Café Herb and Olive owner Richard Barton with 10-year-old fox terrier Pepe. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Paws clause gives dog-friendly businesses mark of approval

Dog-friendly businesses are set to get the paws-up, displaying special stickers where pooches are welcome.

For the first time in decades, dogs are allowed in Blenheim’s town centre from Tuesday as a bylaw banning them is lifted for a month.

And a specially made paw print sticker will go up in businesses around town where pooches are permitted.

For Richard Barton from café Herb & Olive, allowing dogs in with customers was an easy decision to make.

“I have no problem with dogs being outside,” he says.

The 65th Black Hawk National Dog Show gets underway in Blenheim between 2 and 5 October.

With up to 1200 dogs expected at the event, the by law will be lifted for the whole month.

The Blenheim Business Association (BBA) have organised the stickers which feature a black paw print with a heart in it.

These ‘dog friendly’ stickers make it easy for those businesses welcoming dogs in the town centre to be clearly seen.

BBA spokeswoman Caroline Stone says the association supports the trial.

“We need to wait and see how the trial goes but we support the trial as bylaws need to be revisited on a regular basis as the world changes.

“We’re really happy with the support from CBD businesses.

“We’ve had nothing but positive feedback on the sticker initiative – and the feedback from the National Dog Show competitors via Facebook has been awesome too,” she says.

Trial rules state that all dogs must be on a leash and under control.

Owners must clean up after their dogs. Failure to do so could result in a $300 fine.

 

Black Hawk 2019 National Dog Show

National Breed Show – Wed 2 to Sat 5 Oct, Stadium 2000
Obedience Show – Thu 3 to Sat 5 Oct, Convention Centre
Agility Comp – Sat 5 – Sun 6 Oct, Rewi Murray Polo Grounds

Chateau Marlborough chief executive officer Brent Marshall and general manager Lynley McKinnon. Photo: Matt Brown.

Double win celebrations for hotel

A Marlborough hotel has been awarded back-to-back wins at a prestigious Australasian hotel competition.

Chateau Marlborough won the HM Australasian Hotel of the Year for Best NZ Regional Hotel for the second year running, one of only two hotels to achieve the award twice and in their second year of attending the ceremony.

General manager Lynley McKinnon says winning the award was very much a team effort.

“We’ve got a dedicated team of staff that is striving for excellence, which makes the success fantastic for the hotel,” she says.

The 2019 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, now in their 17th year, are the leading industry in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

More than 900 people attended the awards dinner at the Sydney’s International Convention Centre last Friday and over 60 awards were handed out across 48 categories.

Chief executive officer Brent Marshall says to be the second hotel in 17 years to win the award in consecutive years was a “very pleasing surprise”.

“We were up against 15 others of an exceedingly high standard, to be announced as the winner was satisfying and humbling at the same time,” Brent says.

“There has been a lot of continual work to wh? And improve.

“It’s great for the Marlborough region to be acknowledged as a province that offers a quality experience.

“The awards are a reflection of the staff, from the manager down.”

Lynley was a finalist in the NZ General Manager of the Year category and executive chef James Sievewright was a finalist for the Australasian Hotel Chef of the Year.

The judging panel was made up of industry leaders and travel writers from the Australasian region.

HM editor-in-chief and chief judge of the HM Awards James Wilkinson says the calibre of this year’s entries were the best in the event’s history.

“The quality of entries in the HM Awards this year was unlike anything we have seen before. It was a challenge to even choose the finalists from up to 80 entries in some cases, let alone decide on a winner and highly commended,” James says.

“To even be a finalist this year was a massive effort and many of our winners have also been employee of the year or hotel of the year in their own organisations, so it was an incredibly strong field of entries in 2019.”

Rose Built Homes office in the Blenheim CBD. Photo: Matt Brown.

Hope after company collapse

A young Blenheim couple who faced losing their first home after the collapse of a building business has been thrown a lifeline.

Anastasia Brown and Caleb Mischeski faced losing $50,000 after a now-defunct Blenheim building company was placed into liquidation.

But other businesses have since stepped up to help those burnt by the collapse of Marlborough company Rose Built Homes last week.

Peter Ray Homes have taken on Anastasia Brown’s build on Blenheim’s Taylor Pass Road, which has languished for more than three months.

Rose Built Homes office in the Blenheim CBD. Photo: Matt Brown.
Rose Built Homes office in the Blenheim CBD. Photo: Matt Brown.

Peter Ray Homes director Donna Lee says their builders are working at a reduced margin to get her into the house.

“We really want to help Anastasia out,” Donna says.

RBH Limited, trading as Rose Built Homes, was placed into liquidation on 5 September.

It has since come to light the company’s two directors, Kyle Payne and Ryan Butler operated a web of interconnected companies.

Peter Ray Homes has come to the rescue of the young couple after the now-defunct building company Rose Built Homes went under. Photo: Matt Brown.
Peter Ray Homes has come to the rescue of the young couple after the now-defunct building company Rose Built Homes went under. Photo: Matt Brown.

The pair, who are no longer in contact with each other, have since fled town, leaving some Marlborough businesses out of pocket by at least $1.4million.

More than 40 businesses and subcontractors have come forward to date are worried staff and family members.

A source says the company’s troubles were clear to those in the building industry.

For Anastasia, who put money given to her by her grandparents towards the $338,000 home, says the first sign of trouble was when scaffolding was pulled down.

The house, on Taylor Pass Road, has sat for months with no roofs and no activity. Photo: Matt Brown.
The house, on Taylor Pass Road, has sat for months with no roof and no activity. Photo: Matt Brown.

A skip on-site was then emptied on where the couple’s front lawn was going as bills weren’t paid.

“Every week I asked when the roof was coming on, and every week they would say Friday.

“I found out from the plumber, they just vanished, I got incredibly stressed about it so my parents took over,” she says.

“The liquidator cancelled their contract with us. It’s pretty shitty, but I was lucky to find Donna from Peter Ray Homes.”

In January, Butler and Payne transferred 90 per cent of the shares of RBH to a holding company, NOA Development Group Limited.

NOA was removed from the companies register in July.

One unsecured creditor, who didn’t want to be named, says alarm bells for him started ringing in June.

“RBH was charging $2-300sqm cheaper than everyone else but were $16,700 a week in the red.

“It’s bad management.”

Anderson Architectural Design owner Jason Anderson says Ryan and Kyle were not “cut out to run a business.”

“They’re the type of guys you could have a beer with,” he says. “They just weren’t cut out to run a business.”

Jason says there were seven Rose Built Homes houses under construction and another person who had paid a deposit when the company folded.

Former project manager Graeme Andrews resigned from the company six weeks ago after a year with the company.

He says while he is not owned any money, he was “a little bit uncomfortable.”

“I was concerned I maybe wasn’t getting the right information. I had suspicions, but I had no idea.

“All I can say is I don’t have the full picture or the full information.

“Everyone in town knew there were issues.

The reason I did stick around was for the tradies…and for the clients, a lot of which were young couples. I felt for them.”

 

Butler and Payne affiliated companies:

 

Maddison Group Limited – Trading name: Tru Cut Property services

Industry Classification(s): N731340 Property maintenance service (own account)

Registered from 2 May 2017 to 22 Aug 2019

Kyle Payne owns 100% of 2 shares

Directors: Ryan Butler and Kyle Payne. Ashleigh Broughton was a director until 3 April 2019.

 

3rd Gen Homes Limited

Industry Classification(s): E301120 Building, house construction

Registered from 18 August 2016 – in process of being removed from register for being overdue in its obligation to file an annual return.

Ryan Butler owns 100% of 100 shares.

Carl Ross Butler ceased being a director: 01/12/2016 – but the paperwork to remove him as a director was filed July 2019

Directors: Ryan Butler.

 

RBH Limited

Industry Classification(s):

In Liquidation

Registered from 18 July 2017 to 05 September 2019

NOA Development Group Limited owns 90% of 100 shares (90).

Ross Stuart Butler (Ryan’s dad) owns 10% of 100 shares (10).

Directors: Ryan Butler and Kyle Payne.

 

Rose Built Limited

Industry Classification(s): E301120 Building, house construction

Registered on 16 January 2019 – current

NOA Development Group Limited owns 100% of 200 shares.

Directors: Ryan Butler and Kyle Payne.

 

NOA Development Group Limited

Industry Classification(s): E321120 Land development or subdivision (excluding construction)

Registered from 3 August 2018 to 17 July 2019.

Ryan Butler owns 50% of 100 shares.

Kyle Payne owns 50% of 100 shares.

Nelson Marlborough Health chief executive Peter Bramley and Tasman Rugby Union’s commercial and marketing manager Les Edwards celebrate their recent health partnership. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Aiming to kick sugar for touch

In a first for New Zealand rugby, the region’s health board has signed up with the Tasman union to become its official health and wellbeing partner.

Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) has replaced the union’s former partner, Coca Cola Powerade, and will see the Mako players promote health initiatives.

As part of the three-year, $15,000 deal, the Tasman Rugby Union will encourage positive health-related decisions and behaviour among its stadium audiences, club rugby communities and schools.

Its focus will be on the reduction of sugar consumption, the promotion of smoke free environments, alcohol harm reduction and promoting metal wellbeing and resilience.

NMH chief executive Peter Bramley says the partnership as an “innovative and powerful” public health initiative.

“As the official health and wellbeing partner of the Tasman Rugby Union, we can leverage the influence that Mako players have among youngsters in our region. We can also the reach the TRU has into clubs, schools and the wider community, to inspire positive health decisions and behaviour.”

He says the sponsorship is a “prudent investment”, even amid revelations that the health board is in a $20 million deficit.

“It costs as much as $5000 to remove one child’s teeth under general anaesthetic and we are seeing far too many children needing this kind of unnecessary hospital care in our region.

“The terrible health effects of sugary drinks don’t stop at teeth – sugary drinks are the cause of obesity, diabetes and other serious health conditions that are a heavy burden on every DHB’s finances.”

Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Tony Lewis says that promoting healthier living to its player base is important to them individually and as players in an active competitive sport.

“As a union we are excited to be working progressively with NMH over three years to achieve our collective goal of encouraging our players to reduce their sugar intake and to be mentally and physically healthier.”

NMH health promotion manager Lauren Ensor says being sponsored by Coca Cola seemed to be “inappropriate” because surgery drinks were the main cause of sugar in New Zealander’s diets.

“We aim to see an increasing health focus within rugby locally over the coming years and hopefully that inspires other unions and New Zealand Rugby to follow suit.”

Steve Badham has big plans for his new restaurant and café. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

New restaurant ready for lift off

An aviation-themed restaurant that faced a few turbulent few years has been bought by new owners.

The former Argosy Restaurant building in Woodbourne will become The Runway and feature an aviation-themed café and a separate restaurant open in the evening.

New owners Steve Badham and partner Lisa Stove hope to open the doors to the new-look business in October.

“I’m moderately excited but a bit anxious too. I love to cook and many of my clients are in the hospitality industry, but I’ve never run a restaurant before.

“I’ve driven past the building every week for 20 years going to and from Nelson.

“I never thought I’d own it,” he says.

The businessman who runs his own commercial IT solutions company says the restaurant will feature mainly Indian and European cuisine.

He would also like to make the most of the Argosy ZK-SAE, owned by Paul Davidson, which sits next door.

“Later on, we intend to landscape a garden area under the plane for outside dining.

“It would be good to make it more of a feature,” he says.

The Argosy ZK-SAE, once owned by Safe Air, carried both travellers and freight.

It hit headlines all over the world in 1978 after two pilots reported they were followed by unidentified flying objects as they flew of the Kaikoura coast.

Steve says while the café and small convenience store he hopes to install alongside would take on an aviation theme, the newly renovated restaurant would not.

“It will have an ancient temple theme and will feature art and antique furniture.

“This may well be for sale, but I’m still trying to piece it all together at this point and am not ruling anything out at this stage.”

The former boat builder has used his skills to do a lot of the renovation work himself, including the new curved counters.

“I want every car that goes past to soon have a reason to stop and come in,” he says.

“I always swore I’d never want to go into a kitchen, but I have a passion for food and couldn’t let the opportunity pass.”

Marlborough designer Hayley Rhind will debut her new designs at New Zealand Fashion Week. Photo: Supplied.

Designer’s lifestyle makeover leads to catwalk debut

A bid to look after her own health will see a Marlborough mum make her design debut at New Zealand Fashion Week.

Hayley Rhind is part of the force behind acclaimed million-dollar fashion label White Chalk.

Now her own athleisure label will hit the catwalk on Auckland after she was invited to show her collection as part of fashion week at the end of the month.

The entrepreneur began in the fashion business by creating her own clothes when designer brands would blow her budget.

But Hayley says the busier she became, the more her lifestyle suffered.

She hopes her new range, RHIND, will encourage more Kiwi women to incorporate exercise into their daily lives.

“After I launched White Chalk in 2015, I became so busy and my lifestyle suffered.

“When I decided to focus on my own health and exercise, I realised I was wearing activewear more than anything else, so it was just natural that I wanted to create my own range,” she says.

The self-taught fashion guru lives on a 1000ha sheep and cattle farm in Marlborough.

“My sister-in-law, Ginny, was living in Vietnam at the time so I had her produce them (clothes) for me,” explains Hayley.

“When all of our friends started asking if they could buy our pieces, we realised we were on to a good thing.”

The pair have since brought their manufacturing home to Blenheim to match their vision of having fashion brands that are 100 percent designed and produced locally.

“People deserve to know where their clothes come from. Buying locally guarantees this.

“Our customers also get a kick out of supporting people in their own backyard.”

Hayley says RHIND has been 12 months in the making and will include leggings, jumpers, crops, t-shirts, singlets, sports bras and rain jackets.

“I want to inspire women to love their bodies in the form of movement and nourishment,” Hayley says.

“I aim to encourage women to move more and see their bodies in a positive light.”

Subash Raizada must pay three former staff an ERA hearing has found. Photo: Supplied.

Restaurant boss’s wage cheat costs thousands

The owner of an Indian restaurant who tried to cheat staff out of wages has been ordered to pay them nearly $60,000.

Blenheim man Subash Raizada, 57, also known as Roger Raizada, owns Maharajah India Ltd.

Staff accused him of harassment and trying to pressure them to hand over money or risk their immigration status.

The Employment Relations Authority found in favour of three former employees, Vibha Sood, Kulijeet Kaur and Akshay Dame.

The announcement come as it was revealed the business was to be struck off the Register of Companies.

In his findings, chief of the Employment Relations Authority James Crichton says the company, of which Raizada was sole director, owed the trio money.

“I am satisfied that Maharaja India Limited owes a total sum of $59,390.47 in respect to minimum wages and holiday pay for the credit of three employees, namely Ms Vibha Sood, Ms Kuljeet Kaur and Mr Akshay Dame”.

Raizada’s son bought the Seymour St restaurant in 2015, changing it to Raizada Indian Restaurant.

An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) hearing in Blenheim in May was told how a labour inspectorate began an investigation in March 2015.

Staff claimed several incidents where they had been underpaid or not paid at all.

Kaur revealed she was told by Raizada that her visa was dependant on him and that she should pay him $35,000.

Dame did a week’s work with Raizada, as a trial. In a statement Raizada told him he would need to pay $35,000 if he wanted the manager’s position. Dame turned him down.

Raizada responded by saying the staff had never worked for him and accused them of fraud.

“But those stories simply are not credible,” Crighton says.

“Mr Raizada’s position appeared to be that none of these folk actually worked for the company and that the documents were simply structured to suggest that they had worked there.

“Ms Sood gave evidence that she had to pay back wages to the employer after she had been paid them.

“The evidence from Ms Sood’s bank account quite clearly supports her testimony that she was paid wages and then was required to rebate some of that payment either back to Mr Raizada or to another employee who then provided that sum to Mr Raizada,” he wrote.

Raizada was convicted in the Blenheim District Court on representative charges following guilty pleas to offences under the Immigration Act 2009 and the Crimes Act 1961 in February 2019.

He was ordered to pay $5000 to Kaur in part recompense of her managerial services and complete 80 hours of community service.

Timber mill branches out to boost business

Plans to revitalize a Marlborough sawmill could be a huge boom for Picton’s port and the region’s economy.

Kaituna Sawmill and Nelson Forests Ltd have revealed plans to boost production.

The move is set to see an increase in jobs and see Port Marlborough expand from exporting around 700,000 tonnes of logs a year to hitting the million mark.

Both companies are owned by Australian company OneFortyOne.

Executive general manager New Zealand Lees Seymour says the company is exploring opportunities to process more logs on shore and to develop alternative wood chip markets.

“In order to increase sawmill capacity there is the need to develop new woodchip markets, you can’t do one without the other.”

The businesses have signed an agreement that highlights how the two companies will work together through the feasibility phase and, if successful, through to implementation.

“The relationship we have with Port Marlborough is outstanding and we are very happy to be able to work with such a professional team,” says Lees.

Nelson Forests have hired a project manager investigate the building of a facility that would enable the export of wood chips from Port Marlborough.

Kaituna Sawmill currently processes about 115,000 tonnes of log a year.

Located just off SH6, a short distance from the Wairau River bridge, the mill employs more than 60 people.

Plans to increase capacity would see an improvement in returns for

Marlborough forest owners and improved environmental outcomes for the region, says Lees.

Port Marlborough CEO Rhys Welbourn says he is “delighted” to working with Nelson Forests.

“This is good news for the port and good news for Marlborough.”

Former Junction Hotel owner Mike Pink. Photo: Supplied.

Bar boss pay out to “humiliated” manager

A humiliated part-time bar manager whose bosses told her she had a “superiority complex” has won a $28,606 payout.

Dawn Langdon told the Employment Relations Authority that her job at the Junction Hotel left her “so stressed” she was forced to resign.

Owner Mike Pink was ordered to pay compensation of $18,000 plus additional costs including reimbursement of lost wages, holiday pay and Kiwisaver contributions.

An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) decision released last week by authority Helen Doyle found in favour of Dawn.

She ruled the Marlborough woman was “unjustifiably constructively dismissed and unjustifiably disadvantaged.”

“Mike Pink is ordered to pay to Dawn Langdon the sum of $18,000 without deduction being compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings.

“There were other actions by Mr Pink in breach of good faith obligations that seriously damaged the employment relationship,” she says in her findings.

The findings come after Mike told the tribunal hearing that the Junction Hotel was owned by a company and not himself personally.

The ERA could find no evidence of that, they said.

Dawn worked at the pub, which has since been sold, from 1 August 2017 to 4 March 2018. She was paid $16 gross per hour.

She told Mike about worries she had concerning bullying behaviour directed at her but says she was made to feel like she was the cause of the problem.

In response to what he called a “tirade” of emails about the situation, Mike told his unhappy employee that she owed him $500.

“In view of the constant e-mails, personal meetings and other contacts you have bombarded me with since you commenced employment with us … I feel it only fair that I should be recompensed for the time wasted unnecessarily.

“I have had to spend hours in replying to your tirades which has kept me away from doing my normal work and as I am partially incapacitated at present, I find this totally unacceptable.

“I think that a figure of $500 is fair and I expect to receive this within 7 days,” he wrote.

Mike also claimed he had lost customers and in one case a company has “discontinued to lodge and eat here” with a loss of up to $1000 per week.

Langdon resigned on the grounds that her employer had breached his duty.

She later said at an ERA investigation meeting in Blenheim on 23 May that Pink made her feel like a “complete failure”.

“I am extremely upset and humiliated over the way I have been treated, when measured against the commitment and loyalty I have shown your business during my employment,” she wrote.

Mike and wife Hazel have sent bought the Wave Café and Courtyard in Picton.

Volunteers, from left, Breanna Holt, Michelle Dawson, Olivia Cooke and Sophia Wills have started a thrift shop. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Students shift to thrift

It used to display books, but shopping savvy students have set up a thrift shop in an old library to encourage browsers of a different kind.

Inside the former library at Marlborough Girls’ College, student volunteers have set up a clothes and accessories store.

They hope the move will help their peers save money as well as encouraging recycling.

Year 12 student Breanna Holt says the idea for the small store, named Hidden Treasures, was sparked after a visit to Nelson College for Girls.

“We looked at what they had done and thought we could do it too.

“It’s much easier to get to than say Savemart where students have to drive to and most of our items are more affordable,” she says.

Clothes sell for under five dollars or $15 for well-known labels.

After getting the idea okayed by principal Mary-Jeanne Lynch, a subcommittee of the college’s Enviroschools group swung into action.

Volunteers, from left, Olivia Cooke, Michelle Dawson, Breanna Holt and Sophia Wills have started a thrift shop. Photo: Paula Hulburt.
Volunteers, from left, Olivia Cooke, Michelle Dawson, Breanna Holt and Sophia Wills have started a thrift shop. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

A competition to see which class could donate the most saw clothes come flooding in says English teacher Michelle Dawson.

“We held a competition to see what form class could get the most donations with the prize being a pizza-lunch.

“I’ve taught most of the girls at some point and it’s a real pleasure to be working with them again.”

The college is working towards gaining its gold Enviroschools award.

Student Olivia Cooke says the recycling aspect is an important part of the decision to set up the shop.

The store also stocks a range of clothes in the school’s house colours to make it easier for students to find the right coloured clothes at the right price.

Volunteers join a six-week roster and take it in turns to oversee sales.

Student Sophie Ellis says with both the girls’ and boys’ colleges preparing to collocate, a future thrift store would have to expand its range.

“There’ll be opportunity to grow and one day it will have to cater for boys too.

“When we’ve all moved on, it’ll be our legacy”.

Funds raised through sales will be put towards bettering the college environment.