Dr Jean Simpson, Carrie Mozena, Leeson Bradley and Margaret Gibbs celebrate Warmer Healthier Homes’ 2000th insulation. Photo: Erin Bradnock.

Milestone for healthy homes

Erin Bradnock

A project dedicated to making the homes of those in the Top of the South warmer and healthier to live in has just celebrated its 2000th insulation.

Warmer Healthier Homes Nelson – Marlborough has been subsidising insulation projects in the region since 2014.

Project chairman Leeson Baldey says it’s an amazing achievement for the programme, which is administered by Absolute Energy.

“It’s 2000 families living in healthy homes.”

The project began in partnership between Rata Foundation, Nelson Tasman Housing Trust, Nelson City Council, and Nelson Marlborough DHB to address unhealthy homes in the region.

Insulating a home typically costs between $2,500 to $5000 in New Zealand.

Over 30 people gathered at the Boathouse last Thursday to celebrate the milestone.

Henry Nepia of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority says they don’t often get to celebrate the wins.

“And there’s been a lot of them over the years.”

Henry acknowledged the work still to be done, saying the authority is still getting up to a 1000 inquiries for insulations a week.

Project founder and former chairman Bill Dahlberg was instrumental in the project’s founding and success.

He says it was aimed at addressing vulnerable communities who frequented health care because of cold and damp homes.

Bill says meeting the families who receive the insulation is the best thing about the work.

“I remember I went back to one family six months later, who couldn’t believe the difference a dry house makes.”

A truck driver was winched to safety after his vehicle rolled down a bank on a remote rural road. Photo: Blenheim Police/Supplied.

First aid training helps save trapped driver

Two mechanics used their work radios to get help to a seriously injured truck driver trapped in the crushed cab of his vehicle.

Marlborough Lines line mechanics Sam White and Kyle Marfell rushed to the rescue after the accident on Wednesday.

Using first aid training and medical kits from their work Utes, the pair got help and were on hand to help the driver.

With no mobile reception, Kyle got to higher ground and used the radio to contact staff at the Marlborough Lines building in Blenheim, Sam says.

The team there alerted the emergency services.

Sam says the workplace first aid training he had done “just kicked in.”

“It was really helpful. The guy was conscious throughout which was good, but we could see cuts on his head and arms.

“It’s lucky we were there as there’s no mobile reception. I could see blood, but he seemed to have stopped bleeding; we just tapped him up.”

A pilot vehicle was leading the truck carrying a 25-tonne digger.

The truck rolled multiple times down a steep bank on the Black Birch Observatory road, just off the Awatere Valley Road.

Sam, who has been employed with Marlborough Lines for ten years, says they were just arriving on site to set up for the day when they were alerted to the crash.

“There was a guy on the track who had been working on the vineyard down below. The pilot vehicle driver was there too.”

Dense vegetation and a steep drop made access difficult, but they hacked their way through, Sam says.

The driver suffered severe injuries and had to be stabilised by emergency services on the ground before being flown to hospital by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter crew.

Sam, who went straight back to work after the incident, says he would like to catch up with the driver when he’s feeling better.

“He was a good bloke.”

A spokeswoman for Nelson Marlborough Health says the patient was in a stable condition in Nelson Hospital this afternoon.

Andre du Toit won the A grade title at the Kaituna range over Labour weekend. Photo: Peter Jones.

Shooters defy breeze to register good scores

Young South African shooter Andre du Toit, representing the Malvern club, claimed the A grade title at the Marlborough Fullbore Shooting Championship, staged over three days at Labour Weekend.

Forty eight competitors at the Kaituna range had to contend with a weekend of warm nor’westerly crosswinds making accuracy a challenge.

The net result of the conditions was that only 11 possibles were shot over the weekend, Alan White from Malvern bagging three of them.

In A grade du Toit led from the front for most of the weekend to take out the title with 475.33 from Brian Carter (Te Puke) on 473.30 and White on 472.27.

Du Toit arrived in New Zealand two years ago from the Transvaal area of South Africa. He has represented his homeland at under-19 and senior level, shooting for South Africa at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He hopes to become eligible for NZ in time to shoot for this country at the world champs in 2023.

Entry numbers for the annual champs were well up on 2019, due to the strong support of those prepared to travel long distances and the addition of the two new F Classes. Shooters travelled from as far afield as Dunedin, Gore, Te Puke and Hamilton.

The Long Range aggregate was decided using the 900 yard scores with three tied on 185.10, with Carter winning from Ross Mason (Trentham) and Bevan Mehrtens (Malvern).

In B grade Les Marshall (Hawkes Bay) had a comfortable five point margin with 457.24 from Megan Snowden (Ashburton) with 452.25 and Martin Fleming (Ashburton) 452.23.

In C grade Shaun Ellis (Cheltenham) won easily with 435.11 from Brian Hawksby (Ashburton) on 420.18 and John Fleming (Ashburton) on 417.14

The tightest competition of the weekend was in F Open with Ian Hughes (Cheltenham) and Mike Chui (Ashburton) battling for supremacy. Going into the final shoulder-to-shoulder 900 yard match they were four Xs apart. Hughes came out on top, scoring 565.29 to Chui’s 563.27.

In FTR Murray Cook (Ashburton was a runaway winner on 535.21 from Mark Alexander (Malvern) on 506.19 and Les Grimsey (Oamaru) on 502.11.

In the new FTR Classic class Sharon Grimsey (Oamaru) won on 514.16 from Conal Richardson (Cheltenham) on 504.7 and Mike Slade (Kaituna), 502.10.

On Monday afternoon, four club TR teams and two club F class teams fought out the coached teams match.

The Malvern TR team of du Toit, Charlotte Flanagan, Alan White and Chris Kershaw, coached by Bevan Mehrtens and Richard Rowlands, were dominant with all four shooters scoring in the 70s over the 15 shots to win with 283.17 from Cheltenham on 266.5. The only other shooter to better the 70 mark was Megan Snowden (Ashburton), coached by her father John, who top scored the match with 73.2.

In the F Class match the Cheltenham team of Ian Hughes, Shaun Ellis, Conal Richardson and Greg Hayes won with 320.10 from Ashburton on 314.6.

Rapaura Wairau River Blanc duo Glen Cameron, serving, and Ant Walkenhorst during their doubles match on Wednesday. Photo: Peter Jones.

Tennis leaders pushed all the way

Renwick CPR continued their unbeaten run in the Wine Brokers NZ Marlborough premier tennis competition, but were made to fight all the way to secure victory on Wednesday evening.

Renwick defeated Marlborough Forrest Wines on a countback in the match of the round after matches were tied at 3-3.

Marlborough made a fast start, Hamish Morrow and Jay Geris beating the father and son combination of Oscar Sandford-Jury and Dave Sanford 6-3, 6-4 in the top doubles.

However Renwick bounced back in the other double, Joseph Sandford-Jury and Mieko Kimura beating Stephen Dempster and

Amber Lyons in straight sets.

With Oscar Sandford-Jury edging Morrow in a third set tie-breaker in the top singles Renwick got their nose in front, however Lyons notched a three-set win over Kimura in the women’s singles to level the tie again.

Dempster won his singles clash, as did Joseph Sandford-Jury, leaving the overall match scores tied, Renwick prevailing 69-63 on games won after each side won the same number of sets.

In the other tie, Rapaura Wairau River Blanc defeated Rapaura Wairau River Noir 5-1.

In the top double, Ant Walkenhorst and Glen Cameron defeated Hamish McRae and Jared Bell 6-3, 7-5. Blanc then went 2-0 up when Hugh Robinson and Donna Clark defeated Blair Harvey and Ella Sowman 6-4, 6-4.

In the singles Walkenhorst beat McRae 7-5, 6-2, Robinson downed Harvey 6-4, 7-6, Cameron overcame Bell 6-1, 6-4 and Sowman defeated Clark 6-4, 6-4 to claim Noir’s point.

In division two, Marlborough Next Gen defeated Rapaura Wairau River Rose 4-2 while Renwick Rallycats downed Marlborough Nga Hau Wha 5-1.

Tasman flanker Sione Havili was in outstanding form in Porirua. Photo: Shuttersport.

Mako forwards tame Lions

The Tasman forward pack answered their doubters in the best possible fashion on Saturday, setting up a commanding 19-3 victory over Wellington in Porirua.

After being dominated up front during the side’s only losses this season, to North Harbour and Auckland, doubts began to surface over the potency of the Mako forwards.

However, after paving the way for a comfortable win over Southland last weekend they stepped up to another level at the weekend, totally outplaying one of the leading premiership side’s packs.

The battle of the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup premiership finalists was expected to be close, especially given their respective records this year.

Interestingly, only five of the 13 Mako forwards named for the decider at Trafalgar Park last year fronted up for Saturday’s rematch – Andrew Makalio, who impressed in his 50th game for the union, the returning Quinten Strange, Sione Havili, who gets better with each outing, Isaac Salmon and Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta.

In contrast, Wellington fielded eight of their forward mix from the 2019 final.

However it was the visiting side at Jerry Collins Stadium who looked the more powerful, cohesive, organised outfit. Their scrum held the upper hand for most of the match, their lineout was sound despite tricky conditions and both the Mako tries came from unstoppable lineout drives. Allied to that slick set piece work came some bruising defence from the big men, ensuring Wellington’s ball-carriers rarely breached the gain line.

Mako co-head coach Andrew Goodman was “stoked” by his side’s efforts today, especially the forward display.

“That was an important win for our season really,” he said.

When the Mako turned at halftime with an 11-point lead, despite playing with a strong wind at their backs, the game was very much in the balance, but Goodman said his side’s leaders pulled the right strings.

“[The wind] was very gusty and hard to play into, but I felt our nine [Finlay Christie] and 10 [Mitch Hunt] played really well in the second half. However it was the forwards today who laid the platform for that victory … the maul, the scrum, just all the work they had to get through.

“Isaac Salmon, both at scrum time and on defence, was outstanding. A lot of the boys that have been given more of an opportunity this year stood up today. I’m really proud of them.”

Goodman also praised the input of experienced squad members Ethan Blackadder and Strange. “Even when they have been unable to take the field they have been massive for us this year with all the work they have done with the lads, off the field.”

The return of Strange, an All Black-in-waiting, to the field could not have come at a better time for the Mako, his presence an inspiration to his team mates.

“It’s great to have his leadership back,” said Goodman, “he’s driven standards really high during the last couple of weeks when he’s been back on the training pitch so we hope to get a few more minutes from him next week.

The Mako, who briefly returned to the top of the premiership table with their victory, meet cellar-dwellers Canterbury in Blenheim on Saturday, kick off 7.05pm.

Local driver Anton Rasmussen took out the ClubSport Briggs LO206 Heavy title. Photo: Peter Jones.

Karting champs draw strong field

Karters revelled in the return of national-level sprint events at the South Island meeting in Blenheim over Labour Weekend.

The meeting saw spirited racing across all classes, with defending title holder and local driver William Exton (125cc Rotax Max Light) taking top honours at the Cresswell Electrical-backed South Island champs.

Ninety-three drivers, included a handful of North Islanders, competed in the event on the outskirts of Blenheim, with several locals managing podium positions.


Class title winners were:

125cc Rotax Max Light – William Exton (Marlborough)

125cc Rotax Max Heavy – Matthew Butchart (Richmond)

Rotax Junior – Chris White (Christchurch)

Vortex Mini ROK – Zach Tucker (Christchurch)

Cadet ROK – Jackson Culver (Rangiora)


Two non-championship support classes were also contested at the South Island titles meeting for drivers running Briggs & Stratton 4-stroke engined LO206 karts.

They were won by:  ClubSport Briggs LO206 Light – Tony Dyer (Nelson); ClubSport Briggs LO206 Heavy – Anton Rasmussen (Marlborough).

Local driver Charlie Botham finished second in the Cadet Rok class, age 7-9, Arthur Broughan came second in the Vortex Mimi Rok section, age 9-12, while Archie Botham finished sixth and William Ruffell ninth.

Pete Richardson came home 12th in the Rotax senior division. Cory Crossan came second in the Briggs Light class, with Mike Kendrick a close second behind Rasmussen in the Briggs Heavy.

The next event is the local club champs on November 15.

Guest speaker Sir Michael Hill with the grantees and regrant recipients on Thursday evening. Photo: Supplied.

Another inspirational evening

Two new names were added to the ever-growing list of Marlborough youngsters helped along their career paths by the Inspire Foundation Marlborough during a glittering evening at the Marlborough Convention Centre on Thursday, October 22.

Given the extraordinary happenings of 2020, the Foundation decided to go all out and host a sit-down dinner for 300 with Sir Michael Hill as the guest speaker to honour the next round of grantees and raise awareness of the Foundation’s work.

“What a way to toast the talent in our region and pause to reflect how lucky we are to be able to have a large gathering to celebrate our future leaders in these uncertain times,” said Inspire spokesperson Angela Wilson.

“Sir Michael was highly entertaining … his life story reflects the values of our foundation – grit, resilience, determination, and ability to overcome adversity to shine. While very funny, and beautifully delivered, his speech had many poignant points that were relevant not to just our grantees but to all present.”

With an eye on ensuring the future of the Foundation a fundraising auction was staged, with items such as an art piece drawn by Sir Michael Hill during lock down, a signed jersey from Emirates Team NZ and a signed golf glove worn by Tiger Woods in 2002 among the more popular bids.

TVNZ reporter Kaitlyn Ruddock was MC for the evening.

Since the Inspire Foundation Marlborough came into being in this region in November 2017, 33 grantees have been recognised, several receiving regrants to help them further along their way. Joseph Sullivan and Craig Harper have been appointed Inspire Ambassadors.

The first grantee on Thursday was smallbore shooter Dom Henry. He represented New Zealand twice in the past year in this demanding sport and been accepted into the New Zealand junior development programme. Dom placed fifth overall at the national secondary school championships and was selected in the New Zealand team to face Great Britain. The 16-year-old was also selected for the second year on the NZ under 21 men’s team. He hopes to be chosen for the 2021 Oceania Shooting Championships and his long-term goal is to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The other new grantee was musician Sharon Wilson. After specialising in the flute for many years, Sharon recently decided to take up the cello. Although many of her lessons have been online because of COVID, she has made rapid progress with both instruments and is lead flute in various stage musical shows, as part of the local orchestra.  She is currently working towards grade 8 for both flute and cello and is part of the NZSO mentoring programme for both instruments. Her goal next year is to be part of the New Zealand Secondary School’s Symphony orchestra, be part of the National Youth Orchestra and eventually after finishing her studies at university she would like to be playing professionally.

Regrants were also announced to a couple of outstanding performers in the musical field – composer Kodi Rasmussen and tenor horn player Eleanor Grigg.

The evening also offered a chance to re-recognise three previous grantees who were named during a Zoom ceremony at the height of the COVID lockdown – touch player Nikau Peipi, forensic scientist Stephie Loncar and violinist Lauren Doherty.

To qualify for a grant, applicants must be aged between 15 and 23 years of age, a resident of Marlborough for at least three years with New Zealand Citizenship and have demonstrated extraordinary ability or potential in any of the areas of Arts, IT, Design, Music, Science, Research, Education, Sport or Community Service.

Greg Bryant, croquet’s national head coach, is heartened by the sport’s growth. Photo: Peter Jones.

Croquet coach targets younger brigade

Greg Bryant, one of the nation’s most decorated croquet exponents, was in town recently to lend his expertise to a sport that has seen considerable growth in recent times.

The multiple NZ title-holder and part of MacRobertson Shield world championship-winning combination in 2014, is the national head coach and sport development officer. He came to Marlborough to hold a two-day workshop, focusing on upskilling the region’s coaches.

“Croquet in Marlborough is growing … both at the Blenheim and Brooklyn bases,” said Greg.

“We are seeing that nationally, particularly in golf croquet across all the regions.”

He puts the rise down to croquet becoming “more visible in the last decade”.

“There is more direct interaction with the croquet community and the national body. We have also established more community-based development initiatives, based around coaching coaches and our secondary schools programme.”

Previously viewed as something of a pastime for older competitors, croquet is becoming increasingly more youth-focused.

Underlining this trend is the fact that when the New Zealand team won the World Golf Croquet championships in Nelson this year the average age of the Kiwi side was 23. All of the Kiwi team had been previous under-21 world champions who had come out of the secondary schools programme.

Greg says NZ Croquet have been working hard on introducing the sport at school level over the past decade.

“Croquet traditionally has been known as a sport for elderly, retired folk but there was a real call from the [croquet] community to change that image.

In fact, all our test teams now are made up of young people, but they are not seen locally.”

Greg said COVID had stalled the secondary schools programme this year but the national organization planned to re-boot it, with the help of the regional sports trusts.

“Annually, the local croquet bodies host regional competitions in March to find qualifiers for the national secondary schools event in September … from there we are providing pathways into youth development programmes. So there are plenty of opportunities for kids to participate in the organized game and there are well-defined pathways right to the top of the sport.”

The sport is played in two forms – association croquet and golf croquet.

“There are different sets of rules but the coaching content is around techniques that are applicable to both codes,” explained Greg.

Golf croquet is the focus of the schools programme, being easy and quick to learn.

“But it’s a very challenging game to master,” suggested Greg.

“That’s the challenge with kids. They can pick up the game and be playing it in 10 minutes but they quickly realise that there is a lot of physical skill involved. The game is quick and very interactive, going shot-for-shot, plus it’s non-gender specific at school age and the youngsters like that interaction.

“And it’s something different … it’s stationary ball targets and most of the time school sport focusses on moving ball targets. It gives them their opportunity to expand their skill sets.

“It also provides a chance for non-participants in traditional games and sport to be involved.

“There are always kids who don’t want to take part in the mainstream sports but want to be involved in something and a lot of them are finding that avenue through golf croquet, it’s quite cool,” he added.

Marlborough batsmen Tim Petrie, left, and Matthew Stretch prepare to take a drinks break at a sunny Horton Park. Photo: Peter Jones.

Marlborough cricketers soundly beaten by Buller

The Marlborough senior rep cricket team were left rueing a below-par batting performance in their first outing of the 2020-21 season.

Up against Buller in a 50-over clash at Horton Park on Sunday, the home side were soundly beaten by seven wickets.

Marlborough, who were inserted after the visitors won the toss,  struggled their way to 107 in 29.5 overs, which the visitors chased down in quick time.

While the wicket was by no means hard and fast it was not as treacherous as the home side’s score suggested, merely being a little slow and difficult to score on early in one’s innings.

Buller’s attack was disciplined and economical, their bowlers targeting the wickets, resulting in four players being bowled and two adjudged lbw.

Losing makeshift opener Ben Ivory-McCullum from the first ball of the match set Marlborough on the back foot and they struggled to form partnerships of note thereafter.

No 3 batsman Tarin Mason hit out for 35 from 32 balls, skipper Matthew Stretch dug in, scoring 13 from 41 deliveries, while No 6 Akhil Pant played freely near the end, hitting 29 from just 28 balls, but there was limited contributions from the rest of the order.

The standout bowler for the visitors was medium pacer Ethan Slee, who bagged 5-28 from 7.5 overs. Fellow opener Sam Jope claimed 2-20 while the remainder of the attack – Alex Paterson, Troy Scanlon and John Noble – claimed a wicket apiece.

To have any chance of turning the match around Marlborough needed early wickets and, when Nick Weaver removed Scanlon with the score on 11, hopes were raised.

However, a 34-run partnership between James Richards and Andrew Duncan steadied the ship, then Duncan combined with Michael Grafton to bring the score level with Marlborough’s total in the 23rd over, before Duncan was dismissed for a match-high 57 from just 50 balls, with seven fours and three sixes.

Although Mason, Sam Boyce and Weaver picked up wickets, their side was well beaten, a lack of specialist batsmen coming back to haunt them.

Next up for the reps is a Newman Shield one-day challenge match in Nelson on November 15.


Finalists found     

Meanwhile, the finalists in the Marlborough 50-over competition have been found, Wairau Valley and Celtic booking places in next week’s trophy decider on Saturday.

Heavy outfield conditions after overnight rain saw the final round-robin matches reduced to 35-over affairs.

At Oliver Park, Valley easily accounted for a weakened Celtic outfit, prevailing by 129 runs.

Wairau, who required a bonus point win to ease their way into the final, were also well beaten, losing by 50 runs to Renwick, who claimed their first win of the season at Horton Park.

Batting first Renwick battled their way to 143-8, Akhil Pant (48) and Corey Bovey (23) providing the bulk of the runs. Tim Petrie grabbed three wickets, Nick Weaver and Chris Turkington two apiece.

In reply Wairau struggled from the outset, No 9 batsman Cameron Collins their top scorer with 26 as they slumped to 93 all out in the 29th over. Nick Wilder with 3-14 was top wicket-taker, while Jacob Zillwood and Rikki Bovey both claimed a brace.

Valley racked up a handy total of 163 against Celtic, Bailey Andrews-Kennedy (40) and Tim Abrahams (38) top scoring.

Matt McCormick bowled well to claim 3-14 from his seven overs.

Celtic’s reply was finished in 13 overs, Andrews-Kennedy grabbing the stunning figures of 6-16, fellow opening bowler Joel Pannell picking up 3-12 as Celtic were dismissed for just 34.

The current site of Marlborough Boys’ College is planned to become the site of a new Bohally School. File photo.

College build edges closer

Education bosses are set to appoint a contractor for the new colleges by the end of the year.

Ministry of Education staff have revealed bids from interested contractors were received last week, with an appointment set to be made soon.

The move means planning and design phases on the $100 million dollar upgrade can hopefully begin early next year.

Head of Education Infrastructure Service Kim Shannon says the project will transform education in the region, providing world-class education facilities for Marlborough learners.

“The co-location of Marlborough Boys’ and Girls’ Colleges and relocation of Bohally Intermediate will be one of the biggest projects that the Ministry has ever delivered.”

“The project will transform education in Marlborough, as well as supporting the Top of the South in its post-Covid recovery.”

“This is a really exciting time for all three schools, as well as the wider Blenheim community, and we’re looking forward to working with them as the project progresses,” she says.

After three years of unsuccessfully searching for a greenfield site, the Ministry of Education announced  the colleges would be co-located at the 13.2-hectare McLauchlan Street site,

The project will co-locate Marlborough Boys’ and Marlborough Girls’ College on the site currently occupied by Marlborough Girls’ and Bohally Intermediate.

The Intermediate will be relocated and rebuilt on the current Marlborough Boys’ College site.

Kim says official responses to their Request for Proposals were received last week.

She added the start of procurement is always an important milestone for a project.

“We will now be evaluating the responses, supported by the schools, over the next few weeks. We plan to engage a contractor-led consortium before the end of the year.

“The master planning and design phases will then begin in early 2021, which will inform both the project staging (how and when the individual aspects are carried out) as well as construction and completion timeframes,” she says.

All three schools are being kept in the loop about the project.

“We are in regular contact with both Colleges and Bohally Intermediate about the project, and representatives from all three schools are part of the project’s governance structure.

“The change in Government and COVID-19 have had no impact on the project or its delivery,’ says Kim.