Career Navigation days are helping Marlborough students secure jobs locally. Photo: Steve Hussey Photography.

Smooth sailing for students’ career initiative

It was a case of third time lucky for students taking part in a career’s day to learn more about Marlborough’s aquaculture sector.

The visit offered as part of the Career Navigation programme had to be called off twice, once because of Covid-19 and then because of bad weather.

But it was finally all smooth sailing for the students who got the chance to learn about different aspects of the industry from the team at Sanford.

Career Navigator is currently offered to Year 12 and 13 students at Marlborough Boys’ College, Marlborough Girls’ College and Queen Charlotte College.

It pairs students with businesspeople from a range of industries across the region serving as mentors – coupled with the support of over 120 local businesses and organisations.

Programme coordinator Tania Smith says the programme has been very successful.

“Some students have discovered new pathways they had never considered before.

“Other students have had their career pathways confirmed and now they know more about the reality of the industry they were contemplating.”

From sustainability to naval architecture and design, students were given an insight into the seafood industry.

Tania says the initiative has helped students find jobs in Marlborough.

“We’re also really delighted that some of our previous students have found jobs in their chosen field with employers right here in Marlborough.

“It all goes really well with our vision for all young people to have a purposeful pathway into their future,” she says.

“Enormous thanks to Grant Boyd, Rebekah Anderson, Dave Herbert and Les McClung from Sanford for making it such a cool learning experience for us all – and to Springlands Lifestyle Village for the transport.”

Olivia Doonan and Niamh Doherty are hoping people will donate money to help Osgood family. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Great lengths for charity

Going for the chop for a good cause has seen two long-haired ladies lose their lengthy locks.

Niamh Doherty and Olivia Doonan have donated their hair to Freedom Wigs help make wigs for cancer patients.

And the pair are hoping the move will also raise money for Blenheim girl Zoe Osgood who is undergoing treatment for bone cancer in Christchurch.

Both have links to the Osgood family and wanted to help.

Niamh, 12, met Zoe at a school camp and Olivia turned to Zoe’s mum Michelle for advice when she started The Station in Seddon.

Michelle is the manager at the Wine Station in Blenheim but was happy to help.

“She’s always been amazing. She gave me as much information as possible and was totally welcoming,” Olivia says.

Hair by Kardos owner Donna Tupouto’a and manager Debbie Jensen cut 14 inches of hair off before getting it ready to send off by courier.

This is the second time that Niamh has cut her hair off to donate to Freedom Wigs.

She first did it at 8 years old and decided straight away she would grow it again to donate.

“It’s a bit nerve wracking, but exciting,” she says.

Olivia says she only trimmed her hair and had not had a cut properly in 9 years when she decided to help.

“It kept moulting and I was like, no, I need as much on as possible. I want to raise as much as I can for #Zoestrong.”

Zoe has been undergoing chemotherapy which has so far failed to shrink the tumour and she is now scheduled for surgery.

Donations can be made through ASB account: 12-3126-0707216-00, with all money going to the Osgood family.

Members of the Marlborough Amateur Radio Club, Bill Cousins Stuart Watchman, Graeme McKay and Ian Conway. Photo: Supplied.

Radio group make waves at local lighthouse

Amateur radio fans in Marlborough have been making new connections across the world while shining a light on a famous local landmark.

Members of the Marlborough Amateur Radio Club spent the night at the base of Cape Campbell Lighthouse last weekend as part of International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend.

The team took all their ham radio gear with their them and set up in a historic cottage at the foot of the lighthouse which featured in the 2016 hit movie Light Between Oceans.

Former New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters president Stuart Watchman from Blenheim says they were the only group to take part this year.

“Normally there would be other groups around NZ doing the same thing.

“There are about five light houses in total, many are hard to get to, but due to COVID we were the only group that participated this year.”

The annual event is held on the third full weekend in August where radio groups operate from lighthouses across the world.

“We enjoy talking to other people via radio in all sorts of ways during this weekend, direct to radio amateurs around the world using short wave. Direct meaning no internet or cell towers, wireless all the way,” Stuart says.

“It’s also fun to go to interesting places and play with radios.”

The group set up temporary aerials on the beach and contacted other amateurs in Australia, United States, New Zealand, Japan Belgium.

The Marlborough group hold a general meeting on the second Thursday of the month at EOC 4 Wither Road at 7.30pm and a social group meeting on the third Thursday of each month.

Email [email protected] for further information.

Fairhall Cemetery is one of several which will see the cost of burial plots double over the next five years. Photo: Chloe Ranford/LDR.

Burial law revamp could prove costly

Paula Hulburt and Chloe Ranford


A revamp to burial laws could see council bosses forced to hike up fees if forced to take on extra responsibilities.

Marlborough Council could be let counting the cost of any changes to the 56-year-old Burial and Cremation Act, costs which would be passed to the public.

But council are pushing back against extra responsibilities which could see costs climb again.

The move comes just 15-months after a price increase which came into effect on July 1 this year.

Council manages eight cemeteries across Marlborough at Ward (Flaxbourne), Seddon (Awatere), Omaka, Fairhall, Tua Marina, Picton, Havelock and Rai Valley.

Burial fees range from $2145 for a natural burial at Fairhall Cemetery to $981 for an adult burial interment and $193 for ashes to be interred

A Law Commission report says the Burial and Cremation Act is outdated and recommended a raft of changes.

It put forward 127 recommendations to modernise the law that governs death, burial, cremation and funerals in New Zealand.

Changes could see council take on the responsibility for maintaining headstones and monuments which could also raise legal questions about who owned what.

This would come at a “significant cost” to the council, with the “only option” being to increase cemetery fees or rates.

“The council already deals with a number of family conflict issues with cemetery plots and while on the one hand it can be said, ‘we are used to it,’ the reality is that every case is distressing where this occurs,” its submission says.

The council also opposed a suggestion that councils should be the ones to decide whether a family could dig up a body or ashes from a burial place for the same reasons.

It also did not want to become tangled in family disputes.

This was also the case for a new rule which, if approved, could see the council expand its eight cemeteries to include separate burial sections for military personnel or groups of people with common requirements, it said.

Submissions on the act close on 31 October at 5pm.

Dogs may become a common sight in Blenheim’s town centre. Brodie, Maisie and Hadley MacDonald with Kip. Photo: Matt Brown.

Barking up the right street

Dogs could be allowed in Blenheim’s town centre after council loosens the leash on a blanket ban.

At a meeting of council’s Environment Committee this morning, a review of the region’s Dog Control Policy and Bylaw was approved.

Now the public will get the chance to have their say.

Council have approved the appointment of a subcommittee to hear opinions on the review, headed up by councillor Jamie Arbuckle.

It’s important to recognise the role that digs play in peoples’ lives, Jamie says.

“We want to ensure that our bylaw is up to date and fit for purpose.

“The council recognises the positive role that dogs play in the lives of their owners and the community, but we need input from dog owners and the general public.”

Councillors Barbara Faulls, Thelma Sowman and Nadine Taylor will also sit on the review committee.

If it gets the final go-ahead, the bylaw will allow leashed, under control dogs into the CBD.

Councillors are also recommending that the restricted area around playground areas increases from 3 to 10 metres.

But Blenheim’s Pollard Park and Ward Beach will remain off limit to pet pooches.

The public consultation period will begin on Friday 18 September and will run for six weeks, before closing at 5.00 pm on Monday 9 November.

Hearings are scheduled to take place in early December where members of the public will have the opportunity to speak to their submission.

The Sub-Committee will then review all submissions and make their final assessment before presenting the proposed policy and bylaw amendments to the Environment Committee. Once adopted by the Environment Committee, the policy and bylaw will be presented to the full Council for final adoption early next year.

All dog owners will receive a letter advising them of the policy and bylaw review and how to make a submission should they wish to.

Council is required to review the policy and bylaw every 10 years. The last review was completed in 2012.

Today’s decision is subject to ratification by the full Council on Thursday 17 September.

Cellist Elgee Leung rehearses with other members of Marlborough Civic Orchestra ahead of Saturday’s performance. Photo: Simon Clark.

Show will go on

The show will go on for Marlborough Civic Orchestra who will take to the stage on Saturday.

Following Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s announcement on Monday that alert levels would stay the same, the orchestra have been quick to act.

Now numbers will be limited in line with government guidelines at the ASB Theatre on 29 August.

The orchestra have been rehearsing the repertoire for this concert for most of the year after they had to postpone during lockdown.

The orchestra, featuring world renowned cellist Elgee Leung, will be conducted by Anthony Ferner, principle flute for the Christchurch Symphony orchestra.

ASB Theatre spokeswoman says the 7pm show will go ahead.

“The show will definitely be going ahead. Pending last minute arrangements to accommodate restrictions, there may be another afternoon performance.”

Tickets are still available at $35 for adults and $10 for children.

For any queries regarding ticket sales and show arrangements contact the ASB Theatre on 520 8558.

Mechanical compliance coordinator Duncan Jarvie oversees the heating systems at both Wairau and Nelson Hospitals. Photo: File.

Smart heating solution to smelly problem

Wairau Hospital water heaters could use gas generated from landfill to help cut carbon emissions.

Marlborough District Council are looking at ways to help slash greenhouse gases from Bluegums landfill on Taylor Pass Road.

While methane is currently burnt off, it could help power the hospital boilers instead.

An independent study showed using the gas would help the hospital reduce its carbon emissions.

Council solid waste manager Alec McNeil says council and Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and were currently discussing its findings.

The move comes as the DHB look at replacing Wairau Hospital’s aging boilers.

“They [the Wairau Hospital] are at a crucial capital replacement junction.

“They know the current system has maybe 18 to 24 months of life left. But once they make a replacement, that’s them locked in for 10, 20 years,” Alec says.

The hospital averaged about 1000 tonnes of coal burnt a year over the last eight years.

Connecting the landfill and hospital sites would see council lay 4.1 kilometres of pipes, costing between $1m and $1.5m.

Once down, the system would cost $20,000 a year to manage.

The council would charge the hospital for the gas to help cover the cost of supplying it.

A charge rate had not yet been sized up, but the council was not looking for a “profit centre”.

Nelson Marlborough Health finance performance and facilities general manager Eric Sinclair says the board was considering a range of options to replace Wairau Hospital’s coal-fired boilers, including the council’s landfill gas option.

Landfill gas was already used to power a boiler at Nelson Hospital, which turned it into building heating and hot water.

“The collection and destruction of the landfill gas reduces the amount of more harmful gases from being released from the landfill into the atmosphere and the smell normally associated with landfill,” says Eric.

The landfill generated about 1.4 million cubic metres of methane a year and can provide enough gas for up to another 30 years, even if it closed tomorrow.

Bluegums Landfill is expected to take rubbish until 2054.

LDR - Local Democracy Reporting

Picton Girl Guides help recycle thousands of cans every year. Photo: Supplied.

Guides’ can-do attitude a winner

Come wind, rain and shine, a devoted group of girl guides take care of can recycling.

Picton Girl Guides work hard to run three aluminium can recycling banks in the community.

And their work has won them a top five place in a national competition.

The team’s work has seen them make the finals of the Mitre 10 Helping Hands awards where they hope to win some help to replace their run-down storage compound.

While voting has now closed, the girls are keeping their fingers crossed they win enough votes to make their reno dream come true.

Picton Girl Guide leader Helen Ashworth says the project means a lot to the girls.

“Community service is an important part of modern guiding and has been at the very core of guiding since it started over 100 years ago.

“We have great fun doing this project. Dressing up in our gloves and gumboots to jump on the cans to crush them before storage and dragging the storage bags to the trucks.

“Girls in Guiding from 5 to 18 years old are involved and it develops great teamwork and camaraderie.”

They began work three years ago and look after aluminium can recycling at Waikawa, Picton Marina and one on Kent Street.

Using council recycling bins to scoop out the empties before putting them into old wool bags the girls then cart them off to the storage compound.

But wear and tear mean it’s not as safe as it once was.

“Our girls are growing up in a different world with many environmental pressures.

“Every aluminium can that we can stop going to landfill, and recycle for reuse, is helping our environment and the group loves that.

“It’s also a real adventure for them, they wear their uniform and gum boots and have fun,” says Helen, who the girls know as HJ.

Alongside second Girl Guide Leader John Welch, the team set aside time each term to empty the well-used bins, collecting tens of thousands of cans a year.

The guides get paid for the recycling can when they are collected commercially, and the money is ploughed back into the initiative.

“We are doing this for our community to keep Picton beautiful,” says Helen.

Picton Guides meet on Mondays 6-8pm at St Joseph’s School. Call HJ on 0211 700401.

John and Florrie Donnelly celebrated 60 years of marriage. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

From dance hall meeting to diamond anniversary

The couple were married on 20 August 1960 in Motueka. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

The music jollied around them as the pair danced together, happy and slightly nervous in each other’s arms for the first time.

Sixty years on and Blenheim couple John and Florrie Donnelly were all smiles, celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

They were surrounded by family and friends on Saturday as they marked the special occasion with a party at home.

The pair met on Christmas Eve 1956 at a dance in Motueka. Three years later they were married.

“I was 17 years old when we met and wanted to join the Merchant Navy, but dad wouldn’t let me until I was 21 years old.

“I met John so am glad I didn’t go,” Florrie says.

While they were dating, every Sunday, John would pick up Florrie in a Hudson Super 6 and the pair would go for a drive.

After three years of courtship, John says he plucked up the courage to ask Florrie’s dad for her hand in marriage.

“He was out working in the paddock and I had to track him down.

“I wanted to do it properly and ask permission,” he says.

John says he wasn’t sure what she would say.

“I really had no idea, I just hoped she would say yes.”

“I knew straight away I would say yes,” says Florrie.

In a light pink wedding dress she made herself and a veil adorned with handstitched flowers, Florrie waited for her groom at the alter of a church in Motueka.

With her sister Elsie as bridesmaid, the wedding on 20 August was small but wonderful,” says Florrie.

“The minister had a donkey that was peering in the window while we got married. Not many people would have a donkey at their wedding,” she says.

With three children, Alison, John and Martin, John and Florrie have six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

While Alert Level 2 meant some family couldn’t make it to the anniversary party from Auckland, plenty of guests were there to congratulate the couple.

They also received a card of congratulations from Her Majesty the Queen.

“We just get on well,” says Florrie. “There’s no secret, we’re good friends and enjoy being together.”

Counting their blessings as milestone marked for new library. Photo: Supplied.

Counting their blessings as milestone marked for new library

At dawn on Wednesday morning, Marlborough’s new district library and art gallery site was ceremonially blessed with the laying of a mauri stone by iwi representatives.

Rain failed to dampen spirits as an appreciative group of more than 50 guests gathered to mark the historic moment.

Speakers included Shane Graham (Ngāti Rarua), Marlborough Mayor John Leggett and Millennium Art Gallery Trust chairman Rick Wilson.