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Tranzit Vibrant Award

The second Wairarapa Awards, celebrating business excellence in the region, will be held on Thursday, October 3. We profile the nominees in the third of the five categories, the Tranzit Vibrant Award, which showcases businesses who are leaders in Wairarapa’s burgeoning hospitality and tourism sector.

Carterton Events Centre

The Carterton Events Centre, a $5.9 million project completed in 2011, provides the district with a multi-purpose community and events centre that is often quoted by venue users as “our favourite place to come!”

Designed to meet the present and future needs of the Wairarapa community, the centre boasts a 350-seat multi-use auditorium that’s capable of hosting concerts, conferences, weddings and exhibitions. There are other supporting spaces including the Information Centre, meeting rooms, kitchens, a Youth Centre and the Carterton Community courthouse.

The centre’s clever design and use of existing spaces allows several different activities to take place: the Carterton District Library, the Toy Library, Scouts, and Plunket all have permanent residence within the facility, providing true community identity.

The Hurunui o Rangi room frequently hosts Carterton District Council meetings, and the Rangatahi hub has been incorporated into the venue which provides space for community groups, including local youth
Group, R2R.

Wings Over Wairarapa 2019 Air Festival

Wings, Wairarapa’s biennial air festival, welcomes 25,000 people to Masterton’s Hood Aerodrome and brings $1.84 million into the region’s economy with more than 7000 people staying for one night or more.

Despite some challenging weather, this year’s festival had a record Saturday crowd for the day flying programme and New Zealand’s only night aviation-show.

Wings 2019 was a 20th anniversary celebration and the organisers took the opportunity to try some new things.

The Night Show blew everyone away with the pyrotechnics and gliding display, and the STEM and Aviation Education Programme was also successful.

A big team of people and supporting organisations work on Wings, including sponsors, more than 350 volunteers, the Board of Trustees chaired by Bob Francis, the pilots and the operations team.

A special mention must go to Tom Williams who had the original idea and is still involved after all these years.

ConArt Gallery & Studios Inc

ConArt Gallery and Studios is a space where Wairarapa-based artists can create, exhibit, promote and sell their art. Located in Masterton’s arty north end of town,

ConArt is a collection of colourful, purpose-built containers, comprising a gallery and retail space, two working artist studios and outdoor spaces.

People can come and see artists as they work and talk with them about their creative techniques and inspiration, between Wednesday and Sunday, and some public holidays. All items are available for immediate sale.

Exhibits and artists change every four weeks, so there’s always something different to see. Half the visitors come from outside the region.

ConArt is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers, who support Wairarapa artists to promote and sell their work.

It’s a creative collective that includes painters, jewellers, photographers, ceramicists, sculptors, musicians, writers, printmakers and designers.

Rahui Coastal Loop

Take a bunch of mates, sprinkle a sense of adventure, put the city aside and feed your soul on the unique e-bike adventure that is Rahui Coastal Loop, the idea of Linda Maunsell.

A solo mum of a 3-year-old and living on the family farm, deep in Tinui country she needed an income.

This prompted her to do a business course in 2017, which resulted in her undertaking a major renovation of The Sows Ear @ Rahui, the family farm and starting the business.

The Sows Ear is now the stylish first night’s accommodation on the catered three-day bike adventure. The ride takes in the picturesque Tinui Valley, the stunning Mataikona to Castlepoint coastal section and adrenalin-fuelled private bush downhill.

Spectacular day trips are also offered. E-bikes are available to hire or visitors can bring their own.

To The Coast with the Post

Gordon Wyeth has been the rural mailman in Featherston since 2004. To The Coast with the Post is a personal and unique tour of the RD2 mail-run which goes to the southernmost point of the North Island.

It is a trip that attracts both foreigners and Kiwis alike.

You will experience 220km off the beaten track, see the quaint villages of Pirinoa, and Lake Ferry as well as Ngawi, which has the highest bulldozer-to-people ratio in the world.

You will see breath-taking views of the rugged South Wairarapa coastline, including the largest seal colony in the North Island.

And you can climb the 253 steps to the Cape Palliser lighthouse and hear local knowledge, which includes a few laughs along the way.

The trip includes a home-made picnic lunch with plenty of photo opportunities.

Featherston Booktown

Featherston Booktown has galvanised the community, through celebrating books, writing and ideas.

Having become a member of the international family of Booktowns, Featherston has repositioned itself as a sought-after visitor destination and a thriving, growing, working rural community.

Featherston Booktown, in just five short years, has contributed significantly to the profile and growth of Featherston as a destination for booklovers – thanks to the enormous generosity of its residents and army of volunteers.

The festival attracts thousands of visitors to Wairarapa over the second weekend in May each year – which also benefits the neighbouring towns.

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