Paula Hulburt

Amy Cragg, Marianne Govaerts, Anne Goodyear, and Emily Gidlow are supporting Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand. Photo: Supplied.

Picton Pink Ribbon Fundraiser takes glam to the next level

A Pink Ribbon Breakfast in Picton is taking glam to the next level in a bid to raise money for the Breast Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

Oxley’s Bar & Kitchen is hosting their first annual Pink Ribbon Breakfast Event on Sunday 6 September 6 from 10am to 1pm.

Organisers hope guest host and popular Sydney-based drag queen Miss Felicity Frockaccino will help get ticket sales soaring for a cause that is close to their hearts.

One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

Business owner, Amy Cragg is contributing the venue, staff, and entertainment and says local support has been overwhelming.

“Every business we have approached to contribute has said yes, without hesitation.

“Ticket sales alone will raise $5,000, and we have some fantastic auction items which could double that figure.

“The highest valued item so far is an original artwork by Liz Kempton, which usually goes for around $1,400,” she says.

Oncologist nurse Karen Little-John from Wairau Hospital is one of two guest speakers.

She will share her perspective on treating cancer patients.  What to look out for and what support is available locally.

Second guest speaker is Waikawa Marae manager Allanah Burgess, who will outline their services, including community support.

Funds raised for the Breast Cancer Foundation go towards educating the public about breast cancer (which is New Zealand’s most common cancer in women), support those diagnosed with the disease, medical grants, and distributing money for breast cancer research.

The breakfast will be held on Sunday, 6th August 10am – 1pm.

Tickets are $50 each (100 max) and can purchase at Oxley’s Bar & Kitchen.

Planting work done by Taimate farmer John Hickman to restore native ecosystems may be eligible for future help. Photo: Matt Brown.

New fund to help nurture nature

A new $70,000 dollar a year fund has been set up to help keep Marlborough’s habitat happy.

Marlborough District council have set up the new Working for Nature/Mahi mō te Taiao in a bid to make the environmental grant process easier.

The new initiative will soon be on offer to landowners, businesses and community groups who meet the guidelines.

Deputy Chair of the Environment Committee Gerald Hope says the move puts the process on a par with council’s sports, arts, heritage and youth funding practice.

“Council has successful community grant schemes for sports, the arts and culture, heritage and youth but our environmental grant process has been less well coordinated.

Working for Nature will bring a much better structure to our process for granting funds for environmental protection and enhancement,” he says.

Funding has been reallocated from the Tui to Town programme and the Greening Marlborough fund.

More money could be made available from other sources, depending on demand, Gerald says.

Initiatives geared towards restoring native ecosystems, protecting native habitat and planting stream banks will be first in line.

The proposed $70,000 annual budget would be split between Habitat Marlborough to help restore native habitat and improve biodiversity and fresh water quality.

Protecting Marlborough is set to benefit from a $45,000 funds boost for animal control projects.

Councillor David Oddie says projects can take place on public, private or Māori-owned land.

“This fund will be welcome news for the many groups and individuals in Marlborough who are striving to improve natural habitats and control pests.”

Projects can take place on public, private or Māori-owned land.

“Successful applicants will be required to sign a funding agreement and provide an accountability report once the money is spent.”

The first round of applications will open on 1 October 2020 and close on 31 October 2020.

The decision is subject to ratification by the full Council on Thursday 17 September.

Children at Blenheim’s Montessori Preschool spread sunshine and smiles as they helped celebrate Daffodil Day. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Flower power

Staff and children donned yellow for the day to help raise funds for the Cancer Society on Friday.

School across Blenheim joined in the national appeal as the annual street appeal was postponed because of Alert Level 2.

“We spent a lot of time discussing how the daffodil is a symbol of hope and what it stands for, says teacher Rachel Roundhill.

Career Navigation days are helping Marlborough students secure jobs locally. Photo: Steve Hussey Photography.

Smooth sailing for students’ career initiative

It was a case of third time lucky for students taking part in a career’s day to learn more about Marlborough’s aquaculture sector.

The visit offered as part of the Career Navigation programme had to be called off twice, once because of Covid-19 and then because of bad weather.

But it was finally all smooth sailing for the students who got the chance to learn about different aspects of the industry from the team at Sanford.

Career Navigator is currently offered to Year 12 and 13 students at Marlborough Boys’ College, Marlborough Girls’ College and Queen Charlotte College.

It pairs students with businesspeople from a range of industries across the region serving as mentors – coupled with the support of over 120 local businesses and organisations.

Programme coordinator Tania Smith says the programme has been very successful.

“Some students have discovered new pathways they had never considered before.

“Other students have had their career pathways confirmed and now they know more about the reality of the industry they were contemplating.”

From sustainability to naval architecture and design, students were given an insight into the seafood industry.

Tania says the initiative has helped students find jobs in Marlborough.

“We’re also really delighted that some of our previous students have found jobs in their chosen field with employers right here in Marlborough.

“It all goes really well with our vision for all young people to have a purposeful pathway into their future,” she says.

“Enormous thanks to Grant Boyd, Rebekah Anderson, Dave Herbert and Les McClung from Sanford for making it such a cool learning experience for us all – and to Springlands Lifestyle Village for the transport.”

Olivia Doonan and Niamh Doherty are hoping people will donate money to help Osgood family. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Great lengths for charity

Going for the chop for a good cause has seen two long-haired ladies lose their lengthy locks.

Niamh Doherty and Olivia Doonan have donated their hair to Freedom Wigs help make wigs for cancer patients.

And the pair are hoping the move will also raise money for Blenheim girl Zoe Osgood who is undergoing treatment for bone cancer in Christchurch.

Both have links to the Osgood family and wanted to help.

Niamh, 12, met Zoe at a school camp and Olivia turned to Zoe’s mum Michelle for advice when she started The Station in Seddon.

Michelle is the manager at the Wine Station in Blenheim but was happy to help.

“She’s always been amazing. She gave me as much information as possible and was totally welcoming,” Olivia says.

Hair by Kardos owner Donna Tupouto’a and manager Debbie Jensen cut 14 inches of hair off before getting it ready to send off by courier.

This is the second time that Niamh has cut her hair off to donate to Freedom Wigs.

She first did it at 8 years old and decided straight away she would grow it again to donate.

“It’s a bit nerve wracking, but exciting,” she says.

Olivia says she only trimmed her hair and had not had a cut properly in 9 years when she decided to help.

“It kept moulting and I was like, no, I need as much on as possible. I want to raise as much as I can for #Zoestrong.”

Zoe has been undergoing chemotherapy which has so far failed to shrink the tumour and she is now scheduled for surgery.

Donations can be made through ASB account: 12-3126-0707216-00, with all money going to the Osgood family.

Members of the Marlborough Amateur Radio Club, Bill Cousins Stuart Watchman, Graeme McKay and Ian Conway. Photo: Supplied.

Radio group make waves at local lighthouse

Amateur radio fans in Marlborough have been making new connections across the world while shining a light on a famous local landmark.

Members of the Marlborough Amateur Radio Club spent the night at the base of Cape Campbell Lighthouse last weekend as part of International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend.

The team took all their ham radio gear with their them and set up in a historic cottage at the foot of the lighthouse which featured in the 2016 hit movie Light Between Oceans.

Former New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters president Stuart Watchman from Blenheim says they were the only group to take part this year.

“Normally there would be other groups around NZ doing the same thing.

“There are about five light houses in total, many are hard to get to, but due to COVID we were the only group that participated this year.”

The annual event is held on the third full weekend in August where radio groups operate from lighthouses across the world.

“We enjoy talking to other people via radio in all sorts of ways during this weekend, direct to radio amateurs around the world using short wave. Direct meaning no internet or cell towers, wireless all the way,” Stuart says.

“It’s also fun to go to interesting places and play with radios.”

The group set up temporary aerials on the beach and contacted other amateurs in Australia, United States, New Zealand, Japan Belgium.

The Marlborough group hold a general meeting on the second Thursday of the month at EOC 4 Wither Road at 7.30pm and a social group meeting on the third Thursday of each month.

Email [email protected] for further information.

Fairhall Cemetery is one of several which will see the cost of burial plots double over the next five years. Photo: Chloe Ranford/LDR.

Burial law revamp could prove costly

Paula Hulburt and Chloe Ranford


A revamp to burial laws could see council bosses forced to hike up fees if forced to take on extra responsibilities.

Marlborough Council could be let counting the cost of any changes to the 56-year-old Burial and Cremation Act, costs which would be passed to the public.

But council are pushing back against extra responsibilities which could see costs climb again.

The move comes just 15-months after a price increase which came into effect on July 1 this year.

Council manages eight cemeteries across Marlborough at Ward (Flaxbourne), Seddon (Awatere), Omaka, Fairhall, Tua Marina, Picton, Havelock and Rai Valley.

Burial fees range from $2145 for a natural burial at Fairhall Cemetery to $981 for an adult burial interment and $193 for ashes to be interred

A Law Commission report says the Burial and Cremation Act is outdated and recommended a raft of changes.

It put forward 127 recommendations to modernise the law that governs death, burial, cremation and funerals in New Zealand.

Changes could see council take on the responsibility for maintaining headstones and monuments which could also raise legal questions about who owned what.

This would come at a “significant cost” to the council, with the “only option” being to increase cemetery fees or rates.

“The council already deals with a number of family conflict issues with cemetery plots and while on the one hand it can be said, ‘we are used to it,’ the reality is that every case is distressing where this occurs,” its submission says.

The council also opposed a suggestion that councils should be the ones to decide whether a family could dig up a body or ashes from a burial place for the same reasons.

It also did not want to become tangled in family disputes.

This was also the case for a new rule which, if approved, could see the council expand its eight cemeteries to include separate burial sections for military personnel or groups of people with common requirements, it said.

Submissions on the act close on 31 October at 5pm.

Dogs may become a common sight in Blenheim’s town centre. Brodie, Maisie and Hadley MacDonald with Kip. Photo: Matt Brown.

Barking up the right street

Dogs could be allowed in Blenheim’s town centre after council loosens the leash on a blanket ban.

At a meeting of council’s Environment Committee this morning, a review of the region’s Dog Control Policy and Bylaw was approved.

Now the public will get the chance to have their say.

Council have approved the appointment of a subcommittee to hear opinions on the review, headed up by councillor Jamie Arbuckle.

It’s important to recognise the role that digs play in peoples’ lives, Jamie says.

“We want to ensure that our bylaw is up to date and fit for purpose.

“The council recognises the positive role that dogs play in the lives of their owners and the community, but we need input from dog owners and the general public.”

Councillors Barbara Faulls, Thelma Sowman and Nadine Taylor will also sit on the review committee.

If it gets the final go-ahead, the bylaw will allow leashed, under control dogs into the CBD.

Councillors are also recommending that the restricted area around playground areas increases from 3 to 10 metres.

But Blenheim’s Pollard Park and Ward Beach will remain off limit to pet pooches.

The public consultation period will begin on Friday 18 September and will run for six weeks, before closing at 5.00 pm on Monday 9 November.

Hearings are scheduled to take place in early December where members of the public will have the opportunity to speak to their submission.

The Sub-Committee will then review all submissions and make their final assessment before presenting the proposed policy and bylaw amendments to the Environment Committee. Once adopted by the Environment Committee, the policy and bylaw will be presented to the full Council for final adoption early next year.

All dog owners will receive a letter advising them of the policy and bylaw review and how to make a submission should they wish to.

Council is required to review the policy and bylaw every 10 years. The last review was completed in 2012.

Today’s decision is subject to ratification by the full Council on Thursday 17 September.

Cellist Elgee Leung rehearses with other members of Marlborough Civic Orchestra ahead of Saturday’s performance. Photo: Simon Clark.

Show will go on

The show will go on for Marlborough Civic Orchestra who will take to the stage on Saturday.

Following Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s announcement on Monday that alert levels would stay the same, the orchestra have been quick to act.

Now numbers will be limited in line with government guidelines at the ASB Theatre on 29 August.

The orchestra have been rehearsing the repertoire for this concert for most of the year after they had to postpone during lockdown.

The orchestra, featuring world renowned cellist Elgee Leung, will be conducted by Anthony Ferner, principle flute for the Christchurch Symphony orchestra.

ASB Theatre spokeswoman says the 7pm show will go ahead.

“The show will definitely be going ahead. Pending last minute arrangements to accommodate restrictions, there may be another afternoon performance.”

Tickets are still available at $35 for adults and $10 for children.

For any queries regarding ticket sales and show arrangements contact the ASB Theatre on 520 8558.

Picton Girl Guides help recycle thousands of cans every year. Photo: Supplied.

Guides’ can-do attitude a winner

Come wind, rain and shine, a devoted group of girl guides take care of can recycling.

Picton Girl Guides work hard to run three aluminium can recycling banks in the community.

And their work has won them a top five place in a national competition.

The team’s work has seen them make the finals of the Mitre 10 Helping Hands awards where they hope to win some help to replace their run-down storage compound.

While voting has now closed, the girls are keeping their fingers crossed they win enough votes to make their reno dream come true.

Picton Girl Guide leader Helen Ashworth says the project means a lot to the girls.

“Community service is an important part of modern guiding and has been at the very core of guiding since it started over 100 years ago.

“We have great fun doing this project. Dressing up in our gloves and gumboots to jump on the cans to crush them before storage and dragging the storage bags to the trucks.

“Girls in Guiding from 5 to 18 years old are involved and it develops great teamwork and camaraderie.”

They began work three years ago and look after aluminium can recycling at Waikawa, Picton Marina and one on Kent Street.

Using council recycling bins to scoop out the empties before putting them into old wool bags the girls then cart them off to the storage compound.

But wear and tear mean it’s not as safe as it once was.

“Our girls are growing up in a different world with many environmental pressures.

“Every aluminium can that we can stop going to landfill, and recycle for reuse, is helping our environment and the group loves that.

“It’s also a real adventure for them, they wear their uniform and gum boots and have fun,” says Helen, who the girls know as HJ.

Alongside second Girl Guide Leader John Welch, the team set aside time each term to empty the well-used bins, collecting tens of thousands of cans a year.

The guides get paid for the recycling can when they are collected commercially, and the money is ploughed back into the initiative.

“We are doing this for our community to keep Picton beautiful,” says Helen.

Picton Guides meet on Mondays 6-8pm at St Joseph’s School. Call HJ on 0211 700401.