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.”

The Nepalese Sherpa team: Nabin Shrestha, Padam Prashad Adhikari, Saphal Acharya, Rupesh Acharya, Ambika Basnet Shrestha and Rojee Khadgi. Not pictured are Sumil Shrestha and Yam Kumari Tamng. Photo: Supplied.

Ain’t no mountain high enough

A challenge of mountainous proportions is putting a team through their paces.

The Marlborough Mount Everest challenge got underway earlier this month.

And one Nepalese team are reaching new heights, taking the leader board by storm.

A group of Nepalese friends taking part under team name The Nepalese Sherpa have already clocked up 24390 metres between the eight of them.

The Marlborough Mount Everest Challenge is a run and walk event where the goal is for participants to travel the elevation of Mount Everest (8800 m) in the time that it took Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953 (7 weeks).

Padam Prashad Adhikari says some of their crew even hope to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest twice.

“We wanted to do it to represent our country and some of us are doing it for our own health.

“We’ve got to know more people in Picton and Blenheim who we meet while walking and who comment on the photos we put on Facebook – it helps encourage us on,” he says.

Organised by staff at the Port Marlborough Pavilion in Picton, the challenge is proving popular with 131 competitors currently taking part.

Port Marlborough Pavilion Project Coordinator Regan Russell says the event is going well.

“We have 131 competitors that have so far logged bang on 600 climbs. We have had some big numbers already with Iwan one of the individuals climbing to an altitude of 6396 meters in the ten days since we have started.”

“We aim to encourage local people to not only utilise the amazing local walking tracks that Marlborough has to offer, but to get fit while doing so,” Regan says.

The tracks chosen will allow participants to accomplish the goal by running or walking the Tirohanga track 36 times or the Mt Vernon Track 25 times during the seven-week period.

“We usually go out before or after work and try to do two walks back to back and we are certainly getting faster,” says Padam.

Stuart Smith MP and wife Julie were joined by Labour candidate Matt Flight and wife Dallas. Photo: Supplied.

Red tsunami fails to unseat Smith

National MP Stuart Smith has won the seat for the Kaikōura electorate.

Making it three election wins in a row, the incumbent beat closest rival and first time Labour Party candidate Matt Flight by 16,105 votes to 13,823 votes.

Celebrating with wife Julie and supporters at the ASB Theatre’s Whitehaven Room in Blenheim, Smith says he was delighted with the outcome.

Stuart comes from a Canterbury family that were fifth generation sheep and deer farmers.

He has held several local and national roles including being President of the New Zealand Grape Growers Council and Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers. He was subsequently inducted as a Fellow of the New Zealand Winegrowers Board for services to the industry.

In 2014 Stuart entered Parliament winning with a majority of around 11,000 votes and successfully held his seat in the 2017 election by a similar number.

“It is a privilege and an honour to be re-elected as the member of parliament for Kaikōura,” he says.

He was congratulated in person by closest rival Matt Flight who went to the after party to shake Smith’s hand in person.

Matt says he was “humbled and grateful” by the votes he had received

“Whilst we didn’t make it across the line here, I am so proud of our nationwide result that sees Jacinda and Labour returned for another three years.”

Guest judges, from left, Saulo Camillo Nunes, Jesse Mulligan, Fiona Fenwick and Summa MacDonald. Photo: Anthony Phelps.

Perfect pie pair

The pies have been tasted, the wines sipped, and a winner found.

After weeks of searching, the winner of the 2020 Ultimate Burleigh Pie Pairing has been announced.

Jamaican lamb pie and Spätlese Riesling 2017 took out the top spot, beating a record 47 entries from around the region.

Judge and challenge co-founder says the level of interest shows just how much the annual competitions means to people.

“We knew that The Burleigh is the go – to for most folks to satisfy their pie cravings, but this level of involvement has blown us away yet again.

“What started as a few friends getting together over a pie and deciding it was about time the perfect tipple was picked to pair alongside has grown to something really special.”

All $2350 raised through entry fees will be donated to the Marlborough Foodbank.

The winning entry will receive bragging rights, a boxed French brie and their name on the prestigious Burleigh Pairing Trophy.

The four judges – television personality Jesse Mulligan , Marlborough Media co-owner Summa MacDonald, along with Saulo Camillo Nunes, owner of Gramado’s Restaurant, and Fiona Fenwick, – carried out a blind taste test, with official adjudication to ensure fairness all round.

Summa, from Marlborough Media, who sponsored the event, says it was a tough job, but she was happy to help.

“So many delicious pies and wines didn’t make it easy for the judges, but we are a committed crew and somehow pushed through.

“I was genuinely very impressed with the high quality of the entries but not surprised as, living in Marlborough myself, I know that we consistently punch above our weight when it comes to food and wine.”

The winners:

Chicken, Leek & Mushroom – Misty Cove: Landmark Chardonnay 2019

Jerk Chicken – Churton: Natural State Field Blend 2020                        

Vegetarian – Brancott Estate: Fumé Blanc 2011

Mince and Cheddar – Lake Chalice: Lake Chalice Vineyard Selection Merlot 2015

Steak and Blue Cheese – Saint Clair: Saint Clair Rapaura Merlot 2019

Steak, Mushroom and Truffle – Rockferry: The Corners Nebbiolo 2016

Steak and Mushroom – Wither Hills: ‘The Honourable’ Pinot Noir 2016

Steak and Bacon – Novum: Pinot Noir 2019       

Pork Belly – Greywacke: Chardonnay 2013

Jamaican Lamb – Astrolabe: Astrolabe Spätlese Riesling 2017

Wildcard Beverage award:  Devon’s Lemon, Honey & Ginger cordial

The final category in the competition was the public entry, where a new Burleigh Pie flavour could be designed from local ingredients.

The winner was Myal King, 8, with a Tuscan Beef pie with rich parmesan pastry.