Foster Hope coordinator Leonie McLachlan is grateful for all the donations the charity receives.  File photo.

Hope for Christmas

Foster Hope Marlborough’s annual Christmas present drive is under way.

This year’s collection has a “B-awesome” theme with presents beginning with that letter needed.

The Marlborough Weekly is helping as a collection centre for donations.

From books, blankets, bubbles body care, beach towels, balls and board games, there are plenty of options for gifts.

All donations should be new and unwrapped, so organisers know the best person to get the gift.

Presents for children of all ages, both boys and girls, are needed to help make Christmas special.

Foster Hope believes that every child in foster care deserves to know that their community cares about them

Throughout the year they demonstrate this by proving children in care with a backpack of essential items, they are a symbol of our love and support.

Donations can be dropped off at Marlborough Weekly on 52 Scott Street or at 7 Philip Place by 30 November.

Vineyard manager Kirsty Harkness has been using hemp to improve soil quality. Photo: Supplied.

Hemp heroine’s soil surprise

Emily Marten

 

A former nurse experimenting with hemp to boost vineyard soil quality has uncovered an unlikely bonus – skincare.

Marlborough vineyard manager and former nurse Kirsty Harkness was looking at ways to breathe new life into overworked soil.

Kirsty Harkness, Marlborough vineyard manager and former nurse co-founded cosmetic brand Hark & Zander after first planting hemp three years ago in a bid to revitalise overworked soil.

But what she didn’t expect was that it wouldn’t only be the soil that could reap the benefits of hemp:

It was an exciting discovery, she says.

“It wasn’t until I looked at hemp as not only a way of breathing life back into the soil but also as a potential secondary revenue source that I really got excited.

“Once we were confident the hemp wouldn’t take nutrients or moisture from the vines, we began looking at the potential benefits of hemp for the body as well,” she says.

Together with business partner Gabrielle Zander, an essential oil blending specialist, the duo founded cosmetics brand Hark & Zander.

The pair are combining hemp oil with a mix of their own essential oils.

Produced and made in New Zealand with the help of a team in Wanganui, the skincare range is sourced from local ingredients.

The fast-growing hemp industry could bring in a huge $2bn to New Zealand’s export economy.

But first hemp needs to ditch its negative associations with recreational cannabis, says Kirsty.

“Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species but it is grown for industrial uses and contains negligible amounts of the psychoactive compound THC.

“For New Zealand to take advantage of the billion-dollar export potential of hemp, we are going to need to grow mainstream acceptance of a product which was first used for industrial purposes thousands of years ago,” she says.

Daughter Emma Marris, and Father Brent Marris accept the 2020 Marlborough Wine Show, Champion Wine of the Show Trophy from Hugh Morrison. Photo: Richard Briggs.

Saint Clair big wine winners at Marlborough show

The wines and the founders of Saint Clair Family Estate shone at the 2020 Marlborough Wine Show,

Saint Clair took out the Pinot Gris Trophy with Saint Clair Godfrey’s Creek Reserve Pinot Gris 2018 and the Champion Other White Varietal Trophy with their Saint Clair Pioneer Block 5 Bull Block Grüner Veltliner 2020.

The company’s Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2020 was awarded The Coterie Wine of Provenance, which recognises the best single vineyard current release wine from any class.

The Marlborough Museum Legacy Award for wines with pedigree, was awarded to Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Chardonnay for three wines produced over the last 10 years, (2007, 2013 and 2016).

Founders Neal and Judy Ibbotson were awarded the Wine Marlborough Lifetime Achievement award for their services to the Marlborough wine industry.

Council solid waste manager Alec McNeil says what the service might looked like would be clearer after the review process. File photo.

Wheelie bins proposal back from the brink

Wheelie bins are back on the table in Marlborough, with a waste review calling them an “ideal” solution to “inconvenient” bin bags and crates.

Marlborough District Council has been deliberating over wheelie bins for more than a decade, with the cost of rolling out close to 40,000 bins – two per household – a regular sticking point.

A look at council services in 2009 and 2010 ended up settling on recycling crates and a new resource recovery centre.

The idea was debated again in 2015, but shelved, then rehashed in 2017 after a survey of 5400 residents showed 39 per cent wanted the bins to replace their bags and crates.

Council concluded the price was too much for residents.

But another waste assessment compiled earlier this year could see them get over the line.

It showed residents believed the current system was “inconvenient” and had “outlived its useful purpose”, with wheelie bins the “ideal practical resolution”.

Some thought their recycling crates were too small for the amounts recycled, with some admitting their “excess” goods were put into bin bags, “lost to landfill for ease of disposal”.

Others pointed out that new housing developments in Blenheim and Picton had caused rubbish collection routes to grow, leaving recycling crates in the wind and rain longer.

Rain-soaked paper or cardboard could not be recycled, and recycling blown from the crates often became street litter.

“Recycling left beside the container is not removed by the contractor. People without access to transport cannot take excess product to the recycling centre,” feedback in the waste assessment says.

Residents also say the council-issued bin bags suited small households, not bigger ones, and should be biodegradable.

The assessment estimated it would cost $2 million to send out about 36,000 refuse and recycling bins in Marlborough.

Speaking after the assessment was adopted by council last week, council solid waste manager Alec McNeil says the $2m was a “best estimate”, which could change.

Whether wheelie bins meant higher rates depended on several factors, including rubbish volumes and the number of properties signed up to the service, he says.

There was also talk of a waste collection service involving boats for residents living in remote parts of the Marlborough Sounds.

Alex says what the service could look like would be worked out during the waste management plan process.

It also recommended councils were incentivised to collect food waste for composting, collect glass separately to other recyclables, and do more promotion to get people to sort their waste correctly.

About 4370 tonnes of waste was recycled in Marlborough last year, compared to 7615 tonnes sent to landfill.

Residents could submit feedback on the assessment’s proposals on the council website before November 16.

LDR - Local Democracy Reporting

Dr Jean Simpson, Carrie Mozena, Leeson Bradley and Margaret Gibbs celebrate Warmer Healthier Homes’ 2000th insulation. Photo: Erin Bradnock.

Milestone for healthy homes

Erin Bradnock

A project dedicated to making the homes of those in the Top of the South warmer and healthier to live in has just celebrated its 2000th insulation.

Warmer Healthier Homes Nelson – Marlborough has been subsidising insulation projects in the region since 2014.

Project chairman Leeson Baldey says it’s an amazing achievement for the programme, which is administered by Absolute Energy.

“It’s 2000 families living in healthy homes.”

The project began in partnership between Rata Foundation, Nelson Tasman Housing Trust, Nelson City Council, and Nelson Marlborough DHB to address unhealthy homes in the region.

Insulating a home typically costs between $2,500 to $5000 in New Zealand.

Over 30 people gathered at the Boathouse last Thursday to celebrate the milestone.

Henry Nepia of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority says they don’t often get to celebrate the wins.

“And there’s been a lot of them over the years.”

Henry acknowledged the work still to be done, saying the authority is still getting up to a 1000 inquiries for insulations a week.

Project founder and former chairman Bill Dahlberg was instrumental in the project’s founding and success.

He says it was aimed at addressing vulnerable communities who frequented health care because of cold and damp homes.

Bill says meeting the families who receive the insulation is the best thing about the work.

“I remember I went back to one family six months later, who couldn’t believe the difference a dry house makes.”

A truck driver was winched to safety after his vehicle rolled down a bank on a remote rural road. Photo: Blenheim Police/Supplied.

First aid training helps save trapped driver

Two mechanics used their work radios to get help to a seriously injured truck driver trapped in the crushed cab of his vehicle.

Marlborough Lines line mechanics Sam White and Kyle Marfell rushed to the rescue after the accident on Wednesday.

Using first aid training and medical kits from their work Utes, the pair got help and were on hand to help the driver.

With no mobile reception, Kyle got to higher ground and used the radio to contact staff at the Marlborough Lines building in Blenheim, Sam says.

The team there alerted the emergency services.

Sam says the workplace first aid training he had done “just kicked in.”

“It was really helpful. The guy was conscious throughout which was good, but we could see cuts on his head and arms.

“It’s lucky we were there as there’s no mobile reception. I could see blood, but he seemed to have stopped bleeding; we just tapped him up.”

A pilot vehicle was leading the truck carrying a 25-tonne digger.

The truck rolled multiple times down a steep bank on the Black Birch Observatory road, just off the Awatere Valley Road.

Sam, who has been employed with Marlborough Lines for ten years, says they were just arriving on site to set up for the day when they were alerted to the crash.

“There was a guy on the track who had been working on the vineyard down below. The pilot vehicle driver was there too.”

Dense vegetation and a steep drop made access difficult, but they hacked their way through, Sam says.

The driver suffered severe injuries and had to be stabilised by emergency services on the ground before being flown to hospital by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter crew.

Sam, who went straight back to work after the incident, says he would like to catch up with the driver when he’s feeling better.

“He was a good bloke.”

A spokeswoman for Nelson Marlborough Health says the patient was in a stable condition in Nelson Hospital this afternoon.

The current site of Marlborough Boys’ College is planned to become the site of a new Bohally School. File photo.

College build edges closer

Education bosses are set to appoint a contractor for the new colleges by the end of the year.

Ministry of Education staff have revealed bids from interested contractors were received last week, with an appointment set to be made soon.

The move means planning and design phases on the $100 million dollar upgrade can hopefully begin early next year.

Head of Education Infrastructure Service Kim Shannon says the project will transform education in the region, providing world-class education facilities for Marlborough learners.

“The co-location of Marlborough Boys’ and Girls’ Colleges and relocation of Bohally Intermediate will be one of the biggest projects that the Ministry has ever delivered.”

“The project will transform education in Marlborough, as well as supporting the Top of the South in its post-Covid recovery.”

“This is a really exciting time for all three schools, as well as the wider Blenheim community, and we’re looking forward to working with them as the project progresses,” she says.

After three years of unsuccessfully searching for a greenfield site, the Ministry of Education announced  the colleges would be co-located at the 13.2-hectare McLauchlan Street site,

The project will co-locate Marlborough Boys’ and Marlborough Girls’ College on the site currently occupied by Marlborough Girls’ and Bohally Intermediate.

The Intermediate will be relocated and rebuilt on the current Marlborough Boys’ College site.

Kim says official responses to their Request for Proposals were received last week.

She added the start of procurement is always an important milestone for a project.

“We will now be evaluating the responses, supported by the schools, over the next few weeks. We plan to engage a contractor-led consortium before the end of the year.

“The master planning and design phases will then begin in early 2021, which will inform both the project staging (how and when the individual aspects are carried out) as well as construction and completion timeframes,” she says.

All three schools are being kept in the loop about the project.

“We are in regular contact with both Colleges and Bohally Intermediate about the project, and representatives from all three schools are part of the project’s governance structure.

“The change in Government and COVID-19 have had no impact on the project or its delivery,’ says Kim.

Marlborough mayor John Leggett and Niki Waitai. Photo: Supplied.

Young mum helping others overcome adversity

A Blenheim woman who returned to the region to get back to her Māori roots is helping others overcome adversity.

Growing up in Australia, Niki Waitai was determined to bring her family home to Blenheim.

Now the inspiring young mum is helping other women, some with mental health and addiction issues, to get back on their feet.

She credits Māori health provider, Te Piki Oranga, and industry training organisation, Careerforce, for supporting her while she learned on the job.

“We wanted our kids to have a sense of belonging, their identity, a sense of who they are. I missed that, being Māori in another country,” says Niki.

Although Niki says she wasn’t great at school, it was during her time at Te Piki Oranga, where she developed a thirst for learning.

She completed the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Levels 2 and 3 in just one year and is keen to do more.

“It was an awesome way to study. I really enjoyed the journey.

“Careerforce helped me to rediscover my desire for learning,” Niki says.

Niki moved to the new role of Pūkenga Manaaki (Whānau Navigator) within the Blenheim-based organisation a year ago.

She provides an intensive service that helps support vulnerable hapu māmā and whānau with personalised intervention.

“I am privileged to support mums, many of whom have an addiction of some sort, and/or may have mental health issues, often parenting alone, and living in chaos.

“I am really grateful for this role, it’s very rewarding to play a part in the lives of whanau who need awhi support to get back on their feet,” she says.

Niki helps women and their whānau. from maternity through to antenatal and childhood up to three years old.

The goal is to encourage resilience and self-management to achieve their own aspirations and goals, she says.

Careerforce Workplace Advisor, Paula Cohen encouraged Niki to enrol in the NZ Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice.

“I was learning and then actively practising the tools I had learnt with whānau.  It was very hands on,” says Niki.

“With applied practice, I was able to acknowledge and recognise what I had learnt in the case studies and apply it.

“I learnt about reflective practice and I’ve applied it on the job.   It’s so important, it’s helped with my confidence, in working with whānau.”

Niki plans in becoming a social worker and will apply for a degree course next year.

The new station will benefit the whole community. Graphic supplied.

St John reveal plans for new ambulance station

Plans for a new state-of-the-art ambulance station have been unveiled as crews look to move from their current cramped headquarters.

A new purpose-built station on Alabama Road is set to replace the Seymour Street depot.

The move will help end traffic issues and provide a community asset for years to come, planners say.

Submitting a resource consent to Marlborough District Council, architects put forward plans which include bedrooms, study rooms, meeting and crew rooms.

“A well resourced and modern St John facility is a considerable asset to the wider community.

“The present St John’s location in Seymour Street is significantly undersized, with traffic issues as ambulances are required to back into the building,” the plans state.

St John’s have been looking for new premises for a few years and a geotechnical report was carried out on the new 5977 square metre section in 2018.

The new base would be situated on land near the Redwood Tavern. The proposed site will include two road frontages.

The owner of the land, Redwood Development, has applied to subdivide the land.

In figures supplied to council, St Johns say they dealt with an average of 12 call outs in 24 hours.

The station is staffed day and night, with staff doing 12-hour shifts. Under the proposal, all emergency vehicles would return to base via Allen Street.

“St John have already proven to be excellent neighbours on their present site and take community relations extremely seriously,” the report says.

Keeping near by neighbours happy is a top priority.

While sirens are excluded from noise standards, they would not be used until ambulances were leaving.

“Sirens are not normally used until going to an emergency so that the same residential properties are not affected all the time,” the submission states.

Road access and closer proximity to Wairau Hospital were advantages to the new site, the application stays.

“Additional traffic will be minimal. It will provide valuable support to the community into the years ahead.”

St John have been approached for comment.

The application will be heard by council before a decision is made.

Ted Culley won a national award in recognition of his work for the Graeme Dingle Foundation. Photo: Supplied.

Sanford boss awarded for work with students

A Marlborough boss who has helped boost confidence in thousands of students has been recognised for his dedication.

Ted Culley from Sanford Ltd has won the Graeme Dingle Foundation’s Outstanding Contribution from a Volunteer Award.

The long-term supporter, who was in Auckland to receive his award last week is a passionate community advocate.

“I have been involved in service clubs, school boards, hospice trust, wilding pines trust, and of course the Graeme Dingle Foundation.

“I started community service in the 1990s when I moved from the city to rural towns and had the desire to contribute back to the community.”

The General Manager Aquaculture for Sanford, won the award, given to the person who has contributed most to the Foundation’s aims of raising self-awareness and esteem among tamariki (young people). Sanford itself is also a long-term supporter of the Graeme Dingle Foundation.

His first exposure to the Foundation’s Kiwi Can programme came via Kaeo Primary School in the Far North.

“I saw the positive impact it had on kids.

“Then from 2002 I was based at Havelock and was keen to get the programme running at Havelock Primary School. This took some time for people to be convinced that it was needed.

“Sanford has been committed to this programme for over 20 years and it has been a team effort with support in regions right across NZ.

“When you see on a daily basis and first-hand the difference it makes to kids who have been through the programme, it is impossible not to become committed to it yourself,” he says.

Ted says that the award should be shared with others, and he is really representing the 250 sponsors who have supported him.

Earlier this year, Ted raised $30,000 through sponsors who supported him to undertake a 20,000ft skydive – which he lost 20kg to take part in.

“The programme has captured a number of my colleagues in Sanford to get involved in fundraising and mentoring which is great to see.

“Helping kids with life skills such as resilience and the ethics of ‘doing the right thing even when no one is looking’ is just gold.”