Jumping for joy as pogo world record set

Paula Hulburt

One man, one pogo stick, a mountain and a new world record.

Lee Griggs from Seddon is set to spring into the record books after reaching the summit of Mount Fyffe by pogo stick in 23 hours and 15 minutes.

The father-of-three is waiting to have the record verified by officials in America but is confident it will be confirmed.

And he says the blisters and swollen hands have all been worth it to help raise awareness for mental health.

Lee, who previously cycled across Molesworth station on a unicycle, says the challenges he sets himself are meant to replicate challenges faced by those with mental illness.

“The challenges are meant to replicate life in real form. I pick a seemingly impossible task and show it can be done.

“There are a lot of pressures band expectations for people today, especially young people and I want to show that by chipping away at something, you can get there”, he says.

The support of friends and family on the day was crucial says Lee Griggs. Photo: Supplied.

From the Esplanade in Kaikoura town centre to the mountain’s peak Lee says he had to concentrate hard throughout.

But the jubilant dad achieved his goal of reaching the top in under 24 hours.

“I nailed it, with 45 minutes to spare. It’s been hard on the hands and I have tender ligaments and swollen knuckles.

“It looks like I’ve set a new record. I had to film every minute of it using a Go-Pro for verification.

“Every time I stopped I had to stay in exactly the same spot. I couldn’t just wander around and go back to where I got off”, he says.

With the support of hid family who trekked alongside while he bounced his way to history, Lee says he is “hugely grateful” for the support he has.

“It was a real team effort,” he says.

Lee, who himself has suffered from depression in the past, says physical exercise is vital to helping keep the condition under control.

But having only ever used his sister’s second-hand stick more than a decade ago, he was dubious about how the challenge would go.

“I’m doing this because nearly 50 per cent of New Zealanders will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime, and I don’t want them to face it on their own”, he says.

The America-based head of a stunt pogo team called Xpogo is helping Lee verify his record.

Once all the information has been substantiated it will then be passed onto Guinness Book of Records for the final stamp of approval.

“I’m confident we’ll get a new record out of it”, Lee says.

To donate to the Mental Health Foundation and mark Lee’s mammoth achievement, visit events https://events.mentalhealth.org.nz/fundraisers/leegriggs/Pogo-Mt-Fyffe

Plea to vaccinate children as measles outbreak continues

Health bosses in Marlborough are urging parents who chose not to have their children vaccinated to “reconsider their choice.”

An advisory notice from Nelson Marlborough Health has gone out to all school-aged children as the number of confirmed measle cases in Canterbury rose to 35.

And medical officer of Health for Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service, Dr Andrew Lindsay has pressed for parents of children not already vaccinated to reconsider.

“Measles is on the rise in NZ and overseas making it even more important to vaccinate your children.

“Those who have previously declined vaccination of their babies and children are strongly urged to reconsider their choice.

“Vaccination is the only sure way of preventing serious and in some cases life threatening illnesses such as measles”, he says.

Nelson Marlborough Health recorded its highest level of vaccinated children last year.

Ministry of Health figures showed the percentage of 5-year-olds who were not fully immunised fell from 15.9 per cent between 2016 and 2017 to 13.5 per cent from 2017 to 2018.

Two doses of the MMR vaccination are needed for “maximum protection”, Andrew says.

“With the ongoing measles outbreak in Canterbury, and with further cases in Auckland, now is the time to make sure your child is immunised against measles.

“Two doses of the MMR vaccine are needed for maximum protection. If you are not sure if your child is fully immunised, check in your Well Child book, or talk to the Practice Nurse at your usual General Practice”, says Andrew.

The vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella is recommended at 15 months and again at 4-years-old.

In the event of an outbreak, the Ministry of Education states that an unimmunised child can be kept away from school and quarantined for two weeks.

There have been no confirmed cases of measles in either Nelson or Marlborough.

Early symptoms of measles are fever, runny nose, sore red eyes and cough. See the Ministry of Health website health.govt.nz for further information.

Police search for missing Jess suspended

By Paula Hulburt

The official search for missing Marlborough woman Jessica Boyce has been suspended by police today.

Area Commander, Marlborough District Inspector Simon Feltham, says that despite intensive searching, no trace of the missing 27-year-old has been found.

Officials searches have been called off, but family and friends are continuing their efforts.

Inspector Fetham says the investigation will “remain active”.

“After receiving the missing person report, an intensive eight days of searching was completed but despite all search efforts no signs of Jessica have been found.

“There has been continued visible searching by Police and Search and Rescue teams over the weekend, but we have been unable to locate Jessica.

“A review of the search efforts has been undertaken today to identify areas for further investigation.

“Police would like to thank LandSAR, Jessica’s family and friends, and everyone else who volunteered in the search for their support, time and effort.

The missing person investigation will remain active and if any further lines of inquiry come to light, or areas to search, and police will continue to follow up any further information that
comes to hand”, he says.

LandSAR (Search and Rescue) teams from Marlborough were focusing their search around the Lake Chalice area where Jessica’s red Holden Rodeo was discovered.

Anyone who has any information should contact Blenheim Police on (03) 578 5279.

New retirement village and dementia care unit welcomed

Photo cap: A representation of the communal areas planned in the new Summerset retirement village to be built in Springlands. Photo: Supplied

By Kat Pickford

Retirement village developer Summerset has purchased the former Jones Berry Fruits property in Springlands, with the intentions of building Marlborough’s largest retirement village.

Summerset CEO Julian Cook says the development of the six hectare property in Old Renwick Road would exceed $100 million and employ more than 300 people during the building phase.

Up to 40 further permanent jobs will be created when the village opens, Julian says.

A timeframe for development and opening date has not yet been confirmed because the land purchase is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval.

Summerset would not say how much it had paid for the property, citing confidentiality reasons, but according to the Marlborough District Council it had a capital value of $1.885 million.

Once built, the retirement village will include 200 independent living homes, including two and three-bedroom villas, serviced apartments, rest home and hospital level care, and a memory care centre for people living with dementia.

With Blenheim’s 75+ population expected to increase by 26% over the next four years, Summerset had been looking for a suitable property in Blenheim for a number of years, Julian says.

“We know people will be really interested in the high quality homes and recreational amenities we offer in our retirement villages.

“A lot of the new Blenheim village will be “independent living”, meaning residents have their own house, but extra support is on hand if they want or need it,” he says.

Marlborough Grey Power president Brian McNamara says the new retirement village will help ease pressure on the region’s housing stock.

“Any help in solving our housing shortage is clearly welcome, I’m told there is still a shortage of flats to rent and buy in Marlborough,” says Brian.

“Marlborough is one of the top retirement destinations in New Zealand, and as our proportion of over-65s continues to increase, we will need suitable housing and amenities for them, as well as a workforce to service them, who will also need homes to live in.”

The new village will also include a number of secure, high quality one bedroom apartments for dementia patients.

Alzheimers Marlborough manager Anne Tolley welcomed the news of the specialist dementia care unit.

“Given an expected rise in the number of people being diagnosed with dementia, the proposed increase in the number of specialist beds is a positive move for the wellbeing of people living with dementia in the long term,” Anne says.

“Any resulting increase in the number of specialist respite beds would be welcomed by care partners who want greater flexibility than current respite care options provide.”

Development plans extend beyond the village itself to help improve access for its residents, Julian says.

Aerial view showing proximity of new retirement village to Westwood Business Park.

“Summerset has been in initial discussions with the Marlborough District Council to talk about footpaths in the area.

“We are expecting to install a new pedestrian footpath from the existing footpath at the corner of Murphys Road and Old Renwick Road to the site as part of the village construction.”

With its close proximity to the Westwood Business Park, Summerset would also be talking to its neighbours about the possibility of creating a direct route to the shopping complex from the village, Julian says.

“Nothing is guaranteed, but we would like to facilitate this if possible.”

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett welcomed the news.

“I’d like to thank Summerset, councillors and Council staff who have worked cooperatively together to make this happen,” he said.

The property is zoned as Urban Residential two – greenfields, which allows for residential development.

Once the Overseas Investment Office approves the purchase of the property, Summerset will need to obtain resource and building consent from the council before development can begin.

According to Summerset’s 2018 annual report, the company was the largest builder of retirement villages in New Zealand last year, reporting a profit of $98.6 million, up 21% on 2017.

It has 25 villages completed or in development across the country, housing 5000 residents and 1400 staff.

Rugby focus on Marlborough grounds

By Peter Jones

The focus of the E’stel Tasman Trophy club rugby competition sits firmly on Marlborough this weekend.

All five third round matches will be contested on this side of the Whangamoas, offering a unique chance for Marlborough sub union sides to bounce back after conceding all five cross-over encounters in week one.

Waitohi and Central, who scored wins during the sub-union games last weekend face tough assignments, taking on Waimea Old Boys and Wanderers respectively, both Nelson-based sides having won their first two matches.

The Tohis, who play at Endeavour Park, turned on a superb first half performance against Renwick last Saturday, but will need to maintain that intensity if they are to live with a well-balanced Waimea outfit.

The Blues, who play at Lansdowne Park, lifted their game against Moutere on Saturday, but will also have their hands full against Wanderers. The lads from Brightwater are on the comeback trail this year and sprung an upset win over the highly-rated Nelson side last weekend.

The other Marlborough teams are winless so far, however will be hoping to change that tomorrow.

East Coast welcome Nelson to their home base at Car Horn Valley, also known as the Seddon Domain, Moutere meet Kahurangi at Awarua Park and Renwick tackle Stoke, who had the bye last weekend, at Renwick Domain. Games begin at 3pm.

Standings after two rounds: Marist 10, Waimea Old Boys 9, Wanderers 8, Nelson 5, Waitohi 5, Central 5, Kahurangi 5, * Stoke 1, Renwick 1, * East Coast 0, Moutere 0. * played just one game.

Tasman cricket supremacy up for grabs

By Peter Jones

Home advantage may be the only thing that separates two evenly-matched teams when the Tasman Premier League cricket final is contested at Horton Park on Saturday.

The Marlborough Labour Hire Dolphins host Nelson club Stoke Nayland in a fitting climax to the new, season-long 50-over competition.

Both teams are worthy finalists as they have produced consistent form throughout the competition and been the front runners from start to finish.

Dolphins are top qualifiers and have earned home ground advantage, having beaten Stoke Nayland in their two previous meetings this season, home and away.

In Prabodha Arthavidu and Josh Poole they have two of the best-performed batsmen in the league, big-match players who have consistently been among the runs.

They will miss the inspirational Jerrym Lamb again on Saturday, the rep allrounder tied up with harvest commitments, but there is depth and character in the Dolphins squad.

Accomplished opener Luke Frankland, youngster Tom Sutherland, Jack Holdaway, Kirk Nicholas and Ben Blackman are all very capable with the bat.

The home side’s bowling attack is often under-rated but, as their record shows, gets the job done. Medium pacers Blackman and Akhil Bhardvaj regularly pick up important wickets, while the spin
twins of Arthavidu and Poole have proved difficult to dominate.

Their opponents eased past the Falcons in last week’s semi and appear to be approaching full noise. They will be looking to add this last piece of silverware to complete the clean sweep for
the season.

There should be runs aplenty with Darius Skeaping and Paddy Howes both in good nick while Ben Homan was key to both his side’s wins last weekend.

There is plenty of back up with allrounders Ben Stark, Tim O’Connor, Samuel Chamberlain and Dylan Eginton in the line-up.

Keeper Ricky Edwards comes from pretty good batting stock and he too will relish the occasion.

The visitor’s bowling attack is well-balanced with a raft of medium pacers and the left arm spin of Howes.


Dolphins: Luke Frankland, Hayden Gauden, Prabodha Arthavidu, Josh Poole, Tom Sutherland, Jack Holdaway,
Ben Blackman, Kirk Nicholas, Liam Young, Logan Robinson, Akhil Bhardvaj, Ben Holdaway (12th man)

Stoke Nayland: Brendan Hodgson, Darius Skeaping, Kurt Pahl, Patrick Howes, Ricky Edwards, Ben Homan,
Samuel Chamberlain, Dylan Eginton, Tim O’Connor, Ben Stark, Mark Mekalick.

The game begins at 11.30am on Horton Park 1.

Slippery pavers to be made safer

Paula Hulburt

A $2 million slippery predicament is set to be solved – by steam cleaning.

Slippery-when-wet pavers in Blenheim and Picton have posed a safety threat for unwary pedestrians.

Rather than replace the perilous pavers, Marlborough District Council bosses have agreed to put forward a re-sanding plan.

All glazed clay stones will also be re-sanded and daubed with a more slip-resistant coat

People have slipped when the pavers become wet. Photo: Supplied.

The move follows complaints from pedestrians who have reported fall related injuries.

Council’s Assets and Services Committee today agreed, subject to council approval next month, to take the proposal to the next stage.

Assets and services manager Richard Coningham says the pavers needed to be more “slip resistant”.

Installed in many towns and cities during the 1990’s and 2000’s, the walkways had been treated in the past.

But improved methods mean the pavers are ripe for a makeover.

“ … we now have access to improved treatments which will provide longer term resistance.

“While the treatment option is not a permanent fix and is likely to need reapplying every four to six years; it is the most cost effective”, Richard says.

The clay footpaths will need replacing in 20 years at a replacement cost of about $2 million, Richard says.

Treating the problem now and replacing later was a more “cost effective” option, he says.

“As most of the clay footpath paving in Blenheim and Picton’s CBDs is more than 20 years old, it’s likely that it will be replaced within the next 20 years, making treating now and replacing in the future the most cost-effective option.

“We know a number of people in Blenheim and Picton have suffered injuries after slipping over on the pavers, especially when it is wet.

“It’s great that we have a solution to reduce this from occurring in future”, he says.

Stolen tablets back with school kids

Thirty computer tablets stolen from a Marlborough school have been recovered by police.

In a statement, police say they found a vehicle in Picton on Monday evening with the tablets inside.

The tablets have been returned to Richmond View School in Blenheim where they were taken from over the weekend.

“A thank you all for your help – we located a vehicle in Picton on Monday evening and the stolen tablets were within it,” the statement says.

“One 36-year-old man from Blenheim has been arrested in relation to the burglary of the school.

“Great result”.

Principal Dave Pauling says the theft was discovered on Monday morning shortly before school started for the week.

“It’s such a low thing to do.

“This is the first time something like this has happened in 10 years and we are quite shocked but trying to move on,” he says.

Cyclist breaks neck in accident with ambulance

Paula Hulburt

A cyclist who broke his neck after an accident with an ambulance, was not taken to hospital by the crew who allegedly pulled out in front of him.

The Blenheim man suffered neck and spinal injuries according to a source.

His injuries were so severe he could have been paralysed, Marlborough Weekly has learnt.

Ambulance crew dropped the patient off at an urgent care clinic, just metres from the hospital.

Ambulance staff are assisting police with their enquiries.

St John’s Marlborough Territory Manager Murray Neal says the patient was assessed as having moderate injuries.

“St John confirms that a patient transfer vehicle was involved in an accident with a cyclist at the intersection of Alabama Road and Redwood Street at 10.32am in Blenheim on Sunday.

“The patient transfer vehicle had no patients on board at the time of the accident.

“One person was assessed by ambulance staff at the scene as having moderate injuries and was transported to Wairau Urgent Care Centre for further assessment.

“St John is assisting police with its inquiries”.

The accident happened after an ambulance allegedly pulled out, directly into the path of the cyclist.

His helmet was destroyed, and he was taken to the Urgent Care Clinic next to Wairau Hospital, before being transferred to the hospital itself for further tests.

He was later admitted to Burwood Spinal hospital in Christchurch.

Police confirmed they had attended an accident between an ambulance and cyclist.