Ted Culley won a national award in recognition of his work for the Graeme Dingle Foundation. Photo: Supplied.

Sanford boss awarded for work with students

A Marlborough boss who has helped boost confidence in thousands of students has been recognised for his dedication.

Ted Culley from Sanford Ltd has won the Graeme Dingle Foundation’s Outstanding Contribution from a Volunteer Award.

The long-term supporter, who was in Auckland to receive his award last week is a passionate community advocate.

“I have been involved in service clubs, school boards, hospice trust, wilding pines trust, and of course the Graeme Dingle Foundation.

“I started community service in the 1990s when I moved from the city to rural towns and had the desire to contribute back to the community.”

The General Manager Aquaculture for Sanford, won the award, given to the person who has contributed most to the Foundation’s aims of raising self-awareness and esteem among tamariki (young people). Sanford itself is also a long-term supporter of the Graeme Dingle Foundation.

His first exposure to the Foundation’s Kiwi Can programme came via Kaeo Primary School in the Far North.

“I saw the positive impact it had on kids.

“Then from 2002 I was based at Havelock and was keen to get the programme running at Havelock Primary School. This took some time for people to be convinced that it was needed.

“Sanford has been committed to this programme for over 20 years and it has been a team effort with support in regions right across NZ.

“When you see on a daily basis and first-hand the difference it makes to kids who have been through the programme, it is impossible not to become committed to it yourself,” he says.

Ted says that the award should be shared with others, and he is really representing the 250 sponsors who have supported him.

Earlier this year, Ted raised $30,000 through sponsors who supported him to undertake a 20,000ft skydive – which he lost 20kg to take part in.

“The programme has captured a number of my colleagues in Sanford to get involved in fundraising and mentoring which is great to see.

“Helping kids with life skills such as resilience and the ethics of ‘doing the right thing even when no one is looking’ is just gold.”

Several of the Filipino players who will be in action next weekend gathered at Stadium 2000 on Sunday to sharpen their basketball skills. Photo: Peter Jones.

Filipino festival set to attract a crowd

With basketball being the national sport of the Phillipines, it is little wonder that enthusiasm is running high for next weekend’s 2020 All Filipino Top of the South Sports Festival.

The annual Labour Weekend tournament involves teams from Marlborough, Nelson, Motueka, West Coast and Hurunui and is in its third year.

This year Marlborough hosts the popular event at Stadium 2000 on Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25.

There will be 10 basketball teams in action, plus three volleyball teams showing their skills.

Nelson and Marlborough have contested the final in the two previous tournaments, with Nelson teams winning both by a very narrow margin.

Tournament organiser Jayson Cruz expects over 200 people to pack the stadium on the weekend.

“All of us have been looking forward to this tournament every year. Luckily back on level one we can continue the tradition.

“We also have a Filipino gathering for all players and families of all involved starting at 6pm on Saturday, offering a chance for everyone to meet and greet.”

Teams will parade at the stadium first thing in the morning with the national anthems of the Philippines and New Zealand being played, followed by welcoming speeches.

Semifinals and finals will be played on Sunday, semis in morning around 10.20am and the final scheduled for 3pm.

There is also a three-pointer shootout competition planned before trophies are presented.

“Filipinos love their basketball”, added Jayson, “it is the national sport, and you can see Filipino teams competing in the local stadium competitions.”

The Nepalese Sherpa team: Nabin Shrestha, Padam Prashad Adhikari, Saphal Acharya, Rupesh Acharya, Ambika Basnet Shrestha and Rojee Khadgi. Not pictured are Sumil Shrestha and Yam Kumari Tamng. Photo: Supplied.

Ain’t no mountain high enough

A challenge of mountainous proportions is putting a team through their paces.

The Marlborough Mount Everest challenge got underway earlier this month.

And one Nepalese team are reaching new heights, taking the leader board by storm.

A group of Nepalese friends taking part under team name The Nepalese Sherpa have already clocked up 24390 metres between the eight of them.

The Marlborough Mount Everest Challenge is a run and walk event where the goal is for participants to travel the elevation of Mount Everest (8800 m) in the time that it took Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953 (7 weeks).

Padam Prashad Adhikari says some of their crew even hope to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest twice.

“We wanted to do it to represent our country and some of us are doing it for our own health.

“We’ve got to know more people in Picton and Blenheim who we meet while walking and who comment on the photos we put on Facebook – it helps encourage us on,” he says.

Organised by staff at the Port Marlborough Pavilion in Picton, the challenge is proving popular with 131 competitors currently taking part.

Port Marlborough Pavilion Project Coordinator Regan Russell says the event is going well.

“We have 131 competitors that have so far logged bang on 600 climbs. We have had some big numbers already with Iwan one of the individuals climbing to an altitude of 6396 meters in the ten days since we have started.”

“We aim to encourage local people to not only utilise the amazing local walking tracks that Marlborough has to offer, but to get fit while doing so,” Regan says.

The tracks chosen will allow participants to accomplish the goal by running or walking the Tirohanga track 36 times or the Mt Vernon Track 25 times during the seven-week period.

“We usually go out before or after work and try to do two walks back to back and we are certainly getting faster,” says Padam.

Stuart Smith MP and wife Julie were joined by Labour candidate Matt Flight and wife Dallas. Photo: Supplied.

Red tsunami fails to unseat Smith

National MP Stuart Smith has won the seat for the Kaikōura electorate.

Making it three election wins in a row, the incumbent beat closest rival and first time Labour Party candidate Matt Flight by 16,105 votes to 13,823 votes.

Celebrating with wife Julie and supporters at the ASB Theatre’s Whitehaven Room in Blenheim, Smith says he was delighted with the outcome.

Stuart comes from a Canterbury family that were fifth generation sheep and deer farmers.

He has held several local and national roles including being President of the New Zealand Grape Growers Council and Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers. He was subsequently inducted as a Fellow of the New Zealand Winegrowers Board for services to the industry.

In 2014 Stuart entered Parliament winning with a majority of around 11,000 votes and successfully held his seat in the 2017 election by a similar number.

“It is a privilege and an honour to be re-elected as the member of parliament for Kaikōura,” he says.

He was congratulated in person by closest rival Matt Flight who went to the after party to shake Smith’s hand in person.

Matt says he was “humbled and grateful” by the votes he had received

“Whilst we didn’t make it across the line here, I am so proud of our nationwide result that sees Jacinda and Labour returned for another three years.”

Wairau batsman Andrew McCaa registered the highest score on the opening day of the senior cricket competition. Photo: Peter Jones.

Valley, Celtic get off the mark early

Comfortable wins to Wairau Valley and Celtic marked the opening round of Marlborough senior club cricket on Saturday.

Both winning teams chased down mediocre totals in 50-over encounters. Valley beat Renwick by eight wickets on Horton Park one, while Celtic overcame Wairau by five wickets on No 3.

In the first game Renwick struggled to put together any partnerships of substance in their total of 130 from 36.1 overs, their best effort being a 27-run collaboration between Luke Frankland and Akhil Pant for the second wicket. Frankland scored 18, Pant 19 with Renwick’s top score coming from No 4 batsman Corey Bovey, who amassed a patient 33 from 73 deliveries while wickets fell around him.

All the Valley bowlers picking up at least one wicket. Skipper Matthew Stretch led the way with 4-33 from 8.1 overs, while newcomer Bailey Andrews-Kennedy showed he will be a handy addition with 3-48 from nine overs. Sam Boyce, Michael Dillon and Joel Pannell were the other bowlers used, picking up a wicket apiece and conceding very few runs.

Valley’s reply of 131-2 was shaped around the efforts of Chris Bartholomeusz, a former Hawke Cup player for Canterbury Country and Nelson, who opened the batting and showed fine timing as he put together an unbeaten 47.

Fellow opener Ben Ivory-McCullum and No 3 Patrick Moran went cheaply but Stretch ensured there would be nervous moments, batting positively to register an unbeaten 39 from just 31 balls, bringing the game to an end in the 26th over.

The miserly Mike Anstiss and wicket-taker Jacob Zillwood were the pick of the Renwick attack.

Meanwhile, on the adjoining ground, Celtic managed a potentially tricky early season run chase comfortably, running down Wairau’s 159 for the loss of five wickets in the 33rd over.

Wairau’s total was built around a patient unbeaten 83 from 134 balls from Andrew McCaa, Tim Petrie’s 18 and 33 extras the other main contributors.

Medium-pacer Matt McCormick led the Celtic attack with 3-25, while Jaden Adams snared 2-20. Josh Poole and Jerrym Lamb were the other wicket-takers.

Their reply was based around half centuries to opener John Porter and Poole. They combined for a 98-run second wicket partnership which ended any hopes Wairau may have had of putting pressure on the batting side. Porter ended with 53 from 82 balls, Poole with 52 from 59, striking nine fours across a slow outfield.

Nick Weaver, with 2-25 from 7.5 overs, was the pick of the Wairau attack, along with Chris Turkington who grabbed 1-26 from seven.

Two more rounds of club 50-over games will be played before the final on November 7.

Sharlese and her family are spending time together at home. Photo: Supplied.

Rally hope for Sharlese

The family of a terminally ill young mum are forging ahead with plans for a fundraising rally – though it may be held in her memory instead.

Sharlese Turnbull-Tait, 36, from Picton, is battling bowel cancer which has spread throughout her body.

Her heartbroken family, who had to postpone the car show and rally during Covid Alert Level 4, fear the December event may be too late for Sharlese to enjoy.

But they are determined to hold the Rally for Hope to St Arnaud she has been looking forward to.

Her sister, Kelsie, says while Sharlese won’t be able to be there in person, she is hoping to watch a live stream of the day.

“Unfortunately Sharlese will be too ill to make it as she recently found out her lungs are collapsing due to tumours and she cannot have anymore, treatment but we are still going to do this either in her memory or for her to watch live.”

Sharlese has undergone several surgeries in Christchurch since her diagnosis two years ago, including a partial bowel removal.

Back home in Picton, Sharlese is now focusing on spending as much time as possible with her family, including Ellazae, 3, and Luka, 10.

Kelsie says the original plan was to raise money with the rally for the family to make memories.

Spreading awareness about the disease to other people is a priority too.

“We would love to raise enough money to hopefully create some amazing memories with her family and support the children and family as she falls more ill as she can no longer receive treatment.”

The mum of two saw her own doctor after developing severe stomach cramps in 2018.

But despite several visits over the next few years and a pelvic scan, Sharlese was told it was probably endometriosis – an inflammatory condition of the uterus.

Speaking to the Marlborough Weekly earlier this year, Sharlese says she had sought medical help several times.

“I went to my doctor so many times.”

“When I saw that doctor again after I’d been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer, he apologised and offered to pray for me.

“He said it never thought it could be bowel cancer as I was too young.

“I want everyone to know the signs and symptoms as age just doesn’t matter,” she says.

The car, bike show and rally will be held on 5 December. Between 9am and 12 noon, vehicles will be on show at Waterlea Racecourse by the McLauchlan Street entrance.

The display is open to the public and the rally starts at 11am, with participants encouraged to pack a picnic.

People then have the option of joining fellow rally goers later when the convoy returns to Blenheim.

Kelsi asks that people heading to the show please bring some cash for raffles and to donate to the cause.

To register your vehicle for the car and bike show, private message the Rally for Hope Facebook page or contact 021 2581213.

Possible bowel cancer symptoms and signs

  • Bleeding from the bottom (rectal bleeding)
  • Change of bowel motions/habits that come and go over several weeks.
  • Anaemia.
  • Severe persistent or periodic abdominal pain.
  • A lump or mass in the abdomen.
  • Tiredness and loss of weight for no obvious reason.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) general manager border and visa operations Nicola Hogg. Photo: Supplied.

Crisis looms for $2b wine industry

A horticultural disaster is looming as a lack of vital workers threatens the region’s $2billion wine industry.

Imported workers under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme are in short supply, with less than half of the potential 14,400 workers currently in the country.

And one employer is warning the situation will only get worse.

Seasonal Solutions chief executive Helen Axby says the ideal solution would be a travel bubble with Vanuatu.

“There’s been a shortage of labour and there’s going to be a shortage of labour.

“A lot of places where RSE staff come from are Covid free,” Helen says.

RSE workers who are currently outside of New Zealand are not allowed in until Covid border restrictions are lifted.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) general manager border and visa operations Nicola Hogg says there are about 1700 RSE workers in Marlborough, with the number is likely to change as workers move around the country.

But Helen says that number will drop.

“For our RSE staff we made the decision to charter an aircraft two weeks ago – that took 340-odd home.

“Not because we don’t need them for work – but we feared for their mental health.

“They’ve been stranded here.”

About 3000 workers are needed to complete the harvest and pruning – and there are not enough Kiwis to fill the shortfall.

“One RSE worker is worth one and a half other workers, at least,” Helen says.

“Some of them have eight or nine years experience.

“They think it’s going to be a little easier to recruit Kiwis, but there won’t be enough.”

In August, the government extended RSE visas by six months for those still in New Zealand and unable to return home.

“This allows RSE workers with visa expiry dates between 18 August and 31 December 2020 to stay and work in New Zealand,” Nicola says.

“This visa extension gives approximately 6,700 RSE workers still in New Zealand, and their employers, more certainty about worker availability for the coming season.”

She says the RSE worker cap of 14,400 will not be increased this year as planned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month the government also announced that around 11,000 Working Holiday Scheme visa holders who are in New Zealand, with visas expiring between November 2020 and March 2021, will be automatically granted Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) visas.

“This allows them to work until 30 June 2021 in horticulture and viticulture seasonal roles where there are not enough New Zealanders available to do the work,” Nicola says.

“Immigration New Zealand (INZ) recognises the impact that COVID-19 continues to have on businesses and migrants and their loved ones.”

Helen says the critical issue will come next winter.

“This is when staff demand is at its height.

“It will become a critical issue.”

She says the industry won’t have the luxury to utilise staff stuck in New Zealand come next pruning season.

“Next year’s pruning will come up us much sooner than we expect.”

Helen says in a perfect world, the government would recognise Covid-free countries.

“These guys [RSE workers] are very experienced in Covid-19 because they have lived and worked through a level 4 lockdown,” she says.

“They’ve travelled between regions with all the special permissions.

“On returning home, they’ve done a 14-day quarantine.

“They have a lot of experience looking after themselves and remaining Covid-free.

“A bubble with Vanuatu would be the ideal situation.”

Guest judges, from left, Saulo Camillo Nunes, Jesse Mulligan, Fiona Fenwick and Summa MacDonald. Photo: Anthony Phelps.

Perfect pie pair

The pies have been tasted, the wines sipped, and a winner found.

After weeks of searching, the winner of the 2020 Ultimate Burleigh Pie Pairing has been announced.

Jamaican lamb pie and Spätlese Riesling 2017 took out the top spot, beating a record 47 entries from around the region.

Judge and challenge co-founder says the level of interest shows just how much the annual competitions means to people.

“We knew that The Burleigh is the go – to for most folks to satisfy their pie cravings, but this level of involvement has blown us away yet again.

“What started as a few friends getting together over a pie and deciding it was about time the perfect tipple was picked to pair alongside has grown to something really special.”

All $2350 raised through entry fees will be donated to the Marlborough Foodbank.

The winning entry will receive bragging rights, a boxed French brie and their name on the prestigious Burleigh Pairing Trophy.

The four judges – television personality Jesse Mulligan , Marlborough Media co-owner Summa MacDonald, along with Saulo Camillo Nunes, owner of Gramado’s Restaurant, and Fiona Fenwick, – carried out a blind taste test, with official adjudication to ensure fairness all round.

Summa, from Marlborough Media, who sponsored the event, says it was a tough job, but she was happy to help.

“So many delicious pies and wines didn’t make it easy for the judges, but we are a committed crew and somehow pushed through.

“I was genuinely very impressed with the high quality of the entries but not surprised as, living in Marlborough myself, I know that we consistently punch above our weight when it comes to food and wine.”

The winners:

Chicken, Leek & Mushroom – Misty Cove: Landmark Chardonnay 2019

Jerk Chicken – Churton: Natural State Field Blend 2020                        

Vegetarian – Brancott Estate: Fumé Blanc 2011

Mince and Cheddar – Lake Chalice: Lake Chalice Vineyard Selection Merlot 2015

Steak and Blue Cheese – Saint Clair: Saint Clair Rapaura Merlot 2019

Steak, Mushroom and Truffle – Rockferry: The Corners Nebbiolo 2016

Steak and Mushroom – Wither Hills: ‘The Honourable’ Pinot Noir 2016

Steak and Bacon – Novum: Pinot Noir 2019       

Pork Belly – Greywacke: Chardonnay 2013

Jamaican Lamb – Astrolabe: Astrolabe Spätlese Riesling 2017

Wildcard Beverage award:  Devon’s Lemon, Honey & Ginger cordial

The final category in the competition was the public entry, where a new Burleigh Pie flavour could be designed from local ingredients.

The winner was Myal King, 8, with a Tuscan Beef pie with rich parmesan pastry.

Felix Parkinson reaches for a return. Photo: Peter Jones.

Tennis tyros take care of Coasters

Marlborough’s rising tennis talent came out on top when the annual Wilding Trophy fixture, which was delayed due to COVID-19 in April, was contested at the Forrest Winery Tennis Centre recently.

A team of 14 players from Marlborough and West Coast competed across multiple matches on Thursday and Friday.

Day one began with doubles – a nice way to iron out all the winter rustiness and get into the tennis groove again.

West Coast came out on top, 4 matches to 3, with the top boys and girls pairing going through to a super tie third set. Singles was up next and some great performances across the board from Marlborough saw a 10-3 result.

Then it was back to doubles with a few mixed combinations included. This time Marlborough got up 4-3, thanks to a clutch victory by William Poff and Poppy Parkinson who won their super tie third set 10-6.

Friday opened with reverse singles and Marlborough once again dominated 10-3 with the highlight being the last game in this round where Ryo Kimura beat Stanley Vercoe in three sets, both players responding to all the other players and supporters crowding around the court and cheering them on.

The last round saw a new set of doubles combinations with West Coast again prevailing 4-3. Three of these matches were decided by third set super tiebreaks – Poff and Kimura combining for a top notch win, coming back from 3-8 down to win 10-8.

Unbeaten players across the five matches were Marlborough’s Leon Marusaki, Cooper Johnson and Ben Preece while West Coast players Honor Barry and Connor Greig maintained a 100 percent winning record.

Overall, the Reilly Quirk-coached team won the fixture 30-17, a scoreline that did not reflect the tightness of the matches. A feature of the fixture is the relaxed atmosphere, which is always a highlight.

Next up for the Marlborough juniors is an under-14 rep fixture against Nelson for the Malcolm Shield on November 8 at the Marlborough Tennis Club.

Marlborough: Felix Parkinson, William Poff, Elijah O’Donnell, Ryo Kimura, Luke Marusaki, Josh Harris, Leon Marusaki, Max Sowman, Cooper Johnson, Ben Preece, Ella Sowman, Poppy Parkinson, Ana Eradus, Ruby Glackin.

The victorious Marlborough under-16 combination. Photo: Supplied.

Gold medal for water polo team

The Marlborough under-16 girls side went one better than their silver medal last year, claiming gold at the national under-16 Division Two championships held in Wellington recently.

The Marlborough girls dominated throughout the event, despite the fact four of the squad were eligible to play at under-14 level.

Day one saw Marlborough take on Wellington in the morning and come away with a 10-3 victory, a promising sign of things to come as they have traditionally started slowly.

Second up was Auckland-based Seawolf with Marlborough eclipsing the northerners 22-3.

The following day the goals kept coming, starting with a 30-5 thrashing of Canterbury B. The afternoon game was against another Auckland club, Atlantis, with the girls being made to fight much harder for an 8-5 win.

In the semifinals they faced Wellington again, this time prevailing by 15-2.

The final was an all-South Island affair with Marlborough facing an Otago side who had dominated the other side of the draw.

It was expected to be a close game but Marlborough had no desire to come second again and attacked from the swim off.

Their intensity meant Otago were unable to gain any advantage, although the southern side had some bad luck with a number of shots hitting the cross bar, just going wide or being saved by the goalie.

In the end Marlborough came away with a 10-1 win after putting on a water polo exhibition.

Abbey Moody was named player of the tournament. Two Otago under-14 players were also part of the Marlborough squad.

Marlborough Under-16 girls: Charlotte Brown, Abbey Moody, Molly Glover, Emma Flanagan, Alice Paterson, Georgia Morrison, Evie Price, Hazel Glover, Siobhan Keay, Zoe Allibone (Otago), Holly Wright (Otago). Coaches: Alastair Keay and Glen Morrison; manager Lawrelle Morrison.