A patient has been discharged from Wairau Hospital. Photo: File

One more Covid-19 case in Marlborough

A woman in her 40s has become the lastest to fall foul of Covid-19 in Marlborough.

Nelson Marlborough has confirmed one more probable case in the region as the total number of cases in Nelson Marlborough rises to 30.

But a patient who has spent the last few days in isolation at Wairau Hospital has been discharged after making a good recovery.

Across New Zealand there are now 868 confirmed and probable cases, with latest figures showing 103 patients have recovered.

A Nelson Marlborough Health spokeswoman says there are also two more cases in Nelson.

This comes after 52 people were assessed in Blenheim yesterday and 14 swabs taken for testing.

Nine people across Nelson Marlborough have recovered from the virus.

Blenheim at the beginning of lockdown. Photo: Matt Brown.

What’s open in Marlborough?

There is still confusion around just what business classes as an essential service – so we made a list of businesses operating through the lockdown.

By no means extensive, the following list will hopefully prove useful.

If you know of or run a business that is operating through level 4 lockdown restrictions, and want to be added to this list, please email [email protected]

 

Postal services

Mail will continue to be delivered and couriers are delivering items, but many New Zealand-based online stores are not dispatching items during the lockdown period.

 

Supermarkets

New World (Daily 9am – 8pm)

Pak’n’Save (Daily 8am – 9pm)

Countdown

  • Town (Daily 9am – 8pm)
  • Redwoodtown (Daily 9am – 8pm)
  • Springlands (Daily 9am – 8pm)

Four Square – Spring Creek (Daily 7.30am – 7pm)

Williams Green Grocers (Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm)

 

Petrol Stations

Z

  • Grove Road (24hrs)
  • Redwood (Daily 6am-10pm)
  • Springlands (Daily 6am-12am)
  • Picton (24hrs)

NPD (Daily 6am-10pm)

Caltex (24hrs)

Mobil (24hrs)

GAS Picton (6.30am – 10pm)

 

Pharmacies

Wairau Pharmacy – 03-578 6022

Life Pharmacy – 03-578 5228

Community Care Pharmacy (in the Warehouse) – 03-579 1751

Poswillo’s Pharmacy – 03-578 9022

Unichem Springlands Pharmacy – 03-578 2271

Unichem Redwoodtown Pharmacy – 03-578 5748

Marlborough UFS Dispensary – 03-578 6099

Omaka Landing Pharmacy – 03-777 1056

Civic Health Pharmacy – 03-928 4354

 

Community services

Womens Refuge & Sexual Violence Support Centre Marlborough – 0800 REFUGE or 03-577 9939

 

Vets

Vets on Alabama – 03-578 6965

Springlands Veterinary Centre – 03-578 0661

The Vet Centre Marlborough – 03-577 9822

 

Doctors

Redwoodtown Medical Centre – 03-578 0470

Omaka Medical Centre trading as Francis Street Medical – 03-578 5252

Civic Family Health Care – 03-578 0199

George Street Medical Centre – 03-577 8757

Springlands Health – 03-578 0979

Marlborough Urgent Care Centre – 03-520 6377

Wairau Hospital – 03-520 9999

 

Farming supplies

Farmlands – 03-579 3150

Kiwi Seed Co. – 03-578 0468

OsGro Seed Services – 0272639885 or 03 5778323

PGG Wrightson / Fruitfed Supplies Blenheim – 03-579 3733

Tasman Crop – 03-572 5164

 

Trades

Under a level 4 alert, only trades people undertaking work related to essential business or infrastructure are expected to be working outside of the self-isolation protocol. The exception to this may be where tradespeople are required to undertake emergency work where the need is immediate and required to maintain human health and safety.

Plumbers

Laser Plumbing Blenheim – 03-579 6001

Morgan Plumbing – 03-5782034

Electricians

Cresswell Electrical – 03-578 7247

Callahan & Martella Electrical Ltd – 03-579 4445

Refrigeration and Heating

Martella Refrigeration & Air Conditioning – 03 578 0030

 

Community news

Marlborough App

 

Dairies

Night ‘n Day (Daily 7am – 9pm)

High Street Dairy (Monday – Saturday 7.30am – 7pm, Sunday 8am – 7pm)

36 Nine Convenience Store (Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturday 8am – 7pm, Sunday 9am – 6pm)

 

IT and Technology

BP Computers – 03-577 9498

Sam’s Computer Clinic – 03-572 9287

GCH UAV (drone operators) – www.gchuav.com or 021 267 2966

Mechanics

Instant Auto – 03-577 7492

 

Banks

Kiwibank – Wednesday 10am-1pm for urgent banking needs only.

ANZ – Wednesdays 9am-12pm for simple cash transactions only.

SBS Bank – Thursday 10am-2pm.

Westpac – Wednesday 10am-1pm.

ASB – Tuesday 10am-2pm.

 

Essential retail

Whiteware, heaters, blankets and devices are available for purchase during the lockdown through online or phone orders that can be delivered in a contactless way.

100% Herkt Appliances – 03-578 0700 or https://www.100percent.co.nz/

Michael Fitzpatrick Applianceplus – 021333222

 

Picton

Four Square Picton (Daily 7.30am – 7.30pm)

Fresh Choice Picton (Daily 7am – 7.30pm)

Super 7 Picton (Daily 8am – 5pm)

Picton Health Care Pharmacy – 03-573 6420

Picton Medical Centre – 03-520 3222

Picton Veterinary Clinic – 03-573 8299

Z Petrol Station Picton (24hrs)

GAS Picton (6.30am – 10pm)

 

Renwick

SuperValue Renwick (Daily 9am – 8pm)

Renwick Medical Centre – 03-572 8838

Renwick Healthcare (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) – 03-572 8915. Scripts faxed are delivered on the same day if in before 11.15pm.Prescriptions should be faxed to Poswillo’s Pharmacy 03 5789794 or emailed to [email protected]

GAS Renwick (24hrs)

 

Seddon

Seddon Supermarket (Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm, Saturday – Sunday 9am – 3pm)

Southfuels Seddon (24hrs)

 

Havelock

Four Square Havelock (Daily 9am-5pm)

Havelock Healthcare (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) – 03-574 1400. Scripts faxed are delivered on the same day if in before 12.30pm. Prescriptions should be faxed to Poswillo’s Pharmacy 03 5789794 or emailed to [email protected]

Havelock Medical Centre – 03-574 2233

Poswillo’s Pharmacy – 03-574 1400

Allied Petroleum (24hrs)

None of the cases in the clusters have had to be admitted to Wairau Hospital. Photo: Matt Brown.

Two clusters of Covid-19 under investigation

The Ministry of Health is investigating two clusters of Covid-19 cases in Blenheim – all linked to travel.

Ministry of Health staff have today classed six cases of Covid-19 in the region as a cluster.

Latest figures show that the cases are all linked to two sources; Marlborough Alzheimers and an New Zealand Air Force rugby team



This includes one probable case.

A Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) spokeswoman says The Ministry of Health confirmed a cluster of confirmed COVID-19 cases among an Air Force rugby team who had returned to New Zealand from a US rugby tour.

Six of the nine Air Force cases have been confirmed in the last 24 hours,

Although the Ministry reports nine cases, only three of the nine cases reside in the Marlborough region.

Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) Clinical Director of Public Health Dr Stephen Bridgman says that it’s important people do not confuse ‘cluster’ with ‘community transmission’.

“A thorough investigation and contact tracing process was completed after the first of these cases was confirmed on 22 March.

“Investigation found that local cases in this cluster were related to travel.

“All local cases have been in isolation since upon their return from the USA, and I thank them all for working closely with the public health team to ensure they remain in strict isolation.

“People do not need to be concerned about these cases’ movements in the community,” Dr Bridgman says.

“Our message for the community is that the NMPHS, and the national close contact tracing service, undertake expert contact tracing to reach close contacts – the people most at risk – as they determine necessary. Close contacts will be contacted directly.”

A cluster is where there are a group of COVID-19 cases who are linked together because they have been in the same place together.

There are some clusters of cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand. Most of these clusters have a link to someone or several people who have travelled overseas recently.

Fourteen clusters under investigation across New Zealand with possible contacts being traced.

The move comes as front-line health workers in Nelson Marlborough are set to get a boost in protective medical gear.

NMH will receive 41,580 masks for distribution to health and disability workers in our region as part of a Government decision to release 1.2 million masks from national pandemic stock.

With the assurance this new stock arriving in the next 48 hours, NMH will start to distribute more masks from our own reserves in the meantime, the spokeswoman says.

General manager strategy primary and community, Nelson Marlborough Health Cathy O’Malley says staff will be reminded and taught how and when to use PPE masks.

“We will continue to teach and remind health and disability workers about how and when to use PPE such as masks, to ensure that it is used correctly and responsibly.

“Basic hygiene measures are still the best defence against COVID-19, so training and reminders about this will also continue,” she says.

More masks will be distributed to hospitals and primary care facilities, aged residential care providers, community pharmacies, community mental health providers, home-based support workers, disability support services and community midwives.

If members of the community want to know how to use a mask correctly, there is a video on the Ministry of Health’s website :www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-personal-protective-equipment-essential-workers

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett. Photo: Paula Hulburt

United we stand

Paula Hulburt and Chloe Ranford

Protecting the people of Marlborough is a top priority and everything possible will be done to help.

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett yesterday issued a heart-felt message to the public in the wake of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s decision to raise New Zealand’s alert level to level three, with level four coming into force on Thursday.

“This is an unprecedented global emergency and everyone in Marlborough needs to play their part.

“I think it was inevitable … This is a clear signal that this is a very serious situation and that we each have to take responsibility to get through this.”

Nelson Marlborough Health chief medical officer Nick Baker says he believes the number of cases in Nelson Marlborough will continue to rise in the short term.

“The fight against Covid-19 will not be won in hospital corridors or at GP clinics but in the supermarket aisles.

“The key message is that we are physically separated but still together. The virus is like an invisible enemy; you only know it’s there seven days after it arrives.”

Dr Baker says these “challenging times” were especially hard for older, more vulnerable people in society.

“Be strong, be kind and think about your neighbours. The virus is like a fire if you like, we must keep it from spreading.”

Mayor John Leggett strongly urged Marlborough to support the Prime Minister’s and Ministry of Health’s advice and direction.

Council’s pandemic planning has been fast-tracked.

The Marlborough Pandemic Group met yesterday to discuss the Covid-19 crisis and share the latest information about the economic challenges now facing the Marlborough region.

Mayor Leggett, who chairs the group, says it’s a difficult time but people are doing their best to adjust to the new environment.

“Marlburians can have confidence that there is a lot of good work going on at the moment and our key industries and employer groups are responding to the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis.”

“We will come out the other side of this – we are a resilient bunch who have experienced challenges and emergencies before.”

Chief executive Mark Wheeler says council will be focusing on delivering “critical lifeline services.”

“Our focus now is on delivering critical lifeline services such as drinking water, waste management, sewerage and effluent disposal, road maintenance and emergency management.

“Keeping Port Marlborough and Marlborough Airport operational is also critical.”

Mark confirmed the Blenheim office front counter in Seymour St will close too.

Anyone wanting council services should contact them via phone on 03 520 7400 or email [email protected]

Elemental Distillers co-owner Ben Leggett. File photo.

Gin is the tonic

Usually, gin sanitises from the inside out – but one Marlborough distiller has turned that on its head.

Elemental Distillers have moved 100 per cent of their production from creating Marlborough Roots Dry Gin to sanitiser.

And co-owner Ben Leggett says the sanitiser, made to World Health Organisation guidelines, will be strictly limited to Marlburians.

“The big emphasis – it’s strictly limited to begin with,” he says.

Stocks of sanitiser have sold out across the country.

“We don’t 100% have it ready to sell but we wanted to get ahead of it,” he says.

Ben says he hopes it will be ready by the end of the week.

“We’ll be quite strict and limited on how it works.”

Low stocks of bottles, pumps and ingredients have made making large amounts of the sanitiser difficult.

“The World Health Organisation posted a recipe and we’re going to be making that exact recipe,” Ben says.

“But the ingredients for the recipe are selling out.

“The whole of New Zealand has sold out [of sanitiser] because of the demand.”

Ben says they will be selling the sanitiser as refill packs and encouraged customers to save their old pump containers.

Just over half of every distilling run doesn’t make it to the bottle, but the 80 per cent proof alcohol makes a perfect sanitiser, he says.

“When you distil gin, you separate it to cuts,” he says.

Called the heads, hearts and tails, distillers want the best part – the heart of the run.

“Every distiller decides at which point those pieces are.

“We will make a public announcement when product is available. There is no waiting list so please do not request pre orders.

“The situation is still very fluid and we are working hard to expand production nationally.

Ben says they will post regular updates via social media.

“We’ve got to get through it. Survive,” Ben says.

Elim Church childrens’ pastor Amber Watson and year 10 student Ella Yadav are doing a school fundraiser, but for another school. Photo: Matt Brown.

Sharing the warmth

In a bid to share their Christian values Richmond View School students are raising money to provide comfort and warmth for other children.

Elim Church childrens’ pastor Amber Watson says the high school students at the faith-based college are learning to “think outside themselves” – fundraising to provide warm clothing to those in need.

A movie fundraiser at the weekend, a “bouncy castle lunchtime” and a chocolate drive hoped to raise $2000 to provide another school with desperately-needed warm clothes before winter.

“We would have liked to give every kid a jumper but the costs are quite high,” Amber says.

“It’s biblical. It says in Matthew when you see someone hungry, feed them. If they’re cold, clothe them.”

Year 10 student Ella Yadav says she’s happy to help out wherever needed.

“It’s good to be doing something to bless another school,” she says.

Split into three teams, students were instrumental in organising and running the fundraising activities.

“It’s been very student led,” Amber says.

“It’s thinking outside your own square – need is everywhere.”

Amber says they’re investing in helping others.

“As the school grows, we have to develop as the students develop and give them more responsibility,” she says.

There will be no public Anzac commemorations held in Marlborough in April. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Anzac Day public service axed

Anzac Day commemorations have been cancelled across the region as fears for public health grow.

Services around Marlborough have been cancelled and the annual Poppy Day Street Appeal postponed for the first time since 1922.

Marlborough RSA president Chris Bamber says the decision has been made to protect the health of veterans, members and the public.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce the cancellation of Anzac Day services.

“This is the right decision in light of the global pandemic situation.

“We get tremendous support from our Marlborough community and feel a great sense of sadness at not being able to share this special day with you all,” she says.

RSA national president B J Clark says this is the first time that public services to commemorate ANZAC Day have been cancelled and the Poppy Day Appeal postponed.

New Zealand is under attack and so the bonds of service, sacrifice and support that our community has demonstrated in times of war, adversity and natural disaster must once again come to the fore,” he says.

“COVID-19 is a powerful and dangerous for. RSA’s and the communities they are part of, all-over New Zealand must fight hard to protect our whanau and kaumatua from the transmission of this virus in keeping our proud memories of service and sacrifice.

“Unprecedented times call for unprecedented decisions to protect the health and safety of all New Zealanders, Clark says.

Chris says she hopes people will still be able to mark the moment on 25April.

“We can still honour and remember the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and servicewoman, both past and present, on Anzac Day but not just in the form of commemorative event.

“I hope people can still spare a few moments during the day to remember.

“Marlborough RSA will continue to ensure the wellbeing, health and safety of all our members and their families and urge all our community to be kind, respectful and think of each other.

“These are unprecedented times.”

Mike King and Marlborough Boys’ College head boy George Glover. Photo: Matt Brown.

Tractor Trek treat

A 2000km ‘Tractor Trek’ lead by mental health advocate Mike King parked up in Marlborough last week.

The fleet of 16 tractors are making the drive in support of the Gumboot Friday initiative.

Marlborough Boys’ College head boy George Glover, who swam more than 200km late last year fundraising for I AM HOPE, joined the cruise in Christchurch and made the slow tractor journey to Blenheim.

George says the goal of the trek was to raise $5 million for children’s mental health counselling.

“At the moment, kids are only able to access the mental health service when diagnosed rather than accessing it to stay healthy,” George says.

He says seeing how Mike, who he met in person for the first time in Christchurch, and the crew worked and inspired people is “really cool”.

Mike had high praises for the 17-year-old.

“He’s the man. What he did is just insane. He’s the man,” Mike says.

Mike says organising the large crew is like “herding cats”.

“32 people, 16 tractors and five vehicles. It’s like herding cats.”

Jessica Boyce’s disappearance is being treated as murder. Photo: Supplied.

Family’s heart-felt plea to killer

The family of murder victim Jessica Boyce have made an emotional plea to her killer to end their torment.

As the first anniversary of the day she disappeared approaches, Jessica’s cousin Aaron Goodwin has a message for her killer – hand yourself in.

And he is begging for the murderer to reveal where Jessica’s body can be found so she can finally be laid to rest.

In an open message to the killer, Aaron says he still hopes that Jessica’s killer will do the right thing.

“You have had a year to do the right thing. I still, perhaps naively, hold on to hope that your conscience will get the better of you – that any good values your family may have instilled in you when you were young will win out.

“You will make an attempt at redemption and you will either hand yourself in or at least find a way to communicate to us where we can find and retrieve Jess,” he says.

Jessica Boyce was 27 when she was last seen in Renwick on 19 March driving her mum’s red Holden Rodeo ute.

The vehicle was discovered at the Lake Chalice car park in the Richmond Ranges on Friday, March 22.

Jessica’s disappearance became a homicide investigation in October.

Posting on the Find Jess website last week, Aaron says the killer must be struggling with what they have done.

“How long can you live with yourself knowing what you’ve done?

“Replaying it over and over in your head like a movie, heart skipping a beat and morphing into a full-blown panic attack when the police release another statement or Jess’s face reappears in the media,” he says.

“Your own life is more-or-less over, the only way to regain your humanity and anything resembling peace of mind back now is to confess and to own your part in Jess’s homicide and the subsequent cover up.

“How long can you trust anyone else involved with Jess’s disappearance to keep their mouth shut? How do you know they aren’t already talking, laying as much of the blame at your feet as possible before you can even formulate a defence?

Described by Aaron as “innocently naïve,” Jessica is mourned every day by her distraught family and wide circle of friends.

“Where has the time gone? Weird how it can seem like each day waiting for a development seems to drag on forever, yet it seems like only yesterday we got the news that you were missing,” he says.

Robbing her of a future also “struck fear” into the community, says Aaron.

“You have struck fear into the heart of the peaceful Marlborough community. Your community.

“The rumours about the investigation must be driving you insane, and that’s only going to get worse. People should not have to worry that killers are walking among them on Marlborough streets.

“Not only have you taken away a person whose light and energy was responsible for so much happiness in the world, you have also forever changed in a negative way the lives of many family members and friends of Jess’s”.

Jessica’s brother George is now living with Aaron. Having him close by is a comfort, he says.

He will never give up on finding justice for Jessica, he says.

“The most offensive consequence of your actions is the fact that you have robbed Jess of any future she would have had, here with us, where she belongs.

Friend Theresa Mischeski described Jessica’ disappearance as a “nightmare.”

“She’s one of ours, The cop’s have been told so much by so many of us I can’t understand why no one is arrested?

“I don’t know what else to say but keep strong to her family and friends, I’m sure they will get the hideous subhumans whom are involved.”

New Zealand police have been approached for comment and say they plan on releasing a statement on 19 March.

Anyone with any information can contact Crimestoppers New Zealand anonymously on 0800 555 111. Visit crimestoppers-nz.org for more ways to help.

Blenheim Police can be contacted on 578 5279.

The team at ZeroStone Investigations, from left, Matt MacDougall, German Shepherd Stone and Mike Lawson. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Drug dog sniffing out crime

There is a new face in town helping combat illegal drugs – and he comes with four paws and a great sense of smell.

German Shepherd Stone is being trained as the only drug detector dog in Marlborough and Tasman.

The nine-month-old dog joins the team at ZeroStone Investigations in Blenheim and will be able to sniff-out class A drugs.

Expert dog handler and former policeman Matt MacDougall says the latest addition will help businesses stay drug free.

“I did quite a bit of research before we got him, researching breeders, the dogs’ working lines and looking at videos.

“Stone’s granddad came from a working dog in the States.”

ZeroStone is the brainchild of former Blenheim detective Mike Lawson who set up the agency in 2016 after 24 years with the police force.

The company specialises in methamphetamine testing, employee drug testing, investigation and law enforcement consultation.

He says their services are in in demand across both Marlborough and Tasman.

“We do different things, from work for defence lawyers and investigating the other side to private cases where people are being prosecuted.

“Stone will be able to go into workplaces to help keep them drug free and hopefully act as a deterrent to anyone thinking about bringing drugs in.”

Mike’s time as a detective saw him target methamphetamine and drug dealing syndicates throughout Marlborough and Tasman.

He was involved in investigating some of the country’s most serious crimes.

Starting the agency was the next logical step, he says.

“It just felt like the right time. A lot of the guys I had worked with and respected were leaving.”

After a decade in the force, working in Christchurch as a dog handler, Matt returned to Blenheim.

He has been training Stone for the last six months.

“He’s a big baby at the moment. Some of the puppies start off as little rock stars but, for whatever reason, just don’t make good drug dogs.

“I started training Stone when he was eight weeks old by getting him used to odours and tracking them.

“We started with a tennis ball and once he found that we worked up slowly from there,” Matt says.

“He’s definitely turned out to be the pick of the bunch.”

ZeroStone Investigations are one of eight businesses talking about their work at the Chamber of Commerce’s free SME (Small Medium Enterprises) showcase on April 29 from 5-7pm at the Marlborough Convention Centre.

Other featured businesses are: Credit Recoveries Ltd, 3MLearning, Gift Sisters, NZME, Literacy Aotearoa, Bayleys and Fit4Work.