Part of the large crowd at Spring Creek. Photo: Supplied.

Moutere farewell ‘Uncle Arthur’

Awarua Park, home of the Moutere Rugby Club, was a sombre place on Saturday afternoon as a large crowd gathered to farewell one of the club’s stalwarts.

A funeral service was held on the No 1 ground for Arthur Pacey, known to all and sundry as “Uncle Arthur”. The 96-year-old had held every position at the club since joining in 1954 and continued to pull on the boots until aged 90.

The former Marlborough and South Island Maori rep played many years of senior rugby before turning his attention to Golden Oldies through the Moutere Magpies and Vintage Musseleers sides, winding up an astonishing 71-year rugby career in 1995.

The Moutere life member was farewelled in style, with tributes from club patron Ewen Robinson, Phil Gibbons from the Musseleers, plus family, before being taken to the Maori Island Urupa in Grovetown.

Moutere chairman Laurin Gane described Arthur as “the ultimate clubman” and said he would be “a massive loss to the club”.

“He was very loyal and passionate and did an incredible amount of work over the years.

“And he always had his boots in the back of the car … just in case he needed to play,” Laurin added.

South Island cross country MTB champions: Neve McKenzie, Maddy Sinclair and Ian Thomas. Photo: Supplied.

Mountain bikers shine in the south

Three Marlborough mountain bikers picked up South Island titles in Queenstown recently.

On Saturday, February 13, Mountain Bike NZ [MBNZ] hosted the South Island cross country championships at Coronet Peak, near Queenstown, with a strong contingent of Marlborough riders competing on a challenging course.

While the course for quite short, it featured a steep climb up the ski runs followed by a technical download, including rock gardens and steep rocky shoots.

Showing the way for the top of the south club were Neve McKenzie, who claimed the under-15 female title, Maddy Sinclair, who was victorious in the under-17 female section, and Ian Thomas who won the Masters 3 title.

In addition, Cam Anderson claimed silver in the very-competitive under-17 male category. Finn McKenzie, Jeremy McKenzie, Callum Anderson and Lachlan McNabb also recorded top 10 finishes.

Maddy Sinclair launches off a step down near the bottom of her race run at Coronet. Photo: Supplied.
Maddy Sinclair launches off a step down near the bottom of her race run at Coronet. Photo: Supplied.

Neve’s times were very impressive while Maddy put in a courageous ride after crashing while practicing for the downhill race the previous day and ending up in hospital to have suspected broken ribs checked.

The following day the final round of the MBNZ national downhill series was hosted, also at the Coronet Peak course.

Again, the Marlborough Mountain Bike Club was well represented.

The national downhill series had been staged over the previous four weekends and included rounds at 440 Mountain Bike Park in South Auckland, Dome Valley in Warkworth, Kaka in Nelson and at Coronet.

Cameron Clemett and Ben Sziranyi achieved very creditable top 10 results in the ultra-competitive under-19 and under-17 male categories.

Unfortunately, Cameron had a crash in his race run at Coronet that cost him a top five result for the series. Ben produced steady results throughout the series to achieve a creditable overall result.

Maddy turned in a steady race run following her crash on Friday to take the bronze medal in the Coronet round. Following a fourth placing at 440, plus bronze medals at Dome Valley, Kaka and Coronet, Maddy also won the bronze medal for the overall series.

Plugging the measles vaccination gap

Nelson Marlborough Health is ramping up efforts to find young people in the region who may have missed out on the measles vaccine.

According to the health board’s data there are 8500 people between the ages of 15 and 30 across the Top of the South, however it’s not clear how many of them are still needing to get vaccinated for the disease.

“There are many people in that age group that missed out on those childhood vaccinations for a whole lot of different reasons,” says associate director of nursing Jill Clendon. “They have slipped through the gaps.”

So, the health board is instead advocating anyone in that age group who is unsure if they had the MMR vaccine to come in, just in case.

“We would rather have people get it than miss out,” Jills says. “If you don’t know, it’s best to get immunised. It’s safe to have an extra dose of the vaccine.”

The vaccine is free and protects and measles, mumps and rubella. Last year, 2000 Kiwis got sick from measles and 700 of them needed to be hospitalised.

The symptoms of measles start with little white spots in the mouth which develops into respiratory illness. But the consequences can be serious as it can cause swilling on the brain and other conditions that can be fatal.

“We are targeting everybody,” Jill says.

She says that measles is highly contagious. If you have one person that catches the disease they will likely spread it to 12-18 others. Covid-19, on the other hand, will only be spread to an average of two people.

Jill says we need 95 percent of people to be immune to reach ‘community immunity’, sometimes known as ‘herd immunity’ and help stop future outbreaks.

“It’s a challenge. It’s really hard to engage people in this age group. Getting them in the doors is really tough. But the vaccine is free and easy and is going to be protecting not only yourself but your mates.”

It is available at GP clinics, at pharmacies, schools and at pop up clinics around the region. Health staff will also be going into some businesses to administer the vaccine. For more information head to

Tim Petrie scored 88 to help MBC clinch a place in the Gillette Cup Central Districts play-offs. Photo: Peter Jones.

MBC cricketers progress to play-offs

The Marlborough Boys’ College First XI cricket team booked a place in the district play-offs for the Gillette Cup at Horton Park on Thursday.

MBC scored a comprehensive 57-run over their Nelson College counterparts, progressing to the next stage of the nationwide secondary school competition.

Sent into bat, MBC compiled a very respectable 270-4, thanks to a series of solid contributions throughout the order.

Opener Luke Pannell scored 38 from 52 to provide a solid start, before skipper Cooper Roberts and Tim Petrie came together for a match-winning 128-run partnership for the third wicket.

Although their cause was helped by some below-par catching in the outfield by Nelson College, they mixed composure with skill and power on their way to half centuries. Roberts ended with 60 from 85 balls but Petrie continued, putting together a superb 88 from 93 deliveries, with 11 fours and one six. Ben Holdaway, with 32 from 25, and Tom Leonard, 26 from 12, added icing to the cake in the final overs.

Lachlan Bartlett, who snared 2-32 from his 10 overs, was the most successful of the Nelson bowlers.

In reply, the visitors threatened at times to match the high asking rate, led by a fighting 79 from 81 balls from No 4 Ronan Restieaux, but their chase ended in the 48th over as the home side tightened the screws, dismissing their rivals for 213.

Hunter Ruffell, who bagged 3-23 from five overs, Joel Pannell, 2-34 from nine and Luke Pannell, 2-37 from 8.3, were the main wicket-takers, although spinners Griffin Carter and Tim Petrie were instrumental in slowing the Nelson momentum during the middle of the innings. Petrie also contributed a superb outfield catch to cap a top performance.

High winds caused widespread damage to property in Picton. Photo: Supplied.

Fire crews busiest day as dangerous winds wreak havoc in Picton

Picton Volunteer fire crew had one of their busiest days on record last week as severe winds battered the town.

Winds gusting more than 100km caused chaos as the volunteer crew dealt with 12 callouts in less than 12 hours.

And as pine trees snapped in 140km gusts on forestry roads near Tory Channel last Tuesday, it was sheer luck that prevented a major fire, says chief fire officer Wayne Wytenburg.

Many of the crew were busy all day as a barrage of calls came into the national fire communications centre.

From roofs partially being blown off, to arching power lines and a caravan destroyed by severe gusts, the emergencies kept coming, says Wayne.

“We’ve had winds before but not like this, not recently. It was a very busy day for the crew, that’s for sure.

“A crew member was coming back from Tory Channel via forestry roads and clocked a 140km/h gust; pine trees were just snapping.

‘We’re really lucky that nothing landed on power lines or there could have been a huge fire and there would have been nothing we could have done; the winds were too severe.”

The crew got their first call at about 8.30am when glass tiles above the entrance to Picton Medical Centre were shifted by the wind.

Staff called for help, worried the glass tiles would fall and injure someone.

Deputy chief fire officer Greg Frisken says the brigade dealt with three or four calls that morning alone.

Some of the call outs were serious he says, posing a potential threat to life. A job at Seaview Crescent where metal roof tiles were smashing to the ground saw people running for cover.

“By the afternoon it had really ramped up and the calls kept coming.

“We were at the caravan securing it by the St John Ambulance centre when we got a call to go to Queen Charlotte College as part of the roof was lifting there. We secured the caravan temporarily, went to the college and then came back to the caravan.”

Wayne paid tribute to the crews who helped and appealed for more volunteers to sign up.

“They did a marvellous job but we seriously need to get more recruits. We need at least five more staff, especially those who live in Picton.

“I’d also like to thank the employers and those volunteers who are self-employed. We don’t get paid and without the support of the community we wouldn’t be able to do the job we do.”

The fire station is open on a Monday night for potential volunteers from 7pm and would be volunteers are welcome to come along. To find out more, visit the Picton Volunteer Fire Brigade’s Facebook page or contact Wayne on: 0272226490

Andrew McCaa glides the ball behind point during Saturday’s semifinal victory at Horton Park. Photo: Peter Jones.

Falcons reach final, have wings clipped

The Marlborough Labour Hire Falcons may have reached Sunday’s Tasman Premier League final, but they were unable to get the job done in the decider in Nelson.

They went down by six wickets to top qualifier ACOB who restricted the Blenheim-based side to 141 then chased the meagre target down for the loss of just four wickets in quick time.

Although consistent batting enabled them to get the better of semifinal rival WTTU at Horton Park on Saturday, it let them down at Saxton Oval a day later.

After a promising opening partnership of 21 they lost wickets regularly, opener Chris Bartholomeusz the best of the top order with 19 patient runs from 63 balls.

At 53-6 the Falcons were in deep trouble but got enough runs from their lower order to post a score they had a slim chance of defending. Bailey Andrews-Kennedy (17), Harrison Boyce, who produced the top score of 42, Nick Weaver (10) and No 11 Tim Petrie (14 not out) pushed the visitor’s score to 141 before they were dismissed in the 49th over.

Andrew McCaa glides the ball behind point during Saturday’s semifinal victory at Horton Park. Photo: Peter Jones.
Andrew McCaa glides the ball behind point during Saturday’s semifinal victory at Horton Park. Photo: Peter Jones.

The ACOB bowlers were particularly miserly, while sharing the wickets around. Thomas Zohrab bowled 10 overs, taking 2-12, Mason Lund grabbed 2-19 from seven, rep coach BJ Barnett picked up 2-28 from seven while Reuben Smith took 2-34 from six. David Zohrab was equally hard to score from, snaring 1-18 from 10.

Falcons needed early wickets and got two, picking up Barnett and No 3 Ben Hazlett with just 10 on the board. However, that brought the Zohrab brothers together and they were not separated until the scoreboard read 102. Thomas scored 50 from 86 balls, while David was not out 60 off 103 at the close, which came in the 38th over.

Weaver, 2-22 from eight, Matthew Stretch 2-31 from 8.4, were the wicket-takers.

On Saturday they booked their place in the TPL decider with a five-wicket victory over Nelson rivals WTTU at Horton Park.

The Falcons, who lost the toss and were put into the field by WTTU, worked hard to limit the visitors to 222-7 from their 50-over allocation. Veteran Central Districts batsman Greg Hay was the standout in the WTTU batting effort, working his way to an unbeaten 108 from 116 balls and holding his side’s innings together.

Sam Boyce, who took 3-54 from 10 was the best bowler for Falcons, with Tarin Mason bagging 2-24 from nine. Spinners Matthew Stretch and Tim Petrie went wicketless, but helped slow WTTU’s momentum after they had made a rapid start.

In reply, the Falcons were consistent. After losing Chris Turkington, early, Andrew McCaa and Chris Bartholomeusz (39) took the score to 91, blunting WTTU’s attack.

McCaa went on to score a well-timed 82 from 114 balls, anchoring the home side’s effort.

An unbeaten 51 from just 54 balls from skipper Stretch saw the Falcons home, assisted by Mason and Petrie who contributed handy knocks at the end.  Josh Newport, who claimed 3-59 from 9.5 was the most successful of the WTTU attack.

A century of service

Two long-serving volunteers are celebrating more than a century of serving up sustenance with Meals on Wheels.

Best Friends and Red Cross volunteers Janet Clarke and Bev Lucas from Blenheim first started with Meals on Wheels in 1969.

And the duo is still delivering meals as they get set to celebrate a milestone anniversary later this year, with 101 years of service between them.

They have seen a lot of changes over the years.

“In the early days we saw some very sad cases,” Janet says. “People now are taken care of better.”

Red Cross’s Meals on Wheels service help people all around New Zealand by providing them with a healthy meal every day.

Volunteers deliver around 620,000 hot meals a year, or nearly 12,000 every week.

Janet remembers her first day – it was the 19th of September 1969. “I was escorted by one of the Miss Bruns, who were sisters,” she says.

“In the days when we started, we had big metal cans with a hot plate in it – customers had to have a plate ready.”

Bev says customers often forgot their warmed plate, and they had some fussy eaters too.

“We used to get people who would say, I don’t like peas, and we told them to eat around them,” she laughs. “We’ve had a fair experience.
It has been a very pleasurable thing – we’ve met an awful lot of people.”

Janet recalls delivering a meal to one Mrs Weaver following her hundredth birthday.

“She was so proud to show us her letter from the queen and the governor general,” she says.

And in all their time delivering meals, they’ve always done it together.

“She got me into all sorts of things – choir was one of them,” says Bev.

Janet says she has been a part of the Choral Society for 54 years.

“I introduced Janet to city shopping,” Bev says.

Holidays down the Sounds, choir and watching their children play sport – the pair have made a lifetime of memories following their chance meeting taking children home from school.

“I got her a fridge magnet that says, ‘you will always be my friend because you know too much.”

The pair have life memberships with Red Cross, recognising the many roles they have had with the organisation. Both are humble about their achievements and long-service, saying they did it for the pleasure of volunteering.

“We must be the longest serving Meals on Wheels drivers,” Bev says.

Their one bugbear – dogs that jump.

“Old ladies have thin skin,” says Janet. “We scratch easily.”

A bank-transaction gone wrong saw Cathy Hawker lose her life savings. Photo: Emma Filipov-Bell.

Caravan cash theft accused caught

A stranger who allegedly refused to return a Canvastown woman’s life savings she received by mistake has been caught by police.

The woman, who lives in the North Island, was caught by police investigating claims she had taken $8000 that was not hers.

Cathy Hawker spent years saving $8000 to buy a campervan.

But a mistake in making the payment means she has lost all her hard-earned money to the woman who then allegedly refused to return the ill-gotten gains.

The service station assistant wants to warn others that a simple mistake could cost them dearly.

“I wanted to have some adventure,” she says. “Go away. Have a bit of fun in life.

“It was something for me.”

Cathy says she transferred $8000 to her friend Johnny who she was buying the caravan from.

But when Johnny called to check when the money would clear, Cathy realised she had made a terrible mistake.

“I’d put in a double-oh (00) instead of 09,” Cathy says. “That was all my savings.

“I felt like a fool. How could I make such a mistake?”

Banking Ombudsman Nicola Sladden says getting money back from an incorrect payment can be a tricky process.

“It relies on honesty and goodwill,” she says.

“It’s very disappointing in this case the recipient didn’t return the funds,” Nicola says.

Police investigated the matter as theft and the woman is expected to appear in court on 24 February.

Akhil Pant scored a superb maiden century in Rangiora. File photo.

Cricket reps come up short

Marlborough came up just 29 runs short of a first innings win over Hawke Cup holders Canterbury Country in their zone three qualifying match at Rangiora on Sunday.

The home side batted most of Saturday, amassing 317 from 86.3 overs. Marlborough batted for 19 overs before stumps, sitting on 23-2 after losing Tom Sutherland and Andrew McCaa.

On day two, Chris Bartholomeusz and Ben Ivory-McCullum combined resolutely to take the score through to 57 before the latter was run out, then wickets began to fall regularly, including a vital run out of the experienced Jerrym Lamb.

At 93-6 the game was slipping away, but allrounders Akhil Pant and Tarin Mason had other ideas.

With a mixture of clean-hitting and solid defence the pair began to take the game away from Country. At tea Marlborough required 88 runs off 30 overs with four wickets in hand.

At 267-6 it seemed Pant and Mason, who put on 174 runs together, were poised to get Marlborough over the line. However, the loss in consecutive overs of Pant for a superb 111 off 146 balls, his maiden century for Marlborough, and Mason, who continued his recent run of batting form with 65 from 190, stalled the visitors’ momentum.

No 10 batsman Will Smith, with 18 from 28, provided a late flurry but, after batting through 121 overs Marlborough were dismissed for 288.   Country’s first innings total was based around a patient 122 from 237 balls from opener Rhys Mariu, who was dropped by Maarlborough when on 30,

He and Rupert Young, 36 from 62, contributed 78 runs for the first wicket, then Mariu combined with Henry Shipley to put together an 83-run partnership for the fourth.  Mariu was also part of a pivotal seventh wicket combination of 91 with Joe Williams.

Marlborough’s bowlers responded well despite being put under pressure during several significant partnerships. They continued to push for a breakthrough, then put the brakes on, managing to restrict the home side to a manageable total.

Best of the visiting attack was Will Smith, a Country player last season, who bagged 5-54 from 23 overs. Bailey Andrews-Kennedy, 3-81 from 20, Nick Weaver, 1-45 from 13 and Matthew Stretch, 1-11 from five, were the other wicket-takers.

Marlborough head coach Jarrod Englefield said his side’s focus from the outset was “to take the game as deep as possible”.

“We lost the toss but were thinking about bowling in any case.

“We had opportunities to restrict them to under 300 but considering the momentum that they had at times we did really well to keep them to 317. “Will Smith bowled awesome on that wicket.”

Englefield was happy with aspects of the batting effort.

“Chris Bartholomeusz batted 60 overs for 44 runs, he was a real anchor for us … then we had a couple of run outs that just ripped the soul out of us.

“However our strategy was to have a lengthy batting order and that nearly paid off.

“The partnership between Akhil and Tarin was just unbelievable, they got us right back within a sniff. They took the initiative away from [Country] … but we were against the clock a bit and when Akhil got bowled then Tarin got out it became a bit much to do in the end, although we got bloody close.”

Englefield described Pant’s knock as “amazing … one of the best hundreds I have seen for Marlborough, especially from the position we were in”.

“He put them under a lot of pressure. There was some crunching pull shots, some over cover and powerful drives down the ground.”

Next weekend Marlborough take on Buller in Blenheim, needing at least a first innings win to remain in the race for a play-off position in their zone. In another first round match, Nelson beat Buller on the first innings.



On Friday night the latest round of the Marlborough senior T20 competition took place.

Wairau Valley and Renwick were victorious, both prevailing by significant margins.

Valley took on Wairau and notched a comfortable win, restricting Wairau to 73-8 from their 20 overs, then running the total down for the loss of just one wicket in 9.4 overs.

Extras were top score for Wairau, with Colin Wood’s 16 runs next best. Sukhjinder Sukh claimed 4-10 from four overs while Tom Sloan bagged 2-5 from two.

Andrew Forgesson (47 runs from 33 balls) and Patrick Williams (16 from 21) made short work of the chase.

Renwick batted first against Marlborough Boys’ College, scoring 136-8 from 20 overs. Rikki Bovey (32 from 30), Mark Zillwood (30 from 33) and Ben Weaver (22 from 15) were the main contributors. Ben Holdaway claimed the remarkable figures of 5-17 from four overs for MBC.

The students struggled to score freely against a steady attack, being held to 102-6 when their 20-over complement was completed. Tim Petrie (23 from 28), Will Sutherland (20 from 32) and Holdaway (22 from 19) were the top MBC scorers while Nick Wilder (3-14) was the main wicket taker for Renwick.

Community supporter Alister Neal with Fire Fighter Scottie Henry. Photo: Paula Hulburt

Fire fighters’ life-saving donation

A volunteer fire force has raised thousands of dollars to bring a life saving device to a rural community.

Rarangi Voluntary Rural Fire Force has put up a defibrillator outside the Beach Road station.

It means people in the immediate area can access vital treatment faster should they suffer a cardiac arrest.

Firefighter Scottie Henry says the move fills a gap in getting emergency help when every second counts.

“It’s about community resilience.

“We have one [a defibrillator] on the truck but if we’re out it’s inaccessible.

“People do pull up outside the station in an emergency and to have the defibrillator here could save someone’s life.”

The community gave generously to the call for funds which helped pay for the $4000 defibrillator, batteries and pads.

A locked box keeps the equipment safe and users need to call 111 to get the pin number to unlock it.

With about 340 households in the vicinity of the station, it’s important that help is available as soon as possible, Scottie says.

“For every minute without defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10 per cent.”

The 14-strong volunteer force put a call out on Facebook for donations and then knocked on hundreds of doors around the community to secure funds.

People were delighted to take part and support the initiative, says Scottie.

“We are a community that looks after each other and if anyone, locals or tourists, need help, the defibrillator is there.

“It’s easy to see in its bright yellow case and there are instructions on it to follow.

“When you call 111 an operator will stay on the phone to talk you through what to do until help arrives,” he says.

Training people how the defibrillator works is the next step to help save lives.

“We hope that St John might help with that,” Scottie says, who revealed the Rarangi Fire Fighter Sky Tower Team 2020 had done well at last week’s challenge in Auckland.

Todd Neal came first in the Grand Master and Donned categories (carrying equipment) while James Cowie was second in his age group and in the Grand Masters.

The brigade is also starting a junior crew in the New Year.

“Five keen local teenagers have said they want to take part and we would like to see if we can get more.

“It’s a means to involve the wider community and hopefully get them keen on the idea of maybe volunteering with us later on,” Scottie says.

“We will do fire related learning including fire safety, use of our firefighting equipment and team building exercises.”

Email [email protected] for further information.