Paula Hulburt

Paula Hulburt

Jessica Boyce has been missing since March 19. Photo: Supplied.

Birthday tribute for missing Jess

It was her 28th birthday, a day she should have spent with those who loved her, but instead those gathered remembered a girl conspicuous by her absence.

A vigil to mark missing Renwick woman Jessica Boyce’s birthday was held in Seymour Square in Blenheim on Sunday evening.

People gathered to remember the young woman they all know as Jess, to share stories about the “bright and bubbly” girl they all loved.

And as the chime of the last bell rang out from the clock tower at 7pm, a rendition of Happy Birthday filled the air, followed by a minute silence.

People gathered at Seymour Square to mark what would have been Jessica Boyce’s 28th birthday. Photo: Paula Hulburt.
People gathered at Seymour Square to mark what would have been Jessica Boyce’s 28th birthday. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Her close friend and cousin, Aaron Goodwin, says the event was a chance for people to reflect and share.

The family wanted members of the public to be able to attend as they have been “so helpful and supportive”, since Jessica’s disappearance in March last year.

Jessica went missing on March 19 last year. Her disappearance was upgraded to a homicide investigation in October.

Her case is now being treated as a homicide by Blenheim detectives in charge of the investigation.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ciaran Sloan says those responsible were likely acquaintances of Jessica’s.

Aaron, who grew up alongside Jessica, returned to live in Blenheim on Friday, moving back to the town he grew up in from Dunedin.

It’s been a “confronting” few days, with memories everywhere he looks, he says.

It was her friends who came up with the idea of marking her birthday.

Amid the stories shared and fond memories of the bright-eyed blonde, were tales of parties past.

Speaking to the Marlborough Weekly last year, Aaron described Jess as very sociable and easy to get on with.

The Help Find Jess website started by her family is now named Remembering Jessica Boyce.

She always believed the best in people, says Aaron.

“She was so innocently naïve and genuinely did not understand about consequences, but she was not the hard woman that some people seem to think she was.

“We’re talking about an almost 30-year-old woman whose favourite movies were old Disney ones.”

Her friends spoke of her fun-loving nature, her kindness and willingness to help. Her absence is felt by all who know her, Aaron says.

Marlborough District Council solid waste manager Alex McNeil at Blenheim’s recycling centre. Photo: Matt Brown.

Bigger bunker a boom for festive season

A giant new bunker used for recycled glass is open for empties – just in time for the busy festive season.

The Blenheim Resource Recovery Centre has nearly doubled its glass recycling capabilities thanks to a funds boost.

A $15,000 grant from the Glass Packaging Forum (GPF) plus $50,000 from Marlborough District Council paid for the new bunker.

Council solid waste manager Alec McNeil says that at this time of year the old bunkers would quickly full up.

However, by increasing the bunker size by 80 per cent, this should no longer be an issue, he says.

“The additional storage capacity for glass will ensure that the quality of cullet (recycled glass) being returned to O-I New Zealand (in Auckland) for processing is not compromised,” he says.

O-I New Zealand is the country’s only container glass manufacturer and uses recycled glass to make new bottles.

Glass must be sorted into clear, green and brown before it can be used to make new glass bottles.

Glass Packaging Forum Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon says the centre plays an important role in getting cullet from the South Island to Auckland.

“Funding projects like this, which result in improving the quality and quantity of glass available for recycling is a main objective of the GPF,” he says.

The GPF has help fund other projects in Marlborough, including rural recycling containers in Seddon, Okiwi Bay, Awatere Valley and Oyster Bay, as well as the new recycling hub at Havelock Marina.

Marlborough Tramping Club will be heading to Cape Campbell in the new year. Photo: Matt Brown.

Summer explorers wanted

Department of conservation staff are looking for local explorers with a sense of adventure.

The annual summer explorer programme kicks off early next year and staff hope Marlborough residents will take up the challenge and join in.

Ranger Wendy Sullivan says it gives people the chance to uncover parts of the region they may not know.

“The Summer Explorer Programme is a great way to visit areas you haven’t been and take time to appreciate all that nature offers,” she says.

From an open day on Maud Island, and a boat trip to Pelorus Sound to a free nature treasure hunt at a range of walks, there will be plenty for people of all ages to see and do.

Staff will be on hand to help guide people through some of the best attractions on offer throughout the summer months.

Wendy says the fun starts with four open day on Te Pakeka/Maud Island, as well as a boat trip around Pelorus Sound.

“It’s renowned for its endangered insects and reptiles as well as home to the endangered Maud Island frog, so if you wanted a wildlife experience with a difference, it is well worth booking in,” she says.

Trips will be held on 5, 12, 25 and 26 January, and the boat trip is $135 adults/$65 children

A free nature treasure hunt at Momorangi campground will be held on Thursday 9 January. Rangers will help participants identify their finds with ID apps and books. Suitable for all ages.

Conservation Kids, Kids Conservation Club and East Coast Protection Group are combining forces to offer a three-part holiday series investigating through fun activities the wildlife of Marlborough’s east coast.

A huge range of other activities on offer at Envirohub Marlborough in Picton and Marlborough Tramping Camp will hold two walks, one to the Emerald Pools along the Pelorus River on Wednesday 12 January and Marfells Beach to Cape Campbell lighthouse on Sunday 22 January.

“Heading out with the tramping club on an organised walk is a great way to try out tramping or visit new places in a supportive group, Wendy says.

A full programme and all event details can be found at www.facebook.com/marlboroughconservationevents/events/.

Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.

War time memories stolen in heritage heist

Precious war time memories, including a soldier’s medals and postcards home have been stolen by callous thieves.

A haul of heritage items has been taken from a padlocked storage container in Ward used by trustees from Flaxbourne Heritage Museum.

Items belonging to Private Arthur Wooding were among a cache of historical items swiped.

Arthur Wooding. Photo: Supplied.
Arthur Wooding. Photo: Supplied.

Flaxbourne Heritage trustee Sally Peter says she is struggling to put into words how upsetting the theft is.

“It’s a real violation. He served for future generations of the community to be here; they’ve taken something sacred away.

“We were looking after then for the future and I can’t help but blame myself for this,” she says.

The theft is believed to have happened between 23-24 November.

Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.
Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.

A book commemorating Arthur’s first communion at St Peter’s Church in Ward on 3 February 1929, four medals, a small uniform repair kit and a pair of binoculars are among items taken.

Sally says she had been going to pick items up from the container when she discovered the padlocks had been cut open.

The museum’s ANZAC collection had been near the doors as it is used every year to commemorate the special day.

“I don’t think they knew what they were looking for and think maybe they got a fright and ran off as there was heavy stuff left outside.

“The ANZAC boxes were close to the door as I use them every year for a display at Ward Hall.

Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.
Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.

“I feel I could have done better,” she says.

The Flaxbourne Museum collection has been stored in two shipping containers in Ward following the magnitude 7.8-magnitude earthquake in 2016.

Other items, not part of the Wooding Collection, were also stolen, including an intricately engraved cornet, once part of the popular Ward Band.

A lantern off the shipwreck Wakatu was taken in the break in and an old inkwell from Ward School.

Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.
Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.

Sally says telling Arthur’s family about the theft was “awful.”

“This was a box containing precious memories from a man’s time away fighting for our country, including his medals, photos, postcards, his sewing kit for quick mends, his binoculars, buttons, badges and other things pertaining to his years spent away.

“How low can you get and how dare someone violate this privacy and his memory.”

Police are investigating the theft and anyone with any information can contact police via 105.

Holly Ewens-Smith is grateful to the people who helped after she was involved in a car accident. Photo: Supplied.

Car crash casualty searches for mystery Samaritans

A woman left dazed by the side of the road after a car smash is trying to trace the good Samaritans who helped her.

Holly Ewens-Smith from Blenheim was driving towards Blenheim last Monday when she collided with another car.

The 26-year-old gym manager went into shock and was left with bruising and a sprained spine.

People who witnessed the crash at the intersection of Old Renwick and Murphy Roads in Blenheim were quick to help and now she’d like to find the mystery rescuers.

“I was really taken aback by the group of people that dropped everything to help on the scene and even to just sit with me and help me to catch my breath and calm down.

“It would be great to be able to say thank you and even if they don’t want to come forward, I hope they read this and know how thankful I am,” she says.

Holly says in the moments immediately after the crash she tried to open the driver’s door but found herself stuck.

An unknown man came to help and prised the door open, she says.

“I was quite panicked and tried to get out, but the door was jammed. This fella came from another car and he got the door open, got me out and sat me down.

“There was a lovely lady who sat with her arm around me and got me talking about other unrelated things until the ambulance arrived.

“My mum’s a paramedic but she was away on a course otherwise she would have heard it over the radio.

“I was very well looked after, there was also a young man who helped while we waited for the ambulance, I think he’s a rugby medic,” she says.

Holly, who moved to Blenheim from Auckland three years ago, says her car was written off in the accident.

She has had to take a week off work but hopes to be fit enough to return this week.

“The adrenaline stopped me feeling any pain for ages but when it wore off it was pretty painful and I’m still on pain killers, though not as many as I was.

“I really want to say thank you to these kind people who helped and let them know they made a big difference,” Holly says.

No charges have been laid in connection with the crash.

If you were one of the people who helped Holly and would like to get in touch with her, please email [email protected]

Villa Maria Estate are recalling a 2018 batch of sparkling rosé. Photo: Supplied.

Fizz loses sparkle amid safety recall

Glass damage to a 2018 batch of Villa Maria wine has seen bottles of the popular festive fizz recalled for safety reasons.

Company bosses at Villa Maria Estate are recalling a 2018 batch of sparkling rosé after glass damage on the lip of the bottles.

While the damage is thought to be limited to just some bottles, the entire batch is being recalled.

Villa Maria CEO Justin Liddell says no other products have been impacted.

“Although this issue only impacts a very small proportion of the unique bottles we use for our Villa Maria New Zealand Lightly Sparkling rosé 2018, customer safety and wellbeing are paramount so we are recalling the entire batch,” he says.

The damage has been discovered under the screw cap on some bottles of the 750mL Villa Maria New Zealand Lightly Sparkling 2018 rosé product.

The damage is on rosé batch number: VM101L9238.

“If you have purchased a 750mL bottle of Villa Maria New Zealand Lightly Sparkling 2018 Rosé since August 2019 we ask that you please refrain from opening the bottle and return the product to the retailer for a full refund,” Villa Maria says in a statement.

“You can locate the batch number at the bottom of the bottle which has been stamped onto the glass.”

“Villa Maria’s reputation as New Zealand’s most awarded winery is founded on the highest quality standards from the vines to the bottle,” says Justin.

The product was available from supermarket chains, various liquor outlets, Villa Maria Cellar Doors in Marlborough, Auckland and the Hawke’s Bay.

The wine was also sold at the Villa Maria wine sale which took place at the Auckland and Hawke’s Bay cellar doors. A small quantity was sent to Tonga and Fiji.

Villa Maria said they expect to launch our 2019 vintage of Villa Maria New Zealand Lightly Sparkling rosé early in December, and apologised for any inconvenience to consumers in the meantime.

For more information on the recall the public can contact the Villa Maria Customer Service team directly on 0800 900 013 or [email protected]

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett presents Nan Kahu Chadwick with her award. Photo: Toni Gillan.

Marlborough’s Living Culture Treasure sparkles

Her distinctive voice rings out clear, each note dropping into the silence of a spellbound audience.

Nan Kahu Chadwick is an inspiration to generations of people, her life devoted to the practice and preservation of te ao Māori.

Now the talented te reo Māori speaker, kapa haka teacher, composer and choreographer has just been appointed as a Marlborough Living Cultural Treasure.

Nan says everything she has done has been to honour her tupuna.

“I like to help people, help their journey be a good journey.”

Nan joins eight other Living Cultural Treasures.

Marlborough Museum ambassador Toni Gillan says a panel decided her contribution to the community deserved the recognition.

“It has always been my personal pleasure to contact the recipient of the award and tell them the news in person,” Toni says.

“This year was no different, and to see the surprise and delight on Nan’s face was very humbling.

“The Marlborough Living Treasure award is a wonderful way to acknowledge the extremely creative people in our community.”

Born Kahumarianatakutaioomoana Chadwick in Otukopiri (Koroniti) on the Whanganui River, Nan grew up speaking te reo.

Nan came to Blenheim in 1979, taking on a variety of teaching roles before joining Bohally Intermediate School’s bilingual unit as a kaiarahi i te reo Maori teacher in 1987.

For the first time, manystudents under Nan’s tuition began to discover for the first time who they were as she supported them to research and recite their pepeha, their personal introduction.

Thousands of Marlborough students lucky enough to attend Bohally in the 30 years Nan taught there were exposed to te reo and regular kapa haka performances.

“It wasn’t just the students – their parents and grandparents became involved in discovering who they are and what they did in their time. So many magic moments,” she says.

As a tutor and composer for Te Rerenga o Te Ra Flight Across the Heavens kapa haka group, Nan has led the group at performances on many civic occasions in Marlborough.

Te Rerenga o Te Ra has also represented Marlborough and New Zealand overseas, travelling to Germany in 2011, Norfolk Island 2013, to France and Malaysia in 2015, and Britain in 2017.

Nan continues to inspire future generations to speak te reo and learn about their place in te ao Maori.

The 93-year-old former nurses’ home at Wairau Hospital is being demolished. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Nurses’ home gutted as demolition begins

Demolition work has begun on one of Blenheim’s oldest heritage buildings, spelling the end of an era for the local landmark.

Workers moved in on the derelict Wairau nurses’ home last week to start stripping out the interior.

Specialists will then be called in to remove a significant amount of potentially dangerous asbestos discovered inside the 93-year-old building.

The red-bricked facility in the grounds of Wairau Hospital has lain empty for almost six years, costing health bosses around $30,000 to keep the building fenced off.

Nelson Marlborough health finance performance and facilities general manager Eric Sinclair says work is expected to be finished by March next year.

The building has sat vacant for several years. Photo: Paula Hulburt.
The building has sat vacant for several years. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Around $1million has been earmarked to pay for the work.

“Demotion of the Nurses Home at Wairau will take place over the next few months.

“Initially a soft demolition will occur – which is the removal of things like carpets, doors, toilets, pipes and roofing iron. After that the bigger machines come to site to deconstruct the larger elements,” he says.

Concerns over asbestos and seismic rating issues meant the former home would cost too much to address accessibility and fire safety problems.

Nelson Marlborough District Board staff decided demolition was ultimately a better use of public health funds.

Nelson Marlborough health finance performance and facilities general manager Eric Sinclair. Photo: Supplied.
Nelson Marlborough health finance performance and facilities general manager Eric Sinclair. Photo: Supplied.

The building’s foundation stone will be kept and installed with other historic foundation stones.

There is nothing else nothing else considered salvageable, Eric says.

“There are no other features considered worth saving on the house as the building was utilitarian in its original design.

“From it’s opening in 1926 the building provided a significant home and workplace for many staff who hold fond memories and interesting stories.”

There are several options being considered for the site when it is cleared.

The land could potentially be used for expansion in the future.

“A number of options are being considered but there is no urgency to determine future use.

“It is important to note that the location of the old nurses’ home was determined as the zone where any future expansion of Wairau Hospital would occur when the site master planning work was completed prior to the rebuild of the Wairau hospital 10 years ago.

“So, any use of the location will need to be cognisant of this master planning,” Eric says.

TJ’s Roofing staff stepped in at the last minute to help Pine Valley Outdoor Centre. Photo: Supplied.

‘Shining knights’ raise the roof and save the day

A Marlborough company has stepped in at the last minute to help a stricken charity looking to raise the roof – literally.

Dubbed ‘Knights in shining Coloursteel’ by a grateful Pine Valley Outdoors Centre Committee, staff at TJ’s Roofing quickly responded to a plea for help on social media.

The kind-hearted team turned up to put a new roof on the house destined for the popular outdoor centre after a contractor suddenly pulled out of the project.

Nicknamed Good Bones, the bungalow is set to become the new facilitator’s house.

Trust member Talia Burton-Walker says the team were left in a “bit of a bind”.

“Unfortunately, another Marlborough roofing contractor who had offered to install the roof had to pull out unexpectedly at the last minute, so, with all other aspects of the project ready to go to meet our timeline, we were in a bit of a bind.

“We put the word out on social media and TJ’s Roofing responded to our plight almost immediately.

We are incredibly grateful to them,” she says.

The relocated house, currently based at Coffey House Removals in Blenheim, will be transported to the Pine Valley Outdoor Centre next year.

Once there, it will become the home of Pine Valley camp facilitators and administrators, a position being created as part of an overall project to revitalise and future-proof the attraction.

The Pine Valley Outdoor Centre has been looked after by Pine Valley farmers Lloyd and Val Mapp for the past 35 years, who are now retiring.

“This building, and a facilitator on-site, means we can continue to keep the camp open and build on the wonderful facilities already there.

“Without this building we would have to consider closing the centre,” says Talia.

TJ’s Roofing owners Tim and Samiie Pine say they were, “very happy to help and to do something to support our community”.

Talia says the Marlborough community has been incredibly supportive of the house refurbishment, with offers of free or heavily discounted products, time and expertise.

“Roofline Marlborough supplied the roof, Marlborough Pre-Cut Ltd supplied the purlins and, Daveron Scaffolding the scaffolding.

“The team from G.K. Fyfe Painting Contractors have also generously donated 36 hours of paint prep to get the building ready for the painters.”

“This really is a project for the community, made by the community.”

To donate or assist with the refurbishment of Good Bones, email [email protected] or visit the Pine Valley Outdoor Centre Facebook page.

Hospice Marlborough’s volunteer coordinator Moerea Mustard is helping spread festive cheer for a good cause in partnership with Farmers. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Individually boxed baubles are for sale at Farmers in Blenheim for $10 each, with the option of adding a donation to Hospice Marlborough at the checkout.

This year’s design is the work of NZ artist Spencer Bellas. The ngaru, Māori for wave, represents the journey through life and the way waves moving together as whanau.

All proceeds from baubles bought at the Blenheim Farmers store go directly to Hospice Marlborough.