Blenheim court house. File photo.

Judge praises Picton stabbing victim

A 13-year-old boy had been drinking when he stabbed a Picton pensioner in her own home it has been revealed.

The boy, who admitted a charge of assault appeared in youth court after being arrested in June, has apologised to the victim for his actions.

And the 89-year-old women has been praised by the judge for her compassion and positivity.

Overseeing the hearing at Blenheim District Court last week, Judge Russell paid tribute to the victim.

“Her positivity and recovery are absolutely amazing.

“Her world was turned upside down and her physical recovery quite remarkable, but I don’t know how well she’s sleeping at night.”

The woman suffered severe stab wounds in the assault in the early hours of a Sunday morning.

She was taken to Wairau Hospital on Sunday morning and then flown to Wellington Hospital.

She has since been discharged and is home again.

Judge Russell says that at an earlier appearance in court she had been keen to ensure the attacker got the help he needed.

Accompanied in court by his mother, the boy has written letters of apology.

He is also looking at the possibility of volunteering in a bid to give back to the community.

Addressing the boy in court, Judge Russell said he was impressed with the victim’s handling of events.

“She was very compassionate and wants to make sure this never happens to anyone else ever again.

“She is just an amazing lady; a remarkable woman.”

Charged with wounding with intent and burglary, the teenager is being supported by family and Oranga Tamariki.

Following a Family Group Conference, plans have been put in place for the boy who has been remanded to home but can attend school.

A curfew is in place for the boy and there have been no breaches of bail.

The judge said he wanted to explore all avenues to understand what he [the boy] had done and mentioned the possibility of a psychiatric assessment.

Addressing the boy’s mother, Judge Russell asked her how she was feeling.

“You are living every parents’ worst nightmare. You are key in making this plan work.”

Leon MacDonald will be guest speaker at the 2020 Marlborough Sports Awards. Photo: Shuttersport.

Nominations roll in for 2020 sports awards

COVID may have played havoc with the sporting landscape in 2020, but there is still plenty for Marlborough’s sporting fraternity to celebrate at the annual sports awards evening on November 16.

Despite a disrupted year for many codes, nominations have flooded in for the 2020 Marlborough Sports Awards, over 30 nominees being put forward by 22 different sporting organisations.

To help celebrate, the organisers have also attracted a couple of former Marlborough sporting identities to spice up proceedings. Joe Wheeler, a former Tasman Mako, Crusaders and Highlanders forward, and latterly a Sky Sport presenter, will be master of ceremonies. Joe will be joined on stage by Blues coach Leon MacDonald, one of this province’s most successful sportsmen, with some lively banter guaranteed.

The annual celebration of sporting prowess, which has been running continuously since 1968, will have a slightly-modified format in 2020.

The MSA organising committee have opted to stage a more “grassroots” awards evening this year, with the aim of reducing potential costs to sports bodies, the nominees’ individual sponsors, plus the major supporters of the event.

Trophies will still be awarded across all five categories, with an overall winner announced, while the Marlborough Medal, for lengthy service to sport in the province, will again be presented.

Ticket prices for the evening have been reduced to $30 per head and can be purchased on the Marlborough Sports Awards website.  Although there will be no formal dinner there will be a light supper and dessert served, plus some beverages.

As usual, trophies will be presented across five categories -sportsman and sportswoman of the year, junior sportsman and sportswoman, plus team of the year. The five winners will then be eligible for the supreme award, the title of Marlborough Sportsperson of the Year.

For more information on the 2020 Marlborough Sports Awards please contact [email protected] or go to the website www. marlboroughsportsawards.

The Marlborough Sports Awards are jointly run by Sport Tasman, Blenheim Round Table and Marlborough Media.

The event’s main sponsors are House of Travel, Redwood Trust, MoreFM, WK Advisors and Accountants, Marlborough Convention Centre and Fairweathers.

Marlborough mayor John Leggett and Niki Waitai. Photo: Supplied.

Young mum helping others overcome adversity

A Blenheim woman who returned to the region to get back to her Māori roots is helping others overcome adversity.

Growing up in Australia, Niki Waitai was determined to bring her family home to Blenheim.

Now the inspiring young mum is helping other women, some with mental health and addiction issues, to get back on their feet.

She credits Māori health provider, Te Piki Oranga, and industry training organisation, Careerforce, for supporting her while she learned on the job.

“We wanted our kids to have a sense of belonging, their identity, a sense of who they are. I missed that, being Māori in another country,” says Niki.

Although Niki says she wasn’t great at school, it was during her time at Te Piki Oranga, where she developed a thirst for learning.

She completed the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Levels 2 and 3 in just one year and is keen to do more.

“It was an awesome way to study. I really enjoyed the journey.

“Careerforce helped me to rediscover my desire for learning,” Niki says.

Niki moved to the new role of Pūkenga Manaaki (Whānau Navigator) within the Blenheim-based organisation a year ago.

She provides an intensive service that helps support vulnerable hapu māmā and whānau with personalised intervention.

“I am privileged to support mums, many of whom have an addiction of some sort, and/or may have mental health issues, often parenting alone, and living in chaos.

“I am really grateful for this role, it’s very rewarding to play a part in the lives of whanau who need awhi support to get back on their feet,” she says.

Niki helps women and their whānau. from maternity through to antenatal and childhood up to three years old.

The goal is to encourage resilience and self-management to achieve their own aspirations and goals, she says.

Careerforce Workplace Advisor, Paula Cohen encouraged Niki to enrol in the NZ Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice.

“I was learning and then actively practising the tools I had learnt with whānau.  It was very hands on,” says Niki.

“With applied practice, I was able to acknowledge and recognise what I had learnt in the case studies and apply it.

“I learnt about reflective practice and I’ve applied it on the job.   It’s so important, it’s helped with my confidence, in working with whānau.”

Niki plans in becoming a social worker and will apply for a degree course next year.

David Havili crosses for the first of his two tries on Sunday. Photo: Shuttersport.

Mako savage Stags in second spell

A second half resurgence against Southland at Trafalgar Park eased Tasman up to second place on the Mitre 10 Cup premiership ladder on Sunday.

Waikato sit atop on 27 points with three rounds remaining before the play-offs, but the Mako and Auckland are snapping at their heels on 25 and Wellington are just a point adrift on 24. Tasman have matches against traditional provincial powerhouses Wellington, Canterbury and Otago to come.

On Sunday, they needed to get their campaign back on track after being dominated by Auckland the previous week, but found the early going tough against a Stags side intent on mounting punishing defence and breakdown pressure. Consequently the home side, who had the wind at their backs in the first half, led only 7-3 at the break, before romping away after oranges to win 47-10.

Tasman were their own worst enemy at times, spurning several clear-cut scoring opportunities, a situation they remedied in the second 40.

Co-head coach Clarke Dermody said his side were “a bit more focussed on execution” in the second spell.

“There was a lot of space [in the first half] and the boys were seeing it, but were just rushing things a bit.

“Sometimes when there is heaps of space on the field you rush to get the ball there … when we started building phases and not forcing off-loads the game started to unravel and play out like we thought it would.

“I’m pleased with how we finished and how our guys reacted after halftime.”

Ultimately Tasman bagged seven tries, six of them converted, as the hefty defensive workload required by Southland began to take its toll late in the game.

“Southland are a good team,” said Dermody, “they weren’t going to go away, we had to try and put them away, that’s the pleasing thing.”

No 8 Taina Fox-Matamua, playing his first game for the season, was Tasman’s first half tryscorer, while skipper David Havili, centre Fetuli Paea, flanker Sione Havili and Mitch Hunt dotted down in the second spell. Hunt landed four conversions and Tim O’Malley two.

Asked if his side had needed a confidence boost after last week’s loss, Dermody said the side prepared “pretty much the same” each week.

“Then it just comes down to game day execution … obviously we didn’t quite get that right in Auckland last week and there is some stuff to work on from today so we will do what we always do, pull the game apart and put it back together for Saturday [against Wellington].”

A feature of Sunday’s effort was the debut of schoolboy loose forward star Anton Segner from the bench, while it was a first outing for the season for Sam Moli and Fox-Matamua.

“Anton came on and made a real difference,” said Dermody, “and I was pleased for Sam who is coming back from long-term injury. Stoked to see those young fellas go well.”

Tasman turned out on Sunday in brown-and-white hooped Golden Bay-Motueka jerseys to celebrate 100 years of existence for the sub-union, making it a special occasion for David Havili who represented Golden Bay Motueka in the junior grades, along with his brother, father and grandfather.

The Wairau players gather together at the fall of Bailey Andrews-Kennedy’s wicket. Photo: Peter Jones.

Wins to Celtic and Wairau

Celtic are frontrunners for a spot in the Marlborough 50-over cricket final with one round to go.

On Saturday they picked up their second win, beating Renwick by five wickets at Horton Park.

On the adjoining ground Wairau kept their final hopes alive by beating Wairau Valley by the same margin, leaving both Wairau and Valley with a win each and Renwick out of play-off contention.

Opting to bowl after winning the toss, Celtic made early inroads. At 35-4 Renwick were struggling, but a 91-run partnership between top scorer Corey Bovey and Joseph Timms resurrected their innings.

However, when Bovey was caught behind off Matt McCormick’s medium pace bowling, and Timms perished from the last ball of Jerrym Lamb’s 10-over spell, the innings quickly folded for 157 in the 40th over.

Bovey finished on 38 from 64 balls, while Timms slammed 56 from just 42 deliveries. Max Brydon chipped in with 18 to bolster the tail.

Shovak Djokovic with 3-29 from six overs was the top wicket-taker while Reuben Kepes, Josh Poole and Lamb grabbed a brace each.

In reply, Celtic lost opener John Porter early but established two handy partnerships for the second and third wickets.

Logan Robinson and Josh Poole added 46 runs, then Poole and Jack Holdaway took the score through to 97. Although Poole (65 off 47) and Holdaway (13) perished, middle order batsmen Jerrym Lamb (29 not out) and Liam Young (27 not out) ensured Celtic got the job done in the 34th over, ending at 158-5.

Griffen Carter with 2-18 from 7 overs was the most successful of the Renwick bowlers, Mike Anstis, Jacob Zillwood and Bovey picking up a scalp apiece.

In the other match, Valley were unable to set a formidable total and paid the price.

Their batting effort was disappointing, 46 from Matthew Stretch and 27 from Patrick Moran being the only significant scores against a steady Wairau attack who bowled Valley out for 138 in the 36th over.

Tarin Mason’s 3-21 from five overs highlighted the Wairau effort, while Nick Weaver was economic with 1-18 from six as was left arm spinner Tim Petrie with 1-20 from eight.

With a lack of specialist batsmen in their ranks Wairau needed their allrounders to step up and Mason did just that. Opening the batting the rep pace bowler scored a patient, match-winning 72, Cooper Roberts adding 15 and Weaver 25 to get Wairau home in the 45th over, scoring 140-5.

Sam Boyce, 2-29 from 10, and Stretch, with 2-42 from nine, were the most successful of the Valley bowlers.

The new station will benefit the whole community. Graphic supplied.

St John reveal plans for new ambulance station

Plans for a new state-of-the-art ambulance station have been unveiled as crews look to move from their current cramped headquarters.

A new purpose-built station on Alabama Road is set to replace the Seymour Street depot.

The move will help end traffic issues and provide a community asset for years to come, planners say.

Submitting a resource consent to Marlborough District Council, architects put forward plans which include bedrooms, study rooms, meeting and crew rooms.

“A well resourced and modern St John facility is a considerable asset to the wider community.

“The present St John’s location in Seymour Street is significantly undersized, with traffic issues as ambulances are required to back into the building,” the plans state.

St John’s have been looking for new premises for a few years and a geotechnical report was carried out on the new 5977 square metre section in 2018.

The new base would be situated on land near the Redwood Tavern. The proposed site will include two road frontages.

The owner of the land, Redwood Development, has applied to subdivide the land.

In figures supplied to council, St Johns say they dealt with an average of 12 call outs in 24 hours.

The station is staffed day and night, with staff doing 12-hour shifts. Under the proposal, all emergency vehicles would return to base via Allen Street.

“St John have already proven to be excellent neighbours on their present site and take community relations extremely seriously,” the report says.

Keeping near by neighbours happy is a top priority.

While sirens are excluded from noise standards, they would not be used until ambulances were leaving.

“Sirens are not normally used until going to an emergency so that the same residential properties are not affected all the time,” the submission states.

Road access and closer proximity to Wairau Hospital were advantages to the new site, the application stays.

“Additional traffic will be minimal. It will provide valuable support to the community into the years ahead.”

St John have been approached for comment.

The application will be heard by council before a decision is made.

Ant Walkenhorst was part of the victorious Rapaura Wairau River Blanc combination. Photo: Peter Jones.

Tennis competitions underway

The 2020 Marlborough Tennis Association’s Wine Brokers NZ premier tennis competition kicked off with some entertaining encounters on Wednesday evening.

In division the favoured teams prevailed – Rapaura Wairau River Blanc beating Marlborough Forrest Wines 6-0 and defending champions Renwick CPR easing past Rapaura Wairau River Noir 5-1.

In the first match, the Rapaura Blanc combination of Glen Cameron, Ant Walkenhorst, Donna Clark and Hiro Kishida proved too strong across both doubles and singles, winning each match in straight sets.

In the other, the Renwick team of Oscar Sandford-Jury, Dave Sandford, Joseph Sandford-Jury and Mieko Kimura also notched a comfortable victory, Oscar and his father Dave beating Ben Burridge and Jared Bell 6-1, 6-3 in the top doubles match to open their side’s account.

Of note was Rapaura youngster Ella Sowman’s 6-2, 6-4 singles win in her first premier match, providing her team’s single point.

In division two the scorelines were closer.

Renwick Rallycats, comprising Daniel Riordan, Luan Muir, Jason Anderson and Geoff Duckett, downed Rapaura Wairau River Rose 4-2. Two of the matches won by Renwick went to a super tiebreaker while Tony Fenemor and Eveline van der Linden claiming singles wins for Rapaura in what is shaping as a tight competition.

To illustrate that point, the other division two match ended 3-3, Marlborough Nga Hau e Wha taking the honours 8-7 on countback over Marlborough Next Gen.

The winning team won both doubles, the top match between Next Gen’s Joe Yank and William Poff, against Jan Dexter Cabiling and Ivan Fedoryshchev being decided in a super tiebreaker 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.

Presidents grade also kicked off this week, with teams doing battle across four grades around the various courts of Marlborough.

WK+ Presidents Grade Results from October 13.

Division 1: Rapaura Masters 2 (27) Rapaura Wairau River 2 (29); Grovetown Grove Tavern Top Shelf 3 Rapaura Just Move 1; Renwick Netsetters 0 MTC Chilli 4.

Division 2: MTC Volleyeurs 1 MTC Swallows 3; Rapaura Matadors 1 MTC Power 3; MTC Marvels 4 Renwick Mighty Four 0; Rapaura Newhawkes 3 Rapaura Pinot 1.

Division 3: Renwick Miss Hits 0 MTC Tennis the Menace 4; Rapaura Chardonnay 1 Renwick Re-strung 3; Grovetown Grove Tavern Turf & Tackle v Renwick Rookies n/s; Renwick Rebels 1 Renwick Racketeers 3.

Division 4: Rapaura Defenders 0 Rapaura Shiraz 4; MTC Boom Boom Time 4 Grovetown Grove Tavern Platters 0; Renwick Racquets 2 (28) Renwick Rascals 2 (22).

Marlborough bowler Joel Pannell sends down another delivery from the southern end of Horton Park. Photo: Peter Jones.

Cricket reps warm up with win

The Marlborough senior representative cricket team have wasted little time in getting in some match practice as the new season starts.

On Sunday they took on a Tasman under-19 combination at Horton Park, handy exercise for both teams.

In the end, Marlborough prevailed by 64 runs, having scored a healthy 297 from 46 overs batting first, then dismissing the Under-19 side for 233.

Marlborough’s innings was based around their middle order. After slipping to 3-18, Matthew Stretch with 85 and 106 from Jerrym Lamb, who retired after reaching three figures, resurrected the home side’s innings. Akhil Pant chipped in with a hard-hit 61 as the Under-19 bowlers came under the pump.

Best of the attack was Nelson’s Ronan Restieaux who grabbed the outstanding figures of 4-13 from his six overs. Josh Newport and Tom Sutherland both claimed 1-31 from their six.

Tasman lost a couple of wickets early before a 114-run partnership between Harry Mowart and Finn Raxworthy steadied the ship. However, when Mowart was run out for 49 and Raxworthy dismissed for a patient 35, momentum was lost. Tim Petrie with 24 and Restieaux, 21, added some handy runs down the order but eventually their side was dismissed in the 45th over.

Pant, who claimed 4-35 with his medium pacers, and the promising Bailey Andrews-Kennedy, 3-24, claimed the bulk of the wickets.

Blenheim court house. File photo.

Nurse escapes prison after credit card theft

A nurse convicted of stealing two credit cards from patients has been sentenced to six months of home detention.

Marvel Clavecilla, 46, was yesterday sentenced at Blenheim District Court to 180 days home detention, 180 days of curfew and 60 hours of community service.

The judge said it was the maximum sentence he could impose without sending Clavecilla to prison.

Clavecilla stole two credit cards, one from 90-year-old, Doris Follows, after she died on March 29 and the other from an 89-year-old Blenheim woman admitted to Wairau Hospital for three nights in May this year.

He used both cards to buy take away meals, fuel and groceries.

The woman’s son, Mike O’Donnell, had met with Clavecilla at a restorative justice meeting last month on behalf of his mother.

“I’ve been hugely impressed by the courage and graciousness shown by my mum throughout this terrible ordeal.”

He was in court yesterday to see the former Wairau Hospital nurse sentenced.

“It was a dreadful situation and a huge violation of trust. What Marvel did accelerated mum going into full time care, but I think it’s a just decision and one which will be enabling for her to move forward.”

In a letter to the court, the woman said she believed Clavecilla was genuinely sorry for what he had done.

She did not want to see his family suffer because of his actions she wrote.

“I’ve been here [in the rest home] two weeks now, and my move here was strongly influenced by the stress and fear that your offending had on my life.

“I was devastated to learn what happened to me at hospital – to get home and read the credit card statement was unbelievable.  I’d always felt safe here in Blenheim where I live.  Your actions changed that.

“I was rushed into X-ray after midnight urgently, at that time I spoke to my nurse and said I want to take my handbag with me please, she said to me not to worry … She was wrong.

“I am a very caring person  and have helped many people in my  years  gone by  … especially here in Blenheim over the last 18 years where I have worked with members of the Vanuatu community to help and support them.

For that reason I  hope Marvell you will think about the wrong you have done to me , with my health deteriorating since …and make a change to his life going forward  for his family and the future of them all.

“You are very fortunate Marvell to live in New Zealand where your sons will have wonderful opportunities to get a wonderful education and make their way in this world, like my own son has done.

“Take that opportunity with both hands and cherish it greatly.”

Marvel had resigned from his job at Wairau Hospital rather than face the sack after being charged with 32 counts of credit card theft.

The victim’s son, who praised both his mum and the other victim’s family for their courage throughout the case, says Marvel had been contrite and upset over his actions.

“The judge was really good, really thorough and went through similar cases for legal precedent. We are grateful for the time he spent on it.

“His starting point was a custodial sentence but because he [Marvel] pleaded guilty and showed remorse he was given home detention.

“He and his family have been ostracised on social media and his father, who holds a judicial role in the Philippines, had faced ostracising too.

“We do not want Marvel’s two sons to grow up taking the same path as their dad and that could be the case had he received a custodial sentence.”

The Mako camp will be doing some serious soul-searching this week. Photo: Shuttersport.

Auckland is a bridge too far for Mako

One pointless trip to Auckland can be dismissed as a “bad day at the office”; a second shocker in the City of Sails represents a disturbing trend for the Tasman Mako.

The defending champs began the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup as competition favourites but, after successive away defeats to North Harbour and Auckland, their odds will be quickly lengthening.

And it’s not just the fact they have lost a couple of games up north, it’s the fashion in which they have been beaten that will have the team’s brains trust scratching their collective heads.

In both matches they have struggled for on-going continuity and cohesion, being comprehensively outplayed for long periods. The disciplined, ruthless edge that marked their 2019 triumph is missing. There is no shortage of effort, in fact at times they appear to be trying too hard, forcing passes and choosing high-risk options rather than building pressure.

A frustrated Mako skipper David Havili said after Saturday’s match, lost 31-10, “we can’t just expect it is going to happen on game day”, perhaps pinpointing a lack of intensity compared with their rivals.

“Our game just comes back down to our mind set and making sure that we turn up on Saturday with the right attitude,” he added.

“It’s pretty tough to swallow … we need to look at ourselves, we can’t leak points like that in this competition or we will just get put away.”

From the opening whistle of Saturday’s match at Coopers Catch Park, temporarily named after a Kaikoura fish and chip shop therefore nominally a home ground for the Mako, the Tasman troops looked listless, especially up front. Auckland’s first two tries stemmed from the irresistible work of their forwards close to the line, Tasman’s goal line defence not up to the mark.

Some sloppy lineout work compounded the issue while the hunger to secure 50/50 ball right across the park was clearly absent, especially in the first half when the damage was done.

Stopping the bleeding in a second spell they won 10-7 will be of little consolation to a proud Mako squad and support staff, who have set particularly high standards in recent times.

A small consolation for the Mako can be gleaned from last year’s results. In round robin play, Auckland were swamped 40-0 by Tasman, but the northerners turned it around in the semifinal, pushing the Mako all the way during an 18-9 loss in Blenheim.

However, some areas of the Mako game need immediate attention if the heroics of the previous campaign are to be repeated. Tasman are still well-placed for a semifinal position, but with games against the likes of Wellington and Canterbury, both play-off contenders, to come that can certainly not be taken for granted.

Next up for the Mako is a home match against Southland at Trafalgar Park on Sunday, kick off 2.05pm.