(Times-Age online)

Home | Archive 98 Index

WAIRARAPA NEWS for the week ending 6 September 1998

(Daffodil picking at Middle Run) Jane Sinclair, of Masterton, with children, gathering daffodils at Middle Run.

5 September The Weeks News in Review
A proud day for Martinborough School
4 September Martinborough on faultline
Mayor wants status quo on Greytown name
3 September Birch plugs diversification
Old Maori name wanted for Greytown
2 September Spending on arts attacked
Beyer to fly flag in Games bid
Kuripuni facelift
1 September Statue row puts plans in jeopardy
Upgrade for hill road
Station sells to US family
Maori historian and author Mita Carter dies
31 August Rip sweeps boys to sea
Dispute over candidate's missing name
Sewer pipe wrangle


5 September 1998

The Weeks News in Review

It's not all in the name

ANOTHER name was floated for Greytown this week,Te Hupenui.

Not a new name, but, according to Rangitaane O Wairarapa chairman Jim Rimene, the name by which the area was always known before the arrival of that-man-again Sir George Grey.

Mr Rimene said he would not want the name Greytown to disappear altogether but for Te Hupenui to join it on signs around town. He thought some people might have a problem with the idea because of the Maori translation, and he's probably right.

In short, Te Hupenui more or less means The Big Snot.

Hupe, Mr Rimene says, is a word with deep spiritual meaning for Maoris, being the fluid which runs from the nose when people cry and which is often referred to at a tangi.

You may or may not agree with Mr Rimene's suggestion but one thing is hard to argue against. Greytown, as a town name, has to be about as boring as they come. It does not reflect the vibrancy that the small community has, and is building on.

Not that there's anything spectacularly interesting about other Wairarapa town names either - Masterton, Carterton, Featherston, Martinborough.

This is driven home to anyone visiting Australia. Suddenly you are confronted with town names like Sundown, Lightning Ridge, Speed, Sapphire, Paradise, Turkey Creek, Come-by-Chance and Broken Hill. There's musically sounding Aboriginal names too, like Goodiwindi, Wandiligong, and Bindebango.

They have some boring examples too. They are mostly a legacy of our stiff-upper-lip connections to Britain, hence Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. And the Aussies have a Graytown, a very small dot in North Central Victoria, a old goldmining town now almost deserted. We're "reliably informed" there are moves afoot to rename it.

What's the Aborigine word for The Big Snot?

Greytown barber Bill Dickson has reason to muse over the old adage A still tongue keeps a wise head. In a fit of patriotic fervour, Mr Dickson, 47, vowed after the first Bledisloe Cup rugby test lost to Australia that he would not shave again until the All Blacks won. He was confident the loss was a one-off. Wrong. Four further losses later and many months before rugby starts again Mr Dickson is looking to a very hairy future.

Also this week we reported the first salvo in the local body elections to be held next month. Masterton mayoral aspirants Peter Ihaka and Dermot Payton both said they would push for a review of the district council's promise to help fund the Wairarapa Arts and History Centre. Both said it will put too much of a squeeze on ratepayers.

Back home in Masterton are bandsman Les Mooney, 64, and his wife Melwyn. Mr Mooney has made a name for himself in music around the world since leaving Masterton in 1962. Although back in Wairarapa only a week, he is already back in the swing with Masterton District Brass Band.

Wairarapa farewelled historian and author Mita Carter who died this week aged 85. He had an insatiable appetite for history and spent a lot of his time poring through research records in search of material for his published books and papers. He was also a talented musician, but above all he is likely to be remembered for his sharp wit and sense of humour. - CHIEF REPORTER.

A proud day for Martinborough School


HUNDREDS of people were at Martinborough School to see Sir Edmund Hillary plant himalayan oaks on his first visit to the town yesterday.

The tree planting was to raise money for the Ranichauri-Eastwood Trust which supports forestry projects in the Himalayas. The trees are sold for $100 each to help Ranichauri province in India which suffers bad erosion because of tree clearing.

Martinborough School sold 56 trees. It invited Sir Edmund on the off-chance he could come and were overwhelmed when he and Lady Hillary accepted.

Sir Edmund has long been a champion of the Himalayan people and said the children can be very proud of the 11 trees planted yesterday.

"I believe they'll be a great asset to the school and as you grow older you will see the trees growing higher and higher as a constant reminder of helping the impoverished people of Ranichauri.

"It's a great moment to be here in Martinborough for the planting of these beautiful trees."

The whole school and 100 townspeople crammed the school hall for the welcome and Sir Edmund's speech.

He told the children that achieving a goal comes down to attitude. "I'm proof that you don't have to be a genius to do fairly well. I think it all comes down to motivation. If you really want to do well, you'll achieve it."

Martinborough School Board of Trustees chairman Ken Wilkinson said the children saw Sir Edmund "as the man who conquered Mount Everest but as much as he climbed the mountain he gave back to the community".

He said Sir Edmund's building of hospitals and schools is a great lesson for the children. "He has spent all his life giving back, which is what being in a community is all about."

4 September 1998

Martinborough on faultline


A NEWLY-discovered section of faultline running around Martinborough is unlikely to be an immediate danger, but people should be well prepared for the worst scenario, experts say.

Russ Van Dissen, a geologist with the Geological and Nuclear Sciences Institute and co-author of a study into faults around the Wellington region, said Martinborough's fault only moves at a rate of about .5mm a year.

"This would make it a turtle, compared with the Wairarapa or Wellington faults, which would be horses, and the alpine fault in the South Island, which would be a cheetah," he said.

"The Wairarapa fault slips at a rate of 5mm to 10mm a year and in fact this one gave us the biggest quake New Zealand has seen since the arrival of the European.

"That was in 1855 and measured about 8 on the Richter scale. It was a whopper."

The Martinborough fault runs from White Rock to where the rubbish tip is sited and then in a northeasterly-southwesterly direction around the outskirts of the town, underneath the Palliser Estate Winery.

The fault is a few kilometres under the surface and is about 1km from the town centre.

"But you can see it most clearly at the rubbish dump," Dr Van Dissen said.

"The river terraces are warped into a small fold and in the relatively young rock, which is about 30,000 years old."

The last movement on the fault was probably a few thousand years ago, he said.

South Wairarapa emergency management officer Bill Gibson said people are now responsible for their own preparations and are expected to be self-sufficient for a minimum of three days.

This includes having a survival pack of a transistor radio with spare batteries, a torch, warm clothes, a first aid kit and enough water for at least two litres a day for everyone in the house.

The water stays fresh for about six months in containers and these should be stored in the dark and renewed regularly.

Survival kits should be stored away from the house, preferably in an outside shed, or somewhere where people won't have to scrabble through ruined houses to get them, Mr Gibson said.

Another important item to keep up to date is medication.

People should never let their medication fall below a week's supply because if a big quake comes pharmacists are going to have their supplies cut off.

Having plans to get families back together is also important.

"A major difficulty for Wairarapa is that we have about 800 people going to Wellington every day and it will be difficult for them to get back," he said.

Mr Gibson said he knows of one person who works in Wellington and has a survival kit, including warm clothes and tramping boots, in a pack at work.

"They are planning to walk to Seatoun where a friend has a small boat. From there it is a trip around the coast and a long walk home," he said.

Tsunamis are also a danger for Wairarapa and Mr Gibson said although they will probably only happen once in 1500 years, it could be tomorrow.

Mayor wants status quo on Greytown name


The Mayor of South Wairarapa, Mr Read, says he is not a "redneck" but would like to stick with the name Greytown over the Maori alternative.

He was responding today to a suggestion by Rangitaane O Wairarapa chairman Jim Rimene yesterday that the old Maori name for Greytown - Te Hupenui - be included, with Greytown, on signs.

Mr Rimene said hupe is the fluid that runs from the nose when you cry and is held in great spiritual reverence by many Maoris. But, loosely translated, Te Hupenui means "the big snot".

Mr Rimene, speaking on the Governor George Grey statue debate, said one suggestion of including a Maori statue to appease strong feelings would be better served by including Greytown's Maori name.

Mr Read said it is up to the people of Greytown to decide on the name but personally he favoured Greytown by itself. "I'm not a redneck or anything like that but Greytown is significant to New Zealand," he said.

He said Greytown was the first European inland town in New Zealand founded by Grey and its name was fitting. "It's a European town named after a European governor."

Mr Read said there is a strong and proud Maori history at Papawai Marae which is also very significant.

Greytown ward councillor Mike Gray said Te Hupenui does not reflect what he sees Greytown to be. "I see Greytown as a lovely rural town with quite a number of characteristics about it that have been around since last century," he said. "Te Hupenui doesn't seem to gel with that."

Mr Gray said there is a growing practice of incorporating Maori translations for European names but Te Hupenui was not consistent with that.

"Greytown was named after George Grey, that's the guts of it," he said.

He said the proposal to include the old Maori name is a "sideshow" to the statue debate on which he has strong personal feelings.

"I would have thought commemorating Grey would have been best served by putting up photographs and an explanation of how Greytown arose and a history of Grey," Mr Gray said.

3 September 1998
Birch plugs diversification


FARMING will always be the backbone of the New Zealand economy but benefits for Wairarapa lie in the area's diversification, the Treasurer and Minister of Finance, Mr Birch, said in Masterton yesterday.

In town to visit Juken Nissho mill and talk to business people and South Wairarapa Rotary yesterday and an economics class at Wairarapa College today, Mr Birch said the drought and the impact of tariff reductions have hit Wairarapa hard.

"The economy contracted in the first quarter of this year and some of this could be put down to the drought," he said. "This explains the pain felt in Masterton. But the economy should start growing again slowly and this will have benefits for Wairarapa.

"There is huge potential to do things better in agriculture and, with population increases in Asia and South America, we could increase our market share there." This could be done by better packaging and product promotion, Mr Birch said.

Wairarapa's new industries, such as wine, forestry, tourism and information technology, could see it becoming stronger as a region and surviving fluctuations in the economy.

Mr Birch said next year's growth will be flat, meaning less tax coming into the Government's coffers, and eventually there has to be a boundary for running at a loss. "It's not likely that there will be room in any Government programme for extravagance in the next 12 months or so," he said.

But the Government will go ahead with policies to make the country more competitive, particularly more sales of government businesses.

When asked what effect the sale of state assets has had on the economy, he said it has been good for the country. They are now performing better and, although they are not employing as many people as they once did, they are paying tax on their earnings, he said.

For example if Telecom makes a $800 million profit, it pays tax and reinvests a lot of that money within the country. The only part of the profit heading overseas is the dividends paid, Mr Birch said.

But he predicted more people would lose their jobs and said the events of the past week were the "biggest external shock since the oil crises of the 1970s".

The drop in the value of the rouble will impact on the dairy sector, which includes Wairarapa, but will have little impact on the rest of the economy, he said. "Russia is only our 17th trading partner whereas 42 percent of our exports go to the United States.

"New Zealand has adjusted very well to the Asian crisis over the past 12 months, which is a tribute to the reforms made over the past few years," Mr Birch said.

The lower exchange rate has also made a huge difference to exports, making them more attractive.

Old Maori name wanted for Greytown


DON'T worry about a Maori statue to stand next to Governor George Grey - just give us back our name for Greytown, the chairman of a Wairarapa iwi authority says.

Jim Rimene, of Rangitaane O Wairarapa, said today the unveiling of a 2.1m wooden statue of Grey on Greytown's Founders' Weekend would be a good time to incorporate the Maori name for the town - Te Hupenui.

He said it would be fitting since the Te Hupenui area was renamed after Grey. "This guy took it away," Mr Rimene said.

But he said the Maori name may be difficult to understand for some people.

Mr Rimene said the word hupe has deep spiritual significance for many Maoris but is misunderstood by some.

He said hupe is the fluid that runs from the nose when people cry and is often referred to at a tangi. "The tears and the hupe fall on the ground," he said. "They use it all over the country. It is the sorrow they use for the dead."

He struggled for an accurate translation for Te Hupenui but said closest would be "the big snot". "Some of our people think it is offensive," he said.

Mr Rimene said the Maori name would not replace Greytown but could run underneath on signs around the town.

He disagreed with the idea of putting up a Maori statue next to Grey, suggested by Te Puku O Te Whenua MP Rana Waitai.

He said it would be very difficult to agree on a person to base the statue on because Grey wronged so many Maoris.

"We can't pick one chief or one person because that guy did a hell of a lot against us," Mr Rimene said.

He said there is already a statue of paramount chief Tamahau Mahupuku who was very influential around the area at Papawai Marae. "We already have one at Papawai so why put up another one?"

2 September 1998

Spending on arts attacked

By Nick McDonald

Masterton District Councils' funding of the Wairarapa Arts and History Centre is under attack from both challengers for the Masterton mayoralty.

Peter Ihaka and Dermot Payton, who are challenging sitting mayor Bob Francis, say they would push for a review of council's promise to help fund the running of the centre if elected.

The council this year increased its annual operational grant to the centre by $35,000 to $185,000, and is planning to go to $225,000 next year.

Mr Ihaka and Mr Payton say the commitment to fund the centre is putting too much of a squeeze on ratepayers.

"Certainly one of my main aims would be to revisit that decision," Mr Ihaka said.

"It's my understanding Masterton ratepayers will be paying around 2 percent of their rates just to pay the wages at the new centre. "People have been telling me that's not on."

Mr Payton said the "number one issue" in Masterton local body politics was funding of the Wairarapa Arts and History Centre. "I can't believe the council made a promise to fund the centre when the plans for the building aren't even in place," Mr Payton said.

"The council would be spending something like 2 percent of the rate take on funding the centre's management before it even got off the ground. "I've got some real concerns about the issue, specially as the centre looks like it will be in competition with Te Papa in Wellington."

Both men said clamping down on council spending was a key element of their mayoral campaigns.

Opposition to the proposed new arts and history centre is also showing itself in the high number of nominations for seats on the board of Masterton Trust Lands Trust, the centre's major funder. The trust has earmarked $2 million for a new building on the site and last month awarded the design contract to a Wellington firm.

There are four vacancies on the trust and 12 candidates. Four of them, Derek Daniell, Brent Goodwin, Stephen Kerr and John Roseingrave are running under the designation of Trust Reform.

Trust Lands Trust chairman Owen Prior said last month that the new centre would offer the people of Wairarapa and visitors something they will not find in other districts or in national museums like Te Papa.

Dr Prior said the centre would tell "our own special and evolving story of this part of New Zealand".

Beyer to fly flag in Games bid


WAIRARAPA stands to benefit greatly if Wellington region's bid to host the 2006 Commonwealth Games is successful, says the Mayor of Carterton, Ms Beyer.

She has been named as one of three team leaders to travel to Kuala Lumpur on Friday and put Wellington's case to host the Games at a meeting of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

The other team leaders are the chairwoman of the Wellington Commonwealth Games Society, Kerry Prendergast, and its chief executive, Arthur Klapp.

"We have been working towards this for about 18 months and there are eight Wellington region local authorities and Wanganui supporting the bid," she said.

The Commonwealth Games Federation will meet in Kuala Lumpur the week before this year's Games open to hear bids from cities wanting to hold the 2006 event.

"We will be lobbying the executive and promote our bid among the other Commonwealth countries," Ms Beyer, who is deputy chairwoman of the Wellington society, said.

"Each country has one vote, no matter how big or small they are, so we feel we have a good chance of being successful."

Melbourne is the other city in the running, but Ms Beyer said that city's Games would be a "glitzy and glamour" affair.

"The executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation came to Wellington in February and was very impressed with the way we were planning to deal with issues such as transport," she said.

Wairarapa will probably be the venue for cycling and for pre-Games training and if cricket proves a success this year, Masterton could be one of the venues for round-robin matches.

"Once you have won the bid then you have flexibility for the sports you choose," Ms Beyer said. "The whole thing will be a great spin-off for the region and I am proud to be representing the district and the region."

A decision on the 2006 Games host will be made in September next year.

Kuripuni facelift

By Nick McDonald

Work has started on a $174,000 upgrade of the Kuripuni shopping area in Masterton.

The project, which has been in planning for almost a year, will see the creation of a "village atmosphere" for Kuripuni.

Features of the project include:

- New vehicle access from Crayne Street to the car park at the back of the shops.

- Improved lighting in the carpark.

- Paved kerb extensions and raised pedestrian crossings.

- Theme "village-style" lampposts.

- Street furniture similar in style to that used in the Queen Street upgrade.

- New planting and upgrade of existing centre island gardens.

The improvements to the shopping area were suggested by a council-led liaison group which included the Kuripuni Business Group, police, Masterton Trust Lands Trust, iwi and the Disabled Persons Assembly.

Masterton District Council said the project is expected to be finished by early November. The toilets at Kuripuni are also likely to be upgraded and work could start by the end of the year, the council said.

1 September 1998

Statue row puts plans in jeopardy


CONTROVERSY surrounding a statue of Governor George Grey could ruin the long-term prospects of Greytown’s founders’ weekend according to its co-ordinator.

Peter Werry, of Greytown Community Heritage Trust, said yesterday, founder's weekend is about celebrating Greytown and educating all Wairarapa people about their history and is planned to be a yearly event.

"To me it's going to be a disaster if the whole thing collapses in the first year." He said he did not want a public argument about the statue and the situation was being worked out between the parties involved.

"As far as I'm concerned it's in our hands and I'm not going to talk about the statue."

Apart from the unveiling of the statue Mr Werry said the weekend will take in an exhibition of Greytown memorabilia, six historic homes for viewing, children in theme costume playing Victorian games and a history lecture by Alan Ward, from the University of Newcastle in Australia.

He said Professor Ward's area of expertise is "land tenure in the Pacific" and his subject will be "Good Governor Grey?" He said Professor Ward will be questioning Grey's reputation and it will be a good history lesson for all.

"New Zealanders aren't well versed in their history," Mr Werry said. He said New Zealand history was once thought too boring to teach in schools and universities and that has affected people's awareness. "A whole generation has sprung up without knowledge of their history."

He said Grey is probably the most important figure in Greytown's history because he "facilitated the buying of the land".

  • Full and thorough consultation with Maoris would have resolved any controversy over a statue of Governor George Grey according to a Wairarapa iwi chief executive. John Cribb, of Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Maori Executive Taiwhenua, said: "Reconsideration of the project would not be necessary today, had the parties involved, considered and consulted the wider community 18 months ago."

Upgrade for hill road


NOW the Kaitoke roadworks have been given funding, an upgrade of the Rimutaka Hill Road is on a 10-year plan, Transit New Zealand spokesman Simon Barnett said last night.

In Carterton to explain the deviation to the council, Mr Barnett said the problem of the hill road is not an easy one because of all the earthworks involved, but a 10-year plan will be put in motion.

"It is a problem that is not going to go away and we need to think of some unconventional techniques to solve it," he said.

"We initially looked at aiming for about a 70kmh alignment but that could be too ambitious. We might have to settle for a 60kmh."

Mr Barnett said he will be speaking to Wellington Regional Council today about the road.

The alterations to the Kaitoke section of State Highway 2 creates three lanes over most of the summit, which gives passing lanes most of the way, he said.

Once the alterations are finished cars should be able to travel at 80kmh comfortably, even though the gradient will be about 1 degree steeper.

Resource consents are still needed for the alterations, with a hearing date of about February and meaning the design should be finished in July. Construction will begin at the end of 1999, giving a contract period of about two years.

It will cost about $10 million and was the most economic solution, as well as having the least impact on residents in the area, he said.

Station sells to US family

By Nick McDonald

The Overseas Investment Commission has approved the $5.9 million sale of Castlepoint Station to an American couple who intend farming the property themselves.

The buyers, Anders Nash and Emily Wood Crofoot, have been granted permanent residency status and will arrive in New Zealand this month with their children, aged 9 and 7.

The approval granted by the commission yesterday says Mr and Mrs Crofoot propose to review the existing operations of the station "with a view to further developing business activities".

The commission was told the Crofoot's involvement was likely to result in "the retention and creation of employment opportunities, the introduction of new business skills" as well as an increase in productivity and fresh capital for development.

Speaking to the Wairarapa Times-Age today from the family farm in New York State, Mrs Crofoot said she and her husband were "thrilled" to get OIC approval.

She said their present farm, about an hour's drive from New York City, had been in the family for generations and she valued coming to a property with such a strong history in Wairarapa.

Castlepoint Station is a 2954ha property stocking sheep, cattle and deer and includes a holiday park and 12km of coastline.

The station was established in 1848 and changed hands in 1876 when it was bought by Wellington businessman Walter Johnston.

When Johnston died in 1907 ownership passed on to his descendants and 32 of his relatives are currently shareholders of the company that owns the farm.

Company chairman, Andrew Wright of Greytown said today the shareholders were pleased to see the property was going to be farmed by a family again. "It's the first time in a hundred years that the owners of Castlepoint Station will be living on the property," Mr Wright said.

It is understood three potential buyers had shown interest in the station when it was put on the market this year. Castlepoint is the second big Wairarapa coastal station to be sold to American buyers this year.

In May the commission approved the sale of Glenburn Station to GMO Renewable Resources for a price believed to be around $4.6 million. The company had plans to turn part of the farm into forestry.

Maori historian and author Mita Carter dies

By Don Farmer

A man regarded as one of New Zealand's leading researchers and Maori historians died in Masterton Hospital yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

Samuel Mita Carter, 85,was awarded the Queen's Service Medal in the New Year's Honours List this year in recognition of his work for his people and his historically important achievements as a researcher and author.

Mr Carter, who lived at Pirinoa, was known as an expert on Maori historic sites in Wairarapa, especially those in the lower valley.

He was a prolific writer of historical articles and research papers but also took delight in putting Maori legends and tales on paper.

Mr Carter was known for his wit and humour and was easily able to laugh at himself.

Although seriously ill at the time he was named a recipient of a QSM he said he would make every attempt to get to the investiture at Government House: "I would like to go just for the feed."

Mita Carter was born at Te Ore Ore, Masterton, in 1913 and, although proud to be part Maori, was equally proud of his " pommie ancestry".

He went to Te Ore Ore School until it burnt down and then continued his education in a church near the marae.

The family moved to Pirinoa when he was eight and Mita then attended Pirinoa School, later going to the Maori Agricultural College in Hastings.

He won a scholarship to attend an American university to study law but couldn't take it up as there were no bursaries and it was during the great depression.

His first job was as an apprentice carpenter with the Maori Affairs Department and in 1939 he volunteered for war service but was turned down, being deemed an essential worker.

Instead of fighting, Mr Carter was assigned work building camps for visiting American marines and later for child refugees in Pahiatua.

After the war he worked in Wellington, building state houses and, moving back to live in Pirinoa, set himself up as a builder.

Mr Carter was also musically talented, forming dance bands and spending time overseas during the Korean war entertaining the troops. During that time he performed alongside famous people such as Danny Kaye and Mickey Rooney. He also spent a year in Japan as musical director for the British Commonwealth Concert Party.

On his return he married Patricia Smith, of Martinborough, who survives him. The couple have three adult daughters.

Mr Carter had historical works published, including Early Palliser Bay, and made contributions to Nga Maharatanga and to the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.

His community involvement included being on the Wellington Conservation Board, secretary of the Pouakani Development Committee, a member of the Wairarapa Lake Co-ordinating Committee and an iwi representative on Wellington Regional Council.

He was also a member of the Mangakino Incorporation and trustee of various Maori land holdings in Wairarapa.

A funeral service will be held for Mr Carter at Kohunui Marae, Pirinoa, tomorrow followed by his burial at the Kohunui Urupa.

31 August 1998
Rip sweeps boys to sea

TWO Wairarapa schoolboys were lucky not to have been lost at sea after they were caught in a rip and dragged away from land on Saturday.

Hamish McRae, 16, of Greytown, and Darren Borlase, 18, of Kahutara, were surfing at Riversdale on Saturday morning when they were caught in a rip and dragged about 600m to 700m from shore.

Constable Keith Allen, marine search and rescue liaison officer, said the boys weren't able to paddle against the rip and a strong tide was running against them.

A strong westerly wind added to their difficulties and the alarm was sounded by a friend, Brad Taylor, who had managed to make it to shore.

The rescue was co-ordinated through the Cape Palliser Marine Radio Association, which contacted commercial fisherman Mike Burkhart.

He was fishing by the Three Sisters, just south of Riversdale, and it took him about nine minutes to get to the boys, who had been swept on their surfboards out by Twin Rocks.

"They were exhausted and cold, with hypothermia and shock, and we didn't want to muck around," Mr Burkhart said. The Seahawk crew pulled the boys aboard and warmed them up while taking them to shore.

"They had done the right thing by staying together and getting attention and were wearing wetsuits," he said.

Mr Allen said the rescue was all over in about 10 minutes.

  • In another rescue a4-metre aluminium dinghy was towed back to safety after its motor seized in the Ruamahanga River on Saturday. The Carterton man and his boat had been out at Lake Ferry and was returning home when the motor died. Mr Allen said it was fortunate another boat was passing to make the one-hour tow inland.

Dispute over candidate's missing name


A DISPUTE has arisen over a local body nomination after a Featherston man missed out on having his name included in the candidate list for Featherston Community Board.

Tractor mechanic Owen Rippey, 53, left, said today he had put his nomination papers and cheque for $112.50 into the overnight box at the South Wairarapa District Council offices in Martinborough on Thursday.

"When my name didn't appear in the list of nominations the next day I realised I wasn't in the race so I telephoned Bruce Craig, the returning officer.

"He said it wasn't his fault, that I had done things the wrong way and should have made sure the papers were in his hands by noon on Friday."

Mr Rippey said it was obvious the overnight box had not been cleared and that this "incompetence" was the real reason he had not been included.

"It wouldn't surprise me if my nomination was still in the box with all the rest of Friday's mail."

Mr Rippey has been on the community board for three years and is being backed up by chairwoman Cathy Casey.

Dr Casey said the responsibility for clearing the overnight box was the council's.

"Owen made every effort to ensure his nomination was in on time and cannot be held responsible for inefficiency at the council office," she said.

Dr Casey said she was aware of others who had put nominations in without handing them personally to the returning officer.

Mr Craig said today it is up to the candidate to ensure that the returning officer receives the forms and fees.

He said the clearing of the overnight box was "purely an administrative thing for council" and had nothing to do with the act governing elections.

Under the act, nominations "should be lodged with, or given to, the returning officer" and a receipt is to be issued.

"It's cut and dried, the candidate is supposed to ensure that his nomination is in my hands."

Mr Craig said although he felt sorry for Mr Rippey and didn't want to see anyone missing out it was "a lesson to others".

In any event only three nominations were received for Featherston Community Board to fill four vacancies. It is likely Mr Rippey would therefore be appointed.

Sewer pipe wrangle


A COLLAPSED sewer pipe across the main road has left a Greytown woman without showering, laundry and bathroom facilities and she says she has had enough.

Tracey Munn, who lives in Main Street, wants something done about the town's ageing sewerage system because she says others will be affected.

A pipe leading from her property across Main Street and into a sewer main collapsed under the road about a week ago, leaving her with no way to get rid of waste water. "I have had to shower at a friend's place and washing and dishes are not a good idea," she said.

"What makes me angry is that the council won't take responsibility, Serco won't, and I am left with the problem. "The whole situation is ridiculous because they are telling me I am responsible for the pipe even though it is under the state highway."

This is not the first time Ms Munn has been faced with the problem. Last year the same thing happened after heavy machinery was working in the area and a wrangle developed over who was going to fix it.

Eventually, after a lot of phone calls to the various organisations involved, the intervention of then Greytown Community Board chairman Frank Fyfe and a report in the Wairarapa Times-Age, Transit agreed to foot the bill.

Ms Munn has been told a council bylaw makes the drain her responsibility, something her insurance company can't believe.

"They said they have never heard of such a thing and even if I wanted to get the pipe insured I can't because as far as they are concerned my cover stops at my property's boundary," she said.

"Once again I am left fighting for someone to take responsibility and, although it is my pipe this time, the rest of Greytown should be concerned because this is going to happen to everyone eventually.

"The sewer pipes are really old and they need replacing. If no one is going to foot the bill then home-owners are going to have to pay themselves. "I have spoken to the drainage inspector (Jim Edge) and he just quotes the bylaw to me. It is very difficult fighting against that."

Ms Munn has been given a quote by a plumber of $3389 to do the work but she doesn't see why she should have to pay. "This is a huge amount of money for me and I would have to borrow it from the bank," she said.

"The most unfair thing about it is if I lived on the other side of the street I wouldn't have so much of a problem because the sewer main would be closer."

South Wairarapa general manager Ray McIndoe said private laterals are not public drains and are therefore the responsibility of the landowner, not the council.