Paula Hulburt

Paula Hulburt

This year's Anzac Day service will be different from any previously held. Photo: File

Driveways at dawn plea to honour Anzacs

People are being urged to pay tribute to veterans on Anzac Day by joining in a dawn commemoration with a twist.

For the first time in history, Anzac Day services across New Zealand have been cancelled; falling foul of the threat of Covid-19.

Marlborough RSA is calling for people to still mark the moment on 25 April by standing at letterboxes, front doors, and driveways in tribute.

With the backing of the national RSA and NZ Defence Force, the Stand at Dawn initiative is a chance for the community to honour those that fought.

Marlborough RSA President Chris Bamber whole-heartedly supports the call.

“I know many of our veterans were upset that they could not stand with their comrades, friends and family to commemorate Anzac Day.

Marlborough RSA is encouraging veterans to wear their medals as normal. Photo: File.
Marlborough RSA is encouraging veterans to wear their medals as normal. Photo: File.

“I will be standing proudly at the end of my driveway, remembering our fallen, our veterans and our serving Defence Force personnel while also thinking of my family members who have passed that I can no longer stand beside in support on Anzac Day,” she says.

Marlborough RSA has been on hand throughout lockdown to offer help to members when needed.

Chris says she has been encouraged by the level of community support evident.

“Once again it shows how we all come together when needed in adverse situations.

“While our welfare team are assisting some members, on the whole most members have good support in place.

“I am encouraged by the level of support given to our vulnerable members by their neighbours, friends and families making sure they have groceries, prescriptions, social contact etc. ensuring they stay safe in their homes.”

Veterans are encouraged to wear their medals as they normally would.

Tune into Radio New Zealand on either their AM or FM frequencies, listen live on the internet or on your phone for the official dawn service broadcast commencing at 6:00 am.

The morning service includes:

– The Last Post

– Ode of Remembrance in Te Reo & English

– National Anthems

– Address by Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence / Minister for Veterans

A Covid-19 sign at Wairau Hospital. Photo: Matt Brown.

No new Covid-19 cases in Marlborough for seven days

Marlborough is now marking a week without any new or probable cases of Covid-19.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed there are just 15 new cases of the virus confirmed nationwide today.

A Nelson Marlborough Health spokesperson says there have been no new or probable cases in Nelson or Marlborough.

Twenty people visited a Community Based Assessment Centre yesterday and 19 swaps were taken.

Today, the total number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 in the Nelson Marlborough region is 30.

Ashwood Park introduced measures to help safeguard their residents prior to lockdown. Photo: File

Urgent checks on rest home infection controls ordered

Rest home bosses are carrying out urgent infection control checks in a bid to keep Covid-19 from some of the region’s most vulnerable.

Nelson Marlborough Health staff are getting aged care facilities across the region to complete a checklist to gauge the risk of contamination.

And site visits will be carried out to see what further support is needed.

Six of the nine deaths nationwide from Covid-19 have been at a Christchurch rest home.

Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield launched a review of rest home facilities with confirmed Covid-19 cases on Tuesday.

General manager Strategy, Primary and Community, Nelson Marlborough Health Cathy O’Malley says she is aware of the effort staff are putting in to keeping people safe.

“Nelson Marlborough Health acknowledges the effort and expertise of aged residential care providers to keep their residents and staff safe during this pandemic,” she says.

While there have been no new Covid-19 cases for a week in Marlborough, it is essential care home providers stay vigilant, Cathy says.

Rest home managers and staff are carrying out self-assessment on infection prevention policies and practices.

The results will be carefully scrutinised and online meetings held with care providers to discuss results.

“We want to support providers to stay on top of this,” Cathy says.

“The next step will be to visit any providers as required, to assess their site and see what further support they may need.”

A Covid-19 sign at Wairau Hospital. Photo: Matt Brown.

Marlborough marks six days with no more Covid-19 cases

Marlborough is now marking six days without any new cases of Covid-19.

There are 20 new and probable cases of Covid-19 across New Zealand, taking the total to 1386.

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield this afternoon revealed 728 reported cases that have recovered.

The number of cases in Marlborough and Nelson is at 48, with all patients recovering in isolation at home.

As at 15 April 2020, the total number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 in the Nelson Marlborough region is 29.

There are around 400 RSE workers in Marlborough helping finish this year's vintage. Photo: Matt Brown.

Praise for vintage workers who helped region ‘dodge bullet’

Marlborough’s mayor is paying tribute to the region’s wine workers for their handling of the Covid-19 crisis.

John Leggett is praising the local wine industry for successfully handling the 2020 vintage under extreme circumstances.

And with early indications of a successful vintage, the relieved mayor says the industry has helped Marlborough dodge another potential disaster.

“Wine is a very substantial contributor to the overall prosperity of Marlborough so I’m relieved that this is one COVID bullet that we’ve managed to dodge,” he says.

Wineries across the region had to adopt stringent health and hygiene regimes to move ahead with harvest as lockdown began.

Overseas workers, harvest crews and transport operators have been isolated from their families in many cases.

With wine making up a fifth of Marlborough’s economy, it was vital the vintage went well, mayor Leggett says.

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett says a successful vintage has helped the region dodge a bullet. Photo: File.

“Everyone has been under huge pressure to get the grapes in, aware that a Covid-19 outbreak could knock down the workforce at any moment.

“It’s to the industry’s credit that harvest is drawing to a close without incident and, by all accounts, it’s a highly successful vintage,

“Vintage is always an intense time for our wineries with everything dependent on the weather, but this year the wineries have faced extra pressure.

“When the vintage goes well, it’s good news for our whole region.”

The ongoing crisis would make “life difficult” for the industry, says mayor Leggett as many international wine trade events and marketing opportunities are postponed.

“It will be a time for innovative marketing and, given our industry reputation and relationships, I’m confident that the strong Marlborough brand will prove its worth,” he says.

There are currently around 400 overseas workers in Marlborough on temporary visas.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment are doing their best to ensure some certainty for temporary migrants, a spokeswoman says.

“An Epidemic Management Notice relating to immigration matters came into effect from 2 April 2020.

“This means that holders of a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who were in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 have had their visas automatically extended until 25 September 2020.

“This includes RSE workers who were in New Zealand on 2 April.”

The missing rugby ball bought in South Africa was a gift from Dylan North's godmother. Photo: Supplied.

Plea for special rugby ball to be returned

A young rugby fan is hoping to be reunited with a very special gift that’s vanished during lockdown.

Eight-year-old Dylan North, who moved from South Africa to Blenheim four years ago, was given a Springboks rugby ball from his godmother.

But the precious ball, which features the final quarter scores on it, has disappeared from outside his home near Alana and Milford Streets in Witherlea.

His mother Delicia North is imploring for anyone who may have seen the ball to get in touch.

“This ball is very special to my son and was kicked over our fence into the street. Someone must have picked it up.

“The ball has special meaning to him as it’s his home country ball and they are the World Cup Champs.

“He loves that ball and hardly every plays with it as it’s a keepsake,” she says.

A devoted Springboks and All Black supporter, Dylan was playing outside with his mum and 4-year-old brother who kicked it over the fence on 10 April.

But it wasn’t until later that night that they realised the ball, worth around $36 Kiwi dollars, had gone.

“We always throw ball and love the outdoors.

“The ball was kicked over by my 4-year-old and he forgot to tell us straight away to go fetch it.

“When we started looking for it later the night, we realised it’s missing and my 4-year-old said his sorry he didn’t come tell us sooner.

“Dylan absolutely loves rugby and he equally loves the Springboks and All Blacks.

“As he is from South Africa, having them win the world cup meant the world to him,” Delicia says.

It was Delcia who brought the ball to Blenheim after she visited South Africa in January.

Dylan’s godmother gave it to her as a gift to take home for her oldest son.

Delicia says the ball can only be bought in South Africa and is hoping someone may have found the Gilbert World Cup Champions ball.

It would mean the world to him to have it back,” she says.

If you have found the ball and would like to help get it back to Dylan, please email [email protected]

A Covid-19 sign at Wairau Hospital. Photo: Matt Brown.

Five days without more Marlborough Covid-19 cases

For the fifth day in a row, there are no new cases of Covid-19.

The number of new and probable cases in New Zealand rose by 17 to a total of 1,366.

But numbers in Marlborough have stayed static at 48.

Speaking a few minutes ago, Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield say he believes the peak number of cases has passed.

But as the number of Covid-19 deaths rises to a total of nine he has asked for District Health Boards across the country to work with aged care facilities where vulnerable residents are at particular risk.

A low threshold is also in place to ensure maximum testing for the contagious virus.

“We want to be sure we are not missing cases. We would rather overtest than under test at this stage quite frankly,” he says.

More to follow

Shearer Angus Moore checks out his new lease Hyundai as part of his prize. Photo: Supplied.

Shearer’s tribute to community who helped him take top title

A shearer who became hooked on the craft after showing up late for his first competition has taken out one of New Zealand’s top shearing titles.

Angus Moore from Seddon won the PGG Wrightson Wool National Shearing Circuit Championship earlier this month, just before lockdown.

The father of five says it’s the people he’s met along the way who helped him on the path to success.

Angus has come out on top of the National Shearing Circuit, a series of regional shearing competitions that culminated at the Golden Shears Championships.

There are many people he wants to thank for helping him take out the top spot, he says.

“Big thanks to all who have helped me along the way and who work hard to make our industry possible.

“The experience of travel is a draw card, so I have met and worked with farm owners, shepherds, presses, wool handlers, shearers, cooks and runabouts from all over NZ.

“At The Paki station in the far north and Invercargill, and around the Catlins in the south, I have learned a little from you even if you never meant to teach.

“You are fantastic and there always seems to be fun, laughter and keenness to learn.”

Angus and wife Ratapu are expecting their sixth child in May. Together, the pair who met on the circuit, run Moore Sheep Shearing Ltd.

Brought up on a family farm in Kekerengu then Ward. Angus was Head Boy at Marlborough Boys’ College in 2002 and spent his teenage years wool handling in the holidays.

He went on to complete a shearing course run by Meat and Wool New Zealand under the tuition of instructor and later MP Colin King.

But it wasn’t until he took part in his first shearing competition that he really caught the bug, he says.

“My first show was November 2003 in Blenheim. I hadn’t done a full day’s work and arrived late due to playing in the pipe band. I made the final, came 3rd and I was hooked.

“My first experience of the Golden shears was with Nathan Stratford in 2005 where I managed to make intermediate final and came 3rd.

“It was a week that I won’t forget. I had heard about the Golden Shears but the experience was much more than I could have imagined.

“Everyone loved and breathed the wool Industry and we’re so amazingly passionate about it,” Angus says.

But without the support of his sponsors, none of his achievements would be possible, he says.

“Big thanks to PGG Wrightson and Hyundai for their massive sponsorship and recognition of the commitment we all make to compete.

“It will be an honour to compete for my country and I look forward to all the opportunity this prize offers.”

Covid-19 precautions have seen some shoppers have to queue. Photo: File

Supermarket bosses bid to cut queues as weather cools

Countdown stores in Marlborough will open for longer from tomorrow in a bid to help combat queues as the weather cools down.

Stores across the country will be changing their opening hours from tomorrow and will open from 8am to 8pm.

And priority shopping for emergency service staff and medical workers will now move to 7am.

Countdown’s general manager health and safety Kiri Hannifin says the change in hours will hopefully help cut down customer queuing.

“We’ve extended the opening hours of our stores to give our customers more time to do their shopping, especially as the weather starts to cool and the evenings are darker,” she says.

Safer measures put in place during lockdown to protect staff and customers from the threat of Covid-19 means customers have had to wait longer outside some stores.

“This has in some instances led to queues but we’re hoping extended trading hours will help ease this a little.,” says Kiri.

“We also hope the earlier start time of our priority shopping hour will work better for those emergency workers and medical personnel working shifts.

The priority shopping hour is available to NZ Police, Fire Service, ambulance paramedics, DHBs, hospital and medical personnel with proper ID.

Dr Nick Baker is appealing for people with existing or new medical issues to seek help if they need it. Photo: File

No new Covid-19 cases in Marlborough

There are no new cases of Covid-19 in Marlborough for the fourth day in a row.

The number of cases across Nelson Marlborough DHB is 48 with 12 confirmed cases and nine probable cases in Marlborough.

There are 19 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, taking the total number to 1349.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says 546 people across the country who had Covid-19 have now recovered, 75 more people than yesterday.

The news as comes as Nelson Marlborough Health officials appeal to people not to delay seeking help for other new or existing health conditions.

A delay in getting help could see little problems develop into major issues, warns Nelson Marlborough Health Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Baker.

“We have seen cases recently where people have put off getting health care and illnesses have got worse.

“What may start as a minor issue could become serious if you leave it too long,” he says.

“Please don’t wait until the end of weekends, public holidays, or until the end of the lockdown period, to seek medical attention,” he says.

For more information about where to get healthcare in the Nelson Marlborough region, go to: www.nmdhb.govt.nz/healthcare/