With house prices spiralling in Wellington and the Hutt Valley, more people are making the move to the Wairarapa. Australian academic Dr Geremie Barmé was on holiday in the Wairarapa last year, when a friend told him she wanted to sell her house in Featherston. Once used as the town’s bakery, the house had plenty of quirky historical charm. It was perfect.
We can all think of towns where rampant development has created a blot on the landscape but David Borman, born and bred in Wairarapa, is responsible for some of the most sympathetic buildings and heritage renovations in the region. He talked with Anne Taylor in Kuripuni, where an exciting new project is unfolding.
Peaceful Greytown is an ideal location for its new Acupuncture and Herbal Wellness Centre service. Dawn Lucia has a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (California) and recently moved to Greytown with her partner Jessie. Susan McLeary tells the intriguing story of how they got here.
Sue Sullivan runs possibly Martinborough’s the busiest espresso machine, remembering everyone’s preferences with great good humour. Which is surprising, as she starts work at 2am. Much later in the day, Susan McLeary explores the Sullivan family’s Kitchener Dairy. Sitting in the middle of Kitchener Street, locals know this is the heart of Martinborough.
Old books and fresh coffee make a winning combination at Café Loco, adding to Featherston’s rebirth as a booktown. Set up by ex-Radio New Zealand broadcaster Kate Mead and husband Ross, Café Loco is a sociable hub where you might walk in to buy a cappuccino but find yourself stopping to scan the bookshelves. In the morning, tradies are the first to step through the purple-framed door to put the world to rights over a coffee and a paper in the lounge. Later, young mothers drop by for a chat and throughout the day a stream of locals and visitors call in for coffee, books or both.
Twelve stunning Gottfried Lindauer portraits of Wairarapa rangatira will be at the heart of an ambitious new exhibition – ‘Te marae o Rongotaketake - Redressing our Kahungunu History’. The exhibition will explore the past, present future of the Wairarapa iwi Ngaiti Kahungunu, and is due to open in April this year.