Paula Hulburt

Event supporter Paul Jackson of Harcourts Marlborough handed over the cheque to Sandy Inwood of Hospice Marlborough earlier this month.

Charity begins at home

Hospice Marlborough is benefitting from the popular Marlborough Art & Wine Fair, getting a donation cheque from part of the proceeds.

A portion of art sales by local artists Brian Baxter, Clarry Neame, Liz Anderson and Joanna Dudson-Scott has been given to the hospice after the successful show at The Wine Station.

Event supporter Paul Jackson of Harcourts Marlborough handed over the cheque to Sandy Inwood of Hospice Marlborough earlier this month.


Community College Marlborough youth advisor Carolynn Tipene is a favourite with the students. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

College counsellor changing lives

Students at community college have been reaping the rewards of an on-site counsellor, who is helping change lives for the better.

Carolynn Tipene was employed as a part time youth advisor but has since secured more hours as a Kaiarahi.

She is part of a team looking after about 50 students; young men and women who need some help finding their niche in life.

It is, she says, her role to take a holistic approach when caring for the students she sees as an extension of her family.

“I don’t look at them like they’re students, I think of them as my own.”

From helping with accommodation to lending a listening ear, her days are unpredictable and busy, and she loves every single second; well almost.

An open-door policy means students can call in to see her if they need help, guidance or just to chat.

“They are teenagers with all the problems and drama that comes with that and sometimes they feel they can share stuff with me that they find hard to do with others.

“Mostly it’s just growing pains but sometimes I hear stuff I don’t want to and this is when it gets hard”

Taking on the four day a week role in 2017, Carolynn, who had previously worked in healthcare, is Whānau Ora trained.

The students aged between 16 and 19 years old may have been let down by the schooling system, she says, and struggling with self-esteem.

Helping them grow and appreciate their potential is incredibly rewarding, she says.

“The best part is when a kid comes in here and academically, they don’t think they can do it. When they graduate it brings me to tears.

“We get them, we pick them up and put back together in a way that works.

“We’re like family here; a village.”

But breaking down some of the barriers can take time, she says.

“It cracks me up. When they arrive, you can see them looking at me, thinking ‘what’s that old lady doing here?’ By the middle of the year they’re one of my best friends.”

Carolynn’s laugh is infectious. Her natural empathy shines through and it’s easy to see why she’s a firm favourite with the students.

With some coming from difficult home environments, she is someone to turn to, someone they clearly trust.

“I represent students and support them at conferences, with Oranga Tamariki and the Department of Corrections. I get asked to do that a fair bit,” she says.

As well as covering classes as the need arises, Carolynn also puts her experience as a professional chef to good use, providing cooked lunches at the Scott Street site.

For some, it may be the only food they get in a day, she says.

“I still have a passion for cooking and the kids help prepare and with the cleaning afterwards. It’s a great way to teach about budgeting too.”

As Carolynn chats, a student comes in to see her; a young woman she has helped.

With an apparent close bond, the pair laugh and joke together, the student is clearly happy to have Carolynn on her side,

“She gives me hope, she says.




Former Sony Music Executive Paul Ellis is returning to Marlborough to set the stage for an annual music festival. Photo: Supplied.

The sound of music

From Cyndi Lauper to Sarah McLachlan etc he’s worked with some of the biggest names in music.

Former Sony Music executive, New Zealand Idol and NZ Got Talent judge Paul Ellis is back home in Marlborough.

And he has his sights set on bringing more top music talent to the township of Linkwater- making the Summer Sounds concerts an annual event.

While Paul says he can’t divulge any artist names yet, he can reveal they’ve one of the acts has had had four number 1 albums.

“It’s all under contract”, he says.

Swapping the big city of Auckland for the small rural township, the former Queen Charlotte Sounds man is excited to be back, organising the Summer Sounds gigs.

Supporting long-time friends and Queen Charlotte Tavern owners Mary-Ann Surridge and Jane Tito, Paul has been hitting up his contacts.

He’s also on the lookout for some local support music talent to support on the day.

“I have been away from Marlborough on and off for a long period, but I am keen to hear of any top of the south acts, let me know,” he says.

Paul’s signings include Bic Runga, Dave Dobbyn, Shona Laing and The Strawpeople.

“The location lends itself to a great place to enjoy a day of music. There’s tons of off-street parking and the opportunity to camp overnight”

“It’s not too big, it’s intimate and you have the incredible vista of the sounds hills as a backdrop,” he says.

Kicking off on Saturday 19 December, the first festival which will herald a mixture of New Zealand music royalty – with names to be revealed soon.

On 16 January 2021, the debut South Island performance of one of the hottest and exciting acts to emerge in NZ in the last 18 months will take to the stage, Paul says.

“As well as the music there will food and beverage stalls. If you want to camp overnight, it’s included in the ticket price.”

As Vice President of A&R for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Paul runs his own PR and music consultancy firm and last year bought OpShop Lead Singer Jason Kerrison to Linkwater.

“As well as the music there will food and beverage stalls. If you want to camp overnight, it’s included in the ticket price, Paul says. “I want people to be able to relax, have fun and enjoy this beautiful slice of paradise.”

Tickets for the R18 events are $55 plus booking fee on

“It was important that the tickets weren’t too expensive, we want this to be within reach,” Paul says.

Email Paul Ellis at [email protected] if you know of any local music talent. Tickets on sale today. Go to

Zoe Osgood, 13, has been supported by the local community during her bone cancer battle in Christchurch. Photo: Supplied.

Community rallies after shock diagnosis

A teenager getting physio for what she thought was a sports injury is set for surgery after doctors discovered bone cancer.

Zoe Osgood, 13, from Blenheim was complaining about a sore knee when she got the shock diagnosis after an MRI scan.

Now her friends and family are rallying to raise money for the family so they can spend as much time together as possible as Zoe begins treatment.

Mum Michelle Osgood, who is manager at The Wine Station in Blenheim, says the family are very grateful for the support.

“We are so humbled by the response from the community.

“It has been overwhelming.

“We really feel like we have a village behind us. It’s a sensational feeling. The messages from people really give us strength, especially on a tough day.”

Just before lockdown, Zoe, a pupil at Marlborough Girls’ College, was limping and complaining of a sore knee.

Following physio, the bubbly youngster was given an MRI and diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.

“We assumed it was a sports injury and she had been receiving physio until 10 July when she got an MRI. That was Friday. On Monday our wonderful GP told us to come into the surgery and they had found a 2cm tumour called Osteosarcoma.

“It’s hard to believe, even now,” Michelle says.

Now in week two of treatment, Zoe has just finished her first round of chemotherapy. She faces between 9 and 12 months of further treatment including two cycles of chemotherapy, surgery, then more chemo.

She is in isolation now to protect her struggling immune system, Michelle says.

“She is very tired but coping incredibly. We take one day at a time.

“The five-week chemo cycles are something no child should have to go through however she is very positive in herself and in true “Zoe style” dealing with this in her quiet stoic way. She is one tough cookie.”

Dad Phil and brother Lucas are in Blenheim, hoping to get to Christchurch as much as they can. Zoe and Michelle are dividing their time between Ronald McDonald House and the hospital.

“It is particularly hard to not be here apparently – just waiting to hear how Zoe is…It’s no easier being here, you feel just as useless,” Michelle says.

The family also hope to make it back to Blenheim for a Shave Off fundraiser at Biddy Kate’s Café & Bar on 29 August.

Organised by family friend Donna Tupouto’a, there will be live music on the night and raffles. Entry is $20.

Blenheim’s Ritual Café is holding a Zoe Week between 10 and 16 August, donating $1 dollar for every cup of coffee they sell to hep the family concentrate on getting Zoe well again.

The support means a lot, says Michelle.

“This is a blip in our lives which we will overcome with the help of everyone there in the Boom.”

To donate through Givealittle visit

Medlab South union staff have confirmed a 24-hour strike. Photo: Matt Brown.

Hospital lab staff to strike

Hospital lab staff are set to strike for 24 hours in protest over pay.

Union staff have voted to walk off the job next week from Wairau Hospital’s Southern Community Laboratories Ltd run lab.

Nelson Marlborough Health bosses say only urgent tests will be carried out.

General Manager Clinical Services Lexie O’Shea says staff are working in partnership with Medlab South to minimise disruption but warned there may be delays.

“All life-preserving services and emergency services will remain operational.

“Clinically urgent requests sent to the laboratories will be processed during the strike period.

“However, turnaround times may be delayed.”

The strike also affects Nelson Hospital which is run by the same provider.

The Medical Laboratory Workers employed by Southern Community Laboratories (SCL) Ltd are bargaining for a fair pay offer.

Staff have turned down the current rise offer, with union advocates APEX branding the move as unfair.

The offer “goes nowhere near” matching what staff employed by the District Health Board get, says APEX Senior Advocate David Munro

“The current offer from the employer goes nowhere near to matching the salaries of colleagues employed in the DHB run laboratories.

“Under their proposed pay offer a fully qualified scientist would be paid 4 per cent behind a colleague in a DHB lab doing the same work, and a qualified technician 6 per cent behind,” says David.

The strike is scheduled to take place on 17 August from 0800 Monday 17 August to 0800 Tuesday 18 August 2020.

Since lockdown level 4, all blood tests have been done via an appointment system.

Urgent blood tests can usually be done on the same day at either the Maxwell Road or Wairau Hospital collection centres.

Lexi says people should check with their GP before presenting to a collection centre.

“Some non-urgent procedures and tests may need to be rescheduled.

“Any affected patients will be contacted directly. We want to reassure people that unless they hear from us directly, they can assume that their appointment or procedure will be going ahead,” she says.

Cardinal John Dew. Photo: Supplied.

Churches to close as costs spiral

Rising costs are forcing two Marlborough churches to close.

Catholic churches at Renwick and Havelock are to shut permanently it has been revealed today.

The move comes after a cost-cutting review by the Pastoral Council into church properties. The congregation was informed over the weekend.

Churches at Blenheim, Picton, Kaikoura and Seddon will remain open.

Star of the Sea Marlborough Te Whetu O Te Moana Catholic Parish Pastoral Council chairman Greg Stretch say it was a difficult for all involved.

“Parishioners have been kept informed all the way; they’re upset but that’s completely understandable.

“It was not an easy decision.”

Renwick’s Catholic Church of St Francis de Sales was opened by the son of one of Marlborough’s early settlers, Archbishop Francis Redwood

The Sacred Heart Church on Lawrence Street is also to shut.

Both hold mass about once a month, Greg says.

“We will still make sure that the pastoral needs of their community are looked after.

“Now we need to work on the next steps and what happens now.”

The Archbishop of Wellington, Cardinal John Dew, last year asked all parishes in the archdiocese to review their properties.

Spiralling maintenance costs, high earthquake-related insurance levies and calls by Pope Francis for Catholics to look beyond their physical churches sparked the review.

“I am very grateful and appreciate the hard and difficult work done by the Star of the Sea Pastoral Council in conducting this review,” Cardinal Dew says.

Cardinal Dew says it has not been a simple task choosing which churches to close.

“I know it has not been a simple task to balance the requirements of local parishioners across such a geographically wide parish with the need to keep church finances in order in these difficult times.”

The proposals have been approved by the Pastoral Council of the region’s Star of the Sea Te Whetu O Te Moana Parish.

“Most smaller churches were built in an era when people had no cars and walked to Mass. “Today, with fewer priests, rising costs and parishioners more likely to drive to Mass, parishes have been asked to reorganise how they engage with their communities.”

Cardinal John said a further reason was the continuing call by Pope Francis for Catholics to go out into their communities on a mission to engage with those who are marginalised and disadvantaged.

“Nobody can be a member of the Church and be a ‘passive recipient,’ expecting everything to be done for them,” he says.

“We are all called to make our contribution to the Church and to the world.”

James Galloway, Alina Joe, Lucy Bridgen, Maisie Davison and Dave Pauling, with Elijah Galloway and Andrew Kubis, front, take delivery of new technology. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Top up for local schools

A Marlborough based fuel company is helping keep hundreds of school children topped up with technology & sports equipment.

Southfuels a New Zealand wide bulk fuel distribution company has donated $80,000 to schools across the Marlborough region through their Fuel for Schools sponsorship programme.

The nationwide initiative has helped put more than $1 million dollars of resources into more than 350 rural schools in the last twelve years.

Pupils at Richmond View School in Blenheim are the latest to benefit, with a special technology package worth over $5000 delivered on Thursday, this package included 11 Chromebooks, an iPad and other technology for the classroom.

Southfuels Marlborough account manager Maisie Davison says customers nominate a school to receive 50 cents for every 100 litres of bulk fuel they have delivered.

“I’d like to give a big shout out and massive thank you to all our customers throughout the Marlborough region who contribute and all the schools who take part.”

Southfuels customers and programme supporters, O’Donnell Park Barging and Kenny Barging manager James Galloway and Amber-Lousie Connor from Waikawa Fishing Company were at Richmond View School to hand deliver the children get their new technology packages.

“One of our values is betterment for all and we do that in a number of different ways; we have a community van and of course, donate through Fuels for Schools’ says James.

“Being able to see just how much there is and how excited the children are is great. It’s like Christmas.”

When a participating school reaches a $1000 in donations they can pick between a technology or sports package.

Richmond School principal Dave Pauling says the donation makes a big difference to students.

“It helps enormously. We know what we need, and we get to choose.

“Some of these things go to children who might not have them otherwise.”

There are a number of schools in the region whom have benefited from the Fuel for Schools programme in recent times, including Mayfield School, Seddon School, Witherlea School, Linkwater Primary, Ward School, Spring Creek School, Fairhall School, Wairau Valley School and Riverlands School.

To get involved or find out more call Maisie Davison on 0275936229, and start supporting your local school today.

Valve Corporation chief executive Gabe Newell. Photo: Supplied.

Billionaire boss backs charity gamers

A billionaire businessman invited to Blenheim for a gaming tournament sent his apologies – and $500 for a good cause.

Stranded in New Zealand after borders closed due to Coronavirus, American gaming tycoon Gabe Newell, 57, was asked to a LAN party in Blenheim.

And while the president of video game developer and digital distribution company Valve couldn’t make it, he gifted the community organisation money instead.

Marlborough Media reporter Matt Brown helped organise Saturday’s successful MAG LAN gaming event to raise money for Crossroads Marlborough Charitable Trust.

He says he saw the gaming giant on TV One’s Breakfast show last week and decided to invite him along.

“I heard he was quite responsive to emails,” he says.

Gabe is helping to put on a concert to thank New Zealand for having him during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He was on holiday from Seattle when the virus struck and opted to stay in Auckland and work remotely.

Matt says he thought Gabe might fancy a day out.

“I just thought I would try it on and see what happened,” Matt says.

“He got back to me really quickly; I didn’t expect an answer at all.

“I woke up to the reply email and was blown away – it really made my day.”

MAG LAN organiser Nathan Cross says it was a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with people you would otherwise only chat to over the internet.

“It was great to see everyone there having a good time,” he says.

About 12 people attended the LAN party which raised nearly $700.

Crossroads kitchen supervisor Richard McDonald was delighted with how the day went, and the unexpected windfall for the charity.

“I was really happy to see people in here having fun and seeing people connect over a hobby that doesn’t get a lot of support,” he says.

“We’re looking forward to building on that and getting more people in next time.”

Marlborough Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom Heritage Education Programme has been taught by historian John Orchard. Photo: Supplied.

Heritage heroes

A teaching role geared to helping bring local history alive for Marlborough students is set to benefit from a $100,000 sponsorship boost.

Bosses at Marlborough Lines have signed off on a $20,000 a year sponsorship deal with Marlborough Heritage Trust in Blenheim.

The announcement means the trust can employ a senior teacher to run the Marlborough Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom Heritage Education Programme.

The move comes as current senior teacher and renowned John Orchard retires.

John has played an integral role in teacher Marlborough children about the region’s past.

Marlborough Lines chief executive Tim Cosgrove says there is a renewed interest in teaching New Zealand history in all schools and the firm is keen to support this.

Sponsorship will help ensure that Marlborough students have the best opportunities to learn about our local history and area, he says.

Trust executive director Steve Austin says more than 6000 students benefit from the initiative each year.

Funding has been earmarked for the next five years.

Steve says the trust is delighted Marlborough Lines has agreed to support the programme, which will now be known as the Marlborough Lines Heritage Education Programme.

The heritage education initiative is largely funded by the Ministry of Education, but government funding has not been increased for many years.

It also falls short of the full cost of remuneration in today’s employment context, Steve says.

“The Ministry are not in a position to increase funding, but we know that Marlborough schools rely on our programmes to enhance their work in history, geography, social studies, science and technology.

“We have been very fortunate in John Orchard’s outstanding leadership of the heritage education programme, but he has retired now, and we have to be realistic about the new salaries offered by schools in the coming years.

“We need to do our best to match these expectations.”


One dead in boating tragedy

A person has been killed and two others injured after a boat smash in the Marlborough Sounds.

An injured boatie managed to alert emergency crews who rushed to Okiwi Bay about 7.25pm on Sunday night.

The fatally injured victim was in a critical condition but died on the way to hospital.

Yesterday morning, Maritime NZ announced it had launched an investigating the deadly on-water collision as Marlborough’s harbour master revealed he was looking for more information to help piece together what had happened.

Scene investigations are underway in the tight-knit community which has about 80 permanent residents.

Police were called to Okiwi Bay, about 25 kilometres from Rai Valley on the way to French Pass, about 7.25pm on Sunday and the Nelson Marlborough Rescue crew were called in.

Police revealed yesterday morning that one person had died.

Okiwi Bay Voluntary Rural Fire Force fire chief Ian Montgomery says the collision happened near where boats were moored in the harbour.

“It was very, very dark and the cloud cover was quite low last night, ” he says.

Marlborough Coastguard President David St John said Coastguard did not attend the incident.

A spokeswoman from Nelson Marlborough Health says one patient is in a stable condition at Wairau Hospital.