made from
owned by British royalty. Continuing with the aviation theme, she
cast iron, as opposed to the plastic parts of contemporary models.
has three industrial machines used by the Royal New Zealand Air Force to make parachutes for dropping supplies to Antarctica.
Heather says the older machines are perfect for new sewers, wary of fast-moving electronic needles. “The machine stops when
But, says Heather, a sewing machine is no use if it can’t
you stop turning the crank; you’re in control. I meet people who’ve
be shared. Teaming up with Urban Dream Brokerage to help
had bad experiences with sewing. I’ll show them how to use a hand
revitalise Masterton’s CBD, the mum of seven is setting up a living
crank and, half an hour later, they’ll be saying ‘wow, I can sew!’”
museum in town - where the public can use her keepsakes to
Heather envisions the museum as a place where people of
stitch everything from cushions to ball gowns. Heather hopes the
all ages can try their hand at tailoring - and for older folk, also
creative hub will help her community get in touch with their crafty
a chance to reminisce. “There’ll be ladies in town who used one
side, and especially that the youngsters will have an opportunity
of these machines to make their dollies’ clothes. Hopefully, we can
to learn the almost forgotten art of “making do and mending”.
all have tea, and share memories.”
The Wairarapa Journal
Summer events There are plenty of wonderful events - big and small - on during the Wairarapa summer. Here are our picks from the many on offer:
November Toast Martinborough November 19, 2017 One of the best days out Wairarapa has on offer. Enjoy wonderful wine, food and music, in and around Martinborough. toastmartinborough.co.nz December Big Book Bash December 2, 2017 A book festival for kids of all ages. A free event with 30 authors and illustrators performing, telling stories and running workshops at the Carterton Events Centre. Christmas On Queen December 2, 2017 A new community Christmas event on Queen Street, Masterton, with music, entertainment and food stalls. More information on the Facebook page @ChristmasOnQueen. January Tauherenikau Races January 2 and Waitangi Day, 2018 Horse racing, free kids’ entertainment and live music. Gather friends, pack a picnic, or sample the local food and wine. tauherenikau.co.nz Castlepoint Fishing Competition January 6 and 7, 2018 Wairarapa’s best anglers compete to catch the heaviest snapper, kahawai and kingfish. Wairarapa Country Music Festival January 12 to 14, 2018 Jody Direen, ‘New Zealand’s Queen of Country Music’, is the headline act at this family-friendly festival at Tauherenikau. tauherenikau.co.nz
PIck Your Own Lavender January 13 and 14 and 20 and 21, 2018 Immerse yourself in the truly summery experience of lavender picking, over two weekends in January. lavenderabbey.co.nz New Zealand Cycle Classic January 17 to 21, 2018 The world’s top male cyclists will descend on Wairarapa for this Union Cycliste Internationale 2.2-sanctioned, five-stage road cycling race. www.cycletournz.com Huri Huri Bike Festival January 19 to 26, 2018 Bike events and cycling-based activities throughout the region during Wairarapa’s bike festival. hurihuri.co.nz Gladstonebury Music Festival January 21, 2018 A family festival of music, craft, local food and wine. gladstonebury.co.nz Cruise Martinborough January 25 to 28, 2018 Hundreds of hot rods, muscle cars, classic cars and caravans on display. Featuring twilight drags, music, and drive-in movies. cruisemartinborough.co.nz February Martinborough Fair February 3 and March 3, 2018 One of the largest markets in Australasia, the fair has close to 500 stalls selling artwork, crafts, clothing and food. martinboroughfair.org.nz Black Seeds & Kings Summer Concert February 9, 2018 Legendary New Zealand reggae-soul band The Black Seeds headline a classic summer family concert in Masterton. eventfinda.co.nz
The Big 3 Fishing Competition February 16 to 18, 2018 The biggest fishing competition held in the Lower North Island, hosted by the Ngawi Sports Fishing Club. ngawifishingclub.co.nz Masterton A&P Show February 17, 2018 A family classic showcase of livestock and equestrian sports, and now featuring Highland Games activities. solwayshowgrounds.co.nz Race To The Brewery February 24, 2018 A multisport race from Palmerston North to the Tui Brewery in Mangataonika. tuihq.co.nz Coming up in Autumn: Harvest Wines Festival March 10, 2018 Wairarapa’s finest wineries, restaurants and food producers showcase their wares in a spectacular riverside setting in Gladstone. wairarapaharvestfestival.co.nz Castlepoint Beach Races March 17, 2018 A fun family day, watching horse hooves flying along the beach at Castlepoint. Golden Shears March 1 to 3, 2018 Witness the country’s top shearers and emerging stars compete in the annual Golden Shears in Masterton. goldenshears.co.nz Wairarapa Balloon Festival March 29 to April 2, 2018 There are hot air balloons galore during this five-day, region-wide event with competitions and sky-high spectacles. nzballoons.co.nz
Charm, character and great craic at one of New Zealand’s oldest hotels, in the heart of Greytown. Dine in the relaxed atmosphere or just grab a drink at what locals fondly call the Top Pub. With the original bar and character intact, publicans Tony and Ursula Murphy have created a unique blend of Irish and Kiwi hospitality. Tony honed his craft in Cork and Dublin (so pouring a good pint is guaranteed) and Ursula’s Irish roots bring together the genuine atmosphere of a true, old style, Pub. With old school country inn accommodation, it is the perfect place for road trip stopover or a short city break, lively music sessions and great craic.
33 Main Street - open 11am until late - phone 06 304 9138
PICK YOUR OWN
351 Dalefield Rd, Carterton
Sat 13th, Sun 14th, Sat 20th, Sun 21st January 10am-3pm
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.
We are flinging our gates open for the 7th year, for you to relax and enjoy picking lavender. Come and immerse your senses in the beauty and aroma of lavender.
The Greytown Country Market is held on the third Sunday of the month in summer (until April) from 10am - 2pm at Stella Bull Park, Greytown. www.greytowncountrymarket.com The Carterton Farmers’ Market is held every Sunday from 9am - 12.30pm, next to the Memorial Square by the roundabout. www.cartertonmarket.co.nz The Wairarapa Farmers’ Market is held from 9 - 1pm every Saturday behind The Farriers at 4 Queen St, Masterton. The Featherston Market runs every Saturday from 7.30am. Located at the back of the Lang’s Pharmacy carpark.
Handcrafted lavender products for sale. Ample parking and wheelchair friendly. Gold coin entry, $5 pyo bunch. EFTPOS available. www.lavenderabbey.co.nz www.facebook.com/LavenderAbbey (06) 379-7073
Providing a modern day setting for your next private function or event.
www.cartertonec.co.nz email@example.com | 06 379 4081
ARTS AND PERFORMANCE DIARY Delaney Davidson - Magic Lightbox live music and film performance on November 19, 2017, at Kiwi Hall, Featherston. BFGF - Tapestries pop-up exhibition continues until January 2018, at Ventana Creative Collective, Martinborough. King Street Artworks exhibition continues until December 10, 2017, at Aratoi, Masterton. Bookends, a play written by Roger Hall, opens on November 22, and continues until December 2, 2017, at Greytown Little Theatre. Stephen Allwood - Darkness and Delight exhibition opens on November 25, and continues until January 28, 2018, at Aratoi, Masterton. All About Clay workshop on November 26, 2017, at Canary & Co. Collective, Greytown. The Big Book Bash, a book festival for kids of all ages will be held on December 2, 2017, at Carterton Events Centre and Carterton Library. Make a Ring with Sandra Schmid workshop on December 9, 2017, at Ventana Creative Collective, Martinborough. Elizabeth Thomson - Cellular Memory exhibition opens December 9, 2017, and continues until April 2, 2018 at Aratoi, Masterton. Wrap It Up workshop on December 10, 2017, at Canary & Co. Collective, Greytown. Wairarapa Art Review 2017 exhibition opens December 16, 2017, and continues until February 18, 2018 at Aratoi, Masterton, with the five award-winning works on display from February 23, until March 11, 2018, at Ventana Creative Collective, Martinborough. Star Child, a play based on the Oscar Wilde fairy tale opens on January 31, and continues until February 4, 2018, at Greytown Little Theatre. Kirsty Gardiner - Ceramic Works exhibition opens on February 3, and continues until March 18, 2018, at Aratoi, Masterton. FLEURS du Mal Perfumery workshop, February 24, 2018, at Ventana Creative Collective, Martinborough. Jen Olson and Lucy Cooper photography and â€˜weirdosâ€™ exhibition opens on March 16, 2018, and continues until May 13, 2018, at Ventana Creative Collective, Martinborough. Email us your performance and arts events: firstname.lastname@example.org
OPEN NOW AT T H E W H I T E S WA N
109 MA I N ST R EET, GR EYTOWN
06 30 4 8894
WWW.THEWHITESWAN .CO.N Z
“We were lucky enough to find NZ Pools when we were looking for someone to build us a new pool and we really can’t praise Brent, Terri and the team highly enough. From their tireless commitment to keeping promises, their openness and honesty, their work ethic and their ongoing advice and service long after the project was completed, neither of us have ever dealt with another organisation in any trade that even comes close to these guys.” Stewart & Carolyn Gebbie
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YOUR LOCAL AWARD WINNING POOL BUILDers
Published on Nov 15, 2017
Published on Nov 15, 2017
The Wairarapa Journal - real people, real stories about the wonderful Wairarapa. In this issue: Planting a Foodie Future, Coast Kids, Father...