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Fair reaching for recycling heights

Martinborough Fair organisers hope to recreate the success of last year’s event.

The first Martinborough Fair for 2023 will be held tomorrow during Waitangi Weekend.

The organisers have returned to the original schedule of two fairs on the first Saturday of February and March, after they were moved to April and November last year to accommodate covid-19 gathering restrictions.

Despite the altered schedule last year, convenor Vivienne O’Reilly said people still flocked to the fairs, especially the November event.

“November was great. There was a lovely crowd. Some retailers said it was the most successful yet.

“We don’t do a head count, but we estimated up to 25,000 people came. There were 541 stalls.”

O’Reilly said there was a high calibre of products sold at the stalls, and many new stallholders joined the familiar favourites.

“Our stallholder coordinator Paul Mason has a huge job dealing with all the stalls.”

She said the fair would continue its efforts to reduce waste after a programme was introduced in November that successfully reduced the rubbish going to landfill by 40 per cent.

The waste was sorted by Non-Stop Solutions, which took all compostable waste back to Wellington. The fair also reduced landfill rubbish by banning certain plastic packaging and having separate bins for landfill, compostable and recyclable cans, and plastics.

O’Reilly said she had learned a lot since councils were mandated to reduce rubbish going to landfill.

“At the moment it is new, and we’re working on educating the public to see if we can meet the target.

“We’re not wanting to be police or tell people off for putting things in the wrong bin. There is a lot of confusion about what can and can’t be put in each bin.

“I do feel quite passionate about the environment. Now we’re learning a bit more, we’re wondering whether it will stay at 40 per cent, or if it is possible to get down to zero.”

The event is run by South Wairarapa Rotary, with help from the district council. Any profits made are ploughed back into the community.

The fair will also have music from Wairarapa Fern and Thistle Pipe Band and other local musicians, as well as dance performances for the first time.

O’Reilly advised visitors to keep their dogs at home.

“We can’t ban dogs, but it’s not a nice environment for them, especially with their bare paws on the hot tarmac. Please leave them at home and bring them back a treat from the fair.”

February and March 4 from 8am-4pm, in the Martinborough town centre.

Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

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