A map showing the proposed changes to the speed limit on State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson. Graphic: NZTA.

Thousands call for lower speed limit plan to be scrapped

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for traffic bosses to scrap plans to lower speed limits.

New Zealand Transport Authority has recommended that the speed limit between Blenheim and Nelson be slashed to 80kmh.

But fed-up motorists have been quick to hit back, calling for the idea to be ditched.

Driver Stephanie Drewery started the online petition last week which has been signed almost 7000 times by Monday afternoon.

She says the speed limit was increased in the first place as cars became safer.

“The New Zealand speed limit has been 100kmh since the early 1980s.

“The upper limit was set at an increased level because the roads were all tar sealed with a centre line and cars had decent suspension air bags.

“Now a majority of mountain roads have road edge barriers, passing lanes and wider cut corners,” she says.

NZ Transport Agency director regional relationships Jim Harland wants people to make submissions. Photo: Supplied.
NZ Transport Agency director regional relationships Jim Harland wants people to make submissions. Photo: Supplied.

Following a series of public meetings in Marlborough and Nelson earlier this year, NZTA heard from people who attended that speed limits needed to be cut.

But cutting limits is not the answer, says Stephanie, from Nelson.

“Why are the NZTA and the NZ Police so insistent on reducing speed limits on safer roads being driven with safer cars?

“Adults drive to the conditions,” she says, adding new drivers need more training.

Between 2009 and 2018, 20 people died and 92 were seriously injured in crashes on State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson.

Nineteen of these deaths were on 100km/h stretches of SH6 and 87 people were seriously injured were on the open road/ 100km/ hour sections of SH6.

Cutting the limit would help prevent deaths and serious injuries say NZTA.

NZ Transport Agency director regional relationships Jim Harland has called for those signing the petition to take part in the decision process.

“We would ask the people signing the petition to maintain the 100km hour speed limit on much of SH6 to put in a formal submission on the Blenheim to Nelson SH6 speed review and be part of that process,” he says.

The petition will be considered if it is presented on time.

“The petition will be taken into account if it is presented to the Transport Agency within the consultation period (15 October to 12 November), along with other submissions,” he says.

Public consultation period will be open for four weeks before a final decision is made.

Any changes to the speed limits could be in place by the end of the year.

To add a submission visit nzta.govt.nz/blenheim-nelson-speed-review or pick up a submission form at your local council office or library or call 0800 44 44 49 and the Transport Agency will send you one. Alternatively, Email [email protected]

The mystery woman who features on a camera found at the bottom of the Marlborough Sounds. Photo: Supplied.

Treasure trove of photos discovered by divers

A camera that lay lost on the seabed for around eight years has been discovered by divers – with its photos saved in perfect order.

The older-style Canon camera was found in its case by divers taking part in the Waikawa Dive Centre’sfirst Trash to Treasure competition.

Now the search is on to reunite the owners with their precious memories.

Bottles, tyres and more than 2000 other pieces of rubbish were recovered from the region’s waterways during a month-long Picton competition.

The case of the camera has seen better days, but the Canon Ixus 130 camera is, superficially, in good condition. Remarkably, the memory card still worked. Photo: Supplied.
The case of the camera has seen better days, but the Canon Ixus 130 camera is, superficially, in good condition. Remarkably, the memory card still worked. Photo: Supplied.

Waikawa Dive Centre manager Kate Trayling says while trawling for trash in the Grove Arm of the Marlborough Sounds, a family came across a camera – not of the “water-loving” kind.

“We would love to return the card to the owners as it looks like a lot of memories are on it,” Kate says.

Kate, who organised the ‘Trash to Treasure’ competition for the Waikawa Dive Centre, says none of the pictures appear to be taken in New Zealand and heavily feature military aircraft and ships, including the USS Midway.

“We’re hoping to find the owner,” she says.

An image from the camera was posted to Facebook but the owners remain a mystery.

Divers, snorkelers and free divers took to the water to collect rubbish lying on the Sounds’ seafloor for the month-long competition.

Those who collected the most were allocated points, which were tallied up to reveal the winner.

Troy Frost took out the Grand Champion title after “spending hours” hauling up trash.

“Troy waded into estuaries and collected all manner of objects that had been discarded,” Kate says.

“He bought in over 800 bits of rubbish from the water.”

Overall, 2000 pieces of rubbish were removed from Marlborough’s estuaries, rivers and seabeds.

“Zoe Luffman came runner-up after diving with her family most weekends,” Kate says.

“During one dive Zoe managed to pull an old tyre on to the beach that she had dragged up from the seabed.”

Husband and wife duo, Chris and Craig Chapman, took out third and fourth place for their efforts to rid the sea floor of junk.

The winner received a dive computer donated by Cressi New Zealand and an annual launch pass from Marlborough Sounds Marinas.

Kate says she hopes the ‘Trash to Treasure’ competition will become an annual event.

However, next year, she says they will wait for the water to warm up a bit more.

“We’re thinking October or November,” she says.

The NZTA is recommending the speed limit between Blenheim and Nelson be cut. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Speed limits to be slashed on state highway

The 100 km/h speed limit between Blenheim and Nelson is set to be cut to a maximum of 80 km/h.

Speed limits between Blenheim and Nelson should be cut to 80km/h or less permanently say road safety bosses.

And traffic bosses are backing the switch, recommending that it gets the go ahead.

Earlier this year, New Zealand Road Transport Agency revealed plans to look at lowering speed restrictions to help prevent fatalities and injuries on the region’s roads.

New restrictions will see State Highway 6 restricted to 60km/h in some places.

NZ Transport Agency director regional relationships Jim Harland confirmed the recommendation to the Marlborough Weekly.

“After carrying out a safety assessment we are proposing new speed limits along the route.

“We are currently checking back in with key stakeholders and finalising public consultation documents, and plan to formally consult on new speeds within the month of October,” he says.

The move follows several public events across the region to get public feedback.

Under recommended proposals, existing speeds would change just before the roundabout by Pak ‘n Save, dropping from 100 to 80 km/h for the majority of the 114km journey.

Communities are calling for the change, NZTA bosses say.

“We’ve been speaking with the community and local businesses, and other key organisations about how we can make this stretch of road safer

“One thing we heard loudly and clearly from the community was the need to act,” Jim says.

Between 2009 and 2018, 20 people died and 92 were seriously injured in crashes on State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson.

Nineteen of these deaths were on 100km/h stretches of SH6 and 87 people were seriously injured were on the open road/ 100km/ hour sections of SH6.

Sixty-nine-year-old motorcyclist Christopher David Heads of Rai Valley died on Sunday after a crash with a car on Bulford Rd near SH6.

“We are investigating safety improvements, but one of the things we can do right now to prevent people from dying or being seriously injured is reduce speed limits, so they are safe and right for the road,” Jim says.

The consultation period will be open for four weeks before a final decision is made.

Any changes to the speed limits could be in place by the end of the year, Jim says.

The move coincides with a Marlborough Roads review last month asked for feedback on what people feel is a safe speed limit on local roads.

The call saw more than 300 submissions made, with a third in favour of more 50km/h areas.

Feedback from Marlburians on Council’s review of speed limits on local roads has seen more than 470 submissions received from across the district.

Marlborough Roads Manager Steve Murrin thanked those who took the time and effort to make a submission.

“It’s great to hear the views of those who gave us their suggestions and to see so many taking an active interest in road safety in Marlborough,” Steve says.

Canine Pet Therapy coordinator Wendy Reynolds with two of her toy poodles Pearl, left, and Crystal, right. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Therapy dogs keen to spread joy

They have waggy tails, love cuddles and want to help – now all they need are people to visit.

Toy poodles Crystal, 8, and Pearl, 4, are trained therapy dogs and registered with the Marlborough branch of Canine Pet Therapy.

Devoted owner and trainer Wendy Reynolds from Blenheim would love to see the furry duo use their talents in rest homes around Marlborough.

Speaking at the 65th Black Hawk National Dog Show in Blenheim on Friday, Wendy says some rest homes in the area have been slow to take up the offer.

“It would be great to see them be a bit more accepting.

“If you’re not feeling well, a cuddle makes you feel better,” she says.

As the Marlborough co-ordinator for the therapy group, Wendy and two of her four poodles joined thousands of other people and pooches at Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000.

And the dogs proved popular with visitors who rushed to cuddle them.

Crystal has a natural ability with people, says Wendy who was also entering her poodles in the show’s agility classes at the weekend.

“She has a hunger for people, she just wants to be around them.

“She has so much to give but once she’s 10-years-old she won’t do agility anymore and it would be great to see her still involved in the community.”

Health research in New Zealand and overseas shows many people show great improvement in their health and attitude through interaction with visiting animals.

Canine Friends Pet Therapy is a New Zealand-wide network of people who share their friendly, well behaved dogs with patients in hospitals and residents in rest homes/hospices.

The service is free and helps spread happiness,” says Wendy.

“One Christmas I put all four dogs in a pram, decorated it with tinsel and took them in [to a rest home], in their Santa suits. Everyone was do happy to see him.”

Wendy is looking for more volunteers as well as places for the therapy dogs to visit.

She says any dog, given the right training, can be a therapy dog.

“You’ve got to be committed and even after all this time, I’m still training them.

“To raise a dog is like raising a toddler, you have to teach them manners.”

For further information visit caninefriends.org.nz

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

Renwick School students Lily Ball and Reece Glennie. Photo: Matt Brown.

Young scientists’ generous gesture

A short stay in the hospital inspired two young entrepreneurs to donate money from their science fair project towards toys for Wairau Hospital.

Renwick School students Reece Glennie and Lily Ball devised an ant repellent for the Marlborough Lines Science & Technology Celebration that worked so well it “shocked” the young scientists.

The two pupils from room 19 followed the scientific method for their first individual science fair project, experimenting on troublesome ants coming in through the window of their classroom.

“There were a lot of ants in the classroom and at home,” 11-year-old Lily says.

They experimented with apple cider vinegar, lavender and lemon juice, using honey as a control.

“Many ants came for the honey,” Reece, 10, says.

They collated the data and had mixed results with the various ingredients but came upon the winning formula when they mixed the ingredients together.

“We were shocked,” Reece says.

“It made every single ant go.”

The two students were so happy with their product, they started selling jars of the eco-friendly ant repellent, with the goal to buy new toys for the Wairau Hospital.

They raised $24.

“We bought heaps of toys and gave them to the Wairau hospital,” Reece says.

“We have learnt to solve problems and we got together as a team and it worked really well,” he says.

The year six students received a silver award for their project.

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.

Marlborough Boys' College head boy Ben Alexander with principal Wayne Hegarty. Photo: Supplied.

End of an era

The principal of Marlborough Boys’ College has resigned and will be gone from the top job by the end of the year.

Wayne Hegarty revealed he will be retiring as principal at the end of December.

The move comes in the wake of a challenging few months at the Blenheim college after allegations of sexual abuse involving a teacher.

The Board of Trustees received his resignation on Sunday evening.

A letter sent out to all parents of students at the college yesterday at noon.

Board chairman Sturrock Saunders says Wayne has “contributed significantly” to the college during his ten years as principal.

“His strength and compassion has also been evident over the past few months while the school has navigated a considerable challenge and it is a testament to Wayne, his senior leadership team and staff that the school has continued providing a very high quality of education in a supportive and settled environment.

“Wayne’s focus has always been the boys and providing them with the very best learning and teaching opportunities to enable them to be the best they can be,” he says.

Marlborough Boys’ College came under public scrutiny earlier this year as allegations hit headlines around New Zealand and overseas.

Wayne and the board of Trustees worked hard to keep disruption to a minimum, Sturrock says.

The former Rangiora High School deputy principal began at the college in February 2010.

He will stay on at the school in a support capacity, undertaking tasks such as start-of-year compliance reporting and planning and continued co-location project work.

Wayne and his wife Joan, a registered nurse, moved to Blenheim in 2011.

“Wayne is a devoted family man and is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, children and grandchildren without the responsibilities that the principal role brings with it.

“We are very pleased to confirm that Wayne will maintain strong connections with Marlborough Boys’ College,” Sturrock says.

With an arts degree from the University of Canterbury, Wayne’s first job was at Hornby High in Christchurch where he spent 13 years.

The Board of Trustees hope to appoint a new principal to start at the beginning of the new year and will shortly begin the selection process

A formal celebration to mark Wayne’s retirement, marking a career that spans almost four decades, will be held later this year, Sturrock says.

“We are also working through the arrangements to celebrate Wayne and his wonderful contributions to Marlborough Boys’ College.

His formal retirement celebration to be held later this year, but further details will be shared once these are decided.

“In the meantime, the school’s focus continues to be on teaching and learning and ensuring that our students are as prepared as possible for their upcoming assessments and examinations.”

A woman is due to appear in Blenheim court charged with unlawful sexual connection on 23 September.

Foster Hope coordinator Leonie McLachlan is grateful for all the donations the charity receives. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Crowded house a problem for pyjama charity

A charity bid to help provide pyjamas to children in foster care needs to upsize its storage in a bid to cope with demand.

Foster Hope Marlborough urgently needs a new storage shed as kind-hearted Marlburians gift goodies to the charity.

The popular initiative stores and sorts donations of pyjamas, clothes, toys and other gifts from across the Top of the South

But local Foster Hope coordinator Leonie McLachlan is running out of room.

“This is such an amazing, giving community and this is a fabulous problem to have,” she says.

The Blenheim mum of four, who has been a foster parent for 22 years, has boxes of donations in her living room and in storage sheds in the garden.

Foster Hope arranged for a shed to be installed but it only holds a fraction of the donations.

With the need for help high, Leonie hopes someone may be able to help in some way- through supplying a shed or sleep out, helping to build it or supplying the materials needed.

Gifts come into Blenheim from across Marlborough and the Nelson Tasman areas before being distributed back to both regions.

The charity also provides help to children under the care of Oranga Tamariki and The Open Home Foundation.

“I have also provided clothing and pyjamas through the hospital social workers both here and in Nelson as well as Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Fostering Kids and pyjamas to the Woman’s Refuge,” says Leonie.

“I need something here on my property rather than a storage unit as I sort out the donations once the kids are in bed. It’s a big job.

“Ideally it needs to be lined and insulated so the clothes don’t go mouldy or get damp.”

Building regulations means the maximum size must not be bigger than 10 metres square.

As a registered charity, Foster Hope can provide a receipt for any donations.

“I absolutely love what I do, I just love it and any help would be much appreciated,” Leonie says.

To contact Foster Hope, email [email protected]

Robbie Parkes needs a diabetic alert dog to help manage his Type-1 diabetes. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Boy’s best friend a life saver

Four-year-old Robbie Parkes desperately wants a dog, not just any dog however, a dog that will potentially save his life.

After falling dangerously ill in May, the Linkwater boy was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes.

With no history of the condition in their family, mum Diane Parkes says they have been left reeling by the shock diagnosis.

Robbie has been accepted as a potential candidate for a diabetic alert dog from Australia- but the farming family need $20,000 to make the dream a reality.

For mum Diane, the new addition to the family would be much-needed peace of mind.

“The do can be with him 24/7, on the tractor, when he’s playing, and a big thing is that the dog can be with him at nighttime too.

“It would make such a big difference to our lives.”

Four-year-old Robbie Parkes desperately wants a dog, not just any dog however, a dog that will potentially save his life.
Four-year-old Robbie Parkes desperately wants a dog, not just any dog however, a dog that will potentially save his life. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Dad Gareth is a stock-truck driver and is away for long stretches of time, so Diane checks on Robbie’s glucose levels every two hours throughout the night.

After making an emergency trip to Blenheim when Robbie first got sick, the prospect of a pet who could warn her when her son was ill would be “life-changing”, she says.

“The dogs are trained to wake or get the attention of someone else if they sense something isn’t right.

“They sniff out if levels are too low or too high 10 minutes before it actually happens.

“If the dog was with Robbie all the time it would give me peace of mind,” she says.

Camped out on a stretcher bed in Robbie’s room, Diane has not had a full night of sleep since his diagnosis on Mothers’ Day when he was admitted to Wairau Hospital for three nights.

Looking after the family’s farm, calving and home-schooling Robbie’s two older siblings, means there is little spare time in the day.

An energetic boy who loves to play outside, Robbie needs constant monitoring.

From crying in fear each time he had to have a finger-prick test done, the brave youngster can now do them himself four times a day.

“He had blood test after blood test and needles and drips, but he’s been very brave and we’re really proud of him.

“His body was basically shutting down, he was almost unconscious and couldn’t stop vomiting.

“It would be wonderful to think that an assistance dog would help stop him having to be in hospital again,” Diane says.

The family are holding raffles to help fundraise and have also set up a donation page on Facebook.

“I haven’t liked to ask for the full amount so am trying to raise $5000. It would be an amazing start,” Diane says.

To donate visit www.facebook.com/donate/939821693029494/2391922750884457/