A Blenheim councillor has revealed his plans to become Marlborough’s youngest-ever mayor.
Just days before the cut off date for nominations, Jamie Arbuckle, 37, has announced his intent to take the top spot from Marlborough Mayor John Leggett.
The move follows an announcement by his wife Sally to run for a seat on council.
Jamie, who has run for the mayoralty three times previously, says he believes his nine years of experience will count in his favour this time.
“It is time for decisive leadership on key regional issues. I will deliver action on the issues that need addressing,” he says.
The councillor of nine years is calling for a Blenheim bypass and a reduction in rates.
He says financial hardship will be a problem faced by some constituents if rate rises continue.
“Rates are not sustainable or affordable. Marlborough has an ageing demographic of 65-plus, and many are on fixed incomes.
“With interest rates dropping near nil returns on savings, financial hardship and cashflow will be a real issue for some ratepayers.
“Plenty of reports come though council on the impact of increasing council rates but there’s never any action. I will change that.”
Jamie says plans for larger ferries will put more of a strain on Blenheim’s already congested main streets.
He believes the community needs to be consulted on all options before a decision is made.
“We need a bypass for Blenheim.
“Larger ferries mean more traffic heading our way. It is not a central government problem. It is ours.
“Removing all the carparks on Grove Road, Main Street and Nelson Street is not a long-term solution. With a government-funded business case we can consult with the community on all the options, with all the costs and facts,” he says.
Jamie says he has been considering running for mayor for a while.
Should he and his wife be successful in their election bids, it would be the first time a husband and wife have both served on council.
“Nothing can be taken for granted and in the next six weeks we will find out what is going to happen but we’ve both been very busy already.
“It won’t be a conflict of interest to me. Sally will represent Wairau-Awatere and I firmly believe that her attentions are the right ones.
“That’s what constituents should be voting on.
“There is a sense of urgency in the community on a number of issues.
“I feel the time is right for me to lead the region”.
Jamie joins current mayor John Leggett and first-time mayoral candidate Rick Ireland in the running for the mayoralty.
A humiliated part-time bar manager whose bosses told her she had a “superiority complex” has won a $28,606 payout.
Dawn Langdon told the Employment Relations Authority that her job at the Junction Hotel left her “so stressed” she was forced to resign.
Owner Mike Pink was ordered to pay compensation of $18,000 plus additional costs including reimbursement of lost wages, holiday pay and Kiwisaver contributions.
An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) decision released last week by authority Helen Doyle found in favour of Dawn.
She ruled the Marlborough woman was “unjustifiably constructively dismissed and unjustifiably disadvantaged.”
“Mike Pink is ordered to pay to Dawn Langdon the sum of $18,000 without deduction being compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings.
“There were other actions by Mr Pink in breach of good faith obligations that seriously damaged the employment relationship,” she says in her findings.
The findings come after Mike told the tribunal hearing that the Junction Hotel was owned by a company and not himself personally.
The ERA could find no evidence of that, they said.
Dawn worked at the pub, which has since been sold, from 1 August 2017 to 4 March 2018. She was paid $16 gross per hour.
She told Mike about worries she had concerning bullying behaviour directed at her but says she was made to feel like she was the cause of the problem.
In response to what he called a “tirade” of emails about the situation, Mike told his unhappy employee that she owed him $500.
“In view of the constant e-mails, personal meetings and other contacts you have bombarded me with since you commenced employment with us … I feel it only fair that I should be recompensed for the time wasted unnecessarily.
“I have had to spend hours in replying to your tirades which has kept me away from doing my normal work and as I am partially incapacitated at present, I find this totally unacceptable.
“I think that a figure of $500 is fair and I expect to receive this within 7 days,” he wrote.
Mike also claimed he had lost customers and in one case a company has “discontinued to lodge and eat here” with a loss of up to $1000 per week.
Langdon resigned on the grounds that her employer had breached his duty.
She later said at an ERA investigation meeting in Blenheim on 23 May that Pink made her feel like a “complete failure”.
“I am extremely upset and humiliated over the way I have been treated, when measured against the commitment and loyalty I have shown your business during my employment,” she wrote.
Mike and wife Hazel have sent bought the Wave Café and Courtyard in Picton.
Youngster Tom Robinson endeavours to escape the clutches of Mako loose forward Braden Stewart during one of the many activities on offer at Sunday’s first Tasman Rugby Union Player Development session for under-11 to under-14 players.
Thirty children and seven Mako past or present players attended the fast-paced Lansdowne Park session, the first of three designed to offer all age group players some intensive coaching and a chance to rub shoulders with the Tasman senior players.
The sessions have been introduced in the wake of the decision to end rep rugby from under-16 down and provide an opportunity for all players to get specialist help. The next two will take place on September 8 and 22.
At a similar gathering in Nelson, 120 children turned up at the Tahunanui venue, along with 10 Mako male players and six female.
There is the barest hint of mischief behind her smile, a smile that lights up a face etched with the patina of passing time, a smile that invites confidences and giggles.
Marlborough woman Peg Moorhouse turns 102-years -old today (Tuesday), much to her surprise, she confesses.
She hasn’t smoked in decades, doesn’t drink alcohol and is still as slim as the debutante in the portrait of herself that stares self-assuredly from where it graces the walls of her Sunshine Bay home.
“I’m not quite sure how I’ve done it,” she says.
“I never expected to still be here.”
Her long locks are pulled back in a bun and her earrings catch the light as it shimmers across the Marlborough Sounds and pours into the living room.
Colourful works of weaving adorn the walls and a huge loom takes pride of place. It is only fitting that one of New Zealand’s most celebrated weavers should live in such an inspiring place.
The inaugural recipient of the Living Cultural Treasures award in 2012, Peg is modest about her success. But as she talks about taking a call from Te Papa recently for a possible exhibition of her work, there is a resonance of quiet pride.
“I still weave most days,” she says.
Born in 1917 near Ashburton, Peg grew up in Christchurch with her cousin the painter and potter Margaret Anderson at Risingholme, a grand old house that was later gifted to the city.
The death of her mother when she was just four years old did, she says, leave a gap.
“I few memories of her as I was so young when she went.
“I lived a life of luxury at Risingholme. I remember turning 16-years-old and getting a cup of tea and then a piece of bread and butter in bed like the rest of the household.
“I wore my hair up for the first time and changed into a velvet dress and, later, got to try a sip of sherry. I didn’t like it,” she laughs.
Peg’s laugh rings out sure and clear. It is easy to imagine the young 19-years-old who caught the eye of her husband Len. At 33-years-old, his attentions, she says caused “a bit of an uproar” at home.
“I was dancing with him and he asked if he could ring me and when I told them at home, all hell broke loose.
“When he found out how old I was he tried to stay away but he didn’t for long. The night he proposed we went for a walk in the garden and he asked me to marry him.
“I hesitated slightly as I didn’t quite expect it and he threw me over his shoulder and said I could stay there until I said ‘yes.’
“I only kept him waiting for a few seconds,” she giggles.
In 1937, the pair were married, Peg in a family heirloom veil that was “so precious” it had to be kept in a bank safe.
She was, she thinks, the last bride to wear it.
Talking about the man she loves and still misses, there is a wistful air to her words. Six years after he retired as head of NZ Breweries, Len died aged 66-years-old.
“We had a happy marriage, no real rows or anything. I was only 52 when he died, and I still miss him.”
In 1963 she and Len moved to Marlborough’s Sunshine Bay.
The spot had captivated Len, she says, and when he heard the bay was for sale, the pair rowed over to talk to the owner.
“It was all sealed with a handshake and a shilling,” she says.
The couple had four children and Peg is very proud to be a great grandmother to eleven.
Following Len’s sudden death, Peg sought solace in her family and in her talent.
Accepted to exhibit at the inaugural Wearable Arts Award in 1987 spurred her on to experiment. The award-winning professional fibre artist is notable for her do-it- yourself attitude.
It is her strength and tenacity that she had to rely on after the death of her husband but also a man she grew close to later in life, a Scottish fisherman called Bill.
“I was tempted again when I met this great big Scotsman who followed his love of the sea.
“We spent four years together in a fishing village in Australia. The police came to the door one night and told me his boat was missing in a storm. I said, “no, not Bill, he’d always get his boat back’. Ten days later they found his body.
“The other awful part was that his son and my eldest son were crewing for him and they lost their lives too that day. They were never found.”
Her gaze is drawn to the water that rushes into the small beach below in small, hurried waves.
She scattered Bill’s ashes in the Cook Strait and draws strength from its proximity, and from the bay where she was so happy with Len.
“I just got up and got on with it, you can’t dwell on the bad times. I’ve had a full life and I’m grateful for it.”